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published: Friday, December 07, 2012
exhibit arrives in Sebring
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- Post Colombian American history is the story of movement, as new arrivals spread throughout the continent. Some explored for adventure or riches, others sought to escape urban life in the expanding towns and cities. Some simply wanted land of their own.
Whatever the reasons, one cannot understand American culture and progress without taking this wanderlust into account, especially as the succeeding waves of migration often triggered historical events.
Appropriately, a traveling exhibit created by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. arrived at the Museum of the Arts behind the Sebring library this week to explain this peripatetic past.
Sebring is one of only six cities chosen to host the exhibit, called "Journey Stories." The tour made possible by the Florida Humanities.
The exhibit is comprised of six standing units, which arrived disassembled in 14 wheeled crates.
Wednesday, MOTA's director Susan James and three volunteers -- Patty Palmer, Eric Dwinell and Suzanne Wright -- worked to put the units together.
"It's like a NASA project," said Wright, as she carried a panel across the room.
Every individual piece is numbered. A booklet outlines every step to be taken. As the crew worked the conversation went like this:
"That's supposed to be a square, this is a triangle."
"Know what? This is too high. Do you see section 3?"
"We're missing a panel. Now we need 3.5."
"Watch this one, it has barbed wire on it. Oh. It's soft barbed wire."
Dwinell, on loan form Palmer Electric, grunted as he lifted a panel from it's travel crate. "I'm definitely getting a workout," he said grinning. "The bottom panels are much heavier than the tops."
Palmer paused, balancing two panels as the metal holding pins were pushed into place. "We're so excited about this," she said. "Good things do happen in Highlands County."
James nodded in agreement, "You've just got to come and see it," she said. "Sign our visitor's book; the tour takes 45 minutes to an hour."
An opening reception is planned from 5-7 p.m. this evening, just before the Christmas Parade, with guest speakers and refreshments. Like the exhibit, it is open to the public and free of charge. James urges people to stop by on their way to the parade.
She is still looking for volunteer docents (guides) to serve two hour shifts. Call 385-5312 to volunteer or ask questions.
Exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There is no entrance fee.
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