LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Sixth generation Lufkinite Dr. NealNaranjo has spent 40 years of his life collecting artifacts from across theworld.
Naranjo is bringing his passion backto his hometown, presenting his finds in the Naranjo Museum of Natural History.
"I wanted to produce a museumthat would have the whole history of the earth and help enlighten some mindsand get some brains curious," said Naranjo.
"Neal Naranjo has a vision togift the East Texas area with this incredible collection," said PeterAndrew, Professor of Art, SFA.
The museum breathes life into thepre-historic world of dinosaurs, with replicas, fiberglass models and Naranjo'sfavorite dinosaur the Mary Ann Hadrosaur."She's the only dinosaur in any museum that I'm aware of that hasskin impressions," said Naranjo.
Naranjo collaborated with localartists like Peter Andrew to bring his vision to life.
"This is a lifetime worth of workyou're seeing coming to fruit here," said Andrew.
Andrew says the museum will fill a void for local students
"Students who may previously had totravel hours on school fieldtrips, if they were lucky, now have thisdestination right here in their hometown," said Andrew.
Naranjo says access to the facility willtake the learning experience to new heights.
"It just makes this stuff comeoff the page of the book. You can see things in books but when you see thingsin real life and 3D, it starts to really click in your head," saidNaranjo.
With 50 percent of the installations complete the museum is set to openSeptember of 2012.