Many of San Francisco's notable art hubs — like the de Young Museum and Asian Art Museum — opened this week at 25 percent capacity. And SFMOMA, too, is set to open its doors on October 1, revealing a new indoor mural and a timely collection featuring Bay Area artists’ responses to the pandemic.
Like we reported earlier this week, 78 percent of the Bay Area is in the “red” on CA's COVID-19 reopening map — which, for San Francisco, means churches, gyms, and, of course, museums can open at limited capacity. With that news, SFMOMA is gearing up to reopen to members of the institution on October 1 and will open its doors to the general public on October 4. Out of the exhibits on display, both non-members and insiders will have a chance to gaze up at an all-new, expansive indoor mural and an exhibit inspired by local artists' takes on the pandemic.
It's official: We're reopening on Sunday, October 4!🎈— SFMOMA (@SFMOMA) September 17, 2020
The cherry on top? Admission is free through Oct. 18. Our focus is on keeping our visitors + staff safe as we reopen. We can't wait to welcome you back! Stay tuned for info on booking tickets on https://t.co/a5tbcoPW4Q 👀
Among the to-be-revealed works, none perhaps are as striking and captivating as Twin Walls Mural Company's Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams, which was commissioned just or SFMOMA. It’s a self-described deeply personal project from artists Elaine Chu and Marina Perez-Wong, who say that the piece is rich with symbolism — chakras are found throughout the piece and exist as the foreground for the 46-foot-long, floor-to-ceiling mural.
Our Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams also focuses on the "healing and resiliency" in response to the imbalances of our world from COVID-19, generational trauma, pollution, and inequality; Perez-Wong’s is also battle battling stage IV breast cancer, so the work harps on that chord, as well.
(The piece lives as part of a greater series at the museum called Bay Area Walls, an initiative meant to fill SFMOMA with suitable works that reflect the local artist community, as well as larger, global issues at hand.)
SFMOMA will also present the Close to Home: Creativity in Crisis, an exhibition featuring seven local artists’ responses to the pandemic, beginning next week. The collection brings together seven Bay Area artists — among them Carolyn Drake, Rodney Ewing, and Andres Gonzales — to share how they perceive the COVID-19 pandemic and, frankly, this moment in human history.
The works, which will all be featured in the museum’s third-floor photography galleries — though, it's not all too clear if all the on-display projects will solely be made up of photographs — wax on how this year's disrupted our collective daily routines; thrown us into endless protesting and rallying; left millions woefully unemployed and financially precarious; and, more or less, made us all say that "2020 can't get anywhere worse.”
That is until it actually does.
But at least we'll have some sublime expressions of creativity to look at… whenever the next blow this year decides to inevitably throw down on all of us hits.
Just 𝟗 days left until we reopen to the public!— SFMOMA (@SFMOMA) September 25, 2020
That means just nine more days until you can revisit exhibitions like @dawoudbey's An American Project or Thought Pieces. Starting today, you can now book your free tickets to visit the museum: https://t.co/MIPeQjCSwo pic.twitter.com/JdR1x2ryQm
Both Close to Home: Creativity in Crisis and Bay Area Walls will be displayed alongside ongoing exhibits like Elemental Calder, Open Ended, and Thought Pieces. SFMOMA is also celebrating two weeks of "Free Community Days and free parking at the museum" from October 4 to October 18.
You can read more about the museum’s safety protocols and COVID-19 visitor guidelines, here.
Related: Bay Area Now 78% 'Red' On State's COVID-19 Reopening Map
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Image: Courtesy of Katherine Du Tiel, via SFMOMA