Many local galleries remain open under COVID-19 restrictions, in addition to hosting virtual exhibitions for at-home viewing
While museums across Washington state were recently forced to close their galleries to the public yet again, a good chunk of small, local art galleries that showcase regional artists’ work remain open.
And while its exhibit halls are closed for now, the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture has figured out creative ways to engage the public.
In-person visits to these spaces are subject to wearing a face mask, using hand sanitizer and staying 6 feet from others. Many of the region’s galleries, full of locally made gift ideas, are also encouraging visitors to schedule appointments to visit to further ensure safety.
Many galleries remain closed, opting to move exhibitions online. This includes most of the region’s universities, as well as some of the area’s larger public galleries. While viewing art online might not offer the same emotional response as seeing a piece in person, one benefit of these online shows is increased access for art lovers near and far.
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture
While folks hoping to see the four current main exhibitions — ranging from pop art to a World War II retrospective — will have to wait until Dec. 15 or later, the museum is engaging the public in several other ways in the meantime. The MAC store — a great place to find local gifts — remains open with limited hours, Friday through Sunday from 10 am-3 pm, during the temporary closure. Other activities centered on the holiday season, like festive fun at the historic Campbell House, also continue. Each Saturday in December, for a $5 suggested donation, families can enjoy a socially distanced, outdoor experience that includes a light display at the Campbell House and a vintage Christmas window display from the old Crescent department store, among other activities. Follow the MAC on social media or head to its website for the latest updates on the reopening of its galleries, and for more news on special events. 2316 W. First, northwestmuseum.org, 456-3931
Pottery Place Plus
This downtown mainstay inside the historic Liberty Building has long been a haven for local artists working in media of all types seeking exposure, and for art lovers to consistently find high-quality gifts, decor, fine art and one-of-a-kind pieces. Pottery Place Plus debuted as an artist cooperative in 1978, and is member owned and operated. Throughout this pandemic-shadowed year, the gallery/shop has continued to host monthly, featured guest artists alongside its members’ work. Pottery Place is open daily for in-person viewing and shopping, but also has an online store and gallery for direct purchases and inquiries. Gift cards can also be purchased there. Additionally, the website features an artist page where supporters can find links to each member’s personal website. 203 N. Washington St., potteryplaceplus.com, 327-6920
Spokane Art School
Although its popular classes led by some of the region’s most recognizable artists — Tom Quinn, Karen Mobley, Megan Perkins, Liz Bishop and many more — have been on pause since March, Spokane Art School has thankfully continued sharing art in other ways. Through its small gallery space, the nonprofit has kept people connected with the local art scene, including via its current Small Ornament and Small Works Show, through early January. Spokane Art School also has an online gallery and storefront for those who’d like a glimpse of what’s new without leaving home. If you visit in person, the school is currently open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm. 811 W. Garland Ave., spokaneartschool.net, 325-1500
While Terrain lost its flagship events in 2020 to COVID-19, including the titular one-night arts festival and two seasonal artisan markets, the nonprofit’s physical gallery has remained open. While its recent printmaking show Huella Dactilar just wrapped up, arts supporters can expect another exhibition to go up in its place for December, and more in the new year. As with many of its counterparts, Terrain’s staff has also been posting images of recent shows’ art to a virtual gallery space, where purchases can also be made. The Terrain gallery is currently open Thursday through Saturday from 6-8 pm with new showcases debuting the first Friday of the month from 5-8 pm. 304 W. Pacific Ave., terrainspokane.com
Trackside Studio Ceramic Art Gallery
Each December, Trackside Studio on downtown’s west end hosts its annual Cup of Joy invitational, featuring handmade vessels — cups, mugs, steins, bowls, etc. — from artists around the region and the country. The seventh iteration of the exhibition is open and continues through mid-January. To visit the gallery and working ceramic studio, home to local clay artists Gina Freuen, Mark Moore and Chris Kelsey, current hours are Wednesday through Friday from 11 am to 5 pm, and Saturday from noon to 4 pm. Only three guests are allowed at a time, and face masks are required. The gallery has also launched an online store for those who can’t visit in person. 115 S. Adams St., tracksidestudio.net, 863-9904