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76 WBM june 2016 HISTORY IN IMAGES The Wilmington Convention Center houses a remarkable exhibition of images from Wilmington’s past and pres-ent. A collection of photographs, postcards, and maps adorns the interior walls inside the sprawling U-shaped center, capturing the history of the Port of Wilmington. The exhibition, featuring mostly black-and- white photographs, spans the city’s role in historical battles to scenes of con-temporary beach goers, reminding visitors of the rich culture of the area. The walls of the center are lined with images of the port in its heyday, ship-yard workers and other skilled laborers through the years, fishermen, and native Wilmingtonians and tourists enjoying nearby beaches and the natural beauty of the Cape Fear River. The collection is largely due to the work of Beverly Tetterton, former special collec-tions librarian and chief of the local history room at the New Hanover County Public Library. Tetterton spearheaded the commit-tee that surveyed thousands of images housed at the New Hanover Public Library, the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, Cape Fear Museum and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s photo archives. Partnering with Port City Signs to create high-quality reproductions, and receiving invaluable curatorial assistance from Big Sky Design, Tetterton finalized the exhibition that follows the maritime theme of the building. The reuse of old images, rather than the commissioning of new works, paral-lels both the convention center’s mission of sustainable practice and an emphasis on historical preservation that has become increasingly important in Wilmington and surrounding areas. As Tetteron notes, in many ways “it really is about the photographers,” and the exhibition provides a beautiful, artistic lens through which to view the city, the port and its people. — By Kathryn Manis


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