The Funk Heritage Center opened a new temporary exhibit this month, with all of the research and work being carried out by Reinhardt University students.
The exhibit, “Spirits on Pine Log Mountain: An Appalachian Community” is the first large-scale student-curated exhibit at the museum, Director Jeff Bishop said. Bishop said the initial idea for this exhibit came from Dr. Donna Little, who had been conducting research into the subject and thought it would be a good idea for a museum exhibit. Although the idea had originally been Little’s, and that she had done some early research into the topic, Bishop said all of the work to put the exhibit together was conducted by students in Reinhardt’s museum studies program.
“The thing that most excited me was to have the students doing everything,” Bishop said. “I’m very proud of all the hard work they did.”
The exhibit is housed in the corridor area near the museum’s auditorium, and gives visitors to the center the chance to learn more about some of the history of the Pine Log community. Bishop described some facets of the display as “hidden history” and said the exhibit covered an array of items related to the area around Pine Log, including some of the long-since vanished mining communities like Aubrey, area churches, local stores and even a small section on Reinhardt University itself.
“Spirits on Pine Log Mountain” will remain at the Funk Heritage Center for six months, at which time it will be taken on the road as a traveling exhibit and showcased by a handful of local historical societies, including the Cherokee County Historical Society and the Etowah Valley Historical Society.
In the future, Bishop said the center would like to feature more large-scale student-curated exhibits, although due to the amount of research and work that goes into producing larger exhibits, the timeline might be that a new exhibit would be installed every two years.