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Art show reception makes the most of masks

Art show reception makes the most of masks

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The Arts Center staff wanted to host an evening reception for the Around Oregon Annual 2020 Exhibition. And with everyone required to wear masks to it anyway, an artist suggested they call it a “masquerade.”

The theme and name stuck.

Thursday night, the gallery will present its “Masquerade on the Plaza” reception. Visitors are encouraged to wear festive and decorative masks to the outdoor event.

Masks aren’t the only safety precautions being taken, says Michele Griffin-Campione, director of communication and development of The Arts Center.

“Hester (Coucke) is installing the physical distancing network on the square, so that people will know where to stand,” Griffin-Campione said.

Small groups of guests will be invited inside the gallery to view the exhibition during the reception.

The Arts Center hasn’t hosted receptions in months because of the pandemic, so staff has looked for alternative ways to gather people together, Griffin-Campione said.

Curator Hester Coucke said that it has been difficult.

“Everybody is hungry for some sort of connection. You can only tolerate so many Zoom meetings,” she said.

The hope is an outdoor reception makes it more possible.

“We feel that we need to be embracing this new normal, and that we can do it in this way,” Griffin-Campione said. ”We just want to celebrate our creative community. So many other ways have been curtailed by COVID.”

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