I consult on experiencial storytelling in a variety of ways, seeking out clients and helping them develop their stories as an account manager, liaison and creative director.
I've worked on exhibition flow, curation, artifact management/conservation, installations, interpretive programs, digital exhibit concepts, graphics and websites, client/fabrication team liaison, fabrication budget management, proposal and bid development.
My work in theater and visual art is what makes me a dramatic and visual storyteller. In this vein I've written, produced, directed and designed for stage shows, films.
But I think it's my experience as an educator of immersive experiences and special events that allows me to interpret the content and design the experience in a way that is way more valuable than if it were just beautiful.
Gerald O. Young
Helicopter Operations Facility
Museum exhibit fabrication sales liaison, creative direction of the helicopter sculpture and acoustic photo wall
My client was the 1st Helicopter squadron which included members of the flight and technical support team. This squadron's mission is to airlift high-ranking Executive Branch, dignitaries, military leaders and other VIPs. Only VIPS and staff would be allowed in this facility. I visualized telling their story though their new 2 floor facility in an inspiring, dramatic way to match their mission.
In addition to selling the entire 2 floor project which was based on a host of physical and interactive creative ideas (total budget $859,000.00). I developed the initial mood board and proposal for the sale. Once the project was won, I managed and collaborated with the creative team on this project, controlled the budgets and guided the development of all the features through the phases of design, fabrication and install in the 2 floor space with a team of designers, artists, fabricators, vendors and installers.
The Gerald O. Young helicopter exhibits included covered 2 floors of exhibits including a dedication zone with timeline and life like mannequin of hero, Gerald O. Young; an iconic 17 foot custom sculpted helicopter hanging in the atrium, an auditorium with photo acoustic panels and video timeline wall, a heritage lounge with memorabilia evoking the golden age of flight, custom wood work and new kitchen, exhibit panels in 5 staff briefing rooms, a 65 inch touch-table with custom programming, artifact cases and labels, custom award exhibits, chain of command leadership displays and lettering on the exterior brick building.
In addition to my duties as the museum liaison, I also creative directed and project managed certain highly artistic components of the production. One was a 17 ft. abstract helicopter sculpture that I visualized to captivate the imaginations of staff and visitors in the main hall. It would thematically unify all the facility exhibits and serve as an icon for the museum. An interior art piece was an unusual decorative component for this military client and required I support the stakeholders with special attention to make everyone feel comfortable going forward with the artful and dramatic vision I had in mind. I supervised the entire budget for all components in the 2 floor museum and during this process, strategically protected the art budget for this specific piece so that my vision would be ensured.
My idea to install a sculpture in the atrium was inspired by the pre-existing wrap around staircase, which I imagined would allow the viewer to approach it from many angles and peer into it as they climbed to the second floor. I selected the artist to create this inspirational piece. I also directed the creation of a sculptural acoustic wall for the auditorium. The sculptural acoustic wall was created though the use of the clients photography applied on dimensional shapes that enlivened the space while buffering the sound.
As of result of the work on this project, the Andrew's Air Force Base Wing Commander was extremely impressed and referred our team to Air Force One. He noted first among the exhibits, the impressive hanging helicopter sculpture.
Gerald O. Young
40 Years App
Meridian International "40 years" app
Museum exhibit fabrication sales, creative direction
The 40 Years app was a creative response to the Meridian's desire for a media component in their traveling photography exhibition. Although the initial request was for a motion graphic to be shown at the exhibit, I suggested we create an app approach instead, because it would bring more value to them.
The 40 Years App allowed for audiences to see the entire exhibit online and learn more about certain photographs through a hunt for codes that unlocked games, interactive postcards, animations and videos. Each of the games and postcards resulted in fun, sharable challenges which enhance the promotion of the exhibition tour.
As a result, in addition to exhibit audiences who participated at the exhibits physical locations, audiences all over the world were able to discover the exhibition and play the games by acquiring codes on the client's website. Using this strategy, audiences discovered the touring exhibition and also discovered Meridian International's main website.
App development collaboration with Trivium Interactive.
WWII Through Russian Eyes
Ballston Forest of Knowledge
(a.k.a. "The Eyes")
Interactive public art , experience design, storytelling
I designed this interactive place-making experience for the Ballston Public Display of Innovation exhibition. Though technology, this experience instigated communication, conversation and discovery with flora taken for granted in public spaces. It beckoned the user to discover if there was more to a place or a thing than they ever realized.
The experience was created in a busy public square which had a tree in the center. I designed an experience of sixteen, 4' wide sculptural eyes that could emote with LED designs amidst the leafy branches of a tree. Using a connected mobile web application, participants would to log into the Eyes app from their personal devices and respond to questions from the tree. Upon submitting an answer, the eyes would "emote" back with colorful visual communication. The ongoing Q&A style conversation between the user and the tree revealed the story of each soul that was awakened and created emotional connection between the person and the tree. Depending on personalities and amount of people engaging, up to 5 souls could be revealed and awakened from the tree at once- The Flirt, The Baby, The Elder, The Raver, The Grump. Each soul was designed with distinct personalities, visual representation and circadian rhythms.
The eyes were a collaboration by the Illumination Coalition consisting of myself (writer, designer), Bardia Jaan (producer), Adam Eig (welder) and Branden Hall (developer). This temporary project also enjoyed re-installation in the contemporary gallery at the Artisphere, in Rosslyn, VA.
Public Displays of Innovation, the exhibit festival, won a Merit Award in the 2015 Downtown Achievement Awards from the International Downtown Association.
Artifact conservation manager, exhibit technician, American team liaison
A traveling exhibit of over 500 famous and infamous artifacts loaned from the Russian Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow. A joint venture between the Americans and the Russians, directed by Mark Talisman, Founding Vice Chairman of the Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC.
This fascinating exhibit immersed guests behind enemy lines. A dramatic walk though, participants eventually found themselves in a recreation of hitlers bunker office, viewing the actual war maps and globe with Nazi insignia on dominated areas, Hitlers, shoes, Stalins coat and pistol, the Key to the Reichstag, flags, partisan puppets, a crumbling section of the berlin wall, among other sensitive items.
I was first called in to consult on display of the exhibit textiles and as I toured the artifacts, I made the team aware of a host of other considerations for the display, care and travel of all other exhibit items. At this point I was then asked to join the team as manager for all 500 artifacts.
As a result, I was able to consult creatively on the exhibit so that the the artifacts were better protected while the participants still felt immersed and the diplomatic relationship between the Russians and the Americans stayed intact so the tour could continue.
Public art, exhibition panel design, marketing
The DC Commission on The Arts and Humanities selected artists to create 100 donkey's and 100 Elephants to engave visitors in public art all around the city. The project became a cultural phenomenon that was featured in a PBS documentary and coffee table book.
The DC public went wild over the art, going on scavenger hunts to see them all. With so many people asking questions about the project and how the creatures were made, I took the liberty to design text panels (seen here on the right) to sit near the sculpture. I also initiated an artisan call center during the PBS airing and organized a co-marketing opportunity for the public to meet me and preview summer specialties at the location of Whole Foods, the sculptures sponsor.
As a result, Watermelophant was one of the most popular designs and received one of the highest bids at auction for the DC arts commission generating over $5,000 in funds for the DC commission on the Arts. It was so popular that a mini sculpture was also commissioned and Watermelophant was featured on the Party Animals collectable poster.
This project ignighted my love for public art and as a result, I eventually would become an Arts Commissioner on the Public Art Committee, and the Cultural Arts Steering Committee of Arlington, VA.
Other Exhibition Projects
Exhibit Design and Conservation
Bamberger Wedding Exhibit (current project)
University Interactive Sculpture (Live, Create, Play)
Exhibit Liaison (sales /project management /creative direction) Museum Fabrication, Capitol Museum Services
Visit Loudoun Visitor Center;
Airline Pilots Association
Helicopter Facility "Gerald O. Young Dedication Exhibit";
Meridian International traveling exhibition App -- "Looking forward Looking Back";
Pentagon - "Joint Chiefs Bradly Case;"
Supreme Court, "Rule of Law;"
State Department, "Palacio Bosch," Ambassadors Residence, Argentina,
Marine Band Library, "Women's Marching Band", "Sousa's Baton" and "Library Gallery"
Wonder Universe, "Photosynthesis"
Associate Curator "A Station Reborn", Washington DC
Exhibit technician, scenic painter "The Stuff of Childhood" DAR museum.
Content interpretation and programs
Left Noodle - Right Noodle, 90 Countries of global arts and culture curriculum and other themes, creative direction,
"Lolas Lab" immersive educational learning through live action scenarios, with breakout information and maker segments.
Visual display technician for retail stores -
Sheridan home and others