Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Destination: Springs, Sprockets & Pulleys at the Museum of Life and Science

Posted November 14, 2013

For me, the new Steve Gerberich exhibit "Springs, Sprockets and Pulleys" at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham is kind of like looking at a page in a Richard Scarry book.

There's just so much going on at every corner - the flying geese with suitcases for wings, a collection of plastic alligators, old pipes turned into faces, dancing tea strainers, rotating clocks. And most of it comes alive with lights and motion.

Museum of Life and Science fans might recognize Gerberich's name. This is his sixth exhibit at the museum in the last decade. This time around, it features a best of collection of some of his most popular pieces. Gerberich got his start more than two decades ago, first designing displays in store windows in New York City. Springs, Sprockets & Pulleys at the Museum of Life and Science Destination: Springs, Sprockets & Pulleys at the Museum of Life and Science

"It comes from an hereditary ability to collect a lot of interesting, overlooked common objects," he said of his mechanical sculptures.

Indeed, Gerberich's art features thrift store finds - old clocks, gears, kitchen equipment, devices of some kind or another. I loved searching and finding objects, marveling at the scenes made of items that most of us would toss or stuff in the attic. A six-member orchestra with a seven-foot tall conductor, a bowling pin factory and cash cow are among the 13 large-scale installations.

My kids ... they loved making it all move. That's the beauty of this exhibit. If you want the pieces to move, you'll need to push a button, crank a wheel or pedal a bike. And Gerberich has left the gears, springs, sprockets and pulleys visible so you can actually see what's making the pieces move.

"It's like an historical collection of objects that are mechanically recreated and reassembled into something completely different," Gerberich told me. "... Part of the beauty is watching the mechanics. I like the fact that kids are inspired." Steve Gerberich's Springs, Sprockets & Pulleys opens at the Museum of Life and Science Museum of Life and Science opens Springs, Sprockets & Pulleys

Hear more from Gerberich in my video interview with him. And check out the pictures of the exhibit in the image gallery.

"Springs, Sprockets & Pulleys" opens Friday, Nov. 16, at the museum and continues through Feb. 23. It's right around the corner from the admission desk and is free with admission, which is $14 for adults and $10 for kids ages 3 to 12. This is a great one to take friends and family who might be visiting for the holidays.

Go Ask Mom features places to take kids every Friday. For more ideas, check our posts on parks and playgrounds and Triangle family destinations.


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