“Universal Alliance” at Cranbrook Institute of Science Museum


In March 2014 the Museum closed to the public for a day of activities with Kids Kicking Cancer, a metro Detroit area charity building skills and serving cancer survivors ages 2 – 20. SFA organized an Art & Science section where they collaborated with survivors and their families, creating the first layer of the installation. The metal art done by the participants can be seen around the perimeter of the permanent installation.

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The artist duo was given full access to the Museum’s collections to inspire the art for the project. The Shinkle’s researched the Museum’s original documents. They learned of George G. Booth’s original purchase of an entire mineral and gem collection in Denver, Colorado that became the genesis of the Science Museum. The Museum’s original benefactor admired and collected the minerals and gems for the art he saw in them. Similarly, the Shinkle’s inspiration for their installation aligned with Mr. Booth’s as the duo photographed and assembled the Museum’s minerals and gems. Additionally, the Shinkle’s selected and photographed three iconic Museum creatures, the tyrannosaurus known as “Black Beauty”, the stegosaurus known as “Steggy” and the Woolly Mammoth known as “Hezzy”. The artist duo then created a composite photographic image for the Museum Metalagram® installation.Crowed Source CThe Shinkle’s worked with the engineers Eric Barch and Eric Salem, both of Beverly Hills, MI, to install and wire LED lighting into the shadow box framing the installation. They created an individually addressable LED integrated light system. It is fully customizable, able to create many of the looks and effects similar to those of theatrical and production lighting. The duo also worked with a lighting designer, Wilm Pierson, to program and design the continuous lighting loop. Late fall 2014 the installation was permanently installed and can be seen at the Museum in the first floor main gallery. For those who wish a replica of the museum piece, Alu Dibond Metalagram® Replicas of the installation can be purchased from SFA. Link to alu dibond replicas. See the video below for example of replica.

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