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Exhibit
 

portfolio

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"History at Heart" installation (2020) at Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. Exhibit design and development by Jeni O'Malley, Emily Marti,

Ami Naff, Hannah Novillo-Erickson and

Maggie Schmidt (Minnesota Historical Society)


They're invitations to feel, to observe, to explain, to join in. To look closer at that weird little detail you might've missed. I love writing that feels like a conversation, or goes straight to the heart, or makes you laugh out loud in a very quiet room.

Less is more—you’ll usually find me clocking in under 50 words per label. Let those stories breathe.

Interpretive writing

 

Exhibit labels are about doing.

Writing samples

Click on the thumbnail for more information and full text of the exhibit label.

The exhibits are wonderful. When we provided our feedback, a running theme of those comments was how great it was to work with you and your role in the process. It meant a lot to Di, Megan, and Amy that you, as the interpretive writer, were so involved in the process. Everyone commented on the beautiful voice you gave to the exhibits.

 

—Chris Kimmerer, Chief, Education and Interpretation Section, Bureau of Pennsylvania State Parks

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Building a sense of mystery and awe at Hickory Run Nature Center in White Haven, Pennsylvania. Exhibit design and development by Tim Quady (Blue Rhino Studio), Steve Boyd-Smith, Maggie Schmidt, Chris Evans (106 Group); Fabrication by Blue Rhino Studio

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A durable bronze tactile map, designed and fabricated with GIS data in raised textures by Blue Rhino Studio, shows traces of remaining prairie left in Minnesota. Created for the award-winning Minnesota Bison Conservation Herd interpretation at Blue Mounds State Park. Exhibit design and development by Andrew Devich and Maggie Schmidt (106 Group)


Exhibit
development

The best storytellers have a distinct voice and imagination and even make a little magic—exhibits can do this, too. 

​Developing an exhibit is about creating a framework for design, for meaning. It's knowing why your story matters, who you're making it for, and how to get to the crux of the message.

Everyone brings different strengths to the museum, but the most successful exhibit teams share a vision. I help museums define the details, chart a course, and get on board.

All-out steam punk at Kinzua Bridge State Park and Visitor Center, Pennsylvania. 
Exhibit design by Tim Quady (Blue Rhino Studio), Regine Kennedy, Maggie Schmidt, Chris Johnson (106 Group); Illustrations, graphic design, and fabrication by Blue Rhino Studio

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Recent projects

"History at Heart" installation, MN (2020) 

Exhibit Developer, Minnesota Historical Society. My article about this project, "Connection Through a Chain-Link Fence" first appeared in the journal Exhibition (Fall 2021) Vol. 40 No. 2 and is reproduced with permission. www.name-aam.org.

Historic Fort Snelling, MN (2018-current) 

Exhibit Developer, Minnesota Historical Society

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Bechtel Family Center for Ocean Education and Leadership, schematic design (2018) Exhibit Developer, 106 Group

Fort Foote National Park, Washington DC (2018)

Project Manager & Interpretive Planner/Writer, 106 Group

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, NM (2018)

Project Manager & Interpretive Writer, 106 Group

Devils Tower National Monument, WY (2017-2018)
Project Manager & Interpretive Planner/Writer, 106 Group

Hickory Run State Park, PA (2016-2018)

Exhibit Developer, 106 Group 

Spring Lake Park Reserve, MN (2017)

Project Manager & Interpretive Writer, 106 Group 

Minnesota Bison Conservation Herds, MN (2016-2017)

​Project Manager & Interpretive Writer, 106 Group 

1st place winner of the NAI Interpretive Media Award, 2018

Arlington House, Washington DC (2015-2018)

​Project Manager & Interpretive Writer, 106 Group 

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM (2015-2017)

​Interpretive Writer, 106 Group

Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest schematic design, VA (2016-2018) Exhibit Developer, 106 Group 

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, AL (2016)

​Interpretive Writer, 106 Group 

Brooklyn Park Historical Farm master planning, MN (2016)​ Interpretive Planner, 106 Group

Kinzua Bridge State Park, PA (2015-2016)

​Exhibit Developer & Interpretive Writer, 106 Group 

2nd place winner of the NAI Media Interior Exhibit Awards

Quarry Hill Nature Center, MN (2015)

Interpretive Planner, 106 Group 

Indian Creek Nature Center concept design, IA (2015)

Exhibit Developer, 106 Group

Red Oak Nature Center, IL (2014)

​Exhibit Developer, Split Rock Studios 

Springbrook Nature Center schematic design, MN (2014) ​Exhibit Developer, Split Rock Studios  

Runge Conservation Nature Center, MO (2014)

​Exhibit Developer, Split Rock Studios  

Good Earth State Park Visitor Center schematic design, SD (2014)​ Exhibit Developer, Split Rock Studios  

Driftless Area Education & Visitor Center schematic design, IA (2014) ​Exhibit Developer, Split Rock Studios  ​

 

Point Betsie Lighthouse Visitor Center, MI (2014)

​Exhibit Developer, Split Rock Studios  

Touchstone Cooperatives of North Dakota Traveling Exhibit, ND (2014) ​Exhibit Developer, Split Rock Studios, 2nd place winner of the NAI Interior Exhibit Awards (2015)

"Art of the Hunt" Wyoming State Museum, WY (2013)

Interpretive Writer, Split Rock Studios 

Concept rendering for Historic Fort Snelling gallery by Kate Sutton-Johnson (Split Rock Studios), Maggie Schmidt, and Therese Scheller (Minnesota Historical Society)

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