Exhibits | Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center


How We Live: The People and the Land

Interior Alaska

We are the land between the mountains, where ancient rhythms of the natural world flow as they have for thousands of years. Our lives are part of the cadence, entwined with the change of the seasons and the life of the land. This is our story. This is how we live…

Opened in September 2009, our exhibits are garnering rave reviews and extraordinary visitor comments. Visit the Morris Thompson Center and experience how we live. Three life-sized dioramas depict the seasons. Summer features a fish camp and a stunning view of Nuchalawoyya—the place where the Yukon and Tanana rivers meet. In fall, a grizzly digs for ground squirrels, and a hunting camp shows the connection we have with the land. Visitors view the winter diorama from inside the warmth of a public use cabin. Outside, northern lights dance across the sky, while a moose peers through the window. Finish off your experience in the Elder’s hall where you can learn about Athabascan culture and view historic and contemporary art and tools.

Andre & Associates, the exhibit designer, led the way in creating the exhibits. The features and themes were developed through a collaborative process involving the partners, architect, exhibit designer, and hundreds of other people from throughout the Interior who came together over many years to help us tell the story of the people and the land of this region.

Exhibit Team

André & Associates – Interpretation and Design Ltd.
Andre & Associates joined the project team in 2003, and together with the partners, created the total exhibit experience, guiding it from concept to opening.

Beck Interiors
Primary contractor for exhibit fabrication and installation.

Chedd-Angier-Lewis Production Company
Working in partnership with Fairbanks-based video production company Moving Images, produced multiple audio zones and short videos about Interior Alaska’s Summer, Fall, Winter, Usibelli Coal Mine, the TransAlaska Pipeline, and village life.

Vriesen & Vrieson Studios
Jan Vriesen
One of the most experienced exhibit painting specialists in the world, Jan worked for 15 months painting the murals that form the backgrounds for the summer, autumn, and winter dioramas. He was the first occupant of the building, and called the rest of us “squatters” during his tenure.

Brees Studio, Inc.
Gary Brees
Collected, created, and installed the plants, rocks, animals, waterfall and other landscape features that form the foreground for the three life-sized dioramas. Gary’s expectations for our exhibits were higher than our own!

CPS Electronics
Chris Sia
Designed and engineered the sunset and northern lights show outside the window of the BLM cabin in the winter diorama.