The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is about the plants and animals of the Sonora Desert. They called their event “The Other Animal,” meaning the people who made the museum possible.

Holly Swangstu, then Director of the Art Institute at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum had seen the Nelson-Atkins event. She realized that a ONE by ONE Community Portrait™ would be just the thing to pay tribute to the over 600 volunteers and staff the museum had.

We constructed the experience to include all museum staff, docents, volunteers, and guests who were visiting at the time. The staff was thrilled. Not only did they get a personal portrait, but the community portrait wall showed everyone shoulder-to-shoulder. The maintenance worker’s photo was next to the executive director, who was next to the docent who was next to the curator. Everyone was talking about how they loved being recognized as an integral part of the museum’s community. The feeling was so strong that the museum had us back again in 2018 and 2019.

Our only disappointment was that zoo ethics prevented the animal curators from including live animals in their photos. Instead, replicas, stuffed toys and skeletons and skins had to stand in for the live animals.

“In the 25 years that I have worked here I have never felt so appreciated. Thank you for our portraits.”

-Mary Wren
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
The Other Animal