Along a smooth, white wall of the museum, is a gloomy picture of ravens perched on thin branches on a winter’s day. I envision tech-savvy tourists aiming their phones against the picture to access our project. Perhaps, they are expecting to read an in-depth perspective on ravens – the symbolism, history and relevance to Alaska. One person alone cannot meet these expectations. That is why our group has decided to work on a central medium, while simultaneously working on our individual topics. Hopefully, the variety of our project’s elements will appeal to a wide audience.
Our main purpose is to inform while expressing our own creativity. I want the audience to walk away with more knowledge about how ravens are perceived in different cultures. By using art and research in Alaska, I hope that they will find a connection between our state and the cunning species of corvid birds, the ravens. This project can add to the museum’s theme of Alaskan history, animals and Native culture.
Our group will explore ravens’ different aspects; as I’ve mentioned, each of us has an individual portion on top of the creative story (which is a group effort) and mine will be about literature. Particularly, I will research popular written works that feature ravens, like The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. In the end, I will have compiled the different meanings that other people have found in them, as well as deriving my own.
While it is important to inform the public, one of my purposes is to apply an academic research to my own perspective. People appreciate accurate or “scientific” content but perhaps, they can connect more to personalized content. As I describe how ravens in literature are portrayed and what they mean, maybe I can also draw parallels between them and my own experiences with other books and life events.
I’m starting to realize that maybe, a museum is a place to learn not only from others, but from ourselves, too.