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UMN Morris Student Designs Exhibit for Stevens Co. Museum
Minnesota Ag Connection - 02/19/2019

Olivia Carlson from the University of Minnesota Morris class of '20 and a Rogers native, proposed, researched, and designed an exhibit for the Stevens County Historical Society & Museum. Called "Insectarium: Insects & Agriculture in Stevens County," the exhibit shows off Carlson's varied skills.

As an individual interested in applying her liberal arts education outside of a University setting, this opportunity allowed Carlson to tie several of her interests together, including her fascination with insects and the agriculture of Stevens County. Before starting, she looked at bugs and insects through a mostly artistic lens. Now, she's combined different subjects into one exhibit that merges her passions.

"I was able to look at science, history, and a subject I'm interested in, while also using creative design skills I picked up from being a studio art major," says Carlson.

Carlson says UMN Morris prepared her for the process of creating an exhibit. Through her classes, she gained insight on color and design and grew her interest in museums.

"I'm really keen on connecting different disciplines. Learning those skills on a smaller scale for a class really came in handy when creating a real exhibit."

Although the process of proposing, researching, and designing the exhibit all on her own was challenging, Carlson can't deny its rewards.

"It was certainly an interesting, and at times frustrating, experience to adapt a design to fit physical limitations," Carlson states. "But ultimately rewarding."

When it comes to her future, Carlson plans to be part of how information is shared, with the potential of going into museum work. She says this experience was a way of sharing information and "has shown [her] the difficulties...and rewards...of such an endeavor."

"Insectarium: Insects & Agriculture in Stevens County" is on view at the Stevens County Historical Society & Museum until May 4. To learn more, visit stevenshistorymuseum.com

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