ODESSA, TX (KWES) - UTPB has been selected to partner with the Smithsonian Institute to host an exhibit in the fall, and the students have been working hard in preparation of the first-time exhibit.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for UTPB and I hope it's a good eye opener for the Smithsonian about the kind of good things we can do out here," said Dr. Derek Catsam, a professor of history at UTPB.
Catsam and Dr. Chris Stanley, a professor of art at UTPB, are teaching a Maymester class at UTPB that is working on the exhibit.
The theme of the Smithsonian exhibit will be "Museum on Main Street: Hometown Teams - How Sports Shape America".
"Obviously in West Texas we're deeply committed to sports and it's sort of embodied in high school football, but it's well beyond that," said Catsam.
But it's not just high school football that the UTPB students are representing in their portion of the exhibit.
"The bulk of the students, seven of them, are doing rodeo because rodeo is very much a West Texas thing," said Catsam.
Catsam also says that rodeo reflects the fact that West Texas was a ranching community before it became an oil-based community.
Art and history students have been gathering data from archives and libraries in Midland, Odessa and Pecos. They have also conducted interviews with local residents and gathered pictures and artifacts.
On May 16 the UTPB students put up a mini-display of their projects and research in anticipation of the exhibit. The next few weeks will be spent building display cases for the exhibits and strategizing how to best display the artifacts.
"Museum on Main Street: Hometown Teams - How Sports Shape America" will kickoff on October 13 and run through mid-November.