This “Faces of ECI” profile focuses on Senior Designer and Certified Interpretive Planner Tony Accrocco, who has been with Exhibit Concepts since 2015. From his award-winning museum galleries to how he finds inspiration, Tony is opening up in our latest “Faces of ECI” profile.
When did your career at Exhibit Concepts begin?
I got hired in January 2015. Jerry Spangler called me up out of the blue for some random little project and I thought it was a test. I worked so hard on that. It led to a full-time position.
Explain your role.
My role is to design museum exhibits. That is what I specialize in. I kind of got my start in graphic design, working on the production side of things for a few years and really took to that and I was able to grow and eventually got the opportunity to move into the creative side of things. That’s where I’ve been the last five years. Ever since then it’s just been exponential growth. It’s led to Certified Interpretive Planning.
With that, I can go in and almost Gordon Ramsay a place. Go in, see what needs to happen to make a place function a little bit more smoothly. Really focusing on a visitor experience when it comes to museum design. That starts at the top with a museum’s mission and vision all the way down to what text is on a panel that gets installed. Everything has a line that goes through it. That’s kind of my job to thread that.
Describe your most impactful client moment.
My most impactful client moment for me personally was Marilyn at Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum. That was my first real big project. I worked so hard on that. Marilyn, the client, she works ten times harder than anybody I know. She was the main driver of that project and that would have never happened had it not been for her. After working super hard on it, going to the opening, seeing everything. It was huge. My son was just born, so he was there, she was holding my son while we were looking around and everything. It was beautiful. It was a great moment. It’s led to several projects there on and I hold that one very close to my heart.
What do you like most about Exhibit Concepts?
My department! How we all work together. It has only grown and grown and gotten better and better since I’ve started here. I feel like it’s genuinely a family.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Anywhere! Anywhere and everywhere, truth be told. It just depends on the project. I’m that guy that anywhere I’m out, I’m just looking behind the curtain or picking stuff, like what’s that, how’s that made? Movies. Film. Music. Life. Everything. It all contributes.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE...
My favorite food is Italian.
My favorite movie is Alien with Sigourney Weaver. 1979. That movie is amazing.
Favorite band or musician?
Favorite band of all time is probably The Beatles. My parents exposed me to that pretty young and it’s just been a mainstay. They were extremely creative people and it’s definitely influenced me.
My favorite book is a children’s book from when I was a kid. It’s called ‘Tony’s Hard Work Day’ by Alan Arkin. It’s beautiful. It’s about this kid that keeps hearing “no” from everybody and he decides to just go out and build his own house. He eventually shows his family and they’re all blown away that he had taken the initiative to do it himself when everyone was telling him he couldn’t.
What is your ideal place to live?
A cabin out in the woods. I would love that.
Who is someone you would want to have dinner with? Past or present.
So many. A contemporary, someone who is actually alive, I would love to have dinner with Maynard James Keenan from the band ‘Tool.’ He is probably my favorite contemporary artist and his whole entire philosophy on life is something that I’m very interested in and I’d love to pick his brain.
What is a superpower you wish you had?
I wish I had the ability to control time. I wish I could slow it down.