Breaking Down the Art and Science of Animation with Animationland

Tracey the pencil dog and her crew guide visitors through the basics of turning a story into an animation at OMSI’s newest exhibit.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The newest addition to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s (OMSI) educational repertoire is an exhibit that seeks to educate visitors about the art and science of Animation. Now open to the public, Animationland transports visitors of all ages to a fantastical land with a quirky cast of characters where inspiration is everywhere!

The exhibit focuses on the basics of the animation process using interactive features including a sketching studio, a sound effects booth and the opportunity to plan and star in a stop-motion production.

“Animationland is a vibrant, whimsical place where kids and adults can get lost in the creative process, even if they’ve never thought of themselves as artists,” said Catherine Diaz, exhibit business development manager at OMSI. “The exhibit provides visitors with the opportunity to experiment with animation, then walk away with the knowledge and skills to do it at home. It’s a DIY experience!" 

Developed and produced by OMSI, Animationland offers a fully immersive, interactive exhibit where guests learn to incorporate animation skills into the creation process. This enables guests to understand the interplay that occurs between art and science and how they can apply those skills to tell their own stories in unique and dynamic ways.

“We want everyone to feel welcome and inspired to draw and animate their own creations,” said Cecilia Nguyen, exhibit developer at OMSI. “Animation is an extremely effective way to engage people with math and science, especially those who don’t see themselves as interested or motivated to learn in those areas.” 

In order to create a fully immersive environment, OMSI collaborated with expert creative studio Jolby & Friends to develop original characters, illustrations, and animation.

“When we started to sketch our ideas for the cast of characters, we knew we wanted them to be simple enough for anyone to draw. Each character has a defining visual characteristic and an attitude that gives them meaning in Animationland,” said Colby Nichols, creative director and partner at Jolby & Friends. “When we were kids, we wanted to become artists and animators, so we put ourselves in that mindset and created a world in which we knew kids would want to play.”

Animationland is a temporary exhibit and will be on view through the end of this year.