"Leaves, Roots, Bark, and Fruit: Ethnobotany and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians"
University of South Alabama Marx Library
Third Floor Gallery
October 1 - December 11, 2014
The University of South Alabama Marx Library is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit: Leaves, Roots, Bark, and Fruit: Ethnobotany and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. It is on display on the third floor of the Library from October 1 – December 11, 2014. This unique exhibit highlights the relationship between plants and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. When the ancestors of the Poarch Creeks migrated from the Montgomery/Wetumpka area into southwest Alabama in the late 1790s, they brought with them many generations of traditional plant utilization, some of which remains in use today. This exhibit is an extension of the ongoing ethnobotantical research (study of the relationship between plants and a particular culture) conducted by Poarch Creek Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) Robert G. Thrower.
Dr. Philip Carr, Professor of Anthropology and Chief Calvin McGhee Endowed Professor of Native American Studies at USA, and THPO Robert Thrower conceived this exhibit as a multidisciplinary introduction to the traditional roles that plants have played among the Poarch Creeks and their ancestors. The display features some of the plants of traditional use for utility, culinary, medicinal, and ceremonial purposes. Also showcased are portraits and biographies of tribal members, past and present, who maintained and passed on their extensive knowledge of traditional Creek plant usage. A variety of traditional utilitarian and art pieces utilizing ethnobotantical resources are featured throughout the exhibition.
It is the hope of the Poarch Creeks Honorable Tribal Chair Stephanie Bryan, the Poarch Creek Tribal Council, Dr. Philip Carr, and THPO Robert Thrower that this exhibit will spark a renewed interest in the research and continuation of this valuable traditional knowledge. Through the newly formed Native American Studies Program at USA, and in partnership with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, this exhibit is one example of the educational opportunities that will be offered in the future.
"Permanent Collection Exhibit"
The USA Library has worked diligently over the years to promote the
University and Mobile arts. The galleries at the Library feature more
than 10 shows a year and serve as venues to support and cultivate
local art. Currently displayed in the Mary Elizabeth and Charles
Bernard Rodning Gallery of Art, located on the third floor of the USA
Library, is an exhibit showcasing the Library’s permanent art
collection. This show provides a unique chance to view pieces that are
often not available to the public. The exhibit is on display through
July 2013 and is free and open to the public during Library hours.
Most of the pieces in the show have been donated to the Library from
prominent local artists. The pieces in the permanent collection are
placed throughout the Library in public service areas, offices and
various departments. Debby Sneed, a local abstract artist, recently
donated one of her paintings, “Sahara,” after showcasing her work in
the Rodning Gallery. Several of Michael Thomas Gillies nature
paintings are displayed in the exhibit, while his works normally
reside in the Circulation Department. Mary Rodning, for whom the
Rodning Gallery of art is named, also has a piece in the show.
The Library seeks to enhance the student experience by providing a
comfortable and approachable place to research and learn. The art
serves as a mechanism to enhance the academic environment by promoting
creativity and providing a visual learning opportunity. The University
Library is home to many gifts of art, including an original Rembrandt
etching donated to the University of South Alabama by the Class of
1963. Works have also been donated by local and regional artists,
including Linda Hall Tenhunfeld, Konstantyn Sylin, Susan Hales, Josh
Ashley, Michael Mastro, Martin Battilana, Russell Goodloe, among
University of South Alabama - Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002 (251) 460-6101
Date last changed: November 13, 2014
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