Arts and Entertainment

Fossil Freeway prepares a stop on Central Whidbey

Cruisin’ the Washington Fossil Freeway with Artist Ray Troll and Paleontologist Kirk Johnson is coming to Island County Museum, 908 NW Alexander St., Coupeville.

The museum will get fossilized with ammonites, trilobites, dinosaurs and other fossils all around Washington. That’s the message paleontologist Johnson and artist Troll share in their traveling exhibit Cruisin’ the Washington Fossil Freeway, opening at Island County Historical Museum on Saturday, Feb. 5, and continuing through April 17.

Fossils have long been a subject of fascination and are used by paleontologists to help answer questions about early life on Earth. But how much can the fossil record tell us about evolution, extinction and geologic time?

Cruisin’ the Washington Fossil Freeway features a specially commissioned Washington fossil map by Ray Troll. The exhibit also features panels of whimsical, fossil-inspired artwork by Troll as well as several real fossil specimens. The exhibit combines visuals and text from paleontologist Johnson to tell the tale of prehistoric life and death in Washington. Come touch the cast of a mammoth tooth and travel the fossil freeway at Island County Historical Museum.

The Island County Museum will also have on display their impressive collection of mammoth remains, nearly all of which originated on Whidbey Island dating back 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.

Cruisin’ the Washington Fossil Freeway was organized by the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, in collaboration with Ray Troll and Kirk Johnson, authors of the book “Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway: An Epoch Tale of a Scientist and an Artist on the Ultimate 5,000-Mile Paleo Road Trip (Fulcrum Books 2007).”

Local sponsorship for Cruisin’ the Washington Fossil Freeway is provided courtesy of Derle and Carmen Solheim.

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