Inside the Gail Project: An Experiential Learning Odyssey

Inside the Gail Project: An Experiential Research Odyssey


Monday, November  6, 2017 to Friday, Dec 15, 2017


Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery

Opening Reception: Monday, November 6, 4:00-7:00 pm

Free and open to the public

Inside the Gail Project: An Experiential Research Odyssey is an in-depth look into the research process behind the international public history project. The exhibition showcases the rich array of material generated by the team comprised of faculty, undergraduate students, and staff on their journey this past August to re-photograph works by Charles Gail and document how the Okinawan landscape has changed over the past 64 years. Visitors will gain insights into the cross-cultural dialogue sparked by the project through a selection of Gail’s photographs, glimpses into day-to-day life and the hands-on learning that took place on the team’s research trips, original student artworks, as well as ongoing research projects about Okinawa by Riri Shibata.The exhibition invites viewers to step into the space that exists between an idea and the outcome of research, centered around the questions: Where does an idea come from? Where can it lead us?

The Gail Project is a collaborative, international public history project that explores the founding years of the American military occupation of Okinawa. The project is inspired by a collection of photos taken in Okinawa in 1952 by an American Army Captain: Charles Eugene Gail. The photos were generously donated to Special Collections at McHenry Library by Charles' daughter, Geri Gail, and have since been made available for student research. The team of faculty, staff and undergraduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is developing a traveling exhibition of Gail's photographs with an accompanying digital archive that is comprised of the photos, key texts and documents, and oral histories from both Americans and Okinawans.

The Gail Project is co-directed by Professor Alan Christy of the Department of History at UC Santa Cruz and Dustin Wright; and curated by Shelby Gram of the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery with media direction by Tosh Tanaka of Learning Technologies; and research by UCSC students: Nick Bass, Nirupama Chandrasekhar, Jasmine Chang, Brandon Cho, Cameron Gao, Thomas Herz, Teodor Jaich, Julia Jen, Alexyss Mcclellan, Robert Potmesil, Yoshimi Suda, Shanley Sullivan, Evan Terris, and many others along with alumni: Rei Coleman, Stella Fronius, Conner Lowe, Natanel Miller, Helen Porter, Madeline Thompson, and Cameron Vanderscoff.

Inside the Gail Project: An Experiential Research Odyssey is organized by Mary Thomas in conjunction with The Gail Project: An Okinawan-American Dialogue at the Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery.

For information on The Sesnon Gallery:

For information on The Gail Project: