PHOTO ARK

National Geographic photographer, Joel Sartore dreamed up a gallery show while shooting photos of our animals for his Photo Ark Project. It was decided to remodel our connecting tunnel from Zoo North to the Southern half of our zoo by creating a gallery of his artwork on our walls. The opening of the gallery was to coincide with the opening of a Highland hippo and okapi habitat along with a National Geographic Traveling exhibit. The traveling exhibit was jointly developed with our zoo, the Omaha zoo, along with Dallas based Mecca fabrications.

I was point on developing the concept of the Photo Ark Remodeling of the tunnel. The project started out with repainting of the walls with a special paint recommended by Fast Signs so that the rough textured vinyl will adhere to the walls. At this point I was tasked with enlarging and determining the number of photos for each of the 216’ long walls of the tunnel. After blowing up the photos to 11’ tall it was determined that we could space out 25 of his images. For the white wall photos to blend into the painted white walls I was tasked with blending Joel’s photos to the white color of unprinted white vinyl. I over saw and assisted Fast Signs for a three week long install. I also worked with our in-house facilities department on fabricating the gateway banners I designed for the entrance of the gallery. I worked with the zoo and National Geographic to develop a wandering pathway of the temporary kiosks leading to the newly opening Hippo Habitat.

 2021 KEVIN TOMAYKO