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Nose Creek Valley Museum - City of Airdrie 1904

Here’s What You Missed! Busted

Calla Novello-Lauritsen

Date / March 2, 2019

While the flow of time through the museum remains constant, the temporary exhibit changes and this exhibit was different from others. Busted! was a past exhibit about forensic art, investigating how crime scene investigation connects to Nose Creek Valley police history. Laurie had the privilege of working with local artist, Carrie Allen, on this exhibit. Carrie created a presentation on facial recognition and built an unidentified face for visitor to identify after following the clues. Having local artists and community member involved in the creation of exhibits means that exhibit responsibility is shared with the curator and not solely the curator’s responsibility.

For this exhibit, the museum partnered with municipal enforcement, RCMP, police dog services, and Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society (ADVAS). They created displays showing what these groups do and shared the history of the RCMP, including a timeline and life-size uniform posters.

The exhibit included Fact and Fiction, how crime, drama, and mystery television shows and movies impact real life juries and justice. These shows dramatize and exaggerate crime while romanticizing justice. Compared to these shows, real life justice can be seen as “boring.” Laurie was fascinated by this and was intrigued by the research. Including this aspect in the exhibit was important.

It can be challenging to integrate big, awkward artifacts in exhibits, such as the life-size RCMP uniform posters, and some things do not make it out of storage very often. The goal of the museum is to record, preserve, and share heritage of the valley so it is important to them to attempt to incorporate these pieces whenever possible.

Partnered with Abe’s Diner and Fitzsimmons Brewing Company, the grand opening of this exhibit was very successful and the museum oversold tickets to the event. The objective was to get the community into the museum because it emphasizes transparency and shares knowledge about the history of the place you are living.

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