Trail of Tears exhibit on display; talk, reception set for Feb. 27

Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center and the North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association will host a reception and talk on Thursday, Feb. 27, celebrating the exhibit “Fewer Footprints and More Tears: Commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears.”

The reception will begin at 6 p.m. in the Mountain Heritage Center and will be followed by a 7 p.m. presentation in the museum auditorium by R. Michael Abram, a scholar who focuses on Cherokee culture. Abram will present an illustrated lecture on contemporary Cherokee artists commenting on their reactions to the Trail of Tears.

Abram graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine and practiced medicine in Bloomington, Ind., until he moved to the Cherokee area in the 1980s. In addition to his medical duties locally, Abram was curator and director of the Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery that he operated with his wife, Sue, in Cherokee until 2010. Abram has presented traveling exhibits and lectures across the Southeast and frequently serves as a consultant.

The North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association is dedicated to documenting all the routes and sites associated with the Trail of Tears in North Carolina and to working with the National Park Service to include the story of the Cherokee homeland in the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

The Feb. 27 event is being presented in conjunction with the exhibit, which includes historic images and copies of historic documents, including the Henderson Roll, along with contemporary art by Cherokee artists reacting to the Trail of Tears and its historic and ongoing effect on the Cherokee people.

The exhibit will be open through Friday, March 14, at the Mountain Heritage Center. Admission to the reception, talk and exhibit is free.

For more information, call the museum at 828-227-7129.