The members of McIntosh Art Association are onto something good as they connect our community’s future to its past in an artful and unique way. Association president, Ethel Wilson, shared the group’s exciting 2017 event plans:
The idea to bring a distinguished national museum tour to Darien began February 2015. Ethel accompanied 26 Sunday school kids and her Pastor, Rev. John Coverdel, from Crescent, Georgia’s Prospect Baptist Church on a field trip to Fernandina Beach, Florida, during Black History month. It was there she met Dr. Joanne Martin and the traveling Great Blacks in Wax Exhibit from our country’s first Black History wax museum—The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Inc. Based in Baltimore, Maryland they travel yearly to Florida with a set of historic wax figures. “The children that day were totally engaged and interested, so I pursued Dr. Martin to bring the exhibit to Darien,” Ethel said.
Becoming involved with the museum’s tour group, the art association was able to bring the 2016 wax figures exhibit to McIntosh County as the last stop on a three city tour, which included Panama City, Florida and Fernandina Beach once again. Courtesy of Dr. Richardson and Dr. Barge of the McIntosh School System, the figures debuted at McIntosh Academy’s Archie B. Myers, Sr. Fine Arts Center. Ethel fondly recalls hearing Dr. Martin answer frequently asked school children’s questions: “Are their teeth real?” (No, they are wax) “Do the figures sit in car seats as they travel?” (No, they are assembled) “Could the figures melt?” (Not usually)
Now a NEW traveling troupe of Great Blacks in Wax in the theme of arts and entertainment will appear at the Myers Center on February 23, 24 and 25. The six historic figures – both women and men—are sure to be a spectacular show as they are unveiled during two days of school children’s programs.
But the best day will be Saturday, February 25, when the public is invited to this unique experience. Tickets ($10) will include the exhibit, a program talk with Curator Dr. Joanne Martin, music, soul food and a McIntosh Art Association Black History art sale. “And, the boxed soulful meal with fried chicken, greens and cornbread is guaranteed to be ‘good stuff to go,’” Ethel smiled as she explained how the association utilizes an entourage of volunteer shoppers, cooks, musicians, artists and sound engineers. “Other guest speakers and gospel singers will round out the afternoon, but the figures are first and foremost in the program.”
Ethel continued, “You would be surprised how many people don’t know black history, even many adults ask questions and learn from these exhibits. History connects us and black history is American history. And without American history—there would be no Black History—we wouldn’t be here. People need to connect, learn and know each other. Frederick Douglas is a good example; so many students and adults do not know about him and he held such an important place in history,” she counseled. “Come and join us—everyone! This is our community’s largest event for Black History Month. You will learn something!”