After more than 20 years of planning, the International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston, South Carolina, finally has a set opening date of June 27, 2023 – just after Juneteenth. In many ways, the museum is 2,300 years in the making.

The IAAM chronicles the history of Africans' earliest enslavement, starting in 300 BCE, and is built at Gadsden's Wharf, which was once one of the most prolific slave-trading ports in the US. The $100m building rests atop a series of 18 stilts and is designed to not touch the ground in a sign of respect for the enslaved people who once walked the land below. Inside, a permanent collection of 300 artworks and historical artifacts tells the story of the Middle Passage, in which millions of Africans were captured and forcibly brought across the Atlantic." (BBC Travel - June 1, 2023)

Congratulations and Best Wishes to everyone at IAAM for this long awaited opening. It will be fantastic!

Sadly, this was the last project we worked on with Kyle Chepulis, before the passing of our friend in 2021.

Exhibit Design: Ralph Applebaum Associates
Lighting Design: Kyle Chepulis of Technical Artistry


Notable Installations

Museum of the Bible

Washington, DC

Google Spruce Goose

Playa Vista, CA

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Los Angels, CA