By Matthew Lewis, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – After closing their doors to the public eight months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Arts Warehouse in Delray Beach reopened in late November. With some new virtual programs and a continuation of their regular programs and events, the organization is ready for 2021.
The Arts Warehouse is an arts incubator space in Delray Beach for studio artists that also holds gallery exhibitions, visual art workshops, professional development opportunities, talks, and special events. After opening in late 2017, the space has been thriving, and has stayed active even during the Coronavirus closures.
The new regular hours of operation for the public are Thursday and Friday from 10AM to 7PM, and Saturday from 10AM to 5PM. There is also the opportunity to visit by appointment Monday through Wednesday as well, and while the team is excited to open up the space, they are doing so carefully.
Grace Gdaniec, manager of the space for the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), explained, “The goal is to be able to reach and share to as many people as possible. It was a time to research, plan, and set new goals for Arts Warehouse for whenever we would re-open.”
“Now that we’re at that point, it’s a matter of regaining the momentum we had in early 2020, but by being smart, safe, and engaging audiences in new ways – in person and online. We’ve received really positive feedback about the virtual/video engagement over the last eight months.”
On Friday, January 8th, will be the regular monthly First Friday Art Walk with open hours from 6PM to 9PM. This month, they are showcasing two exhibitions: LUMINOUS curated by the Contemporary Curators Collective (C3), and While You Were Away, work by the current Resident Studio Artists.
Other upcoming events on their calendar include; ‘Art Group | Art Crew’ on January 12th, which is an artist run group for those who are interested in providing support, resources feedback and discussions about art. Then there will be the ‘Paint Your Pet Portrait’ workshop on January 16th.
On January 23rd, there is an ‘Intro to Creativity inspired by Jackson Pollock’, an acrylic painting workshop that is a little art history, a little technique, and a lot of creative exploration. Then on January 30th, the ‘Intro to Creativity featuring Hilma af Klint’ will be held as a virtual lab.
Gdaniec explained, “We quickly moved as much as we could to a virtual platform [during the pandemic], primarily the AW website, Instagram and Facebook. For instance, we had just opened a new exhibition VISUAL VOICES at the beginning of March, and creating a virtual gallery for that show was the first step.”
“Website visitors were able to view each piece in the exhibition online, along with the descriptions and even wide shots of the gallery to get the feel of being in the space,” said Gdaniec.
Now with the space reopened at limited hours, the team is optimistic but carefully watching the pandemic landscape. Guests should familiarize themselves with the safety guidelines enforced before planning to visit.