UPDATE: Since this article was published, Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art owner Sheila Moore has decided to not open to the public until later this summer "due to the rise of COVID-19 in our area."
The news that Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art is reopening in its new gallery space this week (June 23) is welcome to admirers of the kinds of art and regional and national artists the gallery has shown for years, mostly in a popular spot along Palm Avenue.
Owner Sheila Moore is now open in a complex called Art Central, at 1322 Central Ave., and will be on site Tuesdays through Thursdays, 1-5 p.m., and available by appointment (366-2454) other times. Philadelphia artists Tom Judd and Tremain Smith are among the creatives whose work will be on display at the gallery.
Other visual arts venues have been gradually reopening after closure due to COVID-19. The Ringling and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (which has extended its exhibit run of works by Salvador Dali) began welcoming visitors back May 27. Downtown’s Dabbert Gallery and Palm Avenue Fine Art, both on Palm Avenue, have reopened, as have Main Street’s Art Uptown and Stakenborg-Greenberg Fine Art, with several of these businesses offering reduced prices on sales due to the pandemic. Also open are Chasen Galleries in Southside Village, Grace Howl Contemporary Art and Gallery on Central Avenue and State of the Arts Gallery on State Street. And Art Center Sarasota is back to showing exhibitions in its galleries on North Tamiami Trail, with the Uncharted juried exhibition on view until June 30, followed by a national juried exhibit, The Big Show, opening July 16.
Still waiting to reopen for brick-and-mortar exhibitions are the Ringling College campus galleries and the affiliated Sarasota Art Museum. The college’s annual staff and faculty exhibition will be a digital/virtual one, with in-person shows tentatively set to begin in October. (If you happen to have business on the campus during August, however, the Patricia Thompson Gallery in the Keating Center will display new photographic work by alum Ian Dean.) The museum, which had formally opened in December in the transformed Sarasota High School Building on South Tamiami Trail only to have to close its doors in March, hopes to welcome back VIP members beginning in mid-August, followed by general members and then the public sometime post-Labor Day.
Of course, all gallery owners ask that visitors adhere to established social distancing and masking guidelines for their own safety as well as that of the staff. But if you’re ready to venture out to enjoy and appreciate the visual arts once more, they are ready to welcome you.