January 15, 2003

Exhibit examines the history of South Georgia

The public is invited to a reception to view the newly revised "Folklife of the Georgia Wiregrass" exhibit, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, from 7-8:30 p.m., in the Valdosta State University's Fine Arts Building.

The folklife exhibit, which will remain on display until Jan. 24, interprets the traditional culture of South Georgia that was historically known as Wiregrass Georgia, as it examines farming, religion and community art and life.

This traveling exhibit uses photographs and text to highlight local customs past and present, such as turpentining, syrup making, tobacco auctions, quilting, gospel music and singing conventions, fiddling, community celebrations, hunting and fishing.

"The Folklife of the Georgia Wiregrass" is intended to foster increased awareness and appreciation for the traditions that give South Georgia its unique sense of place and identity," said Laurie Sommers, Ph.D., director of the South Georgia Folklife Project. "This includes traditions of newer cultural communities such as Hispanics and Asians, as well as long-established European Americans and African-American communities."

Sommers said that one goal of the exhibit is to serve as a catalyst for educators interested in engaging their students in writing about community culture and history.

The exhibit will open in Homerville, Ga. on Feb. 9, with additional shows planned for Cairo, Quitman and Tifton. For more information and schedule of exhibit dates and locations, contact Sommers at 229-293-6310.

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