Orcas: Our Shared Future


New feature exhibition dives deep into the stories and science behind the Orca

Media Contact: Heather Wadia
hwadia@omsi.edu | 503-797-4517


[PORTLAND, Ore – May 2, 2023] – On May 13, 2023, the Oregon Museum of Science and
Industry will excitedly debut the U.S. premiere of Orcas: Our Shared Future, a compelling
new feature exhibition that offers a deep dive into the stories and science that surround the
magnificent orca, spirit of the Pacific Northwest’s wild coast and apex predator of all

Through dramatic displays, immersive games and provocative videos, visitors of all ages
will explore currents of ecological activism, popular culture, and Indigenous beliefs to gain
a deeper understanding of how orcas and humans are inextricably connected.

“Orcas are complex social beings with a culture and language of their own,” said Royal BC
Museum CEO Alicia Dubois. The Royal BC Museum produced the exhibit in partnership with
MuseumsPartner.“This exhibition explores the science behind orcas’ complex emotional
lives and provides an indelible reminder of the similarities between orcas and humans,
challenging us to think of our responsibilities as a part of nature, not apart from nature.”

OMSI will be the first museum in the United States to feature this fascinating exhibit.

“We’re especially excited for visitors to connect with Indigenous knowledge and stories
about orcas,” said Erin Graham, President and CEO of OMSI. “ The science and artwork
shared by the Northwest Coast First Nations offers visitors the opportunity to gain a
deeper understanding, relationship, and inspiration to protect these sophisticated animals
and our oceans.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to experience orcas up close via three life-sized replicas.
Additionally, the exhibition features 100+ artifacts and objects, including:

● Unique cultural objects by Indigenous artists, including an Articulated Dance Mask
by Richard Hunt (Kwaguilth); an intricately carved Gold Killer Whale Box by Bill Reid
(Haida); and a specially commissioned painting by Haida manga artist Michael Nicoll
● Legacy, a full-size wood orca skeleton by artist Ken Hall, made of reclaimed cedar
to honor its traditional use by First Nations.
● Interactive stations that strive to translate orca experiences into human sensations,
such as Acoustic Turbulence by Colton Hash, an interactive artwork that visualizes
underwater noise pollution generated by large ocean vessels.

Visitors of all ages will enjoy learning about these whales that are closely related to
dolphins. From physical features such as their countershading camouflage, to their social
structures where each pod has its own unique dialects used for communications, hunting
and navigation. Find out how orcas received the nickname “Killer Whale,” what currently
threatens these beautiful mammals, and what humans can do to protect them.

Orcas: Our Shared Future opens Saturday, May 13, 2023 and runs through January 28, 2024.
The exhibition is locally supported by Boeing and is included with the cost of museum

Tickets & Pricing
Museum Admission, including access to Orcas Our Shared Future: Adult $18, Youth (ages 3-13)
$13, Senior (age 63+) $15. Guests can purchase tickets at omsi.edu.
The exhibit is free for OMSI Members. Learn more about membership at omsi.edu/become-a-member/.

Museum Hours of Operation
Tuesday–Friday & Sunday: 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Monday: Closed, with the exception of Portland Public School holidays.
*Special summer hours at the museum will begin June 19.

About OMSI
Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums and a trusted educational resource for communities throughout Oregon and the region. Through museum exhibitions, public programs, outdoor programs, traveling exhibitions, digital learning, and learning research and design, OMSI nourishes a lifelong love of science, curiosity and learning among its diverse audiences. The upcoming OMSI District – a collaboration of local, Tribal and regional government entities, nonprofits and businesses – will be a one-of-a-kind neighborhood with innovation, culture and science learning at its heart. OMSI is located at 1945 S.E. Water Avenue, Portland, OR, 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit omsi.edu. Connect with the museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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