Ocean Color Group, Inc.

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Letters to Sala

Ocean Color was contacted in 2007 by New York cultural anthropologist Jill Vexler and asked to recommend a solution for a substantial exhibit that could set up in a number of different venues and pack up easily for travel to the next venue. We recommended a variation of a trade show solution using four light weight expanding aluminum frames which could support a four-panel concave mural on one side and a four-panel convex mural on the other side. The mural panels can be rolled up, the frame collapses, so that the whole exhibit, consisting of eight murals could travel in six cases like the one shown at right.
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Letters to Sala is based on Sala's Gift, a book written by Ann Kirschner about her mother's Holocaust Story. Sala was a young Jewish girl in Poland who was sent to Nazi work camp and secretly saved a treasure of letters and photos that provide a poignant picture, not only of her five-year ordeal, but also of the Jewish experience in Poland during Nazi occupation. Originally curated for an exhibit in the New York Public Library, the exhibit was designed by New York designer Barbara Leff as a traveling exhibit on a five-year tour across the United States. Leff then formatted the design for the eight murals Ocean Color created for a tour through Poland and Eastern Europe.
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The exhibit could be set up as a circle, which was how it was first configured in the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, Poland. Later, when it traveled to Estonia, it was set up in a serpentine layout.
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When Jill Vexler first contacted us, no details of the exhibit had been worked out. Over the course of several meetings and discussions, we decided on four curved frames, each with a four-panel mural on both the inside and outside of the curve. In trade show application, this type of frame always includes "end cap" panels that form a semicircle on each side of the frame, concealing the structure and providing a smooth overall appearance. Jill liked the look of the structure and wisely decided to skip the end caps, leaving the frame structure exposed. This decision also made the exhibit much more flexible. It could be set up as one big circle, or in a linear
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Above and below: Seven years after it was set up at its first venue in Poland, the exhibit traveled to Estonia.
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As far as we know, this exhibit, more than ten years after Ocean Color built it, is still on active display in Eastern Europe. And we are very happy to have ongoing relationships with Cultural Exhibit Curator, Jill Vexler and Designer Barbara Leff.
Jill's web site:
Barbara's web site: http://monkgroup.com
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