Albany Museum of Art Plans to Reopen to Public July 17th
Monday, June 8th, 2020
Officials with the Albany Museum of Art are planning a reopening in stages, with public visitation resuming on Friday, July 17 following a special week for AMA members.
The AMA also will make its current exhibitions available as virtual tours starting Sunday, June 7.
“We are optimistic that we will be able to reopen on this target date and ensure the safety of both our guests and staff,” AMA Executive Director Andrew James Wulf, Ph.D., said. “We are working on safety protocols that will be protective while also providing a robust experience for our members and guests.
“We will follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health, as well as local authorities. If there are developments that warrant it, we will adjust our plans. Our museum has always served as a safe place in every respect for those who enter it. That is a proud tradition we will continue.”
The museum has been closed to the public since March 18 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dougherty County has been one of the hardest hit areas in Georgia. When the AMA reopens, any special requirements, such as limits on the number of visitors in the building at one time and the use of facemasks, will be posted.
Before the museum reopens to the general public, members of the Albany Museum of Art will be able to visit the museum beginning Thursday, July 9. On that date, three new exhibitions will open at the AMA.
“We are giving our members a special preview week as a special thank you for their support, which enables us to offer free admission to the AMA,” Wulf said. “Many of our members have renewed their memberships during this period of closure. It has been heartening that even in these difficult times, our members stand firmly behind the importance of the mission of the AMA and its value to the community.
“We are happy that our members will have the opportunity to be the first to see these new exhibitions featuring fascinating works by Juan Logan, Brian Willmont, Eddie Dominguez and Martha Clippinger.”
The first guests who will return to the museum will be the youngest—summer art campers. Beginning the week of Monday, June 22, the AMA will return to conducting art camps at the museum. Camps through Friday, June 19 are being conducted online via Facebook groups.
“We have really missed having the kiddos here at the museum,” AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. “Our virtual camps in the box have been great, especially under the circumstances, but the experience is much richer when they are conducted in-person.”
Vanoteghem noted that precautions based on health officials’ guidelines will be followed to ensure the safety of campers. Camp sizes will be smaller than usual to ensure each camper has enough space.
“Our camps normally sell out, so with smaller camps that likely will happen more quickly than usual,” she said. “We are already seeing a lot of registrations, which is a very good sign.”
Wulf said it is unfortunate that the March closing prevented many people from viewing the current exhibitions. That is especially true for Cut & Paste: Works of Paper, which includes work by 11 Georgia artists. It opened in the Haley Gallery on Feb 26, just three weeks before the museum closed to the public.
“We initially hoped we would be able to reopen before the exhibition closes on June 27, but that will not be the case,” Wulf said. “Dean Mitchell and Yanique Norman, whose exhibitions opened in January, also graciously agreed to allow us to extend their shows until June 27 with that hope.
“We have, however, found ways to bring these exhibitions to the public.”
AMA Guest Curator Didi Dunphy is narrating a series of short videos spotlighting the 11 artists in Cut & Paste. Those AMA-produced started May 11, and new videos are being posted on Tuesdays and Fridays on the AMA’s Facebook page.
Virtual tours of the current exhibitions will debut this weekend on the AMA’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AlbanyMuseumOfArt), Wulf said.
“While nothing compares to seeing art in person, these virtual tours will be tremendous opportunities from those locally and beyond to experience these exhibitions,” Wulf said. “The video tour of Cut & Paste will premiere this Sunday (June 7) on our Facebook page.
“We will follow that Monday (June 8) with a virtual tour of Dean Mitchell’s exhibition in the East Gallery, Looking at America and Painting How I Want, What I Want and How I See It. The video tour of Yanique Norman exhibition in the West Gallery, Do Not Hand Me Over to the Impure Whiteness of Noon: A Hemings Elegy, will debut Tuesday (June 9).”
After the videos premiere on Facebook, they also will be accessible on the AMA’s YouTube channel and on the museum’s website.
“COVID-19 forced the Albany Museum of Art, as it has schools, colleges, businesses and other organizations, to make virtual experiences a bigger platform for outreach,” Wulf said. “We have had great success with online contests and challenges, Facebook Live events and videos.
“As we move forward, I expect these and other virtual experiences to continue to be a vital part of our service as we strive to bring art and new ideas to the local community and beyond.”
CURRENT AMA EXHIBITIONS
n Cut & Paste: Works of Paper, works by 11 Georgia artists, is in the Haley Gallery.
n Looking at America and Painting How I Want, What I Want and How I See It, works by Dean Mitchell, is in the East Gallery.
n Do Not Hand Me Over to the Impure Whiteness of Noon: A Hemings Elegy, works by Yanique Norman, is in the West Gallery.