CSU student wins state-wide award for museum exhibit’s impact on community

CSU student wins state-wide award for museum exhibit’s impact on community

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A student at Columbus State University recently won a state-wide award at the annual conference of the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries (GAMG).

Christofer Gass, a senior majoring in art history, won the GAMG 2018 Student Project Award for his work the Columbus Museum's Common Grounds exhibition.

Common Grounds focused on the only remaining original public green space in Columbus, South Commons, and ran from July to November 2017. Approximately 16,000 people came to see the exhibit during its run.

Gass' role in Common Grounds began as an intern and eventually grew into lead curator for the exhibit.

Gass developed themes, provided recommendations on the layout and chose maps and artifacts to display based off of his research into documents, archaeological reports and maps. He also served as the primary author for the footnoted gallery guide and developed a survey for feedback to be used for future uses of South Commons.

"It doesn't feel like work, because it is fun," said Gass. "I like to bring things to life that are part of history – things that people aren't able to see anymore due to development. Being able to create a snapshot of the past that people are able to understand is really important to me.

Gass also worked with Dr. Amanda Rees, professor of history and geography at CSU, to form his findings into a larger research project alongside Rees' urban geography class, which was then presented to advocacy group Friends of the South Commons.

Friends of the South Commons will seek funding opportunities to help preserve South Commons. This real community impact is what set Gass' project apart from the others.

"Specifically, the committee felt that the impact of this student's work on all levels of this important community project raises this nomination above the rest," wrote the GAMG's award committee. "His dedication to the work and the impressive results in helping shape the future of this space provide excellent examples of solid student-directed work for museums far outside the scope of this project."

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