INSIDE S E MC The Newsletter of the Southeastern Museums Conference
fall 2021 | www.semcdirect.net
ON THE FRONT COVER The Hunter Museum of American Art, SEMC Annual Meeting 2021.
21 Executive Director’s Notes Zinnia Willits 7 Greetings from the 2021 Annual Meeting Chair Matt Davis 11 A Message from the Membership Manager Carla Phillips 13 Meet SEMC’s New Council Directors 16 Winners of the 2021 SEMC Museum Professional and Competition Awards 21 Thank you to our 2021 Sponsors, Hosts, and Exhibitors 35 SEMC 2021 Annual Meeting Scholarship Program 39
ON THE BACK COVER Doug Schatz, River City Queen, at Sculpture Fields of Montague Park, Chattanooga. Courtesy of Michael Lachowski.
43 SEMC 2021 Chattanooga in Photographs Michael Lachowski and Rich Borenstein 43 Announcing the SEMC 2022 Leadership Institute 53 Save the Date for SEMC 2022: Northwest, Arkansas 60 A Special Thanks: Endowment and Membership Contributions 75
Important Dates 114 114 Get Social 114
State News 104 SEMC Job Forum
Membership Form 115
semc Alabama Arkansas Florida Georgia Kentucky Louisiana Mississippi
North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee Virginia West Virginia U.S. Virgin Islands Puerto Rico
staff Zinnia Willits Executive Director Carla Phillips Manager of Communications and Member Services
semc officers Heather Marie Wells President email@example.com Digital Media Project Manager, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
Matthew S. Davis Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Historic Museums, Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA
contact semc SEMC | P.O. Box 550746 Atlanta, GA 30355-3246 T: 404.814.2048 or 404.814.2047 F: 404.814.2031 W: www.SEMCdirect.net E: membershipservices@SEMCdirect.net
Deitrah J. Taylor Secretary email@example.com Public Historian, Milledgeville, GA
Robin Reed Treasurer
Inside SEMC is published three times a year by SEMC. Annual subscription is included in membership dues. Design: Nathan Moehlmann, Goosepen Studio & Press
firstname.lastname@example.org Museum Administrator (retired), Fort Monroe, VA
Darcie MacMahon Past President email@example.com Director of Exhibits & Public Programs, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL
The deadline for the Winter/Spring 2022 newsletter is March 31, 2022. To submit information for the newsletter, please contact the Council Director in your state or Smemberservices@ semcdirect.net.
semc directors Scott Alvey
Director, Kentucky Historical Society,
Head of Programs and Exhibitions,
National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA
Curator of Education,
Director of Education, Knoxville Museum
Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC
of Art, Knoxville, TN
Director, Moundville Archaeological Park,
Curator of Education,
The University of Alabama,
NC Maritime Museum at Southport,
Director and Curator, The Museum of
Director of Historic Resources, Jekyll Island
the Southeast American Indian,
Authority, Mosaic/Jekyll Island Museum,
Jekyll Island, GA
Brigette Janea Jones
Director of Equitable Partnerships,
Executive Director, Historic Mitchelville
Belle Meade Historic Site and Winery,
Freedom Park, Hilton Head Island, SC
Nashville, TN Pamela D. C. Junior
Director, Two Mississippi Museums,
Director of Exhibitions, National Center
Mississippi Department of
for Civil and Human Rights,
Archives & History, Jackson, MS
semc executive director’s notes Dear SEMC: I want to say a sincere THANK YOU to all who attended this year’s Annual Meeting (in person and virtually) and made SEMC 2021 possible. It was truly wonderful to see so many of you both in-person and on-line. In my long experience with SEMC, the Annual Meeting leadership, planning teams, attendees and industry partners have always been a hard-working, dedicated, congenial group and it’s no surprise that the best qualities of SEMC were front and center in Chattanooga. The hybrid model was an ambitious undertaking, but with months of planning, collaboration, input, dedication, and SUPPORT from all the attendees, speakers, sponsors, Council, Program Committee, staff, the amazing event team from Hutchinson Design Group and all the dedicated volunteers, we were able to execute the first-ever SEMC hybrid meeting which offered over 60 sessions developed and led by museum professionals from across our region. More than 20 of those sessions were recorded and can now be viewed by SEMC2021 attendees on the PheedLoop conference page! The PheedLoop platform was a new addition for the conference and allowed the 400+ museum professionals who participated in SEMC2021 (both inperson and virtual attendees) to gather, present, and view online and live streamed sessions, post, network
and check out offerings from our industry partners in the Virtual Expo Hall. We welcomed 27 different companies that provide services to museums to the 2021 Expo Hall at the Convention Center and had booths showcasing the SEMC2021 Publication contest winners, the American Association of State and Local History, the Tennessee Association of Museums and Arkansas Museums Association. Corporate sponsorship was critical during this year of pandemic and uncertainty, and we are thankful for the 16 companies and foundations that contributed sponsorship dollars toward 2021 Annual Meeting events including all receptions and Expo Hall “breaks.” This was a challenging year to host the SEMC Annual Meeting and I am grateful for the effort the local teams and organizations in Chattanooga put into welcoming SEMC2021 attendees and making the conference a truly memorable event. We were thrilled that SEMC attendees experienced wonderful evening events at many different Chattanooga museums and sites including the Tennessee Aquarium, Hunter Museum of American Art, Bessie Smith Cultural Center, and the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center. Additionally, sites including Ruby Falls, Rock City and Sculpture Fields welcomed SEMC attendees for special excursions both pre and post conference. The images flowing
Zinnia Willits with Ahmad Ward, Chattanooga, SEMC 2021 annual meeting.
in of smiling faces, picturesque scenery, and a general feeling of elation at the very notion of being together underscore how much our attendees enjoyed and participated in Chattanooga’s many offerings including a history walking tour, a bike tour of the city, offsite workshops on exhibit review and DEAI planning as well as a special tour of Chattanooga’s Riverfront that addressed the area’s complex history and the use of public art to heal and connect. The SEMC Equity and Inclusion Action Team met at the Convention Center, Zoomed in virtual participants and worked very hard to create this spectacular webpage for SEMC2021 attendees seeking direction for all types of diverse experiences and histories in Chattanooga. The poignant keynote address by Chattanooga’s very own James McKissic underscored the importance of open communication, empathy, and active community engagement as we all move into the “what’s next” for arts, culture, and humanity. It was wonderful. The 2020 Virtual Leadership Institute also held a final workshop in Chattanooga to wrap up their
experience and move into the future as a strong cohort. This was also a hybrid event, and it was terrific to have the group, including the instructors and evaluator, together in one room for the first time in a year, even if a few were on screen. Along the same lines, our SEMC Council was also able to meet in this hybrid format and conduct SEMC business; and we accomplished a lot in that 2 and ½ hours! For the first time since 2019 SEMC was together for an Annual Meeting, and that was what was important. The efforts of so many helped close the circle. I hope you enjoyed your participation and experience with SEMC2021 and that the return on investment in our organization continues! Carla and I are so grateful for the palpable support of the SEMC leadership and all our members. Onward!
Respectfully, — Zinnia Willits, SEMC Executive Director
Explore the museum online Explore our virtual exhibitions and online collections anytime of day at your own pace. Visit nmaahc.si.edu to tour history through the African American lens and register for online events. Follow us on social media and learn more about our operating status and COVID-19 (coronavirus) precautions at nmaahc.si.edu/visit.
GREETINGS FROM THE 2021 ANNUAL MEETING CHAIR Greetings, SEMC Members! It was so great to see many of you in person or online for the 2021 conference. For those that attended the conference in person, members enjoyed the opportunity to visit Chattanooga’s various museums, engage in conversations around the halls, visit with vendors, or enjoy some time out on the town. Both in-person and virtual attendees participated in a robust series of sessions, workshops, meetups, and had the chance to network through the Pheedloop platform. It was great to be together and part of our first ever hybrid conference! I hope you will join me in thanking our Executive Director, Zinnia Willits, our Communication & Membership Services Manager, Carla Phillips, the SEMC Council, the 2021 Program Committee and Co-Chairs Michelle Schulte and Beth Hoover-DeBerry, all the 2021 program speakers, host committee, Expo Hall participants, and of course our wonderful sponsors. Thank you all for your participation! Finally, thank you to all our members for their support of SEMC. You are the reason we are here, and we hope this conference provided needed professional development and a chance to network with colleagues and friends. We look forward to sharing more details on the #SEMC2022 conference in Northwest Arkansas and I hope to see you there. In the meantime, please accept my best wishes for a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year!
Sincerely, — Matt Davis, SEMC Vice President
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A MESSAGE FROM THE MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
2021 has been a wonderful, challenging, exciting year! I celebrated my one-year anniversary with SEMC in June (wonderful), we put together our first ever hybrid annual meeting in Chattanooga (challenging), and now as we are preparing to put this year to rest, we are already starting to look towards our 2022 conference (exciting). Through it all, I have learned a great deal about SEMC and why it’s so vital to our community. While there is still much to take in, one of the best parts of my job is meeting SEMC members.
initiatives, get your good work published by writing an article for Inside SEMC, and perhaps find that perfect, new position through the SEMC job board. Check the website, bi-weekly E-news and all our social media channels often to see what’s new and what opportunities may be waiting for you.
A new year will be here soon. Be on the lookout for new membership initiatives throughout 2022, including an updated membership page on the SEMC website. We hope you’ll find it easy to navigate and full of information you can use to be engaged and get involved. The plan is for SEMC to continue to grow in 2022 as we welcome new members to the SEMC family.
Be sure to follow us on social media to keep current on what we’re up to and what’s going on in our region:
We encourage all our members to take advantage of your SEMC benefits! There are so many opportunities to attend professional development sessions online, join a committee to help chart the course of important SEMC
If you need assistance or have any questions about your SEMC membership, please reach out. I’m here to help and love engaging with members!
Instagram semcdirect Facebook southeasternmuseums Twitter semc2 Have a wonderful holiday season! — Carla Phillips, SEMC Membership & Communications Manager firstname.lastname@example.org 13
M EET SEMC’S NE W CO U N C I L DIREC TO RS
Brigette Janea Jones
Director of Equitable Partnerships, Belle Meade Historic Site and Winery, Nashville, Tennessee Brigette Janea Jones is the Director of Equitable Partnerships for Belle Meade Historic Site and Winery in Nashville, Tennessee and founder of Bridge Builders Historical Consulting, LLC. Her work includes the preservation and interpretation of the vast social
histories of the many diverse cultures that inhabit the state of Tennessee, including but not limited to, African American history, Latino history, and Middle Eastern history, as well as fostering the types of partnerships with community institutions that will aid in the enhancement of their quality of life. Ms. Jones is a Memphis native and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Historically Black, Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2019, she gained certification through the National Association of Interpretation and the Smithsonian Institute: National Museum of African American History and Culture to become an official interpreter of the African American experience. Most recently, she served as Curator of Social History for the Tennessee State Museum and Director of African American Studies for the Belle Meade Plantation Museum in Nashville, where her academic focus was primarily on the lasting legacy of American chattel enslavement on Tennesseans and surrounding areas. As of 2019, Ms. Jones has established Bridge Builders Historical Consulting, LLC, where she provides historical research assistance and interpretive design consulting for museum sectors and other institutions with a focus on cultural remembrance. She also conducts public and keynote speaking engagements focusing on topics such as the history and legacy of Southern race 16
relations. The final component of her work is in the realm of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion where she offers various trainings and workshops for numerous companies such as Tennessee Department of Transportation, Reebok Inc., the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), Tommy Hilfiger Inc., Pyer Moss, and Tennessee State Parks to improve cultural competence and social awareness within the workplace. Her training focuses on addressing implicit and unconscious bias from a historical perspective in efforts of allowing trainee(s) to understand the root of community bias and how it has been fostered, with specific focus on the American South. Her work has been recognized by the Smithsonian Institute, NPR, The Tennessean, Conde Nast Traveler, Nashville Scene, The Commercial Appeal, and Garden and Gun Magazine where she was named one of the 2019 “30 Southern Heroes.”
the museum from financial struggles to features across the nation, most notably, one of CNN’s “50 States, 50 Spots.” After seventeen years of service at Smith Robertson Museum, Pamela became the inaugural director of the first state-sponsored civil rights museum in the nation, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, where she welcomed more than 250,000 visitors in her first year. July of 2019, Pamela was promoted to director of the Two Mississippi Museums where she continues her tireless work to share the stories of Mississippi with audiences all over the world. Pamela believes the stories told in the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, whether simple or complex should be used as an educational tool for students. In her words, “If we teach children about the history of Mississippi—sharing the events that give us hope and bring us despair, where we see examples of people who never gave up, whose strength and tenacity can now give us hope and inspire us all to see others as we see ourselves— you will secure a twinkle in the eyes of many that will last a lifetime.” Pamela has been honored over the years for her professional work as well as her community work. In 2015, she was awarded the Margaret Walker Center’s coveted For My People Award, in 2018 she was selected as Visit Jackson’s Hometown Hero and the Magnolia Bar Association’s Harriet Tubman Award. In 2019 she was honored with the Association of African American Museums Leadership Award for her work in the museum field. In 2021, Pamela received the Leontyne Price Award from Who’s Who of Mississippi Women.
Pamela D.C. Junior
Director, Two Mississippi Museums, Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Jackson, Mississippi Motivational speaker, historian, and women’s activist, Pamela D.C. Junior is the director of the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson, Mississippi. As former manager of Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, Pamela fought passionately and tirelessly to make the museum a first-class place of interpretation, bringing
Pamela continues to serve her community with her appointments as board member for Visit Jackson, advisory board member for the Mississippi Book Festival and most recently, a member of the International Women’s Forum. She is also a member of Women for Progress of Mississippi, where she is a champion for women’s rights. As a woman who knows that she did not get to this position without standing on the shoulders of many women whose vision for African Americans lives on today, she gives homage to the great women of her life such as her grandmother, mother, and mentors. Pamela is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and earned a B.S. in Education, with a minor in Special Education from Jackson State University. 17
Caitlin (Katy) Menne
Curator of Education, North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport, Southport, North Carolina
Executive Director, Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, Hilton Head, South Carolina
Katy Menne earned her BA in History and master’s in teaching Secondary Social Studies at the University of South Carolina. Since 2011 she has been teaching in formal and informal settings and joined the staff at NC Maritime Museum at Southport in 2018 as the Curator of Education where she has started inclusion and diversity initiatives, spearheaded the museum becoming the first Certified Autism Center in the state of North Carolina, and has gained the distinction of Certified Educator by National Geographic. Menne was the 2020 recipient of Southeastern Museum Conference’s Emerging Museum Professional Award. In addition to her job duties at the museum, she is the Chairperson for Brunswick County Local Interagency Coordinating Council; on the Environmental Educators of North Carolina’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Action Team; is the Program Coordinator for Southeastern Museum Conference’s Equity and Inclusion Action Team; is the Assistant Communications Chair and sits on several committees for North Carolina Museums Council; serves on the Planning Committee for Able Buddies, Special Needs Community of Pender and Onslow County; and is an active member of the Board of Young Professions for Community in Schools of the Cape Fear.
Ahmad Ward is the Executive Director for the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park located on Hilton Head Island, SC. The mission of the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park is to preserve, promote and honor Historic Mitchelville, the first self governed town of formerly enslaved people in the United States. Ward is responsible for implementing the Mitchelville master plan that will recreate this historic town as an interpretative site. The Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park will convey this important story of freedom and citizenship to visitors from around the country. Prior to this position, Ward spent fifteen years leading the Education Department at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham Alabama. It is there where he honed his expertise in telling the story of civil and human rights in America, with a focus on historic analysis and application to current social justice issues. With Masters-level training and years of experience in exhibition design, he brings a strong understanding of storytelling and the importance of technology in interpretation. He has been responsible for creating programming partnerships with local schools, universities and organizations; teacher and student resources; written articles, blogs and essays for local, national and international
platforms as well as the development of public programming for community-at-large in the areas of civil and human rights movements, multiculturalism and contemporary human rights issues. Ward is a native of Elizabeth City, North Carolina. He received a BA in Art from Elizabeth City State University and a MA in Museum Studies from Hampton University. He is a Board member of the Association of African American
Museums, a member of Rotary of Hilton Head Island Club and the Southeastern Museums Conference Jekyll Island Management Institute (JIMI) Selection Board. He is a former member of the Smithsonian Affiliates Advisory Board. His hobbies include drawing, watching sports, cooking, sleep (when possible) and fantasy football. He and his wife, Dafina, have two brilliant daughters, Masani Ashiya and Aminah Elon.
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WINNERS OF THE 2021 SEMC MUSEUM PROFESSIONAL AND COMPETITION AWARDS 21
The Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 James R. Short Award, Outstanding Service to the Museum Profession Award, Museum Leadership Award and Emerging Museum Professional Award. Winners were chosen from a wide range of nominees from across the Southeastern United States. The SEMC Awards Committee, chaired by Rosalind Martin with committee members, Robin Reed, Nancy Strickland Fields and David Butler, honors outstanding colleagues who have helped shape the world of museums.
James R. Short Award George Bassi, Executive Director of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi Established by SEMC in 1981, the James R. Short Award recognizes individuals who have given a lifetime (20+ years) of service to the museum profession, with a significant portion of that service at a museum within the SEMC region. It is the most prestigious recognition of service to the museum profession in the southeast. George Bassi, recipient of the 2021 James R. Short Award, is a native of Leland, Mississippi. He received his undergraduate degree in Accounting and Computer Information Systems from Delta State University in 1987 and his Master of Arts degree in mass communications and public relations from The University of Southern Mississippi in 1993. Mr. Bassi has more than thirty years of non-profit management and arts administration experience working at the Delta State University Alumni & Foundation, the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation and the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art where he currently serves as the Executive Director, a position he has held since 1994. He is an accreditation reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums and is a Past President of the Board of the Southeastern Museums Conference. Mr. Bassi has served as a faculty member
for the Jekyll Island Management Institute since 2005 and is a Past Chair of the Council of Regions Association for the American Alliance of Museums. He serves on the Mississippi advisory committee for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Advisory Board for the Partners for the Arts at the University of Southern Mississippi, and the board of the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters, where he is a past president. He is a member and past president of the Laurel Rotary Club, Chairman of the Board of the Economic Development Authority of Laurel-Jones County Mississippi, Chair of the Laurel-Jones County Tourism Committee, and on the Board of the United Way of the Pine Belt. Excerpts from George Bassi’s nomination letters: Foremost among the leaders in museums in the Southeast is unquestionably George Bassi, whose accomplishments are many and varied and whose dedication to our profession over the years has been profound, ostensible, and significant, particularly during times of change or tension. George has been of “kind assistance,” as Webster defines “service,” to museums from Laurel to Los Angeles, from Jackson to Little Rock, and from Washington D.C. to Brunswick, Georgia. Over the years many of us responded when asked for the suggestion of a willing committee member, for a workshop leader, or for a session presenter: George Bassi! Our peer professional organizations—SEMC, AAM— often said the same, and I know that my museum and many others have benefited from George’s leadership in the Southeast. It is my pleasure to nominate him for the James R. Short Award, an honor for which his years of service, his commitment to the field, and his unfailing volunteerism make him uniquely suited. I would like to focus on the qualities that make George such a special person—his kindness, compassion, and the profound joy that he takes in museum work, museum professionals, and the communities we serve. George is the person who lights up every room he enters, who never meets a stranger, and who is always happy to lend an attentive ear, a helping hand, or a consoling shoulder.
Outstanding Service to the Museum Profession Award Dr. Catherine M. Lewis , Assistant Vice President of Museums, Archives & Rare Books, Director of the Museum of History and Holocaust Education; and professor of history at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia Initiated in 1999, this award recognizes a leader with 10 or more years of service to an allied or affiliated professional organization. Such a leader will have assisted the museum profession in areas such as program organization and long-term cultural development. Dr. Catherine M. Lewis, recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Service to the Museum Profession Award, has been a museum director and administrator since 2003, faculty member since 1997, and is a thought-leader and sought after public speaker on leadership, sport, museums, and history. In her current role as Assistant Vice President of Museums, Archives & Rare Books; Director of the Museum of History and Holocaust Education; and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University, she oversees a multi-million-dollar budget with a staff of more than 20 professionals. Dr. Lewis is the author, co-editor, or co-author of fifteen books, including Museums in a Cross Cultural Context with Jennifer Dickey and Samir el Azhar, and has curated more than 40 exhibits for organizations around the nation including the Atlanta History Center, the Breman Museum, Delta Air Lines, Augusta National Golf Club, and the United Way. Dr. Lewis’s research interests are varied and include World
War II and the Holocaust, Jewish history, public history, sport history, African-American history, women’s history, and museum studies. Dr. Lewis regularly presents at national and international conferences and has helped bring numerous grants to KSU from the U.S. State Department, the American Alliance of Museums, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Marcus Foundation, and the Breman Foundation. Dr. Lewis completed her second term as president of the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries in 2016. She serves on several boards, including the Women’s Leadership Committee at Kennesaw State University, the Yates Scholarship Board for the Georgia State Golf Association, and the Museum Committee for the United States Golf Association. She is the chair of the Bobby Jones Scholarship Advisory Committee, a partnership between Emory University and the University of St. Andrews. Excerpts from Dr. Lewis’s nomination letters: One of her most powerful assets is her inclusive spirit and willingness to collaborate. Through the years, she has partnered with numerous museums, universities, government entities, and organizations to advance museum and cultural development on several levels. Her involvement on projects with the Breman Museum, Atlanta History Center, University of Tennessee, Hassan II University of Casablanca, and Emory, among others, have resulted in exhibits and projects viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. Connected to these exhibits are articles, books, videos, study guides, presentations, and panels, all created and conveyed with her trademark enthusiasm. A mark of true leadership is shown in the most challenging times, and Catherine exemplifies this mark. During the Covid crisis, when visitation to cultural sites was limited, Catherine rallied her teams to find new ways to reach visitors. Within weeks, virtual tours and digital educational programs were created for K-12 and university levels, and the department was sharing digital resources and skills with museums throughout the state.
Museum Leadership Award Ahmad Ward, Executive Director for the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park located on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Initiated in 1994, this award recognizes mid-career museum professionals who have shown significant advancement within the profession by leadership in museum activities at his or her institution, within the museum profession as a whole, and especially in the southeast region. Ahmad Ward is the recipient of the 2021 Museum Leadership Award. The mission of the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park is to preserve, promote and honor Historic Mitchelville, the first self governed town of formerly enslaved people in the United States. Mr. Ward is responsible for implementing the Mitchelville master plan that will recreate this historic town as an interpretative site. The Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park will convey this important story of freedom and citizenship to visitors from around the country. Prior to this position, Mr. Ward spent fifteen years leading the Education Department at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham Alabama. It is there where he honed his expertise in telling the story of civil and human rights in America, with a focus on historic analysis and application to current social justice issues. With Masters-level training and years of experience in exhibition design, he brings a strong understanding of storytelling and the importance of technology in interpretation. Mr. Ward has been responsible for creating programming partnerships with local schools,
universities and organizations; teacher and student resources; written articles, blogs and essays for local, national and international platforms as well as the development of public programming for communityat-large in the areas of civil and human rights movements, multiculturalism and contemporary human rights issues. He is a native of Elizabeth City, North Carolina and holds a BA in Art from Elizabeth City State University and a MA in Museum Studies from Hampton University. Mr. Ward is a Board member of the Association of African American Museums, a member of Rotary of Hilton Head Island Club and serves on the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) Jekyll Island Management Institute (JIMI) Selection Board. He is a former member of the Smithsonian Affiliates Advisory Board and an incoming Council Member for SEMC. Mr. Ward enjoys drawing, watching sports, cooking, sleep (when possible) and fantasy football and he and his wife, Dafina have two brilliant daughters, Masani Ashiya and Aminah Elon. Excerpts from Ahmad Ward’s nomination letters: Ahmad stepped into this role (at Historic Mitchelville) and immediately went to work becoming an important leader in the community. Under Ahmad’s leadership, Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park has built a social justice education initiative creating space to hear from experts and have diverse community members come together to tackle pressing issues of difference and acceptance. All of this while fundraising from regional and national supporters, running archaeological digs on his site, and drafting a masterplan for a world class interpretive center to be built on this historic site. To say that our community is lucky and proud to have Ahmad Ward leading this initiative is an understatement. All of his actions are rooted in doing what is right to preserve the culture, tell the story authentically, and help all of us learn to be better citizens. The cultural and heritage organizations on Hilton Head Island have worked in partnership for many years to produce special events, tours and projects that strive to tell an inclusive story of the area’s unique past. Mr. Ward is always willing to collaborate with other organizations toward the goal of reaching as many visitors and residents as possible to share our stories. He brought his expertise to the Mitchelville project and the entire community has benefited from his vision, dedication and skills. His tireless efforts have included working with local and county government 25
officials to secure funding for the project and support its ambitious goals. His expertise is invaluable to the community! Based on his many accomplishments and continued, dedicated, visible service to our field and to shaping the careers of emerging museum professionals in the southeast through his example, Ahmad Ward is an ideal candidate to receive the SEMC 2021 Leadership Award.
Emerging Museum Professionals Award Heidi Schureck , Education Facilitator at Fernbank Museum of Natural History and a Play Facilitator at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta Initiated in 2007, this award recognizes emerging professionals who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in museum activities at their institutions, within the museum profession, and especially in the southeast region. Recipient of the 2021 Emerging Museum Professionals Award, Heidi Schureck— they/them/(s) he — is a white, nuerodivergent, documented, queer enby who comes from an upper-middle class family and is living on the ancestral land of the Mvskoke and Tsalaguwetiyi, colonized today as Atlanta, Georgia. They are an Education Facilitator at Fernbank Museum of Natural History and a Play Facilitator at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta with more than five years experience in education, event and visitor services, collections, curation, and community outreach. In 2019, they received their B.A. in Art: Museum Studies and their B.A. in Liberal Studies: Culture, Religion, and Society
from Georgia College. They are passionate about the potential of museums to help shape a more just world and are especially interested in queering institutions and connecting through community. Heidi is currently involved with the Georgia LGBTQ+ Histories Project and the Southeastern Museums Conference Equity and Inclusion Action Team, in addition to serving as the Director of Partnerships for the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network and as Co-Chair of the Atlanta Emerging Museum Professionals Chapter. Excerpts from Heidi Schureck’s nomination letters I have known Heidi and the quality of their work for several years and have continuously been impressed by their strength of character, and tireless efforts to improve the field as a whole. Heidi has been diligent and proactive in working with the leadership and human resources at the Fernbank Museum to construct opportunities that facilitate conversations and policies around diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion striving towards tangible progress. They acted, and continue to act, as a tireless advocate for colleagues and guests, striving to make their museum a better place to work and visit. In addition to their work in museums, Heidi has been an advocate for DEAI, and LGBTQ causes across all aspects of museums and their operations. Heidi has worked within Fernbank and with partner entities to provide awareness and greater inclusion within the field. Additionally, they actively participate in the Atlanta Emerging Museum Professionals Group and have engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. Heidi is a member of SEMC’s Equity and Inclusion Action Team, frequently contributing to discussions on the Basecamp platform and providing a myriad of DEAI resources for others to consider. Heidi has attended almost every virtual program SEMC offered since March 2020, actively seeking to increase their knowledge of the field and make new connections. They were a participant in the DEI anti-racism workshop series SEMC offered in June, an experience financed on their own. Additionally, Heidi was featured as SEMC’s first “One to Watch” in November 2020, a program that identifies and recognizes up-and-coming leaders in our field who are enhancing the profession in a special way and working to make a difference in their community through work in a museum. Heidi Schureck’s video address from 2021 Awards Luncheon 26
Over $100,000,000 Budget Gold: Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience — Core Exhibition | Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience Silver: Atlanta History Center — Atlanta ’96: Shaping an Olympic and Paralympic City * DIGITAL EXHIBITION (*new category for 2021!) Gold: Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art — Dis/ placements: Revisitations of Home
SEMC’s 2021 Exhibition Competition Winners Under $10,000 Budget Gold: Columbus Museum — And So She Did: Women of the Chattahoochee Valley Silver: Marco Island Historical Society — A Pressing Matter: Preserving Marco Island’s Flora Bronze: Asheville Art Museum — Meeting the Moon Honorable Mention: Berman Museum — Danger, Deception, and Disguise
Many thanks to the 2021 Exhibition Competition Chair and Judges: Emilie Arnold (chair), Exhibition Developer, Dalton, Georgia; Rebecca Bush, CurCom representative, Curator of History/Exhibitions Manager, The Columbus Museum; Katie Ericson, Senior Manager, School and Volunteer Programs, Michael C. Carlos Museum; Michelle Schulte, Independent Museum Professional, Pensacola, Florida; Madeleine Miller, Exhibit Designer at Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Under $25,000 Budget Gold: Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage — Soul of the South Silver: Gregg Museum of Art & Design — Stephen Althouse: Objects of Intention Bronze: Florence County Museum — Kindred Spirit: the Personal Worlds of William H. Johnson Over $25,000 Budget Gold: Orange County Regional History Center — Yesterday, This Was Home: The Ocoee Massacre of 1920 Silver: Gregg Museum of Art & Design — All Is Possible: Mary Ann Scherr’s Legacy in Metal Over $100,000 Budget Gold: Mississippi Department of Archives and History — Mississippi Distilled: Prohibition, Piety, and Politics Honorable Mention: Georgia Museum of Art — Emma Amos: Color Odyssey
SEMC’s 2021 Publication Competition Winners BEST IN SHOW
Emma Amos: Color Odyssey, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia ANNUAL REPORTS
Gold: Gibbes Museum of Art 27
Best in Show and Gold in Books & Catalogues: Emma Amos: Color Odyssey, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia
Silver: Florida Museum of Natural History Bronze: LSU Museum of Art BOOKS & CATALOGUES
Gold: Emma Amos: Color Odyssey, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia Silver: Monumental: Oscar Dunn and His Radical Fight in Reconstruction Louisiana, The Historic New Orleans Collection Bronze: Cajun Document: Acadiana, 1973-74, The Historic New Orleans Collection BROCHURES & RACK CARDS
Gold: Membership Brochure, Marco Island Historical Society Silver: Whitman, Alabama, Georgia Museum of Art Bronze: How Can I Help Turtles?, Cook Museum of Natural Science Honorable Mention: Membership Brochure, Marco Island Historical Society
Annual Reports Gold: Gibbes Museum of Art
Silver: L’Amour du Vin Auction & Dinner, Knoxville Museum of Art Bronze: All About Her/Him Events Campaign, Cook Museum of Natural Science Honorable Mention: Power, Passion & Pose: Photographs by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory Exhibition Campaign, Hunter Museum of American Art GALLERY GUIDES
Gold: Family Guide, Asheville Art Museum Silver: Gallery Guide: Self-guided Tour Guides and Museum Hunt, Hunter Museum of American Art Bronze: Social Story & Visual Vocabulary, Cook Museum of Natural Science INVITATIONS
Gold: WJS Garden Party Invitation, Telfair Museums Silver: Under the Big Top, Marco Island Historical Society Bronze: 2020 Exhibitions, Hunter Museum of American Art
MAGAZINES & NEWSLETTERS
Gold: Museum Discovery Quest, Customs House Museum and Cultural Center
Gold: Willam Jay Society Garden Party Invitation, Telfair Museums 28
Brohures & Rack Cards Gold: Marco Island Historical Society
Campaigns Gold: Customs House Museum and Cultural Center
Invitations Gold: Telfair Museums
Magazines & Newsletters Gold: Georgia Museum of Art Gallery Guides Gold: Asheville Art Museum
Silver: Under the Big Top, Marco Island Historical Society Bronze: 2020 Exhibitions, Hunter Museum of American Art MAILERS & CALENDARS
Gold: LCVA Seasonal Series Mailer, Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, Longwood University Silver: Art View Spring 2021, Hunter Museum of American Art Bronze: Upcoming Events Calendar Series, Cook Museum of Natural Science
Gold: Welcome Back Poster, Cook Museum of Natural Science Silver: Jazz in June, Customs House Museum & Cultural Center Bronze: What is Color?, Cook Museum of Natural Science Many thanks to the 2021 Publication Competition Chair and Judges: Cara McGowan (chair), Director of Marketing & Communications, Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Nicole Brown, Chattanooga, TN; Brian May, Chattanooga, TN; Jeffrey Morton, Chattanooga, TN
Mailers & Calendars Gold: Longwood Center for the Visual Arts
Posters Gold: Cook Museum of Natural Science
Bronze: Sautee Nacoochee Cultural Center — Explore Helen and Sautee Nacoochee Phone App CAMPAIGN
Gold: Wiregrass Museum of Art — House Party for Art Silver: Customs House Museum and Cultural Center — Grand Illumination
SEMC’s 2021 Technology Competition Winners Did you miss the October 2021 Virtual Technology Showcase which featured projects from Technology Competition GOLD Winners? No worries! We’ll have the recording available from the virtual session at SEMC2021 soon! APPLICATIONS
Silver: Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage — Xplore Morris Center
Gold: Boston Productions, Inc. — Western Writers of America: Packing the West Silver: Shiloh Museum of Ozark History — Native American Days Program & Resources for Educators & Students Bronze: Asheville Art Museum — Summer Camp to Go! Honorable Mention: Telfair Museums — Picasso to Hockney Educator Guide Honorable Mention: Georgia Museum of Art — Virtual 5th Grade Tours 31
Gold: Gregg Museum of Art and Design — Fantastic Fans: The Collection of Emma Hanford Smith Silver: Atlanta History Center — Website GALLERY INSTALLATIONS
Gold: Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience — Community Quilt Interactive Silver: Orange County Regional History Center — Deeds Map - Yesterday, This Was Home: The Ocoee Massacre of 1920 Bronze: Boston Productions Inc. — Tennessee State Library & Archives Touch Interactive Experiences Honorable Mention: Customs House Museum and Cultural Center — In-Museum Digital Marketing Screens MEDIA PRODUCTION
Gold: Orange County Regional History Center — Oral History Animation - Yesterday, This Was Home: The Ocoee Massacre of 1920 Silver: Asheville Art Museum — Asheville Art Museum smARTguide Bronze: Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience — Orientation Film: Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience Honorable Mention: Shiloh Museum of Ozark History — Shiloh Shout-Out video series
SEMC’s 2021 SWIM Competition Winners University students throughout our region are engaged in challenging and important work in southeastern museums. They are doing research, producing exhibits, conducting oral history interviews, creating content for websites, and developing public programs. SEMC is committed to recognizing and rewarding excellence in museum work done by students through the annual Spotlight on Student Work in Museums (SWIM) Awards. Many thanks to the 2021 Student Work in Museums Co-Chairs: Pam Meister, Director, Mountain Heritage Center, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina; Patricia A. Hobbs , Senior Curator of Art Museums at W&L, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia.
Student: Casey Landolf Project title: Moravian Mornings: A Historic Bethabara Park Podcast School: University of North Carolina Student: Carly Payne Project title: Historic Hauntings in North Georgia School: University of North Georgia
Gold: Asheville Art Museum — NEH Cares Videos Many thanks to the 2021 Technology Competition Chairs and Judges: Scott Warren (chair), Historic Site Manager II, President James K. Polk State Historic Site, Pineville, North Carolina ; Scotty Almany, Digital Media, Programming & Exhibit Logistics Manager, Birthplace of Country Music; Alexander Brooks, Education Manager, Gaston County Museum, Dallas, North Carolina
Students: Riva Cullinan, Hope Chandler, Elissa Lisle, Caitlyn White, A. René Thompson, Manasar Alharethi, Emily McKenzie Project title: Weaving Muscogee Creek Culture: The Artistry of Mary Smith School: University of Alabama 32
Student: Lizzy Sparks Project title: Secrets of the Oldest City: LGBT+ History in St. Augustine, Florida School: Ohio State University
Student: Harliana Burns Project title: A Journal from Captivity: A Day in the Life at Camp Lawrenceburg School: Middle Tennessee State University
Student: Bailey Lawrence Project title: Professionalism and Transformation of the Highlands Historical Society School: Western Carolina University
Student: Shira Zaid Project title: Memory Through Mountain Ranges: Preserving Asheville Artists’ Geographic Identity School: Smith College
THANK YOU TO OUR 2021 SPONSORS, HOSTS, AND EXHIBITORS
SEMC 2021 ANNUAL MEETING SPONSORS PLATINUM SPONSOR Conserv (Annual Meeting Lead Sponsor, Leadership Forum Lead Sponsor, 2021 Keynote/Business Meeting Lead Sponsor, Evening Events Lead Sponsor) GOLD SPONSORS Chattanooga Tourism Company (Evening Events) Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (Evening Events) National Museum of African American History & Culture, Smithsonian Institute (Event Management, Evening Events) SILVER SPONSORS Collector Systems (Tote bags) DeWitt Stern, A Division of Risk Strategies (Director/Trustee Reception) Exhibit Concepts (Lanyards, Resource Expo Opening Reception) Riggs Ward (Annual Awards Luncheon) TimeLooper (Technology Track Sessions, Evening Events) BRONZE SPONSORS 10-31, Inc. (Resource Expo Receptions) Bonsai Fine Arts, Inc. (Volunteer T-shirts) Case Antiques Auctions and Appraisals (Director/Trustee Luncheon) Erco Lighting (Iced Tea Breaks) Monadnock Media (Resource Expo Receptions) OTJ Architects (Director/Trustee Luncheon) Our Fundraising Search (Resource Expo Receptions) SunTrust (Registration Table) William G. Pomeroy Foundation (Coffee Breaks) ANNUAL MEETING SUPPORTERS Mary Miller (SEMC Council Legacy Reception) Marianne Kelsey, Book and Paper Conservator (General Conference Support) ReNewell Inc., Fine Art Conservation (General Conference Support)
SEMC 2021 ANNUAL MEETING HOSTS Bessie Smith Cultural Center Hunter Museum of American Art Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center Tennessee Aquarium Rock City Ruby Falls Sculpture Fields
SEMC 2021 ANNUAL MEETING EXHIBITORS *Virtual Expo Only 1220 Exhibits 10-31, Inc. American Association of State and Local History Arkansas Museums Association Available Light Boston Productions, Inc. Carolina Conservation Case Antiques: Auctions and Appraisals *CatalogIt Cinebar Productions, Inc. Chattanooga Tourism Company Collector Systems Conserv *CSR Consulting Delta Designs DLR Group (Virtual Expo) *Dorfman Museum Figures, Inc. ERCO Lighting Exhibit Concepts EXPLUS, Inc. Gaylord Goosepen Studio & Press *Healy Kohler Design *ISeeChange *Leaf Spring Consulting MBA Mila Walls Northeast Document Conservation Center *Our Fundraising Search Patterson Pope Riggs Ward Design Solid Light Southern Custom Exhibits 36
Tennessee Association of Museums The Design Minds TimeLooper Tour Mate *Transport Consultants International
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SEMC 2021 ANNUAL MEETING SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
SEMC 2021 ANNUAL MEETING SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM Congratulations to all our 2021 scholarship winners! Scholarship recipients were recognized at the Annual Awards Luncheon in Chattanooga. The ten SEMC Travel Scholarships are supported by the SEMC Alderson Endowment, individual donations and proceeds from SEMC’s 2019 walking tours. Kali Mason was the 2021 SEMC Scholarship Committee Chair. SEMC thanks the following individuals and organizations for additional 2021 Scholarship Support: Corinne D. Midgett, Scott Warren, and anonymous supporter. African American Museum Professional Chase Quinn, Curator of Education and Programs, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC Lance Wheeler, Director of Exhibitions, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA Emerging Museum Professional Shivkumar Desai, Membership and Grants Coordinator, Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA Shannon Roudebush, Membership Associate, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA Sarah Dutton, Marketing Coordinator, Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Ocean Springs, MS Students Manasar Alharethi, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL Riva Cullinan, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL Bailey Lawrence, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC Seasoned Museum Professional Adriane Tafoya, McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN General Museum Professional Austin Bell, Curator of Collections, Marco Island Historical Society, Marco Island, FL
Adriane Tafoya, Senior Collections Manager McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Recipient of a Seasoned Professional Scholarship Thank you SEMC Scholarship Committee for granting me a travel award to attend this year’s conference in beautiful Chattanooga! This was the first professional gathering I attended since the pandemic lockdown and honestly, I was skeptical and hesitant to attend in person. With this year’s hybrid approach, I could have chosen to remain behind a virtual curtain. But I had to be confident in the science of the vaccine as well as have confidence in SEMC keeping safety for all attendees at the forefront. I very much appreciated that I could choose to attend in person or virtual sessions. We all know that the biggest benefit to attending in person is connecting with our colleagues and making new friends. The special events were truly the highlight for me like, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and the Hunter Museum of American Art. Chattanooga truly delighted me with so many artful, cultural, and adventurous experiences and SEMC did a great job offering a dynamic list to choose from. I stayed an extra day to take in more sites. It was a wonderful conference experience. I look forward to Arkansas!
Shivkumar Desai, Membership and Grants Coordinator, Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA Recepient of an Emerging Museum Professional Scholarship I attended my first Annual Meeting for the Southeastern Museums Conference this past October, in Chattanooga, TN. I spoke with some people who also described this as a ‘first’ SEMC meeting for them, even though they had attended in years past, since this was the first hybrid conference for this region’s museum network. With a total attendance of approximately 435 individuals, roughly 65% in-person, the meeting covered a wide range of topics, like communicating history with the general public and building the capacity to engage visitors on climate change; creating and maintaining a donor pipeline for major gifts success; and improving collections storage and collections management. There were 40 on-site sessions and 24 virtual sessions, and four additional live streamed sessions, with many speakers and attendees “Zoom-ing” in from all over the Southeast— a truly hybrid annual meeting. “Amplify, Connect, Transform” aptly composed the theme of the SEMC 2021 Annual Meeting. COVID-19 brought new challenges to an often-intransigent museum field, forcing many organizations to pivot, be flexible, and form collaborations, something that may not have been done
in their organization’s history. This annual meeting provided a timely environment for peers and colleagues to share what they learned in the past 20 months and offered a chance for ideas to flow about what we can and should do in the next 20 months and beyond. The Exhibitor Hall offered a spacious area for attendees to discuss post-session ideas, to enjoy a few beverages and snacks, socialize, and learn about some of the 28 exhibitors present at the meeting. A personal highlight for me, as small as it may be, were the green-, yellow-, and redcolored wristbands that outwardly signaled someone’s personal comfort level for social interactions. The meeting spaces accommodated those who preferred to keep their distance, and mask-wearing added a layer of safety that made all feel safe and welcome. Off-site tours and receptions not only offered a chance for us to see our peers’ workplaces but allowed us to explore some of the host city’s cultural heritage. The Annual Meeting offered eight off-site tours and receptions, a walking tour, and a bike tour. Attendees caught up with old friends and colleagues and made new connections all while sharing skills, brainstorming ideas, and taking advice for future projects. The energy at the Annual Meeting made this first-timer excited not only for future conferences but for the future of SEMC. I received one of ten available scholarships and, as an emerging museum professional (EMP), I am grateful for the backing that allows SEMC to support new-to-the-field workers as they find their path towards a career of success in this industry. I was also pleased to see programming specifically for emerging museum professionals and look forward to seeing more EMP representation at future annual meetings. None of this would have been possible without the hard work and advanced planning done by SEMC leadership, staff, and volunteers. Zinnia and her team rose to the challenge and created a truly-hybrid Annual Meeting, a first for this region and something that we can all learn from regardless of our area of work in museums. I look forward to seeing more great things from SEMC and the stellar museum workers in this region, and hope we all find new ways to amplify, connect, and transform the museum field at large.
SEMC 2021 CHATTANOOGA IN PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF MICHAEL LACHOWSKI AND RICH BORENSTEIN
ANNOUNCING THE SEMC 2022 LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
SEMC is thrilled to announce the 2022 Leadership Institute: Leading for Today’s Challenges, which will be offered as an in-person program run over the course of one week in April 2022. After years of thoughtful planning, curriculum design, and diligent forward movement, developed in partnership with the Association of African American Museums, with additional support from the National Museum of African American History and Culture-Office of Strategic Partnerships, the SEMC Leadership Institute was first offered in fall 2020. Although COVID adjustments necessitated the Institute launch as a virtual program, the experience was powerful and contained a solid curriculum taught by leaders in their fields, that covered six areas: Duke Mansion, Charlotte, North Carolina.
• Reflecting Your Best Self • Building Inclusive Cultures • Strategic Communication and Thinking • Leadership Challenges • Adaptive Leadership • Creating Your Best Self as an Organization The 2022 Leadership Institute will once again focus on developing diverse and inclusive future museum leaders who: • Can identify and build on their existing personal strengths • Assess how to maximize these strengths internally in an organization and externally as part of a community • Identify methods to capitalize on their strengths and their environment to move an institution forward 63
Final cohort, SEMC Leadership Institute 2020.
The program, focused on leadership training for staff of small and mid-sized institutions, will offer peer-topeer learning and reflection in addition to highquality instruction and guidance from the accomplished faculty. With a cohort of no more than 16, the Leadership Institute will offer attendees a reflective, supportive experience and provide directed opportunities to look both inward and outward, develop inclusive leadership skills, and identify everyone’s best self in the process. Who should apply? The 2022 Leadership Institute aims to cultivate a diverse cohort of museum professionals who are at the mid-career level and beyond, looking for a program to develop skills that will assist and empower them to
be inclusive, forward-thinking leaders of departments, organizations, boards as well as encourage purposeful connection and partnerships with the communities their organizations serve. Cost The 2022 Leadership Institute tuition is $1,500 for SEMC and AAAM members and $1,600 for non-members. Application deadline Applications for the 2022 Leadership Institute will be accepted through January 15, 2022. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by early February 2022. Questions? Please reach out to Zinnia Willits, SEMC Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org 64
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application. The faculty from this Institute shared from a place of real-world experience and authenticity.... This Institute injected hope, inspiration, and motivation in a way that was not forced but rooted in deep reflection and commonality of cause. The Institute opened my eyes to the tools and strategies that I could use to navigate the daily challenges of the museum field and leadership, to build a more impactful future, and to become the next, improved version of myself. It also provided me with an opportunity to engage with a group of amazing, like-minded professionals.
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Save the Date for SEMC 2022 OCTOBER 24–26, 2022, NORTHWEST ARKANSAS CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SEMC 2022 PROMOTIONAL VIDEO Mark your calendars for the 2022 SEMC Annual Meeting which will be held at The Embassy Suites and Rogers Convention Center which features 400 guest rooms and 125,000 square feet of flexible meeting space under one roof. There are over 60 restaurants within a mile and a half as well as museums, cultural sites and even a Topgolf within walking distance for extra fun! Rogers (similar in metro population size to Chattanooga, TN or Lexington, KY) is nestled in the middle of Northwest Arkansas (NWA) in the Ozark mountains. NWA is one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S. With over a half million residents and counting, NWA is poised to be one of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas by 2023. The bulk of the region’s population consists of Rogers and its three next-door neighbors, Bentonville, Fayetteville, and Springdale. In yet another unique conference year, all four cities will play host to SEMC2022 events providing attendees an opportunity to visit each location and experience the museums and historic sites that make up its cultural fabric including the famed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville and satellite campus The Momentary, a contemporary art space for visual, performing, and culinary arts. Why the growth? NWA has long been known nationally as home to industry giants Walmart, Tyson Foods, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. Many other Fortune 500 companies that do business with the “Big Three” have offices in the region, including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, 3M, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Hershey, and more than 1,400 other companies. Those fortunate enough to relocate
to Rogers and the region, enjoy a quality of place almost unmatched anywhere in the country. NWA is also home to the University of Arkansas and its nearly 28,000 students. The University conducts cutting edge research in a variety of sectors. What about getting to Rogers? Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) makes getting to Rogers and Northwest Arkansas a breeze. The airport is located 12 miles from the Convention Center. With 25 destinations, XNA now has the most direct flights in the state and more than some metros twice its size. American, Delta, United, Breeze, Allegiant, and Frontier all fly through XNA. Taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, and car rentals are all available at the airport for your convenience as well as group shuttle options. Information forthcoming. Located near the geographic center of the country, Northwest Arkansas can be an easy drive from nearby cities; 2 hours from Tulsa, 3 hours from Kansas City, 3 hours from Little Rock, 3.5 hours from Oklahoma City, 4 hours from Wichita, 5 hours from Dallas, 5 hours from Memphis, and 5 hours from St. Louis. What makes Rogers and NWA different? The Natural State: Wherever you go in Arkansas there are endless outdoor activities and NWA is certainly no exception. The Ozark mountains offer unexpected outdoor excursions few places in the country can rival. You can scuba dive in Beaver Lake, spelunk in War Eagle Cavern, or hop on a mountain bike in a designated IMBA Ride Center. Arrive early, stay late — experience a unique part of the SEMC region in 2022. More details and registration information coming soon!
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas (top) and the Rogers Historical Museum, Rogers, Arkansas.
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A SPECIAL THANKS SEMC Endowment Contributions Many thanks to our endowment contributors (new contributions in bold) for investing in the future of SEMC! When you are thinking of honoring or remembering someone, please consider a contribution to the SEMC endowment. For more information, contact Executive Director Zinnia Willits at 404.814.2048 or zwillits@ semcdirect.net. Alexander Benitez David Butler Matthew Davis Mary LaGue Elise LeCompte Darcie MacMahon R. Andrew Maass Nathan Moehlmann Graig Shaak Robert Sullivan Heather Marie Wells
THE PAST PRESIDENTS CIRCLE Members of the Past Presidents Circle contribute $150 annually for at least two years to the endowment fund:
George Bassi Sharon Bennett David Butler Tom Butler Tamra Sindler Carboni Micheal A. Hudson Douglas Noble Robert Rathburn Graig D. Shaak Robert Sullivan Kristen Miller Zohn
THE WILLIAM T. AND SYLVIA F. ALDERSON ENDOWMENT FELLOWS Thirty members of SEMC have made commitments of distinction as Alderson Fellows. Their investment of at least $1,000 each is a significant leadership gift, reflective of a personal commitment to the professional association that has meant so much to each of them. Platinum Alderson Fellows (minimum $5,000) Sylvia F. Alderson Bob Rathburn Graig D. Shaak Nancy & Robert Sullivan
Zinnia Willits and David Butler, at the Hunter, Chattanooga, SEMC 2021, courtesy of Michael Lachowski
Medallion Alderson Fellows (minimum $2,500) George Bassi Sharon Bennett David Butler Tamra Sindler Carboni William U. Eiland Martha Battle Jackson Pamela Meister Richard Waterhouse Our Current Alderson Fellows (minimum $1,000) T. Patrick Brennan Michael Brothers W. James Burns Matthew Davis Horace Harmon Brian Hicks Pamela Hisey Micheal Hudson Kathleen Hutton Rick Jackson Andrew Ladis John Lancaster Elise LeCompte Allyn Lord Michael Anne Lynn R. Andrew Maass Darcie MacMahon Susan Perry Robin Seage Person Allison Reid Steve Rucker Michael Scott Warren Heather Marie Wells Kristen Miller Zohn 75
Other SEMC Contributions Angie Albright, Martha Battle Jackson JIMI Fund Scott Alvey, General Operating Nicolle Bowling, General Operating David Butler, General Operating Transport Consultants International, 2021 SEMC Intern TimeLooper, SEMC Masks Julie B. Harris, Martha Battle Jackson Jimi Fund Elise LeCompte, Martha Battle Jackson Jimi Fund Elise LeCompte, Leadership Institute Jason Luker, Martha Battle Jackson Jimi Fund Darcie MacMahon, Leadership Institute
Rosalind Martin, Leadership Institute Corinne Midgett, Virtual Programming Mary Miller, Annual Meeting Catherine Pears, Leadership Institute Susan Perry, Leadership Institute Carolyn Reams, La Paglia Fund John Seibold, General Operating Robert Sullivan, General Operating Michael Scott Warren, Annual Meeting Michael Scott Warren, Martha Battle Jackson JIMI Fund Victoria & James Weise, General Operating Heather Marie Wells, Martha Battle Jackson JIMI Fund L. Carole Wharton, Leadership Institute Donna Whitfield, General Operating Zinnia Willits, Leadership Institute John Woods, Annual Meeting
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SEMC Active Memberships SEMC thanks all our active members, including those who have recently joined (in bold). Without your support and participation, we could not provide region-wide services such as our awards, and scholarship programs, as well as our outstanding Annual Meeting and nationally acclaimed Jekyll Island Management Institute. If you are an individual member and your museum is not an institutional member, please encourage them to join. For information on memberships and benefits visit visit semcdirect.net, email Smemberservices@semcdirect.net, or call 404.814.2047. For your convenience, the last page of this newsletter is a membership application.
STUDENT ($25) Bailey Avent, Florence, South Carolina Greg Bell, Marietta, Georgia Blair Banks, Tucker, Georgia Kasey Bonanno, Buford, Georgia Diana Bryson, St. Petersburg, Florida Edith Courtney, Atlanta, Georgia Riva Cullinan, Tuscaloosa, Alabama Kayla Diego, Atlanta, Georgia William Donaldson, Monroe, North Carolina Nathan Fleeson, Lawrenceville, Georgia S Sharon Fox, Wetumpka, Alabama Breanna Gehweiler, Dallas, Georgia Madeline Greene, Powell, Tennessee Alisse Guerra, River Ridge, Louisiana Kelsey Hawkins, Arlington, Tennessee Anna Henderson, Chattanooga, Tennessee Tyler Hendrix, Bonaire, Georgia Kate Hughes, Murfreesboro, Tennessee Melody Hunter-Pillion, Cary, North Carolina Megan Keener, Merritt Island, Florida Aspen Kemmerlin, Atlanta Georgia Saskia Lascarez Casanova, Concord, North Carolina Emily Lobb Hendricksen, Brownsville, Kentucky Aspen Kemmerlin, Atlanta Georgia Saskia Lascarez Casanova, Concord, North Carolina Emily Lobb Hendricksen, Brownsville, Kentucky Michael Lorusso, Miami, Florida Michelle Mandula, Milton, Georgia Ryan Marquez, Bellingham, Massachusetts Alexandria, Mead, Williamsburg, Virginia Julia Mileski, Charlotte, North Carolina Rachel Mohr, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
JoCora Moore, Raleigh, North Carolina Brandy Morales, Douglasville, Georgia Javae Obey, Atlanta, Georgia Samantha Oleschuk, New Hill, North Carolina Sarah Robles, Murfreesboro, Tennessee Mikayla Ross, Dallas, Georgia Laura Sato, Peachtree Corners, Georgia Rachael Scott, Sharpsburg, Georgia Linda Shea, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Danielle Shelton, Chattanooga, Tennessee Margaret Stevenson, New Orleans, Louisiana Trisha Strawn, St Petersburg, Florida Megan Tewell, Johnson City, Tennessee Eileen Tomczuk, New Orleans, Louisiana Lindsey Waldenberg, Raleigh, North Carolina Alyssa Watrous, Rome, Georgia Sarah Webb, Fort Worth, Texas Kiara Wilson, Atlanta, Georgia Lisa Withers, Reidsville, North Carolina
INDIVIDUAL ($45) Benjamin Adamitus, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin Keri Adams, Carrollton, Georgia Krishna Adams, Murfreesboro, Tennessee Jess Alden, Atlanta, Georgia Lucy Allen, Madison, Mississippi Emily Allmond, Macon, Georgia Nancy Allred, Cary, North Carolina Andy Ambrose, Macon, Georgia Katie Anderson, Huntsville, Alabama Lynn Anderson, Beaufort, North Carolina Samantha Arceneaux, Birmingham, Alabama Madeleine Arencibia, Fort Pierce, Florida Emilie Arnold, Dalton, Georgia Kathleen Barnett, Vicksburg, Mississippi Serena Barnett, Rogers, Arkansas Vincent Barraza, New Orleans, Louisiana Emily Beck, Savannah, Georgia Trevor Beemon, Marietta, Georgia Austin Bell, Marco Island, Florida Roann Bishop, Marion, North Carolina W. Bishop, Waleska, Georgia Linda Bitley, Smyrna, Georgia Judith Bonner, New Orleans, Louisiana Kathleen Boyle, Brentwood, Tennessee Amanda Briede, Louisville, Kentucky Margaret Brown, Durham, North Carolina Roger Browning, Roswell, Georgia 81
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Emily Jones, Cleveland, Mississippi Beverly Joyce, Columbus, Mississippi Diane Karlson, Little Rock, Arkansas Rachel Katz, Atlanta, Georgia Martha Katz-Hyman, Newport News, Virginia Audra Kelly, Washington, District of Columbia Marianne Kelsey, Greensboro, North Carolina Kecia Kelso, Montgomery, Alabama Tracy Kennan, New Orleans, Louisiana David Kennedy, Fort Smith, Arkansas Jim Kern, Vallejo, California Valarie Kinkade, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Glenn Klaus, Alexandria, Virginia Meg Koch, Asheville, North Carolina Jill Koverman, Columbia, South Carolina Lauren Kraut, Gainesville, Virginia Lindsey Lambert, Randleman, North Carolina Anne Lampe, Baltimore, Maryland John Lancaster, Pulaski, Tennessee Maureen Lane, Louisville, Kentucky Karol Lawson, Lynchburg, Virginia
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(Category 2: $150 ) Adsmore Museum, Princeton, Kentucky A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery, Fort Pierce, Florida African American Military History Museum, Hattiesburg, Mississippi Aiken County Historical Museum, Aiken, South Carolina Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Tuscumbia, Alabama Aldie Mill & Mt. Zion Historic Parks, Aldie, Virginia Andrew Low House Museum, Savannah, Georgia Appalachian State University Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Boone, North Carolina Art Museum of the University of Memphis (AMUM), Memphis, Tennessee Bartow History Museum, Cartersville, Georgia Beaches Museum, Jacksonville Beach, Florida Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum, Seneca, South Carolina Blue Ridge Institute & Museum, Ferrum, Virginia Calhoun County Museum, St. Matthews, South Carolina Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, Winter Park, Florida Charlotte Museum of History, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage, Ridgeland, South Carolina Mosaic Templars Cultural, Little Rock, Arkansas Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind, Louisville, Kentucky Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia NC African American Heritage Commission, Raleigh, North Carolina Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center, Opelousas, Louisiana Parris Island Historical Museum Society, Parris Island, South Carolina Paul W. Bryant Museum, Tuscaloosa, Alabama Pinellas County Historical Society/Heritage Village, Largo, Florida President James K. Polk State Historic Site/NC Dept of Natural & Cultural Resources, Pineville, North Carolina Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, Atlanta, Georgia SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, Atlanta, Georgia
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state news Board of Directors President Greg Young says, “As Acting Administrator, Kaitlyn has been working with the Board, the Advisory Council and the staff to continue the important work of preserving our history and telling the stories that inform and enrich us. As Executive Director, Kaitlyn will strive to enhance our financial sustainability, build strong community partnerships, and provide the quality programming that is essential to better understanding our world, past and present.” Hof-Mahoney’s vision for the Matheson is a three-part approach that focuses on Friends, Funds, and Facilities. She states that, “these three pillars will create a solid and sustainable foundation for the Matheson to carry out our mission and continue to serve Gainesville and Alachua County.”
GEORGIA Kaitlyn Hof-Mahoney
FLORIDA The Board of Directors of the Matheson History Museum is pleased to announce the hiring of Kaitlyn Hof-Mahoney as the museum’s new executive director. Hof-Mahoney previously served as a volunteer, curator of collections, and acting administrator. “In my role as Curator of Collections my favorite part has been learning something new almost every day in speaking with our visitors, attending our programs, facilitating research appointments, meeting with community partners, and conducting exhibition research. As Executive Director, I look forward to continuing to build relationships with the Alachua County community.” Hof-Mahoney takes over the 27-year-old institution after serving as the acting administrator for seven months. A graduate of Auburn University and the University of Florida, Hof-Mahoney began volunteering at the Matheson in the fall of 2015 and was hired as the full-time curator of collections in January 2018.
Georgia College celebrated two new state-of-theart construction projects—one just breaking ground and the other finishing up— on Wednesday, Sept. 29. A groundbreaking ceremony was held for Georgia College’s new $3.4 million Andalusia Interpretive Center at 2628 N. Columbia Street in Milledgeville. Shovels of dirt were turned to commemorate the start of construction for Andalusia’s new Interpretive Center. The 4,860 sq. ft. building is designed to blend in with the historic architectural aesthetics of the site. Alumna and author Flannery O’Connor spent her last years at the Andalusia farmhouse, composing many of her short stories, articles and letters. The center will be used as a point-of-entry for public tours at Andalusia. There will be an exhibition room, research area, gift shop, offices and rental facilities. Outside, there will be a story-telling courtyard and walkway connecting to the rest of the property. “I’m excited about the opportunities this new center will bring,” said Matt Davis, director of historic museums. “From a state-of-the-art exhibition and collection 104
Groundbreaking ceremony for Georgia College’s Andalusia Interpretive Center, in Milledgeville, Georgia.
storage facility to research rooms and event spaces, this facility will allow us to better meet our mission and tell a more complete story about the history of Andalusia, Flannery O’Connor, her writing, family and life on the farm.” 105
LOUISIANA The Hilliard Art Museum at the University of Louisiana Lafayette is pleased to announce the following new staff appointments: Kristen Binning, events coordinator, graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management. As her work involved marketing more and more, she completed a Digital Marketing Certification from Georgetown University in 2015. She then established and cultivated an effective presence on social media sites and wrote original content updates websites as well as serving as on-site manager for several companies. After 5 years of concentrating on marketing, she expanded to begin working with brands on areas of intersection between sales, marketing, and education. She found her niche when she started executing specialized classes and events. The combination of developing technical curriculum, administrative, financial, and logistical aspects required to execute events along with the creative aspect of turning these into sell-out shows was the challenge she had been looking for. Her passion is being part of big occasions in people’s lives and carrying out events with the purpose of promoting arts appreciation and education.
Christina Lake, development manager, joined the Hilliard Art Museum as the Development Manager in 2021. She has been involved in education advocacy, museums, and nonprofits in Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico for over ten years. She is dedicated to cultural outreach through community engagement, creating connections with current students, alumni, friends, and patrons of the Museum. She has a background in higher education administration and external relations, acting as a recruiter and liaison to Louisiana business and industry as a champion for educational programs fostering economic development across the state. Lake remains active in several communities, having served with the board for the Natchitoches Historic Foundation, the Western Historical Association, and the Friends of the Capitol Park Museum. Her work in protecting the state’s cultural resources has included acting as a preservation consultant and contributor for National Register for Historic Places district nominations, local historic district design guidelines, and state and federal historic tax credit applications. Lake received her bachelors and master’s degrees at Northwestern State University and is a doctoral candidate in History at Texas A&M University. Her research specializes in the American Southwest, indigenous history, and tourism with a focus on the cultural and architectural preservation in the Southwest through the lens of the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railroad.
of transformation. They discussed objects they felt reflected things happening within themselves and society in the past few years. This exercise led to the creation of this sculpture which will be eroded over time by the distillation system of La Charada China (Tobacco Version). Candice Lin is also a Prospect.5 artist and has work on view at The University of New Orleans St. Claude Gallery.
Bethany LeJeune, preparator, graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s College of the Arts with a concentration in painting in 2019 and is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Aside from being the Preparator at the Hilliard Art Museum, Bethany is the curator at Basin Art’s gallery and is a resident artist in their studio space. Her artistic practice explores her personal experiences in relation to femininity and consists of a wide range of mediums including writing, drawing, sculptural works, video, and installation. The LSU Museum of Art in Baton Rouge, LA has an exhibition titled Candice Lin: The Agnotology of Tigers on view October 22, 2021 to March 20, 2022. This exhibition is a collaboration between the LSU College of Art & Design, the LSU School of Art, and the LSU Museum of Art. In one gallery features the installation by Candice Lin titled La Charada China (Tobacco Version) and in our portrait gallery contains a porcelain sculpture that was created on site at LSU Museum of Art with LSU School of Art students Kyra Jackson, Matt Jones, Nickeyia Johnson, Cecelia Moseley, Gillian Harper, Lu Colby, Paul Acevedo Gomez, Thras Kalaitzidis, and Ali Saunders during Candice Lin’s visiting artist workshop. During the workshop with Candice Lin, students recalled an object broken in childhood that they had certain attachments to and an object that represented a time or moment
Candice Lin: The Agnotology of Tigers features recent works based on archival images from LSU alongside a new configuration of Lin’s tobacco version of La Charada China. Central to Lin’s project, La Charada China features a stereotypical “coolie” figure made of pressed tobacco leaves alongside other plants and materials entangled in the indentured Chinese labor trade. The installation derives from a syncretic, divination-type gambling game practiced in the Caribbean primarily by Chinese laborers. In Lin’s hands, she speculates that this game could have functioned within the community as a way to redistribute wealth. A distillation system drips a tincture of tobacco, tea, sugar, and poppy onto an unfired porcelain sculpture. This tincture of valuable colonial commodities speaks to the intertwined histories of plants and humans both within plantation economies and herbal medicine. As it drips, it erodes the unfired porcelain—metaphorically dismantling the presumed associations of whiteness with purity, superiority, and hardness. In this exhibition, Lin worked with students at LSU to create the porcelain sculpture that will later be destroyed in the liquid process. Lin’s installation illuminates sublimated histories of social violence and a politics of forgetting that obscures the history of indentured Chinese labor and its dehumanizing effects still manifest in global policies and lingering stereotypes. Lin’s most recent works explore how these processes intersect with LSU football’s “Chinesebandits” and cheerleaders who dressed as “coolie” laborers. This exhibition is a collaboration between the LSU College of Art & Design, the LSU School of Art, and the LSU Museum of Art. Support is provided by The Winifred and Kevin P. Reilly Jr. Fund and generous donors to the LSU Museum of Art Annual Exhibition Fund. Candice Lin works primarily in sculpture and installation.
The work of Candice Lin at the LSU Museum of Art.
Born in Concord, MA, Lin now lives and works in Los Angeles where she serves as Assistant Professor of Art at UCLA. Lin is also a Prospect.5 artist: work featured as part of Prospect.5 will further explore her research into Louisiana’s history of indentured Chinese labor.
Her work weaves together forms from the canon of Western art along with the visual languages and traditions of Native people. In doing so, her work spotlights Native women, whose strength and fortitude over centuries have helped their peoples’ languages and cultures to survive.
On view in Hear Her, White Hawk’s video installation Listen presents a series of Native women speaking the language of their people. Each film takes place on the land of each participant’s nation, and viewers hear the respective languages without translation. As such, White Hawk puts a focus not only on the resonance of each speaker, but she also reveals society’s collective ignorance of the people, culture, and language of those native to the land on which we live.
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC is pleased to present the exhibition Dyani White Hawk: Hear Her. Dyani White Hawk (Sičáŋǧu Lakota) is a visual artist and independent curator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work illuminates society’s consistent ignorance of Native people. With her video, photography, and works in other media, she aims to use the language of visual art to bring light to the deep chasm between our understanding of history and the truth.
White Hawk’s photography installation I Am Your Relative confronts the gross stereotypes and distorted 108
caricatures that dehumanize and commodify Native women. The exhibition serves as a true locus for the convergence of multiple Humanities including the visual arts, language, human geography, and history, all working in sync to give visibility to the invisible and fill a vital gap in our collective knowledge. This project is sponsored in part by South Carolina Humanities, a not-for-profit organization; inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage. An educational program inspired by this artist and exhibition with a local middle school is funded in part by a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission Arts Education Project. Dyani White Hawk: Hear Her is on view from January 14 to February 26, 2022. Find out more about the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and this exhibition at halsey.cofc.edu
McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina is excited to present a new exhibition showcasing southern self-taught artists. The Artists Inside Outsider Art draws from the Museum’s permanent collection of artworks that are often referred to as “Folk Art,” “Outsider Art,” or “Self-Taught Art.” The collection, some of which will be on display for the first time, dates between the 1940s and the 1990s and includes well-known southern artists like Thornton Dial, Minnie Evans, and R. A. Miller. Primarily self-taught, these “outsider” artists often use bright colors and found or recycled materials like wood, clay, and metal. Outsider art can have many definitions, but most agree that it includes forms of creative expression that exist outside accepted cultural norms or the realm of “fine art”. The exhibition dives into some of the challenges in using different descriptors but eschews much of controversy surrounding the collecting and selling of “outsider art” or “self-taught art”. Rather than perpetuating
I Am Your Relative, 2020. Dyani White Hawk in collaboration with photographer Tom Jones, I Am Your Relative (detail), 2020, photo-sculpture © Dyani White Hawk, Courtesy of the artist and Bockley Gallery, Minneapolis.
For Faculty Curator Dr. Lana Burgess, this exhibition is personal. “When I began my curatorial career in Alabama, I had the opportunity to meet some of the artists exhibited here. Talking to and working with them, I learned how many of them created art without a specific audience in mind, but for themselves. I invite visitors to come and celebrate the ingenuity of the men and women who literally took materials readily available and combined them with personal inspiration to make expressive southern contemporary art.” Rope Tiger by Thornton Dial 1989 Mixed Media at the McKissick.
stereotypes that these artists somehow belong outside of the art world, The Artists Inside Outsider Art is an attempt to reconcile that marginalization by acknowledging that these artists have their own agency, and through their agency, they have made art that reflects their cultural experiences.
The Artists Inside Outsider Art will be on view from November 8, 2021 through March 5, 2022.
TENNESSEE Discovery Park of America, in Union City, Tennessee, is exhibiting The Fascinating World of Murray Hudson’s Globes and Maps, Dec. 2, 2021 to March 1, 2022,
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sponsored by Conley and Conley Attorneys at Law. Hudson is a former English professor, stockbroker and farmer originally from Dyersburg, Tenn., who owns the largest private collection of for-sale antiquarian maps, globes, books and prints in the world. The spark of inspiration for his collection came from visiting an antique map shop on High Street in London while taking a summer course at Oxford University in 1964. His collection today includes more than 17,000 maps and more than 700 globes of various ages, sizes and designs. Many can be found in his shop, Murray Hudson – Antique Maps, Globes, Books & Prints, in the former Halls, Tenn., Post Office at 109 Church Street, where he also sells vintage sheet music and antique posters. “Because ‘discovery’ is even in the name, I’ve always thought Discovery Park would be the perfect place for an exhibit of some of my collection,” said Hudson. The team at Discovery Park that undertook the task of
creating an exhibit from Hudson’s collection found it challenging to narrow down the items that will appear in the exhibit. “Each time we visited Halls and explored this collection with Murray, we likened the experience to stepping into Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School or a magical wizard’s lair,” said Jennifer Wildes, the museum’s senior director of exhibits and collections. “There was so much there we wanted to share with our guests, but only so much room. We selected the items that we thought were the most interesting and that tell the story of the physical history of the world as we knew it, starting as early as the 1500s.” One extremely rare item that will be on display when the exhibit opens on Dec. 2 is the very first edition of the first atlas of America, printed in 1795, which houses 21 maps. Another early map features Rome as it existed in 1595 and includes hand-written notes made by Abraham Ortelius, the father of modern cartography, the practice of drawing maps.
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Murry Hudson is a former English professor, stockbroker and farmer who has amassed the largest private collection of for-sale antiquarian maps, globes, books and prints in the world. Some of his collection will be on display at Discovery Park of American in Union City, Tenn., Dec. 2, 2021 – March 1, 2022.
Those exploring the exhibit will also get to see rare globes that range from the two-and-a-half-foot wide diplomat’s globe from 1918 that focuses on political geography to one of the smaller curiosities in his collection, an 1840s boxed globe from Germany that shows Texas as an independent republic, just before it was annexed by the United States.
One globe that will be on display has personal significance for Hudson. Painted on a gourd, it includes a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” Hudson’s late wife, Bonnie Hudson, was a great-granddaughter of L. Frank Baum, author of the famous children’s book series that was later adapted for the classic 1939 film. When asked if the collection will include any treasure maps, Hudson replies that in his collection, “the globes and maps are the treasure.” For more information about Discovery Park of America, visit www.discoveryparkofamerica.com.
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