Aquarium of the Bay is pleased to welcome Jon Altemus as its new Director of Exhibits and Special Projects. With his multifaceted background creating and installing exhibits around the world, Altemus is well suited to enhance the Aquarium’s current exhibits, as well as design three new ones which will open in the spring of 2009.
"With Aquarium of the Bay’s new PG&E Bay Lab climate change exhibit, octopus exhibit and moon jelly exhibit opening next year, Jon is answering our call for a skilled in-house designer to help us enhance and expand our visitor experience, " said Aquarium of the Bay CEO John Frawley.
"My goal is to create exhibits for Aquarium of the Bay that are both engaging and educational for visitors of all ages and backgrounds, " said Altemus. "In addition to showcasing our animals and incorporating tactile displays, graphics and interactives, our new exhibits will provide a premier setting for the Aquarium’s interpretive naturalists to facilitate animal interaction, demonstrations and presentations."
In particular, Altemus envisions naturalists playing a major role in the new PG&E Bay Lab, a climate change exhibit that marks the first time that the Aquarium will exhibit land-dwelling animals such as frogs, snakes, turtles and others. As part of the exhibit, the naturalists will lead thought-provoking presentations that demonstrate how the animals’ ecosystems are being affected by climate change. Sponsored by PG&E and reflecting the Aquarium’s role as one of only a handful of attractions certified by the city of San Francisco as a Green Business, the PG&E Bay Lab will incorporate sustainable, recycled and reclaimed products in addition to solar power.
For over 15 years, Altemus has met the exhibit design needs of prestigious cultural institutions around the world. He worked with Academy Studios as a Project Manager, Art Director, Installation Manager and Team Leader, and also spearheaded projects through the development of his own firm, Altemus Environmental Design & Fabrication. His projects have spanned the globe — from the North Carolina State Museum of Natural History to the Hong Kong Museum of History. Other organizations served by Altemus’s expertise include the Smithsonian Institute’s Natural History Museum, Ford Museum of Flight, Lindsay Wildlife Museum and Audubon Zoo Insectarium.
Through his volunteer efforts with The Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and observing animals at the Aquarium and other nature centers, Altemus has an endless supply of muses to enhance his exhibit designs.
Altemus earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Academy of Art College and his Master degree in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute.
About Aquarium of the Bay
Aquarium of the Bay is a unique nature center dedicated to creating experiences that inspire conservation of the San Francisco Bay and all marine environments. It is the only aquarium featuring exhibitions focused specifically on the rich and diverse aquatic life and distinctive ecosystems of the Bay and its surrounding waters. The Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco.