Aspen Art Museum to reopen Wednesday for first time since March
The Aspen Art Museum will reopen to the public Wednesday and welcome the public with extensive health and safety measures in place to protect staff and visitors, it announced Tuesday.
Museum officials finalized the opening plan Tuesday after Pitkin County cleared the way for museums to open last week. It has been closed since mid-March due to public health restrictions in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Starting Wednesday, visitor traffic will be regulated to 25% of capacity throughout the building, in compliance with current city and country requirements. Hourly entries will be limited to 50 people, and group party sizes limited to six people. While walk-in visitors will be permitted as capacity allows, the museum strongly recommends reservations. Entry can be pre-booked via aspenartmuseum.org at no charge.
All visitors and staff will be required to wear face masks, and there will be hand sanitizing stations on each floor, as well as at the entrance and exit of the museum. Traffic in the galleries will be one-way, and there will be designated paths in some areas to ensure a minimum of 6-feet physical distancing at all times.
Wednesday’s opening marks the first time the public will see “where i am and was,” the first solo museum exhibition of British painter Rose Wylie in the United States. Originally scheduled to open March 20, the exhibition has been extended and will remain on view until Nov. 1.
Two outdoor sculpture installations, the openings of which were postponed due to the coronavirus, also will now be open to the public: Maren Hassinger’s site-specific work “Nature, Sweet Nature” in the Roof Deck Sculpture Garden and Kelly Akashi’s “Cultivator” in the Crown Commons.
“Nature, Sweet Nature” features two distinct wire and concrete works — “Garden” and “Paradise Regained” — which mimic the plant life in the museum’s open-air Level 3 environment. Hassinger is known for exploring nature and movement in commanding sculptures that juxtapose the natural and industrial worlds — galvanized wire ropes resemble reeds, grasses and other vegetation.
“Cultivator” consists of a larger-than-life bronze cast of the artist’s own hand, overgrown with glass flowers and vines. These glass pieces reference flora local to the Roaring Fork Valley.
The museum’s SO Café will be open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with limited capacity table service available by reservation for parties of six people or fewer. Weekly menus and café guidelines are available online.
The first public evening event scheduled as part of the museum reopening is the Jazz Aspen Snowmass JAS Café summer series. It will launch with evening performances July 10 and 11 in rooftop space. Tickets are limited to 50 people per show with two performances each evening.
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The Belly Up Aspen owner on Thursday told members of the Pitkin County Board of Health he’s committed to ensuring that 80% of his customers each night will be vaccinated.