Dinosaur Art Exhibit Opens in St. George - 8 News NOW

Dinosaur Art Exhibit Opens in St. George

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Artists work on the dinosaur art exhibit in St. George, Utah. Artists work on the dinosaur art exhibit in St. George, Utah.

ST. GEORGE, Utah -- A fusion of fossils and art are bringing dinosaurs back to life in St. George, Utah.

For months, artists and paleontologists have teamed together to create a 3-D dilophosaurus exhibit and taking learning to a whole new level.

The project has been a labor of love by the community for almost six months.

As artists continue to paint the exhibit, creators of it said the goal is to educate and inspire.

SLIDESHOW: True-to-Life Dinosaur Star of Art Exhibit 

The exhibit is located at the exact spot where dinosaurs once roamed, their preserved fossils the only indication they ever existed.

Until now.

The life-sized is about to make its debut.

14-year-old Jose Solis knows so much about them.

"Most dinosaurs weren't as big as that," Jose said. "I've got DVDs of them. I've got books of them. I even have a game of them."

The project is a collaboration of local artists.

"It engages the mind in a different way in a more awe inspiring way," said Bobbi Wan-Kier of Art Escapes 3-D.

The paleontology department at Dixie State College is also involved, ensuring the exhibit was scientifically and anatomically correct, with such details as inward claws, positions of teeth and skin texture.

The plastic foam sculpture is coated in urethane plastic and based off dilophosaurus footprints, which are already preserved at the site.

"Most people that come into the museum and look at the tracks, they don't really get what the tracks are trying to tell them," said Dr. Jerry Harris, the project's scientific advisor.

The dinosaur was depicted in the 1993 film "Jurassic Park" with a few minor tweaks by Hollywood.

No scientific evidence shows they spat venom or had a giant frill on the neck.

"This is the right size, not like in ‘Jurassic Park,'" Jose said.

Artists will finish painting the sculpture in a few weeks and then place it over by where the actual footprints are.

When they were alive, dilophosaurus were 7 feet tall and weighed as much as 1,500 pounds.

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