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Fresno Art Museum sets opening date for Oct. 22. The world just got a little better.

In a major boost for the local cultural scene, the Fresno Art Museum will reopen its doors to the public on Thursday, Oct. 22. It will be the first time in six months that patrons will be allowed back in the building.

“I am ecstatic,” said Michele Ellis Pracy, executive director and chief curator.

Ellis Pracy, who has been navigating a thicket of city, county and state coronavirus regulations and anxiously watching countywide numbers of COVID-19 cases, spoke on Wednesday morning shortly before an email blast went out to museum members informing them of the news.


Related story: AT ANNUAL MEETING, FRESNO ART MUSEUM’S MICHELE ELLIS PRACY CASTS AN OPTIMISTIC EYE TOWARD A BETTER 2021
And: MCCLATCHY ENDOWMENT WILL PUMP $1 MILLION INTO FRESNO’S LOCAL VISUAL ARTS SCENE

Curatorial staff led by Sarah Vargas and Esther Patch have been inside the building at work for several weeks hanging a new centerpiece exhibition, ““Here She Stands,” featuring works of celebrated women artists from the museum’s permanent collection, and a new solo show featuring the works of textile artist Bonnie Peterson.

“The new exhibitions are glorious,” Ellis Pracy said.

For the first two weeks of the opening, admission will be limited to museum members. The building will open to the general public on Nov. 5.



Reservations and timed entry will be required by all visitors, and capacity will be limited to 25% capacity. Reserve your tickets in advance to guarantee entry and a more contact-free visit by calling 559-441-4221.
Masks are required for all guests age 3 and older and will be provided to those who need them. Review the comprehensive safety protocols and COVID-19 specific guidelines by clicking here.

New hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays.

Plans for a limited museum opening have been in flux for several weeks. Originally, the museum had planned to reopen on Oct. 17 under the new restrictions. However, shortly before that announcement was to be made, county officials warned that tighter restrictions might be coming. Museum staff postponed the reopening.

This week, however, the situation remained stable. According to the Bee:

Fresno County on Tuesday held onto its second tier status for economic reopening, remaining within the state threshold that allows certain businesses to operate under health and safety guidelines.

According to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the California Department of Public Health on Tuesday kept Fresno County assigned to red Tier 2 status for a third straight week. That means businesses such as restaurants, tattoo parlors, nail salons, churches, and fitness clubs can keep operating indoors with limited capacity.

For now, then, as long as the county can keep out of the first tier, or “Purple” category, we’ll once again be able to enjoy “live” visual art. Let’s cherish the opportunity.


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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com

Comments (2)

  • Joelle Morrison

    In your wonderful article about Nancy Youdelman’s exhibit, you misspelled important words. It should be accoutrements (with two c’s), not accouterments, and brooches, not broaches. Not life-threatening, obviously but please can you fix them?

    reply
  • Jerry Palladino

    I, Michele and all of us from Fresno Art Museum appreciate you immensely, despite your occasional error(s) in spelling. Fix your errors. Ms. Morrison should have brought this up a long time ago. Nancy’s exhibition was far from recent!!!

    reply

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