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Public activities at ASU
Museum to host three-day celebration of 'Our Awesome
Ancestors' July 16, 17, and 18
June 16, 2009 --
The Arkansas State
University Museum will present “Our Awesome Ancestors: Celebrate Human
Ingenuity” on Thursday-Saturday, July 16-18. The three-day extravaganza
includes the grand opening of the museum’s new Native American gallery
with the exhibition “Portals of the Soul;” a sneak preview of an
upcoming exhibition, “Exploring the Frontier;” and Rhys Thomas’s one-man
show “Science Circus.” Each of these examines and celebrates human
ingenuity. Join the staff and friends of the ASU Museum for a
ribbon-cutting ceremony, refreshments, gallery tours, and a Science
Circus performance at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 16. The ASU Museum is
located at 110 South Cooley Drive, Jonesboro, adjacent to the Dean B.
Throughout history, humans have mastered their available resources,
refined their modes of thinking, and begun creating both artifacts and
intellectual constructs. Artifacts aided survival and provided comfort.
Pottery was a both a functional tool for cooking and storage, but also
an enduring medium of individual and cultural expression. A canoe
allowed travel on the vast waterways of this continent, which served as
inroads to the discovery of the interior for Native Americans and
Europeans alike. The study of matter and motion began two millennia ago,
and today’s modern discipline of physics emerged in the Scientific
Revolution of the 1500s.
“Portals of the Soul” brings together more than one hundred and fifty
authentic Native American artifacts. The artifacts offer insight into
the complex societies dwelling in northeast Arkansas centuries ago.
Before European contact, Arkansas was home to one of the largest Native
American populations in the United States, and this exhibition presents
a glimpse into the daily and spiritual lives of these ancestors.
“Portals of the Soul” was researched and designed by Arkansas State
University Heritage Studies PhD students Leslie Hester and Marlon Mowdy
during museum studies coursework taught by ASU Museum director, Dr.
A replica of the Griggs Canoe, a
centuries-old Native American canoe, and a fur trapper’s camp will spark
the imagination of children and adults in this preview of the “Exploring
the Frontier” exhibition coming to the ASU Museum this October. The
Mississippi River’s Delta region was explored by the Spanish in the
1500s. The French traveled from Canada to Arkansas in the late 1600s.
Arkansas Post, founded in 1686 by Henri de Tonti, was the first European
settlement west of the Mississippi River, predating the founding of St.
Louis and New Orleans. On the frontier, wits and wiles meant the
difference between death and survival. “Exploring the Frontier” is one
of seven Arkansas Museum Road Trips sponsored by the Arkansas Discovery
Network, funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. For more
information about these Arkansas Museum Road Trips, scheduled to travel
throughout Arkansas, visit
Science Circus impresario Rhys Thomas teaches Newtonian physics using a
combination of science and circus arts, particularly juggling. Thomas
will perform at
3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, and at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on
Friday-Saturday, July 17-18. All Science Circus performances are free
and open to the public, thanks to the Arkansas Discovery Network, which
is funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. Visit Thomas’s website
and read about his worldwide performances:
The ASU Museum is a premier regional destination for informal learning.
In order to better accommodate busy family schedules, starting Thursday,
July 16, the museum is extending its hours, staying open later during
the week, adding one evening to the schedule, and opening on Saturday
morning. Beginning Thursday, July 16, the ASU Museum’s new hours are
Tuesday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Wednesday–Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday,
1-5 p.m. The ASU Museum is closed on Mondays and university holidays.
For more information, visit the ASU
Museum online at
Lenore Shoults, assistant
director for the museum, at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the ASU Museum at (870) 972-2074.
Photos from top: Heritage Studies
PhD students Leslie Hester, left, and Marlon Mowdy display rarely seen
examples of Native American pottery from the exhibition, "Portals of the
Soul," opening at the ASU Museum on Thursday, July 16, as part of the
three-day celebration, "Our Awesome Ancestors: Celebrate Human
Ingenuity," and science impresario Rhys Thomas teaches Newtonian physics
by juggling and other feats of balance and coordination.