Local artist Carl Gombert is the featured artist of an upcoming free art exhibit at Pellissippi State Community College.
Gombert will exhibit hand-stamped works that explore the complexity and pattern of dark and light, and positive and negative space, within the context of radial structures, mandalas and other patterns.
Explore the free exhibit in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art Gallery, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Gallery hours are 10 a.m-6:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
A reception to meet the artist is from 3-5 p.m., August 28.
The Gombert exhibit is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, an annual arts series that includes music and theatre performances, cultural celebrations, lectures and fine arts exhibits. For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.
To request accommodations for a disability for this exhibit, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or email@example.com.
Learn how to fly a drone at a new lifelong learning class at Pellissippi State Community College.
“Drone Flight Skills” will be from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23 at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The non-credit course costs $159.
The course is for unmanned aerial vehicle pilots who wish to improve flight skills and understand licensing requirements. Class attendees will practice drone flight maneuvers as well as tips on all-weather handling and waypoint navigation. Additionally, attendees will learn airspace rules and regulations, privacy restrictions and safety and emergency procedures. Drones will be available to students, but those who own their own may bring it.
The class instructor is Cole Hood, co-owner of Falcon Aerial Engineering and Inspections in Maryville.
For more information about lifelong learning at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call 865-539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability for this class, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to enjoy a unique view of the total solar eclipse — from the ground and from the stratosphere — on August 21 at its Blount County Campus.
The family-friendly Tailgating in Totality event begins at noon and lasts until 3. Food trucks will be on campus, but attendees are welcome to bring their own food and beverages. Bring your own chairs, blankets, sunscreen and other supplies. Alcohol is not permitted on campus. Please do not bring pets.
Pellissippi State will furnish attendees with eclipse glasses until supplies run out. Parking is limited; arrive early.
Attendees will have a prime viewing spot for the total solar eclipse when it begins at approximately 2:30. The college will be streaming live footage from a high-altitude balloon of the eclipse as well. The footage, produced by Pellissippi State students in partnership with NASA, will provide a unique view of an eclipse from the stratosphere. Hardin Valley Thunder, Pellissippi State’s bluegrass band, will play from 1:15-2 p.m.
Enrollment and student services — including admissions, financial aid, advising and the bookstore — will be closed at the Blount County Campus all day, Aug. 21. These services will be open at all other Pellissippi State campuses.
For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or email@example.com.
For many decades, it has gone unquestioned that “Pellissippi” means “winding waters” in Cherokee, and that the word refers to the Clinch River that wends through East Tennessee and terminates near Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley Campus.
But in 2014, Pellissippi State discovered that this is not true.
Thus began a three-year journey, culminating in conversations with the Smithsonian Institution, to set the record straight.
“It is of extreme importance to us at Pellissippi State that we honor the diverse heritage of East Tennessee,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “It might be easy to say that a name is just a name, but to us at Pellissippi State, it’s crucial that we honor the truth about ‘Pellissippi’ and its importance in American history.”
At Pellissippi State, writer Heather Beck took up the search for just where “Pellissippi” came from and what the word might mean.
“Through this project, I learned that tracing the etymology of a Native American word isn’t simple, and it’s not always precise,” Beck said. “When Europeans traveled through North America, they encountered native languages that they transcribed — often inaccurately — based upon how the word sounded and how it might be spelled in their own native languages.”
In historical research, Beck discovered that the Pellissippi River features prominently in a 1784 proposal from President Thomas Jefferson for new state names west of the Appalachians. Among the President’s proposed names was “Pelisipia,” in what today would be parts of Eastern Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. But Jefferson’s proposed name wasn’t a reference to what is today the Clinch River.
It was a reference to the Ohio River.
In early maps, the name of the Pellissippi River was expressed in various ways — from “Polesipi” to “Peleson,” “Pele Sipi,” “Pere Sipi,” “Pelisipi” and finally “Pellissippi” — and it also frequently changed locations. For about a decade in the mid-1700s, the name “Pellissippi” was used as a reference to two rivers, back and forth: the Ohio and the Clinch.
This phenomenon of names changing, and even moving, was common in early mapmaking. Maps often were copied by hand and commonly transcribed from one language to another in that process.
It appears that the Ohio River held the name “Pellissippi” first.
“Historically it was ‘Mosopeleacipi,’ ‘river of the Mosopelea,’ the Illinois name that was learned by La Salle for the Ohio,” said linguist emeritus Ives Goddard of the Smithsonian Institution’s Department of Anthropology.
The river took its name from a nearby tribe, the Mosopelea. When the Mosopolea migrated out of the Ohio River valley, Shawnee moved in. They seemed to have shortened the name of the river to “Peleewa-θiipi,” or perhaps “peleewa θiipiiki,” in which the symbol θ makes a -th sound.
Goddard suggests that, as the original name of the Ohio River evolved from “Mosopeleacipi” to a version of “Pellissippi,” it also was inadvertently moved or misattributed as the name of the smaller Clinch River to the south. For a while, the rivers swapped names back and forth.
The Ohio seems to have firmly settled on its modern name around the 1780s. The Clinch took its modern name in the mid-1800s.
“Pellissippi has a long history in America, sharing a connection with a U.S. president, early explorers and Native American tribes and, not least, the Ohio River,” Wise said. “Although its meaning will remain metaphorical, not literal, we must remember — it’s not every day that a word comes to us through history as a blank slate. It’s not often that we have the opportunity to craft what a word means.
“For those of us who work at the college, ‘Pellissippi’ means access, opportunity, hope and success. Knowing where our name comes from may not change the mission of the College or the day-to-day aspects of students’ education or our place in our community. But we are pleased that we have done our best to restore and memorialize a history that might have been forgotten.”
For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/pellissippi or call 865-694-6400. Tell us what Pellissippi means to you on social media, using #pellissippimeans.