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Yosemite Visitor Center

Climbing Exhibit

In Spring 2019, Yosemite Conservancy and the National Park Service invited Covive to submit a proposal for design of a new rock climbing exhibit as a refresh to the final ‘chapter’ of the existing “Changing Faces of Yosemite” exhibit in the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. Assembling a team of experienced exhibit designers and fabricators, Covive bid and won, embarking on a year-long process of discovery, schematic design, design development, production, fabrication and installation.
Project management, content development, and graphic design by Covive. 3D design by James Freed Design with Bo Hick. Fabrication and installation by John Murray Productions. Portaledge mural by Ali Pearson of Alumni Exhibits. Rock work by Jon Altemus.
Environmental Graphics
A full-wall mural showcases an ultra-high resolution photo of El Capitan.

Yosemite Visitor Center

In the heart of Yosemite Valley, the Yosemite Visitor Center welcomes over half a million visitors each year. In recent years, as movies such as “The Dawn Wall” and Academy Award-winning documentary “Free Solo” have piqued visitor’s interest and curiosity about climbing, the National Park Service recognized a need and opportunity to showcase Yosemite’s rich climbing history and the role that climbers have played in innovating tools and techniques, as well as leading stewardship efforts within the Park.

Yosemite Valley Visitor Center.
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit Plan
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit Rendering
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit Rendering
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit Rendering
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit Rendering
Workshop with park service staff and climbing experts.
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit Process
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit Process
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit Process
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit Process
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit Process

Exhibit Design Process

In July 2019, Covive led a half-day workshop with park rangers and climbing experts to envision exhibit content, themes, and interpretive concepts. Our team also spent another day learning from noted climbing historian Ken Yager, founder of the Yosemite Climbing Associate. Ken has amassed an extraordinary collection of climbing memorabilia and artifacts in addition to first-hand knowledge of climbers and climbing achievements on Yosemite’s rock faces.

Synthesizing all we heard and learned, the Covive team, with exhibit designer James Freed, developed a project brief; schematic design plans, renderings, models, and prototypes; and a graphic design and narrative approach, building on the design themes, typography, colors and materials of the existing exhibit. As with any exhibit design project, accessibility was a primary consideration in all design decisions, including text size and placement, color contrasts, mobility and reach, as well as tactile experiences for visually impaired visitors.

With all content and design approved by the end of February 2020, the exhibit was fabricated and installed in Spring and early Summer 2020, by project partner John Murray Productions, with only very minor delays due to COVID-19. While the indoor exhibit remains closed to the public for pandemic safety precautions as of September 2020, it will soon welcome curious visitors from around the world to delight in learning about climbing’s integral role in the Yosemite experience.

Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
Yosemite Valley Visitor Center Climbing Exhibit
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