Elysium: A Gathering of Souls at the West TN Discovery Museum

Jackson, Tennessee – Elysium: A Gathering of Souls will open at the Discovery Museum, Downtown Jackson on October 13, 2009. Museum hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10am to 3:00pm.

Elysium: A Gathering of Souls displays haunting images of the historic cemeteries of New Orleans taken by award – winning photographer and curator Sandra Russell Clark. It is the first exhibit to document the visual, aesthetic and atmospheric dimensions of New Orleans’ unique aboveground cemeteries. These black and white images reflect over 200 years of the city’s distinctive religious and cultural history.

Visiting the cemeteries is a stroll through the city’s past and present. For many natives cleaning and placing flowers on family tombs on All Saints’ Day is still a hallowed tradition. A walk through Elysium: A Gathering of Souls illustrates the pain of losing children, the course of devastating epidemics, the waves of immigration, the nuances of social status, comparative of degrees of wealth or poverty, and a hundred other details of life, and death, in the south.

Elysium: A Gathering of Souls is a recent addition to Southern Visions: The Folk Arts & Southern Culture Traveling Exhibits Program, which is a program of the Southern Arts Federation, and features exhibits that celebrate the South’s rich cultural heritage and traditional arts. The program provides Southern communities with access to artistically excellent exhibits.

The Southern Arts Federation (SAF), in partnership with nine states arts agencies, builds on the South’s unique heritage by promoting and supporting arts in the South; enhancing the artistic excellence and professionalism of Southern arts organizations and artists; and serving the diverse population of the South. The programs and services of the Southern Arts Federation are supported through funding and programming partnerships with the National Endowment of the Arts, state arts agencies, foundations, corporations and individuals. SAF partners include the state agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

As an additional program the museum is presenting “Souls” as told by dn English. A tour of the Denmark Presbyterian Cemetery begins at 4:30pm.Take a wagon ride with us to the site and by candlelight we will reunite with spirits from the past.  This event will take place on October 24.

–press release from the West Tennessee Discovery Museum–