By Jewellee Kuenstler
“Blood, sweat and tears! No, I’m not referring to a football game. This is what went into preparation for the Arledge Field Exhibit that had its Grand Opening on Friday, June 29th. Luci and I have been playing with some exhibits, but this was, by far, our largest project. This exhibit was six months in the making, but we learned a lot and hopefully will get faster at this.
Let me just give you a little background in what goes into an exhibit. First, the idea. It can’t just be any idea, but an idea that goes with the scope of the Museum’s mission. Next, we gather what we have available, then weed through it, and weed through it again to find the best items to tell the story. Items on display need to have a story to explain its importance. Then, we collaborated with a mood board. (No, I didn’t know what this was either until Luci taught me!) This is an illustration of the exhibit, how you want it to flow, including the story dialogue that will explain the exhibit. Next, we created a mock-up of the exhibit. Playing with fonts and sizes, arranging and rearranging paper copies of the items we would be exhibiting. Research had to be completed to make sure we knew the story behind every item. Scans had to be made, enlarged, cut out. Vinyl letters had to be created, taped together in a straight line, put on transfer tape and finally transferred onto the newly painted walls (not near as easy as those YouTube videos make it look!). Exhibit tags had to be made, mounted on foam board, and attached to the wall. Photos had to be framed and hung. I was literally dreaming about this exhibit every night because during the day we were hanging and rehanging items to get the best effect. But it is done, and we are proud of the finished product. So, be looking for more exhibits in the future!
We had a great turn out for the ribbon cutting. We were honored to have Marge Barnett there to cut the ribbon for the new exhibit. Arledge Field is what brought Marge and her family here in 1953. At that time, her husband, Barney, was a crop duster and worked for Ziegler. Ziegler later sold the company to Marge and her husband and they changed the name to Allied Sprayers. They operated at the airport for over 20 years.
A special thank you to Cheyenne Bereuter who gave me a much-needed lesson in cutting vinyl letters. Also, to Tracy Kuenstler, TJ Kuenstler, and Zane Wedeking for hanging the door and helping us tweak items that needed to be fixed. Also, to Kelly Williamson for sending some amazing people our way to fix some building issues! Volunteers are the life blood of the museum!”