Art Council’s The Gallery Shop Now Open 3 Days each week
Virus protection measures implemented
Garrett County Arts Council’s The Gallery Shop in Oakland is now open three days each week, continuing its reopening plan following the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown that began in March. The Gallery Shop, located at 108 South Second Street, will be in operation on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The days and times are subject to change, depending on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Board of Directors, The Gallery Shop Committee and staff hope this schedule will hold throughout the summer.
The Arts Council staff, headed by executive director Kathy Beachler, has instituted a number of virus prevention measures at the shop. All who enter the building are required to wear masks, as mandated by the state and further supported by the owners of the building in which the gallery is located. The check-out counter is equipped with a large plexiglass barrier, and the capacity of patrons is set at no more than 10.
As patrons enter, they are invited to use the hand-sanitizer available at the door and are encouraged to avoid handling any art work. However, disposable gloves are available for use if necessary. The staff members report their own temperature at the beginning of each shift and keep a record of each time they clean off countertops and touch points in the shop throughout the day. They use industrial strength cleanser made specifically for public use areas.
“We are happy to be able to add another day to our operations,” said Beachler. “Our patrons should know that we are doing so only after engaging in virus-prevention training, and we are working very hard to keep our guests, our artists, and our staff members as safe as possible. We greatly appreciate the cheerful compliance our customers have shown so far.”
The Gallery Shop has several new items on display and for sale, as the member artists have been active in adding new work to the collection. There are two new display racks set up, allowing more hands-free viewing of matted prints and other work.
“All through the shut-down, the artists have remained active, as has the staff,” the executive director said. “We are continuing in our mission to support and promote our many artists and are happy to be able to offer our platform to them to show and sell their work. We hope you will come see us soon!”
The Gallery Shop is one of many Garrett County Arts Council projects. The work of more than 150 area artists is featured in the shop, which is located in the heart of the Oakland Arts & Entertainment District. Persons may come to the Gallery Shop during the days and times noted above, or may make a private appointment by calling the GCAC at 301-334-6580 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Mary McEwen of The Garrett County Arts Council