Minden Press-Herald

Saturday
Sep 20th

Exhibit sets up at Dorcheat

Becoming Louisiana: Path to Statehood, a traveling exhibition commemorating 200 years of Louisiana statehood, is at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum on Pearl Street.

According to museum director Schelley Brown Francis, the exhibit is set up and will be available for viewing until June 30.

Presented by the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission, the exhibition will be featured in Louisiana museums and libraries through April 2013.

Becoming Louisiana: Path to Statehood is the result of collaboration between exhibition curator, Herman Mhire, graphic designer, Kate Ferry and historian, Charles Elliott.

The exhibition documents the roles Louisiana's unique geography and cultural history played on its path to becoming the 18th state of the Union, and consists of a series of 10 fabric panels displaying images and text that tell the story of early Louisiana history.

Utilizing Charles Elliott's historical text as a guide, Mhire researched the collections of the Louisiana State Museum and

The Historic New Orleans Collection for relevant historical paintings, engravings, documents and maps. He and graphic designer Kate Ferry subsequently collaborated on the design of the panels, integrating images and typography into a rich tapestry illustrating early Louisiana history.

Exhibition themes include: "The Path to Statehood," "The Geography of Power," "From Chiefdoms to Colony," "Empowering a French Creole Colony," "Evolving French Creole Louisiana," "New Powers, Old Purposes," "Expanding a Spanish Colony," "A Creole Colony Purchased," and "Challenges on the Path to Statehood."

Herman Mhire is a Distinguished Professor of Visual Arts in the College of the Arts, University of Louisiana, Lafayette and former Director/Chief Curator of the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, where he organized more than 200 exhibitions presented in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

In 2004 the Minister of Culture of France named Herman Mhire a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Kate Ferry has produced award-winning art direction in print design, television, animation, and illustration for local, regional and national advertising campaigns for more than 25 years.

Her clients include state and local tourism, political campaigns, construction, healthcare and the restaurant/hospitality industry, state and local libraries, arts organizations and non-profits.

Charles N. Elliott teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Louisiana and American History at Southeastern Louisiana University.

He received the 1997 William Coker Award in Gulf South History for "Bienville's English Turn Incident: Anecdotes Influencing History" and the 2012 Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Award for Individual Achievement in the Humanities.

"Becoming Louisiana: Path to Statehood" is accompanied by a collectible, fine art commemorative poster, measuring 27 inches by 39 inches, featuring an image of an 18 star American flag, ca. 1812, made by residents of Hope Plantation to fly over the Arsenal in Baton Rouge, from the collection of the Louisiana State Museum.

The poster is available for sale on the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission website, Louisianabicentennial2012.com.

The Louisiana Bicentennial Commission was created to mark the 200th anniversary of Louisiana's attainment of statehood as the 18th state in the Union.

Through both education and celebration, the Commission's goal is to commemorate the Louisiana Bicentennial in every corner of the state.

These activities include projects to be undertaken by the state seeking to harmonize and balance the important goals of ceremony and celebration with the equally important goals of scholarship and education.

For more information, contact Schelley Brown Francis at 377-3002 or visit www.museuminminden.blogspot.com to sign up for the museum email blast. Also find the museum on Facebook.

Museum hours: closed on Monday; Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. (closed from 1 until 2 p.m. for lunch); Saturday, 10 a.m. until noon.

Museum admission is free. It is also available for special tours and rental by appointment.

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