“I feel like this exhibit will make a lasting impact upon children...”

Be sure to check out more pictures of Amanda's work at the bottom of the page.

Alum's Designs Create Smiles Nationwide

Armstrong alumna Amanda Lewis, who earned a bachelor's of fine arts in visual arts in 2006, is the creative force behind a popular hands-on interactive The Wizard of Oz™ Children's Educational Exhibition exhibit that is delighting kids at the Children's Museum of Manhattan in New York City.

The exhibition, on display in New York until January 9, 2011, will travel to other cities across the country during a five-year tour. “I feel like this exhibit will make a lasting impact upon children,” Lewis said. “It's all about encouraging a love of learning.”

As president and creative director of Amanda Lewis Studios in Savannah, she was hired to create a one-of-a-kind Wizard of Oz-themed children's exhibit that would be both educational and entertaining. After meeting with Warner Brothers Studio executives in Los Angeles in January 2009, she created all the graphics and computer-assisted design drawings for the exhibit, working in conjunction with Cloud 8 Designs, a museum design firm in Raleigh, N.C.

Lewis estimates that she watched the movie at least 15 times to observe key details about Dorothy's bedroom, Oz and Munchkinland. “The biggest design challenge was keeping all ages entertained and designing activities for all abilities and disabilities,” she said. “It was also important to make sure everything is safe and fun.”

Six important scenes from the movie inspired The Wizard of Oz™ exhibit. Lewis incorporated interactive activities like a hand-activated tornado, an anti-gravity ball, a kaleidoscope table and a voice changing station into the overall design. The installation offers children an adventure of discovery.

For Lewis, the biggest reward has been seeing children thrilled by her designs and developing a love of learning at The Wizard of Oz™ exhibit. “It was great to see the kids follow the Yellow Brick Road,” she said. “The big payoff is when you actually ee the kids learning and playing.”

Amanda, who also designs interactive e-learning courseware and publications for FlightSafety International and recently created all the graphics for educational exhibits at the new Delaware Children's Museum, credits her education at Armstrong Atlantic State University with her career success.

“Armstrong really helped prepare me in every way,” she said. “Armstrong has a small school feeling but offers the educational benefits of any larger school. It truly offers the best of both worlds. I'm proud to be an Armstrong graduate.”