INTERPRETIVE DESIGN & FABRICATION
We specialize in creating natural and cultural history exhibits for museums, interpretive centers, aquariums, zoos, and political institutions. From coast to
coast, our team of museum experts brings stories to life. Our clients trust and
enjoy our design process because it's collaborative, creative, and organized.
WHO WE ARE
From exhibit designers and project managers in our front office to artists and woodworkers in our shop, Split Rock Studios brings together the full range of museum exhibit design and fabrication services under one roof.
What does that mean for you?
When designers and builders collaborate, you get more creative exhibit design. When you have one project manager through the entire process, you get exceptional attention to detail. When the same people who build your exhibits also install them, you get more efficient fabrication and installation.
Under one roof means outstanding exhibits and satisfied clients.
Planning & Development
Exhibit Schematic Design
Writing & Editing
Interpretive Graphic Design
Interactives & Multimedia
Cost Analysis & Detailing
Human & Animal Sculpture
Outdoor Interpretive Graphics
Custom Exhibit Furniture
Artifact Cases & Mount Making
Multimedia & Interactive Elements
Delivery & Installation
Our award-winning exhibits bring your story to life. Interactives, graphics, and artifacts inspire your visitors to discover the natural and cultural world around them and continue learning after their visit.
Get a look behind-the-scenes, see more projects, read news, and more on our blog.
Our collaborative process incorporates your voice every step of the way. The end product is exhibits that wow visitors and exceed client expectations.
"I have already recommended Split Rock to others in my field who are looking to add to or expand their exhibits. We had a truly wonderful experience working with everyone at Split Rock. Everyone is so creative, has lots of energy and a fun sense of humor. Keep up the amazing work you do!"
– Margaret Gazdacka, Facility Supervisor & Naturalist at Red Oak Nature Center
AWARD WINNING EXHIBITS
We have built an exceptional reputation within the museum and interpretive community for high quality exhibitions. We are active in both the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) and American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Our team presents at national conferences each year to keep up with emerging trends and new exhibits being developed around the country.
Split Rock Studios brings together the full range of exhibit design and fabrication services under one roof. Our experienced teams can design, write, build, sculpt, and paint anything you can dream up!
Craig SommervilleFounder & Advisor
Working on museum projects since 1976, Craig co-founded Split Rock Studios (formerly Deaton Museum Services) in 2000. Craig has conducted numerous seminars throughout the country on exhibit development.
Chris WilsonFounder & Design Advisor
Chris is a story-driven designer. He ensures that an exhibition is authentic, engaging, and powerful. His gift for giving 3D form to abstract interpretive ideas flows from his experience with countless natural and cultural history centers, as well as his own avid interests in history, geology, archaeology, and the outdoors.
Isaiah BoehlertPresident & General Manager
Using his background in project management, Isaiah applies his sound judgment and straightforward manner to daily operations at SRS. From production schedules to strategic decision-making, Isaiah ensures smooth sailing for clients and the company’s future.
Bee VangVice President of Finance & Human Relations
Bee handles all accounting, invoicing, and human resources needs at SRS. Wearing multiple hats keeps Bee on her toes, but she always enjoys seeing the finished products and serving our clients.
Kelly CostelloOffice Assistant
Keeping the office in shape with her managerial skills, Kelly brings a smile to people every day with her helpfulness and cheer. With an arts degree she understands a variety of roles and delivers constructive solutions and assistance as needed.
James TordoffBusiness Development
James grew up exploring and enjoying the vibrant Twin Cities museum community. His grandfather was the director of the Bell Museum of Natural History, inspiring James to pursue a career in exhibitry. With a degree from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, he brings excellent insight into our processes. He is an effective communicator who ensures every institution's voice is heard and their mission supported.
Colin CookBusiness Development
After 10 years at SRS, Colin has experienced just about every side of exhibit design and production. As part of Business Development, Colin uses his expertise in the exhibit design/build process to help clients move forward with their projects, contract for needed services, and select the best team possible to make a client’s dream a reality.
Carrie PaulsenProject Manager
Carrie’s detail-oriented project management skills keep projects on time and on budget. She carefully plans schedules for each project and keeps clients informed every step of the way.
Emma FieldProject Manager
With a degree in Art and Business, Emma brings unique insights to the SRS project management team. She is able to effectively guide clients through the creative development and fabrication process, ensuring clear communication and collaboration.
Niki MurrayProject Manager
Niki is collaborative, concise, and the guiding member of your project team. With a partnership-focused approach, she keeps all team members on the same page from day one. Throughout the design, fabrication, and installation processes, Niki will be your advocate, ensuring that Split Rock's decisions prioritize your objectives, your budget, and your timeline above all else.
Mike OtisProject Manager
Mike is approachable, attentive, and staggeringly solution-focused. As the manager of your project team, Mike uses his extensive experience in commercial construction to stay light-years ahead of unforeseen setbacks involved in the design-to-build process, allowing your team (and ours) to stay inspired and on track. Driven by curiosity, Mike will be your comic relief, your confidante, and your advocate from kickoff to grand opening.
Erick's background in exhibit production and installation helps him develop practical and accurate budgets and estimates. He collaborates closely with the design and fabrication teams to ensure his estimates are reliable and consistent.
With a background deeply rooted in theater, Craig makes sure our exhibits, and the company, are outfitted with the right pieces, parts and details to make them shine.
Margaret LeeDesign Manager / Exhibit Developer
Margaret provides big picture thinking for the design department on everything from design process to communication with clients to staffing levels. She serves as an advocate for exceptional design that offers transformative experiences for visitors of all ages. With a PhD in History and extensive experience in interpretation and education, Margaret fosters visitor connections in every project.
Sarah BartlettSr. Exhibit Developer
Sarah crafts storylines that integrate text, graphics, and artifacts into a unified exhibit. From start to finish, she is the visitor's advocate. Her work has contributed to four national awards for exhibit excellence. Sarah goes above and beyond by writing articles for the National Association for Museum Exhibition and speaking at American Alliance of Museums conferences.
Amanda DeGigidioExhibit Developer
Amanda is a dynamic content developer with a unique background in cultural resource management and education research. Her approach is informed by over a decade of experience helping both schools and museums find the ideal balance of learning and fun. Amanda is a skilled writer, able to develop imaginative narratives that help guide visitors of all ages.
John VanekExhibit Developer
John is a naturally curious person who knows how to find the thought-provoking core of any subject. With a unique background in exhibit development and genealogy, he understands how important it is for visitors to connect personally with exhibit content. An experienced writer, he is dedicated to producing clear, accurate, and engaging stories.
Kate Sutton-JohnsonCreative Director/Exhibit Designer
Kate brings a sense of wonder to her exhibit designs, imagining what a visitor entering spaces will think, feel, and experience. With this grounding, Kate brings stories to life with awe-inspiring and relevant design aesthetics that transport visitors to another time and place.
Amanda WambachExhibit Designer
Amanda loves the challenge of bringing together content and design to create memorable visitor experiences. She approaches exhibits as holistic spaces, designing immersive experiences that delight and inspire visitors of all ages. Amanda brings a passion for collaborative work to all her projects, bridging content, design, and fabrication.
Cathan MurrayExhibit Designer
Cathan brings his wide experience in furniture building, 3D design, and AV development to each and every project. After a decade working in trade shows, Cathan relishes designing permanent, impactful exhibits for nature centers and museums. He excels in dreaming up the impossible and making it reality.
Christopher HeilmanExhibit Designer
As a designer, Christopher translates conceptual ideas into three-dimensional space. With a background in designing for theater, film and themed entertainment, he is always thinking about and considering the viewer’s experience. He has as a hunger for authentic storytelling and is particularly excited by the intersection of design and technology as a means of enhancing meaningful human connection.
Michael NelsonSr. Graphic Designer
With over two decades of experience as a graphic designer, Michael can catch a visitor’s attention and draw them in to experience the exhibition’s storylines. His graphic approach is attentive to the building, text, and 3D design of the exhibits.
Steffany SchmitGraphic Designer
Stef brings enthusiasm and attention to detail to the graphic design process. She carefully identifies graphic color schemes and organizes graphics spatially with a logical flow. The character of the exhibition leads her towards the fonts, colors, and shapes to best convey storylines and complement exhibit experiences.
Nan HildebrandtGraphic Designer
With more than 20 years of experience, Nan is a multidisciplinary designer who integrates graphics into the overall exhibit message to impact visitors. She uses her award-winning skills to create graphics that are visually appealing, organized, and seamlessly guide visitors through exhibit stories.
Alex OstmanGraphic Designer
Alex has a passion for graphic design, from creating large photomurals and interpretive graphics to selecting just the right image and color scheme. Working closely with clients, he uses this passion to produce stunning graphics that engage and inspire visitors.
David RadtkeSr. CAD Detailer
David joined SRS in 2011 as a CAD Detailer. Using AutoCAD, he works with designers, project managers, builders, and artists to produce detailed drawings that guide the production of exhibit elements. He creates CNC programs for the wide variety of exhibit furniture we create.
Eric GebhardCAD Detailer
With extensive engineering and production experience, Eric brings a passion for exhibit fabrication to each project. Collaborating with the design and fabrication teams at SRS, Eric uses his CAD skills to bring exhibit designs to reality.
Scott SprehnCAD Detailer
Scott brings 15 years of CAD experience to SRS, where he transforms design documents into construction drawings for our shop. With a background in engineering and theater, Scott relishes using his talents to have an impact on exhibit visitors across the country.
Don TessierShop Foreman
Don provides the critical link between the exhibit design team and the fabrication team. He oversees 12 woodshop and metal workers. Each day Don ensures that the necessary builders and resources are assigned to each project, that builders have the drawings and materials needed, and he constantly monitors quality of construction.
Terry HagenArt Fabrication Manager
As our Art Fabrication Manager, Terry brings organization, ingenuity, and efficiency to our studio. He is a talented problem-solver and effective communicator. Terry's experience creating large-scale sculpture has advanced our methodology for sculpting and painting.
In 1974, Blaine began fabricating dioramas, murals, and sculptures at Deaton Museum Services (now SRS). Today his impressive talents continue to bring design intent to life through sculptural elements and hand-painted murals. Blaine's attention to detail on every component is unprecedented.
For two decades Paul has worked as a scenic artist, specializing in foam carving, painting, and design. He is experienced in a variety of materials and can easily handle both large- and small-scale sculpture. Paul's work brings a delightful artistry and careful accuracy to each project.
Blake's enthusiasm and commitment to excellence brings fresh innovation to our studio. The grandson of exhibit sculptor Neal Deaton, he has a great appreciation for classic exhibit elements as well as talent in creating models and dioramas.
Mark specializes in sculpting models and creating the custom molds we use throughout our exhibits. His attention to detail and ability to work with delicate objects are critical skills when projects require scale models and specialized artifact mounting.
Michael brings his artistic eye to every detail of art fabrication. With decades of painting and sculpting experience, he enjoys using his creativity and skills to bring exhibits to life.
For over two decades, James has been bringing dioramas and sculpture to life in exhibits. For each project, James dives into the subject to understand what he is recreating so he can help visitors learn about their environment through realistic exhibit experiences.
A sculptor and faux finisher, Khoa has an exceptional eye for creating realism. With his attention to detail in every brush stroke, along with his airbrush skills, Khoa’s work is amazingly life-like.
Patrick is an inspired artist and born storyteller. He thrives on the variation of work exhibit fabrication affords him, and enjoys working with his hands to bring clients’ stories to life.
Chris brings two decades of airbrush skills and a keen eye to sculpture and faux finishing to Split Rock Studios. His enthusiasm and innovate out-of-the-box thinking makes Chris to be great team member on big sculptures.
Matt connects the art fabrication department and woodshop with metalwork. His complex structures become the critical armature for many high-detail sculptural elements as well as support for many structural components.
Teng ThaoFabrication Assistant
Teng is a jack of all trades in the SRS shop. From metal cutting to machining to prepping components for finishing, Teng touches almost every project at some point during its fabrication.
As our painter and finisher, Lynn places the final touch on every piece that moves through our woodshop. Her attention to detail and organizational skills are the perfect fit for this critical position.
Jerry is an experienced and masterful woodworker. His detail-oriented approach is key to quality control in our shop, and his thoughtful craftsmanship produces exceptional cabinetry.
John is able to construct many of our most complex pieces. He carefully plans the most effective construction methods and quality materials. John communicates easily with clients and puts them at ease throughout the installation process.
Mike excels at creating components in coordination with woodworkers and artists. Together they bring to life accurate, durable, and classic dioramas and sculptural elements.
With more than 15 years of cabinetry experience, Mike builds superb exhibit components and relishes seeing the finished product—installed exhibits enjoyed by visitors. He continually develops new skills, looking for innovative ways to make bomb-proof exhibits.
Mark is a talented communicator and planner. Clients enjoy working with him throughout exhibit installation. As a lead builder, he works closely with the designer and shop foreman to make informed decisions during the fabrication process.
Nick takes ownership over each component he creates and installs. He frequently consults with the design staff to ensure his work aligns with the creative intent.
Rick is a thoughtful builder who enjoys the challenges of museum exhibitions. His efficient work ensures our shop is productive, and his problem-solving skills and attention to detail combine for outstanding and durable exhibits.
From a childhood passion for exhibits, Jodi was drawn to exhibit fabrication where she uses her craftsmanship to produce exceptional finished products. Jodi puts a love of tinkering to work every day as she creatively solves construction challenges.
Ethan brings his exceptional carpentry skills to each project at SRS. His expertise allows him to tackle challenges and problem-solve through one-of-a-kind cabinetry and woodworking components.
Tradeshows, cabinetry, retail, remodeling, exhibits—Anthony has done it all. This diverse background serves him well at SRS, where he crafts exhibit components and knows that a job is done well by the looks on clients’ faces when they see the finished product.
Our team also includes the Dogs of Split Rock
GET IN TOUCH
Tell us about your project and how we can help!
Sommerville-Wilson, Inc. dba Split Rock Studios
2071 Gateway Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55112