SEEN/UNSEEN : a pop-up exhibition on public history + the local past


Pop-up : Saturday, November 9, 2013, 6-8PM

>>> Member Preview 5:30-6PM

Curated by Christopher Lawton + Hope Hilton

Featured artists:  Katie Gregg + Cynthia Lollis with opening night performances by Alexander Stephens, Kiersten Rom, Judy Long,  + The Darnell Boys perform @ 8PM w/ special guests

Collaborative pieces by: Kyle Adams, Prakash Agrawal, Ward Archibald, Wayne Bellamy, Stephen Berry, Zoe Brewster, Natalie Busener, Chelsey Cain, Kaitlyn Camp, Susan Chaisson, MacKinsey Cole, Aaron Conley, Miranda Dahl, Abigail Dillon, Seth Euster, Mark Evans, Jason Fern, Ava Gibson, Claire Grubb, Anna Candler Kimsey, TJ Kopcha, Christopher Lawton, Nicholas Malcom, Christopher Marbut, Annabelle Martin, Madeleine Mullen, Laura Nelson, Anamaria Otalora-Garcia, Elyse Paneral, Maggie Petzelt, Randy Reid, Kiersten Rom, Peter Russell, Maxwell Ruston, Caroline Sanders, Matilda Segal, William Sellers, David Squires, Patrick Turpin, Samuel Williams, Andrew Youngerman

Additional research by: Caroline Alex, Rebecca Bowden, Matt Clutter, Brenden Cox, Alex Faulkner, Katie Green, Viki Guentcheva, Joey Lynn, Lauren Maudlin, Jared Peden, Kaleigh Petkevich, Natalie Thompson

On November 7, 2013, ATHICA: Athens Institute for Contemporary Art and the Georgia Virtual History Project will open SEEN/UNSEEN, a pop-up exhibition dedicated to public history and the local past of Athens, Georgia.  In collaboration with the University of Georgia’s Spotlight on the Arts Festival and The Willson Center, co-curators Hope Hilton (ATHICA) and Christopher Lawton (Georgia Virtual History Project and UGA) are thrilled to present a dynamic exhibition that is an exploration of the intersection of art, history, performance, and technology to connect Athens’ past with its present. It will challenge what time has made invisible and reclaim historical, geographical, and intellectual spaces for long-forgotten people, stories, and events.

SEEN /UNSEEN is propelled by the Georgia Virtual History Project, a nonprofit organization directed and co-founded by Willson Center Digital Humanities Fellow Christopher Lawton. Through this collaboration that also includes the students of Randy Reid at Athens Academy, students of Dr. Lawton at UGA, and a team of designers and programmers working with Mark Evans of ARwerks Learning, we have a unique opportunity to both reshape the way we talk about local history and publicly unveil a radically new technological and educational model.  We strive to provide a solid foundation in visual history as a contemporary practice that is multimodal and compelling to the general public, transcending generalizations of history and our past.

On exhibition will be the world premiere of three new projects by GVHP that will be projected and screened in the gallery space live to encourage interactivity. Featuring stories about UGA’s infamous arch, slavery in Athens, as well as a history of Shields-Ethridge Farm, this unveiling propels us toward a future of history that is both present and layered with information, context, and truth. Alongside this technology we show still images from the past, including a 1946 photograph from the archive of Shields-Ethridge Farm that is multigenerational and racially diverse, as well as contemporary photographs of local Civil War trenches by Wayne Bellamy. Cynthia Lollis shares with us an artist book created in collaboration with downtown workers in Athens in 1999. Also on exhibit is a collection of aprons from the mid-20th century in Athens, belonging to “the help” and presented as an archive. Please join us as we marry both the past and the present and pave the road toward a necessary new technology that propels history forward.


The GVHP’s board of directors includes co-founders Dr. Christopher Lawton and Mark Evans of ARwerks Learning; Berry, a Willson Center associate academic director; John Inscoe of the UGA history department; TJ Kopcha of the UGA College of Education; Randy Reid of Athens Academy; and Greg Smith of Smith, Temple, Riley, and Santos.

Please view the promotional video for GVHP by clicking HERE. GVHP’s goal is to spread this model out across the state, ultimately creating a system whereby students in countless communities can help build their own virtual records of their local past.

The Georgia Virtual History Project will have not only a permanent website, but also a dedicated mobile app that will allow participants to access mini-documentaries, historical resources, and tourism-related information using image-recognition software at multiple locations across the state. As a prototype of this model, GVHP is currently building streaming content for another eHistory initiative, “From Civil War to Civil Rights in Georgia.”

Open to the public November 7 – 10, 2013, from 1-6PM + by appointment