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look at the history of food in America, the South

25 February 2009 482 views No Comment

DAHLONEGA – The Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit, Key Ingredients: America By Food, will open at North Georgia College & State University on Feb. 28 and explore the connections between Americans and the foods they produce, prepare, preserve, and present at the table. Key Ingredients is a provocative and thoughtful look at the historical, regional and social traditions that merge in everyday meals and celebrations. In 2008, it traveled to more than 150 locations nationwide.

The exhibit will open with a public ribbon cutting ceremony and reception at the university’s Library Technology Center at noon on Feb. 28 and will run through April 11.

More than 100 local residents, along with university students and faculty, have organized companion events — 18 total to include lectures, cooking demonstrations and local art exhibits — to augment the national exhibit and showcase Georgia’s food traditions and culture.

North Georgia students from a senior-level art class will be honorary curators for the main exhibit and have been entrusted with unpacking crates and assembling displays.

Two interactive experiences will be co-located with Key Ingredients at the Library Technology Center during the six-week exhibit.

The first is an interactive oral history exhibit by award-winning documentarian and oral historian, Heavenly Littleton, who has collected stories from local residents about favorite family food traditions and growing up in Lumpkin County. The exhibit, accompanied by photography from Bard Wrisley, captures the local character of Southern Appalachia, allowing visitors to hear the histories and then record their own stories.

The second is the Kid’s Corner, a creation by students in North Georgia’s School of Education, designed to engage elementary-age children. Three distinct experiences include a set of “felt food” that students will place on felt-board food pyramids to learn about the food groups, a paper and cardboard kitchen set to teach about food preparation and etiquette, and a recipe-sharing space that allows students to display their own recipes in the library.

Local artists will also contribute their work to celebrate America’s rich food culture. Among them are North Georgia mixed media artist Jim Fambrough and alumna June Koehler, who will display more than 20 art pieces. In addition, the library will showcase tea set collections and cookbooks and offer visitors the chance to archive their own family food traditions in a permanent card catalog collection.

The Key Ingredients traveling Smithsonian exhibit is in partnership with the Georgia Humanities Council and the Georgia Appalachian Studies Center. To learn more about the exhibit and the regional events in conjunction with Key Ingredients, visit the Georgia Appalachian Studies Center Web site at http://www.ngcsu.edu/asc or call 706-864-1540.

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