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Touchstones partnership brings alien species exhibit to life in Nelson

Touchstones Nelson curator Rod Taylor works on the installation of the Aliens Among Us exhibit earlier this week. The traveling exhibit opens Friday at the local museum/art gallery. - Kirsten Hildebran photo
Touchstones Nelson curator Rod Taylor works on the installation of the Aliens Among Us exhibit earlier this week. The traveling exhibit opens Friday at the local museum/art gallery.
— image credit: Kirsten Hildebran photo

When the Aliens Among Us exhibit opens at Touchstones Nelson Friday, two museums will have forged a partnership that benefits everyone.

Two years ago when the Royal BC Museum approached Touchstones about the exhibit featuring invasive species, local curator Rod Taylor could sense a great opportunity knocking.

“It’s nice that it’s a bit more of an interpretive natural history exhibit along with being a connection to the Royal BC Museum,” said Taylor. “It makes them more relevant here. It’s a nice connection to our provincial museum.”

The new-but-not-so-alien-relationship includes a great deal of support that benefits a smaller museum like Touchstones. Not only do they have more funds available for things like the opening night gala, the Royal BC Museum also helped deliver the sensitive exhibit to Nelson.

The Touchstones curator would love to see more traveling exhibits come to the Kootenays.

“It would be great if more urban galleries made this kind of connection,” said Taylor. “We’d love it if there’d be more exhibits like this.”

The alien invasion partnership doesn’t end there. The Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee has added its own display.

“We are always looking for ways we can connect with local agencies as well,” Taylor said.

A gala opening reception is happening Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. featuring a DJ, a first for Touchstones.

But Taylor thinks the real fun will begin on Saturday when an “Aliens Family Fun Day” will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. featuring alien crafts and activities led by Royal BC Museum’s botanist Ken Marr and Jen Vogal of the local Invasive Plant Committee. The event is free.

Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History is located at 502 Vernon Street. The exhibit will run from Saturday until February 24.

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