Adventure Aquarium

Sea turtle mural at the Adventure Aquarium by Paul Barker Googleplex

Originally called The New Jersey State Aquarium, in Camden across the river from Philadelphia, this place went through a major reorganization under new management and re-emerged as The Adventure Aquarium. I was fortunate to be part of its transformation.

The Aquarium added a huge hippo exhibit which featured a wide-open room with a riverbank and deep water pool. Visitors can watch the hippos from galleries on three sides of the room. The path slopes down along thick acrylic walls where they can watch the underwater grace of the hippos.

I was initially hired to turn the back wall into an African savanna but in fall colors, which was a welcome novelty. The job went well except for the delays fending off curious African porcupines with 18″ quills.

The Aquarium eventually had me mural the other three walls, a rainforest exhibit, and a three-story stairwell with surface-loving fauna (sea turtles, sun fish, flying fish) at the top, getting gradually darker until one discovers at the bottom a giant squid looming in the abyssal darkness. Fun. I’ve done a few other small exhibits over the years, and the Adventure Aquarium remains one of my favorite clients.

Hippo exhibit murals at Adventure Aquarium by Paul Barker of Googleplex