Art exhibition presents Georgia History up close
By JESSICA LUTON email@example.com
Visitors to Saturday’s opening reception for the ATHICA and Georgia Virtual History Project exhibit “Seen/Unseen” were treated to a display of digital local history projects by UGA and Athens Academy students, as well as artworks and archival pieces by local artists and residents.
Many of the pieces were of particular importance to the documentation of the local Athens community’s oft-overlooked enslaved African Americans and African American history in Athens.
Co-curated by Hope Hilton of ATHICA and Franklin College department of history instructor and director of the Georgia Virtual History Project Christopher Lawton, the exhibit was an example of local history from a collaborative perspective—with historians, teachers, students, artists and citizens contributing to the collective historical documentation.
At the reception, guests were treated to opening remarks from the curators, as well as some oral history storytelling from artists about the items that were on display.
The Georgia Virtual History Project gets students and the collective citizenry involved in the constructing the historical landscape and provides access to everyone with access to the Internet.
Beyond being a simple website project, the GVHP will also feature a mobile app. Imagine standing in front of a building, with an iPad or iPhone, and learning about the history of that place with digital media, audio, video, written word and photographs, all contributed by students, historians and citizens alike.
The GVHP is an effort to use new and interactive technologies to record the history of the state of Georgia and make it available to multiple audiences, from eighth-graders and the general public to college students and academic professionals.
In its first stage, GVHP was built around original research and data collected and analyzed by faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students in multiple departments at the University of Georgia and by advanced high school students at Athens Academy. It has field tested local Athens components of the project with K-12 students both at Athens Academy and in the Clarke County School District. In fall 2013, it will expand to begin incorporating additional content developed by students and faculty at both Georgia State University and Columbus State University.
GVHP’s goal is to spread this model out across the state, ultimately creating a system whereby students in countless communities can help build their own virtual records of their local past.
The Georgia Virtual History Project will have not only a permanent website, but also a dedicated mobile app that will allow participants to access mini-documentaries, historical resources, and tourism-related information using image-recognition software at multiple locations across the state. As a prototype of this model, GVHP is currently building streaming content for another eHistory initiative, “From Civil War to Civil Rights in Georgia.”
This weekend’s opening reception was just one of over 60 events going on now in conjunction with the “Spotlight on the Arts Festival.” Luckily, if you missed this one, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the wealth of arts in the UGA and Athens community.
Images: Pictures on display of Georgia Illustrated at Saturday’s exhibit opening reception and a view of the crowd by Jessica Luton