The Agnes Etherington Art Centre reopens to the public

The Journal talks Agnes reopening with staff member Kate Ducharme

Members of the public can now see art in-person again at The Agnes.

After Kingston moved back to the green zone, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre reopened to the public on Feb. 20with a maximum capacity of 41.

In an interview with The Journal, Kate Ducharme, visitor services assistant, described the process of reopening with social distancing protocols.

“We’re a very safe space, and visitors really adhere to our guidelines and I think they’re just excited to be able to come and experience art again,” she said.

According to Ducharme, the reduced capacity in the art centre allows for a more intimate viewing experience.

“It’s a huge change, and you do feel that change when you’re in the galleries. Most times you’re in the galleries with just yourself or with the household that you’re with, which also allows for a real personal experience with the exhibitions.”

Ducharme is excited about the reopening and looks forward to seeing people enjoy the experience of viewing art in-person again.

“It’s wonderful to be able to share those experiences with people,” Ducharme said. “We have a collection of 17,000 pieces, so there’s lots to share. There are new exhibitions from visiting artists as well, so it’s a great opportunity to come in and check it out.”

Agnes staff members faced a challenge last spring when COVID-19 forced them to move online, but Ducharme said she’s proud of the work the team has accomplished.

Read More: The Agnes goes digital

“Virtual exhibitions and public programing all went online, so that was a huge shift for our staff. And a lot of that work is still going on, trying to make those exhibitions available because not everyone has the option to come in person,” she said.

For those unable to visit in person, Ducharme recommended taking advantage of the Agnes’ online resources, which include workshops, lectures, and tours.

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