The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts is pleased to announce that the Newport Visual Arts Center will reopen to the public on Saturday, October 24. During the facility’s start-up phase, modified gallery hours will be Wednesdays and Saturdays, noon to 4pm. The VAC’s Runyan Gallery and Coastal Oregon Visual Artists Showcase Gallery (COVAS) will host visual art exhibits by Gregg Pfarr of Corvallis and Friderike Heuer of Portland. Visitors will also be able to preview items in the upcoming Nye Beach Banner Auction, beginning October 31.
During Phase 2 of the COVID-19 reopening process, all visitors to the VAC will be required to wear masks and have their temperatures scanned with no-touch thermometers. Masks will be available. Social-distancing guidelines will be followed, and visitors will be directed with floor arrows through the galleries and out separate exits. Barriers will be in place to separate VAC visitors and staff. Capacity will be limited to 20 persons in the VAC’s Runyan Gallery and 2 persons near the COVAS Gallery. Public spaces will be sanitized on a regular basis. The building’s classrooms will not be available for rental during the reopening’s start-up phase.
“The VAC has been closed since March 21, and so we had to get creative,” says Tom Webb, VAC Director for the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts (OCCA). “We moved all our current exhibits online, and created the Oregon Coast Online Art Show and the Oregon Coast Artist Talks series. And now we are excited to celebrate the VAC and the visual arts with in-person visits.”
Visitors to the VAC’s Runyan Gallery will enjoy Greg Pfarr’s exhibit, “A Sense of Place in the Pacific Northwest,” a series of paintings and etchings reflecting the high-alpine drama of the Cascade Mountain Range and Alaska. Pfarr’s work was recently honored by the Oregon Arts Commission with an exhibit at the Oregon’s Governor’s Office, considered to be a life-time achievement for artistic excellence. Since 1990, Pfarr’s work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows nationally, including the Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Art Downtown Los Angeles and the First Street Gallery in New York City.
Visitors to the VAC COVAS Showcase will enjoy Friderike Heurer’s exhibit, “Postcards from Nineveh,” a series of photomontages combining contemporary landscapes with historical Dutch whaling paintings. Heuer’s photography has been exhibited at the Lightbox Gallery (Astoria), Camerawork Gallery, the Oregon Jewish Museum, Blackfish Gallery, Newspace Center for Photography, Gallery 114 and the Artist Repertory Theatre (all Portland).
“The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts is taking measured steps to reopen the VAC in a way that protects the safety and well-being of our staff, volunteers and guests.” says David C. Carnevale, OCCA Interim Executive Director. “The visual arts add to the vibrancy and vitality of our community, and we are pleased to be able to make sure our residents and visitors are able to experience the amazing offerings at the VAC in person once again.”
Access to the VAC will be limited to the facility’s main entrance off the Nye Beach Turnaround (777 NW Beach Drive). Persons experiencing any symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus are asked to not visit the facility.
Community members can contact VAC staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-265-6569.
The Newport Visual Arts Center presents over 25 exhibitions annually in three gallery spaces, offers youth and adult art classes and workshops, and programs the annual Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival. Various other events and arts programming are offered through third-party rental partners.
The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts manages the Newport Visual Arts Center and the Newport Performing Arts Center for the City of Newport. OCCA also presents arts programming in each facility and serves as the regional arts council for Oregon’s seven coastal counties. OCCA’s mission is to develop, promote and celebrate community arts.