“Sometimes the way to change the world is to just go out and start, and if it is good others will join you.” Mother Teresa
Help us change the world, by having a passionate love affair with history, and using Art as the unexpected element of love. I have always loved Dinosaurs and other ancient and modern reptile, as have most little boys at some point in their career of life. And so it came as no surprise to anyone that I studied them with a passion usually reserved for soul-mates. I have found their ancient graves, dug them up, recreated their habitats and lives, often just in my minds eye, lectured, studied, conversed with many about, speculated, and taught many others about them at the T Rex Museum in Tucson, Arizona, (my beloved desert home), and at other institutions and media.
But I never in my wildest dreams thought I would actually uncover a possible hidden history of them, through the media of Art.
Let me confess right here that I am a scientist and not an artist. But it has become apparent to me that we can not track the true transparent history of our living planet just through a study of science. And though it pains that logical and rational side of me to admit it, the study of the history of art, may just give us a great key to unlocking a long suppressed, hidden, or ignored facet of everyone’s lives. And you, through your generosity, can make a great change and a quantum leap forward regarding the true lives of dinosaurs. Again through art.
Join us in the adventure of a lifetime exploring the vast array of Art made by our ancestors on the subject of the possibility of Interaction between Dinosaurs and Humans. We call this project the Jurassic Jungle International Art Project and it is led by the T Rex Museum from Tucson, AZ.
Museums are where dinosaurs reside, but art is where dinosaurs live again. This project will bring them to life as never before imagined, except in Art. And perhaps uncover their secret lives for all to see.
It appears that "dinosaur folklore and art" were created long before our modern science discovered the existence of dinosaurs. Through the art of ancient civilizations in both the Old and the New World we clearly testimony to that fact. These chroniclers or artists were either obsessed with fantasy creatures that we now call dinosaurs or perhaps dragons, or were simply observing what was going on around them. No one knows except them.But while they are gone their art lives on, though few have seen it. We want to change that and bring to everyone's attention.
So who are we to have the audacity to think we can put on this great exhibit and more?
Our Past Exhibits:
We have been an innovative 'science based' children’s dinosaur museum in Tucson, Arizona since 2003. Our unique programs have recently won us the "Top Museum in Tucson" and "Best Children’s Museum in Arizona" Awards. We may be the most fun and inspirational small museum in America, because we keep reinventing ourselves as a "science first but eyes open" based edutainment facility for “Children of All Ages.”
In our next major exhibit will be using art to showcase humans and dinosaurs interacting together from the perspective of real art from our ancestors and their often misunderstood ancient civilizations.
“Changing the world is hard, instead change peoples perception of their world. It is easier and quicker.” Attributed to the late Dick Clark
Our Present Exhibit:
We have just finished a summer exhibit called “The Gobi Desert Tucson Expedition Center.” Here children not only get to see what Arizona looked like for the last 570 million years with fossils, exhibits, and great art, but do real expedition tasks like Digging for Real “Sea Monster Fossils (like shark teeth, vertebrae, jaws and teeth of stingrays, etc.), finding real precious and semi precious gems at our Magic Gem Mountain, Gold Panning for Ancient Treasures (including dinosaur teeth), breaking open of crystal geodes from around the world, and several other Do It Yourself activities. Plus they get to keep most of what you find! Nothing like it anyplace else, we innovate. This just shows you what we have accomplished in the past from a little museum in the desert.
To set the scene authentically and immerse children in the experience, we recreated a Gobi Desert Expedition Center, set in the Gobi Desert in the 1920’s like the Roy Chapman Andrews (role model for Indiana Jones Movies) American Museum of Natural History Expeditions. This had us thinking outside the box again, so we bought a rural property that looked authentic Gobi desert as our set. This turned out being far cheaper and more real than recreating “sets” at an expensive indoor space. We built this as a ramshackle authentic seeming desert expedition headquarters and placed it in a lush desert setting.
We then made the interior of the headquarters like it was set into a lush tropical rain forest for contrast (we helped design Rainforest Cafe) with amazing realism and unusual art, set with real fossils for kids to actually touch. This helped to contrast the story line with the harsh exterior faced by past explorers. We even use only solar power, composting toilets, and recycled water hauled to the site and talk to the visitors about sustainability and careful use of resources, just like a real expedition to the Gobi would have to. This helps the children especially to get a feel for what it really must have been like studying dinosaurs. Real experience is what teaches our children and we hope to use this realism and experiencing in our next exhibit just below.
Quick side note:
We are now starting to turn this acreage into a sustainable eco-village and food forest with a sustainability center made of earth as we move prepare to move the set away (and recycle it 100%) to get the most for our original investment and help the planet at the same time. The museum used many original small to large art pieces, sculptures, paintings, and murals in an authentic seeming original set for this exhibit. This type of realism is usually not tried by other more tradition museums. We are innovators of this type of immersion education. See video and information on what we did at www.trexmuseum.org
“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it.” – Albert Einstein
Our Future (next) Exhibit:
Our latest project is certainly going to be the best yet, especially if Einstein is correct. It is about dinosaurs interacting with humans, and presented through the lenses, goggles and googles of Ancient Art.
The study of the possibility of this dinosaur & human interaction is called “Paleoethnoherpetology." We at the T Rex have been looking at this subject through various ‘lenses’ for a long time since we are "Everything Dinosaurian, from science fiction to hard science."
Did human kids and living dinosaurs ever meet face to face? On the very face of it, this question seems absurd, since scientists including paleontologists, like our Museum Director, tell us most dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago. But surprisingly, there is a lively debate on that very subject going on right now just below the surface of awareness.
We at the museum are not taking any stand on that controversy, but rather prefer to look at the question through the lenses of ART. But the possibilities do excite our collective imagination. Does it yours? Even shared myths and metaphors often have more impact on a civilization than proven facts, according to both noted psychologist Carl Jung and highly respected researcher Joseph Campell.
We want to test that hypothesis with this Exhibit.
Tens of thousands of examples seem to have been found in past and present civilizations, that seem to show evidence of dinosaurs being observed and interacted with. This is found as Art Objects in many diverse cultures such as the Moche, Mayans, Inca’s, Nazcan’s, Anasazi, Colima, Diquis, Chiriquí, Ometepec, Chupicauro, and Olmec in the New World and the Cambodian’s (Khemer), Indian Hindu’s, Chinese, Babylonians, Israelites, Egyptian’s, and Various African nations in the Old World.
And that is the short list. The styles of art were varied, but expressed in pottery, petroglyphs, textiles, stone art, statues, masks, carvings, jewelry, rock art, cave paintings, and more. So our Exhibit will explore and see if we can do this stuff too. Making Art with this theme is the basic purpose of this exhibit. Let the children play with this style of art making.
Carl Sagan, in his prize winning book "The Dragons of Eden" suggested that we are all so fascinated with dinosaurs because our ancient mammal ancestors were so scared of dinosaurs that they tucked it away in their DNA and that’s why we still vaguely remember it today. Creationists say that dinosaurs and humans DID exist together, and cite the immense amount of evidence left as historic artifacts.
Okay, you take pictures of your family when you go to Disneyland on vacation. Perhaps our ancestors did the same with their art. Scientists say no way, no how dinosaurs ever lived with humans. Party poopers, even if they turn out to be right.
What we will do exactly:
We, at the T Rex Museum, find the possibility of human dinosaur interaction a very interesting way to engage people on many levels, in what will prove to be a lively new traveling exhibit. To further explre this theme we will also do a "coffee table" type Ebook (and maybe a printed version if there is enough interest) featuring what we have found, exhibits created for all to see, and expeditions undertaken to other museums and steaming jungles along with dry deserts,. We are producing a CD soundtrack on the subject, and a movie or at least a DVD or Utube of the Jurassic Jungle Art Project has also been commissioned to document this fun and exciting process.
And of course there is already a Blog (www.samasaurusrex.org) showing our progress, exhibit ideas, and stories from around the world on this theme as we move forward. Right now we are looking at the facts, but will delve deeper into the art, history, context and subtext of what we find. With this crowd funded project, we also plan for children of all ages to get their chance to make real art, about themselves and dinosaurs interacting. Can we call it the ‘science of the imagination’ or the ‘art of transforming myth into art?’
See Fine Print at bottom of page for even more details.
The idea of dinosaurs and humans ever eyeballing each other, much less riding, hunting, and being hunted, like these ancient art pieces depiction, is of course usually placed in the realm of science fiction. Or art by James Gurney (check out his Dinotopia books). Or look at the impact that the movie “Jurassic Park” had on our collective psyches.
But what about dragons?
Many peoples the world over believe they existed, or still do, and whole cultures were affected or impacted by this belief. Could the dragons really be dinosaurs our ancestors saw, that perhaps survived the extinction event at the KT boundary? Perhaps or perhaps not, most likely not. Evidence is a bit murky here, but we will explore the masses of evidence and try and sift through to some glimmer of truth on this subject as well. We don’t want to tread on anyone’s beliefs or end anyone's love affair here. So we will include looking at them in this art project as well. Who doesn’t love a fabulous dragon love story like “Dragonheart?”
To sum it up: cultures as old as 4500 years ago were creating artworks depicting dinosaurs and sometimes dinosaurs interacting with humans. While this seems unlikely based on current scientific consensus, the facts speak for themselves as you will see with your own eyes. "Follow the facts, not the dogma."
FIRST we intend to do a quality traveling exhibit starting with our Children’s Dinosaur Museum here in Tucson, Arizona to work any bugs out in time for the next International Gem and Fossil Show starting end of January 2014. And this is just the beginning if you fund us.
There are four components of this exhibit, with both Children and Adult aspects. First is the observation of this ancient art (the formal exhibit). Second is making of that type of art (the hands on art making component) to see if we can do it also. Third is the exploring what else may be out there in the world which we don’t know about yet (the expeditions which are part of the rewards). And finally recording what we find and experience with a music CD, a large format Ebook, and the documentary video.
We aren't starting from scratch here and the Museum brings a lot to the table already. We already have a good deal of art and exhibitry from previous projects at our award winning museum in Tucson, so have a big start there. But we need more and different types as well from other sources both private and public.
What we propose is to gather a workable number of sculptures, photographs, tapestries, paintings, and culturally relative pieces to display in the form of a "multi-format exhibit" for all to view. Besides the viewing is the doing, with art and discovery activities to participate in, at this traveling exhibit. How hard can that be, our ancestors did it? And we will include the music component (some we already have) as well as the docudrama for atmospher.
Even if no provable connection between humans and dinosaurs is found, what a wonderful fantasy that maybe, someplace, sometime, humans and dinosaurs "maybe" actually viewed each other in the flesh. Don't know about you, but we all got goosebumps the first time we saw Spielberg's Jurassic Park. To enhance this part of the exhibit, we will include some of our museum’s lifelike dinosaur figures (see T rex video for some idea) to oversee and inspire children of all ages in this edutainment traveling show. And we will make or acquire more for the exhibit as needed.
We will also happily partner with art museums, groups, clubs, artists, or whoever wants to practice this art in the various cities, like we are doing here in Tucson, as we will tour with the Jurassic Jungle International Art Project where ever people want to see it and we can afford to bring it to.
What type of art will we be doing?
We, and you, will be doing forms of weaving (like tapestry), painting on rocks (to see if we can do it better than our ancestors), chipping figures into rock (much harder than it looks), making clay dinosaur figurines (see top video), sculpting dinosaurs, and other sophisticated art just like our ancestors did when presenting their fabulous dino-human artwork seen in our exhibit. Or if it was all faked like some say, it should be easy to do now with our superior modern knowledge, right? It will certainly be fun and educational, which is what we call “edutainment.”
Great Dreams demand Great Rewards and we haven’t stinted here. Give us your support and we will give you some real good sh*t, err, coprolite. Dino Doo Do. Or would you prefer barf, err, gastroliths. Dinosaur vomit? Not into that? How about a piece of a real T Rex? Or real dino eggshell? Dinosaur Teeth? Shark Teeth? Okay, where are we keeping the really good shi… err, stuff?
Bonus Reward Possibility For Those who Are Really Into the Theme: Would you like to see a real live dinosaur or evidence that some lived after the extinction?
Yeah, us too. Well, it turns out that where much of this prehistoric art was made, there have been local sightings of living dinosaurs. Go figure. Hey, they had to have models didn’t they ;) ? Unless there are inexplicable cases of time warping! Or maybe fakery and forgery to confound even Perry Mason.
Okay, it’s a stretch. But on these expeditions you will likely see dinosaur art no one in North America has ever seen (both in this exhibit and on our tour rewards program funding this project).
We have done the research and made the difficult to make contacts at museums and private collectors.
We will take a lucky few to Mexico, Peru, or The Southwest U.S. to see this evidence first hand, and let you decide for yourself. And record you doing so.
One term for this is paleoethnoherpetology. It will be a real adventure and take a certain amount of physical strength and reasonably good health is required on these trips.
You will absolutely see some fabulous museums, private collections, hidden treasure troves, eat great local food (and hope not to get eaten ourselves) as well as sampling some world class ethnic cooking, and there is a chance you will be the first to see evidence of dinosaurs that outlived the Cretaceous Extinction Event (KT). Or not! And we will document all of this with website postings, blogs, twitters, and frequent blogs so all can follow just by signing up and giving one reward category. All that reward us shall be rewarded by frequent contact.
If we can get Google Glasses, or some such, we will use that as well for all our followers, and we already have the blog.
You will have to judge, but we will take you there and guide you on an expedition of a lifetime (assuming you survive the experience). You could not buy that kind of a safari for many times the pledge asked. You will be accompanied by professional Explorers, Paleontologists, Paleoethnherpetologists, Archeologists, Geologists and Local Guides. And you might just make history, face to face.
Ok, I’m required to say winning a lottery has better odds. But do you feel lucky? Well, do you?
Take a look at the fabulous rewards for sponsoring this Jurassic Jungle International Art Project and helping bring it to a city near you. And please, lighten up; all you that don’t believe in anything. This is “Edutainement” at its best. Just have a big laugh at the absurdity of it all. Don’t worry, be happy. You just might like it and perhaps help change the world while you are having fun. See these rewards and then see the fine print after this explaining much more and giving details…