Aug 16, 2016

Columbia State Announces "Return From Exile" Closing Ceremonies

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Aug. 16, 2016) - - - Columbia State Community College's Pryor Art Gallery will host the closing ceremonies for the "Return from Exile" exhibit Aug. 25 from 4:30 -8 p.m.

The "Return from Exile" exhibit opened on the Columbia Campus in July and is traveling along the historically chronicled Trail of Tears. The exhibit features contemporary Southeastern Native American art expressions by artists from five recognized tribes that originated in Georgia.

"This exhibit has been heart-felt by everyone that sees it," said Michele Wilkinson, Pryor Art Gallery curator. "No one has rushed through this show, they linger, absorbing each piece of art causing them to share stories, memories and talk of family lineage. Some have cried while others are inspired to learn more."

Bobby Martin and Tony A. Tiger, co-curators, artists and Native Americans will speak and walk visitors through the exhibit recounting the stories and history behind each work.

The closing ceremonies is an event to celebrate the artists and their work and will include a lecture in the Cherry Theater at 5 p.m. to be delivered by Troy Wayne Poteete, distinguished tribal leader and supreme justice of the Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation.

Poteete's speech will offer insight to the Native American life, culture and present-day government. In addition, Poteete will present materials that explain how to look up registered Native American heritage. He will conclude the ceremony by singing the National Anthem in his native tongue with accompaniment by flutist Jean Marie Hull. The audience will be provided with phonetically written sheet music for participation.

"We will be sad to see "Return From Exile" leave us, but in doing so we plan to close with a big celebration," Wilkinson said.

The closing ceremonies will take place in the Pryor Art Gallery and Cherry Theater in the Waymon L. Hickman Building on the Columbia Campus, located at 1665 Hampshire Pike.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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