In the News: The Smithsonian comes to Hartwell

By Drew Dotson

The Hartwell Sun

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

smith logo   A glimpse into history that is usually reserved for the Smithsonian Museums in Washington D.C. has arrived in downtown Hartwell. Four unique poster exhibits are on display this month at the Hartwell Art Center.
The exhibits were provided to Hartwell Main Street  Program by the Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibition.

The program offers exhibitions to museums, libraries, science centers, historical societies, community centers, botanical gardens, schools and other institutions across the country. The program provides printable posters for the communities to display for educational purposes for free.

“Oftentimes in communities across the country we don’t have the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. to see the Smithsonian, so they work to bring the Smithsonian to communities,” Hartwell Main Street director Jason Ford said.

There are currently four poster exhibits at the art center, each with about eight posters. The Choosing to Participate exhibit  encourages people to participate in the government and shows how they can get involved. Destination Moon tells the story of the Apollo 11 mission and has photos of the moon landing. Righting a Wrong is about the incarceration of Japanese people and Japanese-Americans during World War II. World War I: Lessons and Legacies examines the way the war led to changes in America’s culture, technology, economy and role in the world.

The exhibits are currently at the Art Center and will be there until Feb. 1. The exhibits are free and open to public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.   

More exhibits are available through the SITES program and Ford is hoping to add more in the future if there is good feedback from the community. He is also hopeful that the school system will make use of the exhibit and that it can become an attraction in downtown for residents of Hartwell and Hart County.

“I like the idea of the educational component, the history component, and just having something a little bit different in our downtown to give people the opportunity to come into town, see a little bit of the art, see a little bit of the posters,  get a little bit of dinner, get a little bit of shopping and you can make a day of it,” Ford said.

There will be an opening reception for the exhibit from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6, at The Art Center is at 338 E. Howell St. in downtown Hartwell.