By Kylie Masznicz and Isaac Hoops
The Nevada Museum of Art reopened its doors Saturday, June 20 after being closed since mid-March due to COVID-19. The first day open to the public was a free Community Day, meaning admission was free for everyone.
The museum had been working on a reopening plan since April, assembling a nine-person committee and staying abreast of guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine the safest way to invite arts patrons to return.
The hard work paid off and those who visited the museum Saturday felt safe while admiring the artwork, including Joel Lindsey and his daughter.
“There are hand sanitizers pretty much at every entrance,” Lindsey said. “And then I’ve seen the staff cleaning the elevators, cleaning the handrails. I think they’re doing a good job.”
Before the museum closed their doors back in March in response to closure and stay-at-home orders, curators were working to open a new exhibit: The World Stage: Contemporary Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation. The exhibit features artwork from 35 different artists highlighting diverse backgrounds and world views.
The museum has decided to extend this exhibit into early 2021. The decision was prompted by the building momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, given that the exhibit featured artists of color and would stimulate conversations about Black art and expression.
Sean Savoy also visited the museum on Saturday with a friend and talked about the role art plays in modern culture.
“I think in these times when we’re suffering so much and missing people, we can connect to others through art. Imagine the world without art and music,” Savoy said. “So, I’m glad that [the museum] is one of the places that can be open now. We were very lucky that we got to come in and see this exhibit, in particular with the African American art.”
Lindsey echoed Savoy’s sentiments.
“I mean for me, the restaurants and stuff that’s fine and all, but that’s not something I’m interested in like the arts. That’s something to do, something to look at, something to look forward to, as opposed to just hanging out and eating. You look at the art and that can kind of start your own conversation with things.”
In a time when the world feels like it falls apart more and more each day, art is something that can provoke meaningful conversations and open people’s minds to new concepts. If art is something that’s been missing from life these past few months, the NMA is now open for reservations.
To ensure safety, the museum is allowing limited capacity to help enforce social distancing. To book a time slot to visit NMA’s website at www.nevadaart.org.
Kylie Masznicz is a recent graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, where she studied English with a concentration in writing with a minor in Communication Studies. She writes culture pieces for ThisIsReno, but her work has also been featured on Broadway Baby and Brushfire Literature & Arts Journal. Her goal is to write a novel. She enjoys art of all forms, but chooses to express her own creativity through writing, music, and nail art. She also collects Christmas sweaters and has enough to wear one everyday from Thanksgiving to New Years.