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Spiders: Fear & Fascination at the ROM


ROM Wolf Spider (rabidosa santrita). Photo by Sean McCann

Where: Royal Ontario Museum, Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall, 100 Queens Park
When: June 16, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Cost: A separately ticketed exhibition. To purchases visit www.rom.on.ca/en/exhibitions-galleries/exhibitions/spiders

Details: The ROM invites visitors to explore the hunting, burrowing, and weaving world of spiders at the North American debut of Spiders: Fear & Fascination. Featuring more than 400 live and preserved specimens, cutting-edge interactive experiences and new scientific discoveries, this awe-inspiring exhibition debunks myths about one of the most successful yet misunderstood animals on the planet.

The exhibition spins an immersive tale for visitors, revealing how this incredibly diverse group of animals has evolved and survived for over 300 million years, a time long before the dinosaurs. Real specimens, including 18 different types of live spiders and their relatives, plus interactive virtual elements let visitors get closer than ever to some of the over 48,000 known spider species, from the top ten local spiders to the world’s most venomous, like the Black Widow and Brown Recluse.

In the multi-faceted Spider Lab, trained ROM technicians – known as Spider Wranglers – will demonstrate live venom milking and engage visitors in hands-on learning activities with spider specimens. With the latest augmented reality and video projection technology, visitors of all ages will encounter virtual spiders as they explore the subterranean home of cave-dwelling spiders, compete in a mating dance ritual with a Peacock Spider and create their own animated arachnid. They will also witness live Tent-Web Weavers spinning webs above their heads in a dome spider sphere. The ROM’s presentation features inclusive design elements such as touchable models, video captioning and a described audio tour for an accessible exhibition experience.

Exclusive to the ROM’s presentation, the exhibition explores the significance of spiders in traditional and popular art and culture. From Indigenous crafts and textiles to the first edition Spider-Man comic book, visitors will learn more about why spiders are central to storytelling across cultures and time.

Associated Programming & Events
-Through a Web Darkly: Sex and Death in the World of Spiders with arachnid behaviourist Dr. Maydianne Andrade. ROM Speaks, June 19, 2018.
-#FNLROM: Arachnophile, a spectacular spider-themed party that includes complimentary exhibition access. Friday Night Live, June 29, 2018.
-Spider Silk: A Golden Opportunity with Simon Peers, designer of the rare spider silk cape. ROM Connects, July 6, 2018.

More Info: www.rom.on.ca #ROMSpiders @ROMtoronto