Thursday, May 12, 2015 AGS Luncheon

"Dinosaurs, Sharks, Mammoths & More: Ray Troll's Prehistoric Alaska"

Noon Luncheon 11:30-1:00 pm

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ABSTRACT and BIOGRAPHY

Speaker: Ray Troll, Alaskan Artist

Artist Ray Troll has spent over half of his 61 years on the planet in the geologically rich state of Alaska. When Ray moved to Ketchikan in 1983 he brought with him a life-long love of all things prehistoric. Over the decades he has carved out a unique artistic career becoming well known for his quirky, off beat fish-centric humor. Over the course of his career he began to establish working relationships with numerous marine biologists and ichthyologists and eventually found himself returning to his first love in life, paleontology, when he met Dr. Kirk Johnson who was then employed at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Together they published a book and a large fossil map with Fulcrum Press called “Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway” in 2007. That book led to a major traveling exhibit sponsored by the Burke Museum of Natural History that visited many museums across the United States. In 2010 Ray and Kirk were jointly awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to underwrite the extensive travel for their second book with Fulcrum entitled “Cruisin’ the Eternal Coastline: the Best of the Fossil West from Baja to Barrow”. Their next book is due out  in the fall of 2016.

From 2009 to 2013 the pair traveled up and down the west coast spending copious amounts of time in museum collections, out in the field hunting fossils and on the road gathering stories, doing research, making art and filling notebooks and sketchbooks with drawings and reams of data. California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska were all explored on numerous trips over the course of four years. In 2012 Kirk Johnson moved to Washington DC to become the Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History.

Troll will show highlights from their various West Coast fossil forays but will concentrate on showing new work on fossil Alaskan flora and fauna, from boating expeditions in the Alexander Archipelago finding giant ichthyosaurs and fossilized palm fronds to chasing down polar dinosaurs on the north slope of Alaska.

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