When phase one of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to reopen the state went into effect May 4, local art galleries weighed whether or not to reopen.
They could, as retail stores, which were included in this first phase. Many galleries are opting to remain closed for now, including St. Petersburg’s Mize Gallery, which will open its second virtual exhibition May 15. And the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance is hosting another, enhanced Virtual Art Walk on May 9.
But some local galleries did reopen this week, and have tried to do so safely. A few reported that traffic has been slow, though many commented that they rarely drew large crowds even before the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what to expect at Tampa Bay’s reopened art galleries.
Articles/Leslie Curran Gallery
Leslie Curran has reopened her gallery, although she hasn’t been able to keep framing in Articles, the framing business two doors down from the gallery, because of distribution issues with her suppliers. She’s allowing only four people in at a time; her staff are wearing masks and she is asking that customers do the same. The gallery is participating in the Virtual Art Walk this weekend with a special exhibition of work by the late Jack Barrett. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund. The current exhibition is “Art Brut,” featuring works by painter Michel Delgado and ceramic artist Rebecca Zweibel. The gallery has also put its entire inventory online. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. 1431 and 1445 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. articlesstpete.com.
Jeff Schorr, who owns cafe and fine craft gallery Craftsman House in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District, said that his employees are wearing masks and practicing six-foot-apart guidelines. Schorr spent recent down time putting the gallery’s inventory online. The gallery is hosting its 14th annual Teapot Show, opening May 9. It will also be posted online. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 2955 Central Ave. (813) 323-2787.
The gallery that features contemporary paintings and studio glass art is open, although owner Susan Baisden hasn’t seen any traffic yet. She said that they’re taking all of the necessary precautions and will work with clients to deliver work safely. The gallery’s artists are featured on the gallery’s website, at baisdengallery.com. Noon-3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment. 4203 El Prado Blvd., Tampa. (813) 250-1511.
Clay and Paper Gallery
The Dunedin gallery has reduced its hours by closing on Mondays, and is asking that customers wear a mask. Employees have also marked the floor for the six-feet-apart rule and have signs asking people not to touch items unless they plan to buy them. The gallery features the ceramic work of Ira Burhans (pictured) and handmade American craft. Owner Barbara Burhans said she has been busy putting inventory on online at claypaper.com. 362 Main St., Dunedin. (727) 736-0934.
The Beach Drive gallery dedicated to American Craft is seeing a bit of traffic, owner Matt Shapiro said, likely due to its proximity to restaurants. He said they’ll have no problem with the 25 percent capacity guidelines, because they don’t meet that even under normal circumstances. But they’re keeping things clean and even have artist-made face masks available for sale. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 300 Beach Drive, NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 894-2111. shapirosgallery.com.
Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass
The beauty of some small businesses like Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass is that they rarely draw large crowds, said gallery manager Linda Gagliostro. So they’re open to the public again, but are following all the guidelines, offering masks to customers and mitigating the amount of people in the gallery by taking appointments. The gallery is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary and has hosted prestigious artists including Peter Max, pictured. Gagliostro has kept customers engaged on social media with images of the artwork in the gallery. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. 247 Main St., Safety Harbor. (727) 725-1808. sydentelgalleries.com.
St. Pete Artworks
The gallery that features works from members of the Gulf Coast Artists Alliance is open with reduced hours and also offering online shopping and shipping. It is also part of Saturday’s Virtual Art Walk. Noon-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday or by appointment. 2412 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. stpeteartworks-onlinestore.com.
Duncan McClellan Gallery
The gallery of glass art is usually a hotspot during the Second Saturday Art Walk, and it will be on the Virtual Art Walk, but for now it is open by appointment only, which can be scheduled via the website. The current exhibition is “Colorfield.” In the meantime, the gallery has been enhancing its digital outreach and plans on filming tutorials and demos for the DMG School Project, Duncan McClellan said. He also said that DMG will be offering private classes. In person, the gallery will be following all of the guidelines, including offering hand-sanitizing stations. “One advantage we offer is we are a large, open-air gallery, plenty of airflow, with high ceilings,” McClellan said. 2342 Emerson Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (855) 436-4527. dmglass.com.
Charlie Parker Pottery
You’ll have to make an appointment to visit Charlie and Nancy Parker in their gallery and studio, and they can’t offer classes yet, but they, too, are part of the Virtual Art Walk. Nancy said they have mostly been relying on online sales and social media auctions. 2724 Sixth Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 321-2071. charlieparkerpottery.com.