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The unique history of Mound Bayou, Miss., inspired an exhibition set to open Feb. 9 at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History at the UNC-Chapel Hill.

The exhibition titled “Dry Run: Defining Determination, Testing Reconstruction” will feature the work of artist Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier. The exhibition will run through April 30, 2012.

On display in the center’s Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum, Marshall-Linnemeier’s latest work uses the Penn Center papers and photographs held in the Southern Historical Collection of UNC’s Wilson Library.

As with previous work, “Dry Run” is inspired by her travels to Mound Bayou, Miss., the largest predominantly African American town in the United States. The exhibition explores notions of experimentation, reconstruction and the idea of self-determination through images of the experimental plantations set up by the Union government at Davis Bend (where the founders of Mound Bayou were enslaved) and Port Royal, during the Civil War.

Marshall-Linnemeier was inspired by the unique history of both places and how and by whom self-determination was defined.

She reimagines the experimental plantation space by manipulating archival photographs that include stereographic images. Her visual narratives explore myth, spirituality and memory through vivid paintings, collages and textile works. She focuses on “toural” communities (rural agricultural communities that rely on and/or are developing tourism), urban enclaves and indigenous communities observing culturally significant connections that are often overlooked.

An honors graduate of the Atlanta College of Art (Presidential Scholar), Marshall-Linnemeier received a Master of Arts degree in Southern studies in 2005 from the University of Mississippi. She has received numerous awards and her work is held in various collections including the High Museum of Art in Altlanta, Atlanta University and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

An opening reception for the exhibition featuring a talk by Marshall-Linnemeier will be held on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Stone Center. The reception is free and open to the public.

“Dry Run: Defining Determination, Testing Reconstruction” will be on display through April 30, 2012. The gallery is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. or by appointment. For information on the exhibition call (919) 962-9001.

Published January 22, 2012.