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Birmingham Museum of Art Reopens

By David High

Photo: Sean Pathasema/Birmingham Museum of Art / CC

The Birmingham Museum of Art is preparing to open its doors to the public with a grand reopening on Oct. 6, since its closing earlier this year due to COVID-19.

“After being closed to the public for the past 6 ½ months, I’m most looking forward to seeing people in our galleries again,” said Graham Boettcher, Birmingham Art Museum director. “Our visitors are the lifeblood of the institution and art only comes to life when there’s someone there to look at it.”

Boettcher said the months-long close came after rapid growth of COVID-19 cases in the Jefferson County area in early March. Despite the physical closing, patrons were still able to attend the museum virtually. #BMAfromHome was introduced so art lovers could still enjoy the museum safely with live videos, digital exhibitions, art activities and games.

But with the museum now reopening, patrons will have a chance to view those artistic pieces in person with some new additions.

Boettcher said the new exhibitions will include “Ways of Seeing: Buildings and Monuments” and “An Epic of Earth and Water: Clare Leighton and the New England Industries Series.”

“One of these, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ opened right before the museum closed, so hardly anyone has had the chance to see it yet.” Boettcher said.

To keep patrons safe while visiting the facility, museum staff has implemented in-depth safety preparations prior to opening and new safety rules, according to Boettcher.

“Guest can expect a safe environment amid COVID-19.” Boettcher said. The museum staff created a COVID-19 task force before the museum closed and they have been planning for a safe reopening on Tuesday. “The task force has been meeting consistently since then to review, discuss and implement safety protocol and best practices.” Boettcher said.

According to Boettcher, among the new safety protocols implemented include:

Amid the changes, art lovers are excited about the reopening and plan to attend the museum after it opens. Rising artist and student at the University of Montevallo, Ariel Rivers, said she believes the museum is a great venue for upcoming artists.

“I think the museum inspires upcoming artists because it gives them a foundation to work and explore their talents in ways they couldn’t without looking at the history of what an art museum has,” Rivers said.

Randall Fields, a UAB student, said he enjoys the museum and believes artists of any caliber should visit the gallery.

“I think the museum can serve as motivation for upcoming artists and their work,” Fields said. “Seeing pieces from people from my city inspires me to envision my work in a museum one day.”

COVID-19 has caused many entertainment outlets to close and many of the citizens have been looking for safe outlets for the family. Cate Boehm, the communications director for the museum, said the staff is excited to resume operations and serve the community.

“While the pandemic is far from over, we believe that art is a powerful medium, with the ability to both heal and entertain at a time when our community may need it most,” Boehm said.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the Birmingham Art Museum’s website at www.artsbma.org.

Edited by Alivia Moore & Ryan Michaels

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Made By Students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham