Smithsonian exhibit opens in Hartsville

By Melissa Rollins, Editor,

After months of planning ‘The Way We Worked’, a traveling Smithsonian exhibit opened Oct. 5 at Black Creek Arts Council in Hartsville.

BCAC Executive Director Allison Pederson said that getting the exhibit has been a months long process.

“We started working on it back in December 2015,” Pederson said. “Part of that was getting the local support, like Integrated Systems with their robot YUMI and Sonoco and things of that nature. Then we had to write a grant and ask for the exhibit; it is kind of a back and forth thing with the Humanities Council because there are certain things that they want us to have.”

Pederson said that this is not the first time the well-known museum’s exhibits have come to Hartsville.

“This is actually the second Smithsonian Exhibit that we’ve had,” Pederson said. “They like to have their exhibits in small, rural places and they like to have us as the last place in South Carolina because we are one of the largest spaces. We will have bus tours come in and all sorts of groups visit. We’ve already got one from Columbia, one from the beach and one from Lancaster.”

Bringing exhibits from such a well-respected museum is a partnership, Pederson said.

“Some people will never get to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and that is one of the reason we go through the grant process,” Pederson said. “The Humanities Council is really who deserves the credit because they bring it to South Carolina.”

During the six weeks the exhibit is at the Black Creek Arts Council, there will be partner exhibits and events happening throughout Hartsville.

The Way We Worked is a traveling Smithsonian exhibit explores how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environment in the past 150 years. Adapted from an original exhibition designed by the National Archives, The Way We Worked shows how we identify with work – as individuals and as communities.

In the gallery with The Way We Worked:
– Historic archives from local global packaging company, Sonoco Products Company
– In collaboration with Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, Integrated Systems, Inc and Anderson Brass a YUMI robot is on display and programmed to perform tasks by Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics students.

The Mantissa Executive Suites – Local photographers will exhibit their work of area industries at Black Creek Arts Council’s second gallery. One of our photographers work, Ronda Gandy, photos are centered mainly on Nucor Steel Corporation and are featured on steel, wood, glass, and paper.
Location: 130 East Carolina Avenue
Phone: 843-917-0669
Hours: Open daily

Hartsville Memorial Library – The library will be featuring adult and children’s books related to the exhibit and hosting a student reading challenge for the duration of the exhibit. A children’s story time will be conducted at Black Creek Arts Center – time and date TBA.
Location: 147 West College Avenue

Tours of the way Darlington County works – Tours can be arranged of various plants in town by calling Black Creek Arts Council.
Location: Sonoco, Duke, NuCor Steel, Anderson Brass, Integrated Systems Inc.
Phone: 843-332-6234

Speaker Series – A series of speakers across the community and different fields of industry and work will be speaking on the way Darlington County works.
Location: Black Creek Arts Council
Hours: Saturday, November 11

Painting Class – Local artist, Vicky McLain, will lead a 1 hour oil painting workshop at Black Creek Arts Center featuring a cotton boll – a very important crop in South Carolina’s history. Students can find more information and register at
Location: Black Creek Arts Council
Hours: Saturday, October 14, 10-11 a.m.

Historic Jacob Kelley House – Come out and enjoy the place where the Yankees slept among the Rebels. You will be treated to an authentic farm settlement experience. Guild members will be on hand for guided tours.
Location: 2585 Kelleytown Road
Phone: 843-861-3955
Hours: Sunday, November 5, 3 – 5 p.m.

Author: mrollins

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