C&G Partners recently designed the exhibit Celebrate San Diego! The History & Heritage of San Diego’s Jewish Community. Interactive installations, immersive media, and interpretive graphics are used in the exhibition to chronicle the experiences of Jews in San Diego from 1850 until today.
San Diego has the third-largest Jewish population in California with 19 percent born outside of the United States—mainly Mexico. Both the exhibition content and design reflect how being Jewish in San Diego is a unique experience.
A centerpiece of the project is custom lettering drawn by C&G Partners. Inspired by an historic San Diego postcard and the graphic appearance of Hebrew script, the type reflects the festive tone of the exhibition. For the show, these letters are converted into sculptural objects that double as thematic displays that explore San Diego’s Jewish community. The object-letters feature interpretive plaques, media, and artifacts covering topics that range from community building and innovation to discrimination.
The serious yet celebratory tone of the exhibition is embodied in the color palette that includes shades of sky and ocean blue with highlights of sand and sunset hues, adding geographic context to the space.
Making traditional narratives relevant to contemporary viewers is an important part of the exhibit design. C&G Partners reinterpreted the Tzedakah box, traditionally used to collect Jewish charity, into a 6-foot tall interactive structure. Adorned with historic and modern imagery, the interactive encourages viewers to leave wish-notes about how they can give back to San Diego.
“The exhibit design concept for Celebrate San Diego! reimagines a historic greeting card into a gallery of sculptural letters clad with thematic interpretation, media, and artifacts,” says Keith Helmetag, Founding Principal of C&G Partners. A Tzedakah box, ‘Tell your story’ video station, and Family Room engage today’s visitors with San Diego’s past. A monolithic scrolled timeline ties today’s San Diegan Jews to their regional legacy.”
An over 20-foot timeline in the shape of a Torah scroll provides a decade-by-decade account of how the city’s Jewish community has evolved over 150 years. Combining rare archival photographs with data and headline type, the timeline explores how being Jewish in San Diego is different from being Jewish anywhere else in the country.
Link to original article: C&G Designs Exhibit for San Diego History Center, Open Now