Inside Nature’s Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown

An immersive experience designed to engage and delight

Nature’s Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown is unlike anything our visitors have ever seen or experienced,” says Carin Adams, OMCA’s curator of art. “Imagine an otherworldly space where you can leave reality behind and reconnect with yourself, your friends, and others in an immersive, light-filled experience that is like no other.”

The project started with the goal of bringing the exuberant, all-ages energy of Friday Nights @ OMCA into a special artwork commissioned by the Museum. “We asked FriendsWithYou to create this piece because we wanted to offer an experience based on sheer delight,” explains OMCA Deputy Director Kelly McKinley. “Over the past few years, the Museum has taken on some challenging subjects, including the Black Panther Party and marijuana in California. We wanted to show our community that we can do many things, including create joyful, multigenerational experiences.”

FriendsWithYou, Adams notes, was selected for the project because of the artists’ imaginative, nontraditional work. “Nature’s Gift is a wondrous spectacle that blurs the line between imagination and reality,” she says. “The sculpture illuminates the gallery and becomes transformed as people move through it, play, and interact with one another.”

Visitors will enter the Great Hall through a rainbow passageway that transports them into the imaginative world of a whimsical, immersive installation. They will be able to walk through the sculpture, hang out in it, and sit on and play with imaginative seating in the surrounding space. The sculpture, Adams adds, is surrounded by different zones that encourage a variety of experiences.

Throughout the installation, social connection will be the focus. “The exhibition reflects the interaction of OMCA with its community,” Adams adds. “The Museum can do many things, and this project allows us to invite visitors to enjoy a whole new experience. Galleries don’t need to be quiet spaces. Nature’s Gift will bring together many different people and families, and inspire movement, connection, reflection, play, and joy.”

Photography: Terry Lorant.

Nature’s Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown is supported in part by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board.

Nature’s Gift

The world premiere of a whimsical exhibition sets the stage for positivity and social connection in OMCA’s Great Hall.

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