After nearly 11 months, the Kennedy Museum of Art has reopened to the public with new COVID-19 regulations in place.
While the museum was not accepting visitors, it provided an opportunity for the public to view their collections through an online portal.
“We have been continuing to do programming and bringing people into the museum virtually,” Lisa Quinn, the registrar of the museum, said. “Everybody’s had to change the way they deliver information.”
Both students and staff worked together to research the best possible way to create the virtual portal.
“We did research about other art museums,” Jocelin Arbenz, a sophomore studying sociology-criminology and an employee at the museum, said. “(We) ended up figuring out how other places were doing virtually so that we could build off that and find something that works for us.”
While virtual, the question still remained of how the museum could return to in-person visits. With guidance from Ohio University’s COVID-19 protocols, it reopened with requirements like scheduling visits, wearing a mask and remaining 6 feet apart.
Typically, the museum is used to receiving hundreds of K-12 students on school trips in the spring. Due to limited space, the museum will only allow 10 visitors during the visiting periods. The visiting periods are open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
“We have many new protocols to learn, but we’re doing it,” Quinn said. “It’s great to see people in the museum and being able to enjoy art first-hand.”
Another required protocol includes visitors calling the front desk and entering through the side handicap entrance. This makes a space for those who are exiting to go through the front door. From there, visitors are free to explore the open exhibits as long as they follow social distancing guidelines.
The museum is featuring a number of exhibits right now, one being “Legacy: 60 Years of Graphic Design.” This exhibit is a collaboration of Don Adleta and Karen Nulf’s work over the years.
“It’s a combination of their personal work, their professional work and work that they created with students,” Quinn said.
After nearly a year of being on hold, the “Emerging Artists: High School Photography 2020” contest debuted. The contest was juried by Ohio University professors Laura Larson and Laura Kirksey. Other exhibits include “Pattern and Disruption: Diné Lifeways and Embedded Mathematics” and the visual literacy gallery.
For some students visiting, the building holds an appeal since it’s their first time on campus and the building is a part of the old asylum.
“My family has always had a home at Ohio University, and one thing that was super interesting to us was the asylum,” Veronica Adams, a freshman studying early childhood and elementary education, said. “We thought it was super cool that you could actually go in there and look at what they’re putting in there but also look at the history behind the asylum.”
The museum will now be open to the public by appointment only, which you can schedule here.