Art galleries begin reopening

Michael H. Hodges
The Detroit News

About to go into art withdrawal?

Take heart -- David Klein Gallery is opening in both Detroit and Birmingham Saturday, while the following week you'll be able to get into a number of other Detroit art galleries. But you'll likely wait a bit to reacquaint yourself with the Detroit Institute of Arts and most major museums, which are planning on opening sometime in the first half of July.

Opening June 26 will be Detroit Artists Market and Simone DeSousa Gallery, albeit -- like Klein -- with COVID-appropriate restrictions.

DAM will limit visitors to 20 an hour, as well as requiring face masks and appropriate social distancing.

Like many galleries in the metro area, Detroit Artists Market will reopen June 26, with a set of COVID-19 instructions.

"We even have sneeze guards up," said DAM Director Matt Fry. "We’re all wearing masks. We're taking it very seriously."

Both DeSousa and Klein will require reservations for specific time slots, as well as masks and appropriate social distancing. Klein will limit visitors to just four per hour in their smaller Birmingham gallery, and 16 in their more capacious Washington Boulevard space in Detroit.

DeSousa will be operating on a reduced schedule Thursday-Saturday, from noon-4 p.m. DAM and Klein plan on maintaining their regular hours.

For local galleries as for all small businesses everywhere, the COVID lockdown has been a disorienting experience.

Christine Schefman, Klein director of contemporary art, speaks for us all when she wrote in an email that it's been "such a weird time," what with the whole world in suspended animation, but adds that everyone at Klein is very excited to be reopening this weekend.

In theory, galleries and museums were free to resume business June 8, after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted her stay-at-home order, but they've all taken extra time to make sure they get the COVID safety routine right.

"We decided pretty early to limit visitors to 20 at a time," said Fry. "Our capacity is about 120, so that’s fraction of that. We have signs throughout the gallery about social distancing and asking people to wear masks. And we'll be meticulously cleaning with Clorox wipes."

On the 26th, DAM will open "Dell Pryor: A Common Thread," celebrating the artistic contrasts and overlap between DAM and the Dell Pryor Gallery over the decades, both venerable institutions with their own approaches to spotlighting Detroit visual artists.

The opening, at 20 people per hour, is already completely booked.

Simone DeSousa Gallery in Detroit's Midtown will reopen June 26 with "Michael Luchs: On the Fly," featuring the paintings of the Cass Corridor veteran. The show was supposed to open Apr. 11.

The De Sousa Gallery will open with "Michael Luchs: On the Fly," featuring paintings by the Cass Corridor legend originally scheduled to premiere April 11.

Klein will host "Elise Ansel, Palimpsest" at their Detroit space, while their Birmingham gallery will open with "Al Held, Watercolors."

(313) 815-6410

Twitter: @mhodgesartguy

David Klein Gallery

1520 Washington Blvd., Detroit - (313) 818-3416

163 Townsend, Birmingham - (248) 433-3700

Detroit Artitsts Market

4719 Woodward, Detroit - (313) 832-8540

Simone DeSousa Gallery

444 W. Willis, Units 111 & 112, Detroit - (313) 833-9000