September 26, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Noah’s Ark Docks at the Skirball: Climb Aboard for an Extraordinary Journey

Well, it didn’t exactly rain for 40 days and 40 nights, and the hundreds of invited guests at the dedication, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, didn’t exactly board the ark two-by-two.  In reality, it was a hot, summery Southern California day, not a rain cloud in sight, and Noah’s Ark was ready for its “maiden voyage” having arrived at its permanent destination.

And board they did, as children and their families embarked on this magical, mystical journey through a gigantic 8,000-square-foot wooden ark filled to the rafters with almost 400 handcrafted, life-sized animals and more than 100 hand-held plush puppets, many of which were operated by members of the Skirball staff. 

Whimsical, life-sized “endangered” creatures include an Asian elephant, Grevy’s zebra, Sika deer, Boringo giraffe, snow leopard, Norwegian polar bear, golden lengur, brown kiwi and several species of birds.  

Inspired by the ancient flood story of Noah’s Ark, and five years in the making, this indoor/outdoor multi-sensory, interactive attraction, designed by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects of Seattle, invites intergenerational, multi-cultural visitors to come aboard the ark where they can play, climb, build, problem solve and collaborate to conduct a storm, make rain, help construct the ark, scale the walls, feed the animals, enjoy the folk art, create new art and make new friends. 

The animals, crafted from recycled materials and everyday objects including bottle caps, bicycle parts, baseball mitts, keyboards, bamboo steamers, mop heads and rear-view mirrors, are the artistic visions of Jim Olson, Alan Maskin and Brooklyn-based designer/puppeteer Chris M. Green.

The final leg of the journey through the ark is a room with a gorgeous rainbow. According to the Bible, God put a rainbow in the clouds, saying, “Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” 

The song “Take the Journey” was written specifically for the exhibit, and was sung during the opening festivities. 

 

“Take the Journey”

Music and Lyrics by Alan Zackary and Michael Weiner

 

If we all take the journey together

And face tomorrow as one

There’s no storm that we

     cannot weather,

No wrong that can’t be undone

Should rain pour down from the heavens

There’s hope so don’t despair…

When we all take the journey together

A rainbow is ours to share…

When we all take the journey together

A rainbow is ours to share.

 

Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, LA, 310.440.4500, skirball.org.  

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