Columbiana hosts Alabama Bicentennial traveling exhibit

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer 

COLUMBIANA – The Alabama 200 Bicentennial Exhibit’s 12-day stint in Columbiana wrapped up Aug. 28 with a special music performance.

Bruce Andrews, executive director of the city’s exhibit host, the Shelby County Arts Council, joined his 2Blu and the Lucky Stiffs band member George Dudley in leading an audience through an interactive blues music history lesson at the Shelby County Exhibition Center.

“Thank you for coming to the exhibit, and thanks for coming to the performance,” Andrews said. “The arts are more than entertainment. Let’s have more imagination, creation and inspiration.”

Created by the Alabama Humanities Foundation, the Making Alabama traveling exhibit is logging stops in each of the state’s 67 counties before the grand finale Dec. 14 in Montgomery, which will conclude the three-year bicentennial anniversary commemoration.

Visitors look at one of the kiosks in the Making Alabama, A Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit at the Shelby County Exhibition Center in Columbiana. (Reporter Photo/Keith McCoy)

The traveling exhibit consists of panels detailing different periods of history in Alabama with artistic collages and accompanying text, along with computer tablets stationed at kiosks.

Local visitors were provided with a program to read as they took a self-guided tour of the exhibit.

“Through study of the past, we have a better understanding of how we arrived at this moment in time,” the program’s introduction read in part.

Shelby County points of interest listed in the program included the Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington, Alabama Wildlife Center, Old Town Helena, The American Village, Aldrich Coal Mine Museum, Ebenezer Swamp and Wetlands, Shelby Iron Works, Shelby County Arts Council, Shelby County Museum and Archives, Old Baker Farm, the University of Montevallo, Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum and the Alabama National Cemetery.

The Shelby County exhibit was sponsored by the AHF, DeLoach, Barber and Caspers P.C. and Shelby County Tourism.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Shelby County Museum and Archives is displaying in its gallery the photography of John Reese, whose photographs are a visual history of the state’s people and places.

For a full statewide tour schedule, visit MakingAlabama.org.

To learn more about events surrounding Alabama’s 200th anniversary, visit Alabama200.org.