Dazzling + Dangerous

Topic: Life Sciences Subtopic: Ecology

Case Study

of an Exhibition

by Beth Redmond-Jones

Published on April 12, 2007, Modified on October 10, 2011

  • Description and goals

    Dazzling + Dangerous was the first immersive thematic exhibition mounted by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. This exhibition explored venomous aquatic and terrestrial animals, how animals uses venom for survival, how it is delivery, the difference between venom and poison, and how venom is being used as the basis for medicines to treat pain, cancer and diabetes.

    The 2,000 square foot temporary gallery was transformed into Venomous Creatures of Southern California. Here, visitors learned about venomous animals that can be found within a day’s drive of Long Beach, including cow killer ants, rattlesnakes, round rays, jellies, anemones, Gila monsters, scorpions, and tarantulas.

    Throughout the rest of the Aquarium, venomous exhibits were installed that were relevant to a specific region such as the Tropical Pacific.

  • Development process and challenges

    This exhibition was developed with a cross-departmental team including exhibits, education, husbandry, life-support, facilities, volunteers, and marketing. The goals and messages for the exhibition were determined, then animals to be displayed were selected based on their meeting our content criteria, the Aquarium’s ability to care for the animal, and their availability. Our process consisted of weekly team meetings to discuss content, design, animal issue, and life-support/facility issues.

    The biggest challenge of this process was coordinating multiple departments while delivering an exhibition on-time and on-budget.

  • Exhibition Opened: May 2006

  • Traveling Exhibition: No

  • Estimated Cost: $100,000 to $500,000 (US)

  • Size: 3,000 to 5,000

Latest Comments (1)

Dazzling & Dangerous

by Chris Barela - November 13, 2008

I visited this exhibit often as I am a member of the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. I was especially impressed with the “non-traditional” tanks used to display various arachnids – Tires, barrels, and other locations where you may find such critters. Great job!

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