Ards Arts Centre To Reopen With Social Distancing In Place.
Ards Arts Centre is set to reopen its doors to visitors on Monday 28 September after being given the green light at a recent special meeting of Ards and North Down Borough Council.
The centre which is housed in the old Town Hall building in Conway Square, Newtownards, has been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both of the Arts Centre’s galleries will be open for socially distanced visits, featuring exhibitions that originally opened in March before lockdown.
‘Under The Phoenix Eye’ by Raquel Amat Parra will be showing in The Georgian Gallery and ‘All Daughters’ by Sharon Canning will be on display in The Sunburst Gallery.
There will be plenty of opportunity for hands-on art and craft activity too with the commencement of the Autumn Creative Class Programme on Monday 12 October.
The six-week programme will include drawing, painting, floral art, jewellery-making and lots more. The classes are currently open for enrolment via the andculture website.
To ensure the safety of visitors and staff, social distancing measures will be in operation and visitors will be encouraged to sanitise their hands at sanitisation stations dotted around the building.
Group sizes should be kept to a minimum and everyone will be encouraged to respect social distancing. In line with current Government guidelines, visitors are also asked to wear a mask when in the galleries and public areas.
The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings, said: “It is fantastic to see Ards Arts Centre open to the public again.
“Engaging with the arts is so important for well-being especially in these difficult times and I hope everyone will come along and enjoy the wonderful exhibitions or sign-up to one of the creative classes.”
Emily Crawford, Arts and Heritage Manager for Ards and North Down Borough Council, also said: “We are delighted to reopen the Arts Centre after 6 months of closure. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the building and getting our new class programme under way.
“Participating in creative activity is very important and how this can have a positive impact on wellbeing. After such a challenging year we are excited to be able to provide opportunities for engaging in arts and creativity again with beautiful exhibitions and socially distanced hand-on activity.’’
Admission to Ards Arts Centre is free. Please note that due to essential maintenance, the front door of the building will not be in use for a period of time this autumn and visitors are asked to use the emergency exit door to the right of the building for access.
The Arts Centre will reopen under new reduced opening times: Monday to Thursday 9.30am – 4.30pm and Friday 9.30am – 4pm.