Morean opens its FREE galleries and offers Chihuly Collection discounts to first responders’ families

28 May 2020, Posted by Robin McGowan in Community, News, Press Releases

The Morean Arts Center, the region’s oldest community arts center, has re-opened their free galleries on Central Avenue and Morean Center for Clay at 420 22nd Street South in St. Petersburg. The Central Avenue galleries have extended thru June 25th the 4th annual Fresh Squeezed exhibition featuring emerging artists from across Florida. It is a first solo exhibition in Florida for each of the 6 artists selected through a juried review of nearly 200 applicants. The artists, including Tampa artist Krystle Lemonias, USF’s Cindy Leung, Orlando based Nicholas Kalemba, transplanted Luca Molnar, Jared Ragland from Tarpon Springs, and St. Petersburg native Chelsea Rowe have each created new works specific to the exhibition space.

The Morean Arts Center galleries will also open a “Pelican Proud” exhibition on Saturday, June 13. Nearly 40 local artists have used the official bird of the City of St. Petersburg as inspiration for tributes to the perky shorebird who is a symbol of community cooperation and kindness.

“Although our visitor experience may look different, people’s desire to come together and connect with others over art will remain. Now they will be doing that in a new socially-distanced way. Our gallery spaces allow for social distancing and also evoke a sense of calm that is part of healing at these difficult times,” says Howayda Affan, Executive Director of the Morean Arts Center. “We are asking people to socially distance and to wear masks as we welcome them back into our wonderful galleries. We are also using advanced ticketing for the Chihuly Collection with visitors required to pre-purchase their tickets online ahead of their visit. Our team has been phenomenal in helping us navigate through these new realities,” she added.

The Chihuly Collection is offering a discounted ticket option to First Responders and Medical Workers. Adults who work on the front-lines of responding to community needs, and their families are able to enjoy the visual escape of the Chihuly Collection for $5 each. Children under the age of 5 are always free. “We seek to honor our local heroes and to offer a brief respite for them and their families,” says Affan.

The free galleries at the Morean Center for Clay in the heart of Warehouse District will feature the work of Artist-in-Residence Yeonsoo Kim from Monday, June 1 to Monday, June 8th. Yeonsoo of Haenam, South Korea was selected from a field of nearly 50 global artists to participate in the 2019-20 Artist in Residence program at the Morean Center for Clay. Solo exhibitions of the other five Artists in Residence will be featured at the Morean Center for Clay over the months of June and July.

Additionally, the Morean Arts Center has launched a number of FREE opportunities to keep audiences engaged with Art online. The Morean introduced several online art classes for adults and teens. In response to community demand, they have also launched new Fun Art Boxes (FAB), a summer camp concept in a “to go” box, while simultaneously adjusting the capacity and plans for in-person summer art camp options.

“We are a resilient organization and this pandemic has forced a different dialogue with the public that would allow us to continue to deliver on our mission at some immensely difficult times.  Through new engaging online experiences, our virtual audiences have grown by leaps and bounds. During the past several weeks we have seen over 50,000 online interactions with new audiences worldwide,” says Affan.


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