GS museum reopens after 3 years of renovations

Justin Hall, Correspondent

After closing down for three years of extensive renovations, the Georgia Southern Museum reopened Sunday, kicking off a week of learning festivities.

“It has been a long project, but well worth the journey,” said Georgia Southern Museum Director Brent Tharp in a press release. “The upgraded facility and newly designed galleries represent a new era for the museum. Visitors will still find old friends, like the mosasaur, but exhibited in new more exciting ways, and will make new discoveries with never before exhibited artifacts in expanded permanent exhibits preserving the area’s culture. We are really excited to be back open to the public.”

Celebrating the reopening, there was a week of festivities planned starting with a geocache scavenger hunt Sunday, Earth Observation Day Tuesday and National Fossil Day on Wednesday with a pop-up museum at the Rotunda.

Thursday is dedicated to geoscientists. At the museum from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then again from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., there will be a rock and mineral identification table hosted by student Autumn Arnold. 

Friday features Nick Radko, a senior lecturer in the Geology and Geography Department, detailing how geologic maps work and highlighting the geographic map of Georgia. At the museum from noon to 2 p.m., student Josey Kearns will tell what is and isn’t a dinosaur.

Festivities conclude Saturday with International Archeology Day. The museum will be closed, but there will be videos featuring alumni Rhianna Bennett talking about her work in the field of archaeology. 

In addition to the Earth Sciences exhibitions, the museum will play host to two new exhibits such as the Delma and Beverly Presley Gallery  and the Jack and Addie D. Averitt Gallery. These galleries showcase a mosasaur fossil skeleton display as well as a pre Civil War era cotton gin, artifacts of the Gullah Geechee and other historically significant findings. 

Uncharted Worlds: The Natural History of Georgia’s Coastal Plain will be another exhibit that will show changes to Georgia’s landscapes over the years and Charted Worlds: The Cultural History of Georgia’s Coastal Plain will detail stories on cultural interactions that created the traditions and heritage of Georgia’s coastal plains. 

Saints and Sinners: Salvation and Damnation in Latin American Folk Art which is also the museum’s first bilingual exhibit and will remain on display until the beginning of 2022. This exhibit shows 100 pieces of art covering 1000 years of history, curated by Michael Van Wagenen and will further explore how different races and their descendants asked the fundamental questions of life.

The Georgia Southern Museum is located in Statesboro on Sweetheart Circle in the Rosenwald Building. It will be open from Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays, Saturdays and holidays. Admission is $4 for tickets. However, for a limited time, donations are being accepted. Children 3 and under are free.