Stallings Island Revisited – Augusta, Georgia
Dr. Kenneth Sassaman, Hyatt and Cici Brown Professor of Florida Archaeology at the University of Florida, the foremost expert on Stallings Island and Stallings culture and the last person to conduct a sanctioned dig on the island, scheduled to speak in Augusta.
Local artist Lillie Morris, whose exhibition titled “Stallings Island Revisited” will open at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art on January 16, 2015, has invited Sassaman to speak at the opening. The event will bring together art lovers, archaeology aficionados and history buffs to hear and see the story of the Stallings People. Morris’s two dimensional art includes renderings of pottery and tools crafted by them. It pays tribute to Columbia County’s earliest residents.
“That place is loaded with mojo,” says Sassaman of Stallings Island. “It’s meant to be treated with respect.” To think that this place that carries international cache sits on the edge of suburban busyness is mind boggling. It stirs natural inquisitiveness. Quench that interest. Read People of the Shoals. Visit the Native American exhibit at the Augusta Museum of History. Attend the opening of Morris’s exhibition. Take pride that Stallings Island is part of Georgia’s heritage. Columbia County’s heritage. Your heritage. Above all, ensure that its mysteries and mystique remain intact for hundreds, thousands of years to come.
—Abstracted from the October 2014 issue of Augusta Magazine
Location: Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art
Schedule: Friday, January 16, 2015 – 6:00pm
STALLINGS ISLAND REVISITED
January 16 – February 27, 2015
Opening reception, Friday, January 16, 6-8 pm
Join us this January in the Creel-Harison Community Art Gallery as we unveil new work by local artist Lillie Morris. Her upcoming exhibit entitled “Stallings Island Revisited” was inspired by a 2013 art competition where all entries were to relate to the history of Columbia County. Her decision to delve into the county’s prehistoric past has resulted in a body of work honoring the Stallings Island Culture. Lillie and her family have been Columbia County residents since the early ‘80’s. The home where Lillie and her husband, Bill, raised their sons and lived for over 20 years was located very close to the Savannah River and, specifically, very near to Stallings Island. “My husband and sons frequently went to the river and often fished and explored the area where Stallings Island is located.” The exhibition will consist of a group of two-dimensional mixed-media works on paper and canvas. The exhibition is intended to present a reverence and appreciation for our prehistoric Georgia ancestors and to honor the artistry which is so apparent in the relics they left behind.
“The Artful Side of Stallings Island Archaeology”
Location: Augusta Museum of History
Schedule: Saturday, January 17, 2015 – 2:00pm
Lecture by Dr. Kenneth E. Sassaman at The Augusta Museum of History
In addition, Dr. Kenneth E. Sassaman, author of People of the Shoals: Stallings Culture of the Savannah River Valley, will give a formal lecture on his research of Stallings Island at The Augusta Museum of History, Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 2 p.m. Sassaman is currently the Hyatt and Cici Brown Professor of Florida Archaeology at the University of Florida and previously worked with the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program for eleven years.
The Artful Side of Stallings Island Archaeology
“What puts Stallings Island on the archaeological map is its inventory of ornate pottery, some of the oldest in North America. The potters who shaped and decorated these wares were members of a community several centuries in the making. Beginning well before 3000 B.C., when the innovation of pottery appeared, ancestors of Stallings people engaged in craft production and exchange that connected them with neighbors living down the Savannah River and along the Georgia-Carolina coast. When descendants of these communities coalesced at Stallings Island to become one people, the repertoire of artistic expression blossomed in both novel and tradition ways. Stallings Island became in that moment an archive of culture history whose narratives are revealed through modern-day archaeological investigation.”
-Kenneth E. Sassaman