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Stark Museum of Art reopens Oct. 7 after being closed due to COVID-19

The Stark Museum of Art will be open again Wednesday, Oct. 7. Admission is free, but masks are mandatory and social distancing guidelines are posted in the exhibits.
Credit: Stark Museum of Art

ORANGE, Texas — Another attraction in Orange will be reopening this week. 

The Stark Museum of Art will be open to the public again starting Wednesday, Oct. 7. Museum hours will be Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. 

“Community members and visitors are invited to come enjoy the beauty of the American West as a break from COVID 19, Hurricane Season, and the hustle of the new school year," director Trina Nelson Thomas said in a news release. "The staff have missed you, and are anxious to welcome back your smiling and masked faces.”

Museum staff have instituted new safety protocols for the well-being of visitors and staff. 

Here is a list of the precautions: 

  • mandatory face masks
  • hand sanitizing stations
  • new signs encouraging social distancing and a recommended route through the exhibitions
  • replacing hands-on activities with alternative engagement
  • increased cleaning schedule in public areas
  • a short video about the museum's new safety protocols and what you can do to have a safe and enjoyable visit, posted on the museum's Facebook page and website.

The Stark Museum of Art is currently featuring a collection of American Western art, including paintings, sculpture, prints, rare books, glass and a collection of Native American work like textiles, baskets, pottery, clothing and jewelry. 

Other collections on exhibit are The Drawing Experience, the Orange County High School Senior Art Exhibition and a community gallery exhibition along with three retro cars for a limited time — a 1911 Hupp Motor Car Company roadster called the Hupmobile, a 1922 Ford Model T Runabout truck and a 1950 Crosley Super Sport. 

Several new additions to the museum's collection are the "The Four Seasons" painting by Ila McAfee, two Grey Hills style weaving by Bertha Stevens and a collection of sketches by Paul Kane. 

“We encourage visitors to enjoy the process of looking at art," Thomas said.  "At this time when the galleries will be especially quiet and uncrowded, it will be a good opportunity for slow viewing." 

Museum staff created a brochure for visitors explaining slow art viewing with recommendations for looking closely at works of art and enhance the experience. 

Anyone who is not ready to visit the museum yet can see some collections digitally through social media, YouTube, or visiting www.starkmuseum.org or www.whstarkhouse.org

The Stark Museum of Art also said they plan to release details about booking virtual field trips soon. 

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