The Homestead Blog

Creating advocates for history through the stories of greater Los Angeles.

Museum Director Musings: Homestead Staff Member Branches Out With Drawings

by Paul R. Spitzzeri

My colleague, the Homestead’s programs coordinator Jennifer Scerra, has been responsible for many of our promotional flyers for programs, employing her exemplary design skills in the nine months since she joined us last fall.

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When we came up with a temporary display in our Homestead Museum Gallery auditorium on the personal connections Workman and Temple family members have for artifacts of their ancestors that they’ve donated to the museum, Jennifer came up with a fantastic idea for the exhibit’s explanatory title panel.

My text used a metaphor of seeing the family history as trees, with the stories coming out of that history as branches fed by artifacts, like those in the display, that are the roots.

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What Jennifer did (with an assist by Programs Manager Gennie Truelock, who coordinated the visuals for the display) was to take the metaphor and bring it to vivid life with the drawings of two “family trees.”

The one on the left has the name “Workman” embedded in it as if parts of the branches and she even wrote the “O” as if it was a knot on the trunk!  On the right is a similar drawing with the “Temple” name incorporated into the design.

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The title I came up with, “Root & Branch” is a term that signifies a thorough process or operation.  While the idea was to discuss how we use artifacts to help tell stories of the Workman and Temple families as a way to express a thoroughness of our interpretive process, Jennifer’s tremendous drawings give a stunning visual impression of that.

I hope our visitors our appreciative of her work as part of the display, which should be up until the holiday season rolls around near Thanksgiving.  And, I want to give thanks to Jennifer for her fine drawings!

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