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Art galleries operate under the new normal

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 7:36 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Many art galleries had to cancel art exhibitions when the pandemic first started, but now that public spaces are opening back up, how are they operating under the new normal?

We spoke with the staff at the Bismarck Art and Galleries Association and an artist about how they’re adjusting to the new social distance guidelines.

These paper plate creations, made by 80-year-old Bradford Hansen-Smith, are on display at the Bismarck Art and Galleries Association.

Gallery staff said attendance has been down during this pandemic but, Hansen-Smith said a fewer patrons doesn’t make him blue.

“We don’t know how many people go to galleries in the first place so as an artist if one person walks into the gallery and looks at my work that’s good,” said artist Bradford Hansen-Smith.

Staff at the gallery said they’ve implemented hand sanitizer, masks and social distancing.

If more than five or 10 people visit at a time, they asked them to wait in the lobby until there is enough space.

The gallery received funding through the Economic Resiliency Grant for financial assistance to help get them though the pandemic.

“We ordered all of the touch-less bathroom fixtures and faucets and water fountain and they have just now finally, due to COVID and transportation, it’s been a long time coming,” said Linda Christman, Bismarck Art and Galleries Association executive director.

The wood art and quilted paintings created by Sister Nancy Gunderson, a Benedict and nun at the Annunciation Monastery, are also currently on display.

Hansen-Smith display was sponsored by the national endowment for the Arts grant, and his and Sister Nancy’s creations will on display until Feb. 20.

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