Stanback Museum & Planetarium reopening after two-year hiatus

Thursday, February 22, 2007

South Carolina State University will begin its Founders’ Weekend with the grand re-opening of its I.P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium after a two-year hiatus.

“S.C. State is proud to share with the community the opening of its newly renovated I.P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium,” said Ellen Zisholtz, museum and planetarium director.

“This is a unique facility, the only art museum with a planetarium on a (historically black college or university) campus and one of the few in the United States,” she said. “Through its integration of the arts, humanities and sciences, this facility stands in the forefront of modern thinking, enriching the quality of life of students, faculty, staff and the entire community.”

The re-opening celebration will begin at 3:30 p.m. Friday with a special preview of the exhibition, planetarium show and book signing.

It will continue with a 5:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony, a 6 p.m.planetarium show and a 6:30 p.m. performance of jazz standards by the Roland Haynes Quartet.

The renovation is only the latest in a series of improvements on the campus. Since January, S.C. State has unveiled new intramural basketball courts and an improved campus bookstore.

According to Zisholtz, the first phase of the I.P. Stanback renovations included improvements to the galleries and planetarium. One of the innovations in the galleries was the installation of a hanging system for art exhibitions.

The renovated planetarium is a multi-faceted facility that provides a unique learning opportunity to students, faculty and staff at S.C. State, K-12 students in the surrounding communities and members of the community at large. It features a Minolta IIB Planetarium Star Projector that can project 4,000 stars onto the 40-foot domed ceiling, and can simulate the evening sky for any place, date and time. Computer automation allows for special viewing of movie-style programs for the public and school groups.

The museum and planetarium building first opened in 1980 through the efforts of then-President M. Maceo Nance Jr., Dr. Clemmie Webber and Dr. Leo Twiggs, the museum’s first director. The museum is named in honor of Israel Pinckney Stanback, a prominent businessman and philanthropist from Columbia who served as the first African-American chairman of S.C. State’s Board of Trustees.

Patrons who arrive at the museum at 3:30 p.m. Friday will have an opportunity to attend a book signing, as well as a sneak preview of the museum’s exhibitions, which include selections from S.C. State’s permanent collections.

The collections feature art by Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence and William Johnson.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be led by S.C. State President Andrew Hugine Jr. and Webber.

Also, three new art acquisitions will be donated to the Stanback Museum’s permanent collection.

Dr. Jeffrey Hines and Dr. Sivan Hines will donate two works, “Study in Yellow, White and Silver #1” (mixed media for paper) by Freddie Styles and “Looking for Laughter” (etched aluminum) by Kevin Cole.

Elizabeth Rose will donate an acrylic painting of former head football coach Willie Jeffries and the Bulldog football team painted by her late husband, artist and sculptor Arthur Rose.

Dr. Sivan Hines, artist Freddy Styles and Elizabeth Rose plan to be in attendance.

The 6 p.m. planetarium show, “The Night Sky,” is the same show first featured at the planetarium’s 1980 opening.

At 6:30 p.m., the Stanback Museum and Planetarium will pre-sent the first “Music Under the Stars,” with the Roland Haynes Quartet presenting a repertoire of jazz standards around the theme of the universe.

Museum hours for Founders’ Weekend are Friday from 3:30 to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m.

Following Founders’ Weekend, regular hours for the I.P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium will be Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

To arrange special hours for schools and other groups, contact the museum at 803-536-7174.