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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Coronavirus: Exhibitions open again in Sheboygan with restrictions

Coronavirus

John Michael Kohler Arts Center

John Michael Kohler Arts Center entrance. (JMKAC photo)

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WFRV) – The arts center that features artists who bend rules has reopened, with not so much bending of rules for viewing.

According to a press release, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center at 608 New York Ave. has set new hours and timed-entry reservations along with requirements.

“COVID-19 has brought many changes to the ways we conduct our daily lives and the ways the Arts Center continues to engage people in rewarding arts experiences,” says Sam Gappmayer, director, in the press release. “The safety and well-being of our visitors and staff has been our top priority in developing policies and staff training that allow us to open our doors again.”

Since its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the center has implemented measures based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state authorities. As always, center admission is free. 

New measures include:

+ Public hours have been reduced to allow for deeper cleaning of the facilities. The center is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with Thursday hours extending to 7 p.m. Member-only hours are 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

+ Timed reservations are set up for social distancing within the building and galleries. Contact jmkac.org. Walk-in visitors will be accommodated if a time slot is available.

+ Face masks are required for all staff and guests. A limited number of masks are available upon request.

+ Visitors and staff must maintain a social distance of at least six feet from each other. However, social distancing is not required for visitors within the same group.

+ The museum will be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, and high-touch surfaces will be sanitized throughout the day.

+ Hand-sanitizing stations are located throughout the building.

Highlighting the reopening is a new group exhibition, “Between You and Me,” featuring contemporary artists whose work engages in acts of community connection and care.

Included are works by Chloë Bass, Sara Clugage, General Sisters (Dana Bishop-Root and Ginger Brooks Takahashi), Harriet Tubman Center for Expanded Curatorial Practice with Lisa Jarrett and Harrell Fletcher featuring the work of Lawrence Oliver, John Preus, Benjamin Todd Wills and Christine Wong Yap. 

“Between You and Me”is part of “On Being Here (and There),” an exhibition series exploring how artistic practices can enhance and activate our communities.

Online offerings such as 360-degree gallery videos, art activities and artist interviews related to “Being Here (and There)” can be explored at jmkac.org/cares. Information about the “Thursday Nights Together (at a Distance)” program is available at jmkac.org.

Starting in June 2021, viewing of the center’s collection of 25,000 individual works of art by more than 30 art-environment builders will be available at new satellite campus, the Art Preserve.

Founded in 1967, the center promotes “understanding and appreciation of the work of self-taught and contemporary artists through original exhibitions, commissioned works of art, performing arts, community arts initiatives and publications.”

The center’s collection includes artist-built environments, the work of self-taught and folk artists and works created in an arts/industry residency program.

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