Sullivant Hall Grand Opening + Sullivant's Travels
(l-r) Cate Wisneski; Bill Barnett; Ohio State President Michael Drake, Claudia Barnett Scott; Laurey Barnett Treiger; Lawrence Barnett, Jr.; Jim Barnett. (Photos: A.J. Zanyk)
On a brilliant early fall Saturday, Sullivant Hall officially opened following a transformative three-year, $31 million full-building renovation. The Grand Opening included remarks from university President Michael Drake, a ribbon-cutting honoring donors Lawrence and Isabel Barnett and their family, open houses throughout the building and a world premiere dance performance.
The Neo Classical Revival structure, built in 1912, has housed the Ohio Historical Society’s museum, the archaeological museum, zoology museum and a fine arts gallery. Today it is home to the Departments of Dance and Arts Administration, Education and Policy; the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD); the Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise; and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.
Left, MFA acting student Patrick Wiabel demonstrates a duet with an avatar of Marcel Marceau in ACCAD’s motion capture lab. Right, dance student Charlotte Stickles performs Site and Sound in the Rotunda.
Lawrence Barnett, Ohio State alumnus and entertainment industry leader, and his wife Isabel, committed $6 million to establish the multi-disciplinary Barnett Center and support extensive renovations to Sullivant Hall.
The renovation, designed by Acock Associates Architects, includes a three-story rotunda, six new dance studios, floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the space with natural light and a flexible black-box theatre. The result is a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building that includes energy-efficient additions.
A Journey into the Mind of a Building
More than 80 student performers from Ohio State helped to christen the newly renovated Sullivant Hall in a site-specific performance event, Sullivant’s Travels, choreographed especially for the building’s grand opening on Sept. 20.
More than 1,200 were in attendance to view the various works and open houses throughout the building.
The event featured students from the Department of Dance and the School of Music and included 11 works spotlighted throughout the building — in dance studios, in the building’s grand rotunda, on an outdoor balcony, in a theatre and even in faculty offices.
Each of the performance works was a world premiere inspired by the history of the building, the architecture and/or current use of specific spaces.
“The cumulative effect of these works served as a metaphor for learning, collaboration, creative play and dreaming,” said choreographer and director Stephan Koplowitz, an internationally known choreographer who was commissioned by the Department of Dance and College of Arts and Sciences to create the piece.
“We fractured and recreated the space to assemble this collaborative work,” said Koplowitz.
“Each audience member could select a unique path through the building to experience various performance events. Like immersive theatre, everyone had a slightly different experience and view as they journeyed through Sullivant Hall.”