Showcased on the third floor of its downtown branch (1001 Broad St.), the library will bring back the work featured in “Wayne-O-Rama” by Chattanooga native Wayne White. The indoor funhouse ran from 2016-17 + depicted Chattanooga’s history in the style of puppets and sculptures.
Puppets | Adolph Ochs, Nancy Ward, Sequoyah, John Ross, Mary Edwards Walker, Emma Rochelle Wheeler, Frieda Carter, Luther Masingill, Olan Mills + a full-size of Bessie Smith
“Mock-ettes” (aka prototypes) | Lookout Mountain, Dragging Canoe, Bessie Smith + Bob Brandy
Historical archives + artifacts | Cherokee alphabet (invented by Sequoyah), articles, Bessie Smith’s LPs, etc.
The library’s head of local history and genealogy Jessica Sedgwick said the idea behind the exhibit is to tell the more in-depth story + history behind “Wayne-O-Rama.” She added that bringing a personality to these historical figures creates a deeper connection for the community.
Jessica said that the library will offer hands-on workshops for the community to go alongside the exhibit, such as build-your-own puppets with local artists + a workshop on historical research for those who want to learn how to navigate archives.
The library will host an opening reception on Thursday, July 27 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. + the exhibit will be on display through the end of December. Stay tuned for immersive activities across its branches.
“We have rich collections in the library that tell the story of John Ross and Bessie Smith and the others,” Jessica said. “We want to get the word out we have this here, and that it’s for everyone to come and enjoy.”