COLUMBUS (WCMH)–The Columbus Museum of Art has reopened its doors to the general public and is encouraging everyone to come in for a mental health break.
“It’s really lovely to spend time with artworks. I feel like it’s a very healing experience and we could all use a bit of healing right now,” said Tyler Cann, the museum’s head of exhibitions and Pizzuti Family Curator of Contemporary Art. “It is wonderful to have people come back safely into the building and there’s been a lot of thought of how we do that in a responsible way.”
The reopening took months of thought and planning according to museum officials.
The Columbus Museum of Art has been closed to the general public since March 15th. Now, three months and two weeks later, the doors are open to all visitors with some new rules.
Most notably, visits are on reserved times to promote social distancing, so tickets must be purchased ahead of time.
“Know before you go,” said Mindy Galik, the museum’s manager for public safety and gallery experience. “We strongly encourage you to wear masks, social distancing, please be respectful of everyone’s space, you know kind of the standards you see right now.”
The museum also has special hours for the vulnerable population, like senior citizens.
“We actually went through our history of all of our sales and picked when our slow days were typically and set those hours aside where we cut down how many tickets we’ll sell in that time period as well,” Mindy explained. “It’s at great times. Like, Sunday is one of our busiest days typically, but we set hours aside on Sunday because it’s our free day. We wanted to make sure we were still being equitable to the community that can’t afford to come in.”
The museum does have a special exhibit reopening: the Art After Stonewall 1969 to 1989. The exhibit originally opened nine days before the pandemic shutdown after it took eight years to come together.
“To have it close like that was really gut-wrenching because we were so eager to share it with our community,” Tyler said. “We went to a great deal of effort to put together an exhibition with 165 artists, 240-plus objects that really tells an important story around Stonewall and the intersection between the LGBTQ civil rights movement and art in the two decades after Stonewall.”
The award-winning exhibit has been in New York City and Miami, and has now come home to Columbus where the creation and organization began.
“It is unbelievably timely. I mean we just had the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and of course we are seeing another kind of uprising right now. I think it’s very important to recall that pride itself was born out of an uprising against police harassment and depravity. For us it’s really significant to have this show right now,” Tyler said.
The exhibit has been extended to Oct. 4.
For more on the museum’s visiting guidelines, click here.