‘Treasures of the Reece’ to start Reece Museum Grand Reopening event

An image from 'IndiVisible' exhibit

JOHNSON CITY (Sept. 27, 2013) – “Treasures of the Reece 2013: Artifacts from the New World,” a behind-the-scenes exhibit preview and fundraiser, will kick off the Grand Reopening festivities for the Reece Museum at East Tennessee State University on Friday, Nov. 8, from 6-9 p.m. 

The Grand Reopening, which will be held Nov. 8-13, will also include a “Community Day at the Reece” with art demonstrations, storytelling and music on Nov. 9; a reception and unveiling of the museum’s annual Poinsettia Tree in the Burgin Dossett Hall administration building on Nov. 12; and a discussion on Melungeon identity in Southern Appalachia by author and public radio commentator Wayne Winkler.

During “Treasures of the Reece,” husband-and-wife Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian community curators Thunder Williams and Penny Gamble-Williams will present an exclusive preview of the exhibition, “IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas.”

Gamble-Williams, whose paternal lineage is African American and Alabama Creek and maternal lineage is African American and Chappaquiddick/Wampanoag, is a visual storyteller and cultural presenter.  Her husband, of Carib Indian, African and European descent, emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago to the United States when he was 5 years old.  Both are active in the African American, Native American and Afro-Caribbean communities.  For the past decade, they have hosted “The Talking Feather Radio Show” on Radio One WOL 1450 AM in Washington, D.C.

The evening will also include a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the Reece Museum’s collections with Alan C. Longmire.

A native of Tennessee, Longmire is an archaeologist for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, covering the 24-county Region One.  His first archaeological experience came in 1986 when, as a high school student, he volunteered for a field school at a house site near Knoxville that dated to around 1792.  In 1996, he received his master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, specializing in historic archaeology. 

During the Nov. 8 event, Longmire will showcase important artifacts found locally, such as stone implements from as long ago as 10,000 years and pieces of stamped pottery.  Visitors will also have the opportunity to view the Reece Museum’s selection of Pueblo pottery, fertility votives from Syria, Bird points from Japan and Egypt, and other collections.

Music for the evening will be provided by Daniel Bigay, a member of the Echota Cherokee tribe.  The artist, flute-maker and performer/recording artist has been creating traditional and contemporary Native American art and music for over 25 years.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be provided by local restaurants, including Bonefish Grill, Hokie Smokie, Ruby Tuesday, and Main Street Café and Catering. 

The evening is sponsored, in part, by the support of Caroline Dunbar of Jonesborough. 

Limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Tickets are $50 for individuals and $90 for couples and may be ordered by Oct. 30 by calling (423) 439-4392 or emailing .

For more information, use the same contact information or visit the Reece Museum at www.etsu.edu/cass/reece/default.aspx or https://www.facebook.com/#!/reecemuseum.   For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346 by Monday, Nov. 4; accommodation requests after this date cannot be guaranteed.

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