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BMoCA reopens, welcoming visitors two days a week

Visitors can purchase tickets online to check out the exhibits on Wednesdays and Fridays

A detail of “Open,” by Joel Swanson can be seen in BMoCA’s foyer. On Wednesday, the museum reopened allowing a limited number of guests to visit within 30-minute blocks. Patrons can purchase tickets online and check out the work on display on Wednesdays and Fridays, from 1- 7 p.m., through July 24. (BMoCA/ Courtesy photo)
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Throughout stay-at-home orders, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art has kept fans of the creative world entertained with intimate virtual artist studio tours, talks from creatives and encouragement to followers to fill Instagram with creations of their own. Wednesday the museum welcomed visitors back into its space at 1750 13th St. for the first time since closing in response to COVID-19 in mid-March.

Paintings in “Margaretta Gilboy: Flying in the Hands of Time: A Retrospective” can be seen at BMoCA. The museum has reopened, allowing masked visitors in on Wednesdays and Fridays through July 24. (Wes Magyar/ Courtesy photo)

“We are thrilled to be able to invite patrons into the museum again,” said Kiah Butcher, community engagement and events coordinator and host of BMoCA’s Virtual Studio Tours series. “‘Night Reels: The Work of Stacey Steers’ and ‘Margaretta Gilboy: Flying in the Hands of Time: A Retrospective’ have been extended to give our community additional opportunities to experience the exhibitions for the first time, or to return and view the exhibitions time and time again.”

Understanding that not everyone will be able to visit, the museum’s online offerings will stay consistent and diverse.

“We will continue to provide excellent virtual programming even as the museum opens so visitors have multiple ways to engage with the museum,” Butcher said.

From 1- 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays through July 24, visitors can make an online appointment to check out the latest work on display.

“We’re reevaluating frequently and hope to offer additional dates and times as health restrictions ease, but are prepared to adjust if restrictions stiffen too,” said Sarah Braverman, development and marketing associate.

Tickets are available for purchase on BMoCA’s site, as no cash will be accepted on the grounds. Limited tickets will be available for walk-up visitors as capacity allows, but will have to be purchased with a credit card.

“BMoCA sent out a survey to our constituents asking them about what would make them feel the most comfortable visiting the museum once we reopen,” said Elatia Wintersquash, visitor services lead. “Their insight informed the dates and times we are first offering in our phased reopening, and many respondents voiced that they are excited for us to reopen with social distancing and mask-wearing policies.”

Ten visitors, donning appropriate facial coverings, will be able to explore exhibitions while keeping their distance from fellow visitors within designated 30-minute blocks.

“The entire museum is filled with incredible work, it’s hard to pick just one,” Butcher said. “Something new of note is an installation by Joel Swanson titled ‘Open.’ It was installed in the museum’s entryway right before we reopened to the public. Swanson was engaged to develop this work in response to the closures required by the coronavirus.”

Swanson’s colorful spray-painted creation is almost reminiscent of a word search.

Visitors can also become enveloped into the eerily fascinating animated films of Stacey Steers. The films feature her intricate handmade black-and-white works on paper. Her on-screen mixed media offerings are surreal with floating fish, herds of moths and airborne beds, yet possess the mystical quality of silent films that came of age in the late 1800s.

“Night Reels: The Work of Stacey Steers” can currently be seen at BMoCA. (Wes Magyar/Courtesy photo)

“My favorite piece is the ‘Night Hunter House,’ which gives me the ability to see Steers’ films within a 3D atmosphere,” Wintersquash said. “It makes the events happening to the women in the films feel more real and gives the films a real physical setting.”

Patrons can also take in the brightly hued oil and watercolor paintings of the late Margaretta Gilboy that playfully depict stirring portraiture and lush still lifes filled with trinkets, fresh fruit and budding flowers.

BMoCA, a center known for its vibrant Thursday night art openings and eclectic community events is working towards creating more opportunities for folks to view art responsibly.

“We are easing into our phased reopening, but we are starting to look at options for our third year of Art @ One Boulder Plaza series, which invites people to have an ‘art break’ during their day outside,” said Gwen Burak, deputy director. The courtyard of One Boulder Plaza is on 13th Street between Canyon and Walnut in downtown Boulder.

“Helen & Alice at the Museum,” a commissioned work made from polypropylene webbing by Steven Frost can be seen on BMoCA’s InsideOut exhibition space on the north side of the museum. (BMoCA/ Courtesy photo)

Staff is also looking to set a date for an eventual outdoor event with artist Steven Frost to celebrate his work that is installed on BMoCA’s InsideOut exhibition space on the north side of the museum.

In the meantime, all group programs and events will be held virtually.

“Art can mean so much to so many people — safety, respite, calmness, et ceteraand to be immersed in great talent like the artists we have on exhibition can certainly act as a healing element and an insightful escape from the day to day,” Butcher said.

As always, entrance to the museum is $2 and free for members and children under the age of 12. Additional donations are always accepted.

“One of the biggest reasons why we chose to reopen was that we felt like during these hard times it’s very important to provide a place where people can come and view artwork since art can be very healing and inspiring,” Wintersquash said. “I feel like those benefits seem very important as we go through the current events that have been happening.”

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