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Museums and galleries reopen as coronavirus restrictions ease

Lynne McBride of the DCA Learning Team looks at the Emma Talbot exhibition Ghost Calls at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) ahead of the building reopening to the public on Wednesday 28th April. Pic by Jane Barlow

By Lucinda Cameron, PA Scotland

Galleries and museums around the country are reopening as coronavirus restrictions ease.

From April 26 indoor attractions and public buildings such as museums, galleries and libraries are allowed to reopen as Scotland moves from Level 4 to Level 3 of the Scottish Government’s five tiers of coronavirus restrictions.

Museums ranging from the Riverside Museum and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow to the National Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two) in Edinburgh are among those opening their doors again on Monday.

A new campaign to help the public find their nearest gallery and champion Scotland’s contemporary art and studio facilities has also been launched.

The #ArtUnlocks campaign, organised by Scottish Contemporary Art Network (Scan), will highlight the cultural opportunities in neighbourhoods across Scotland.

In Edinburgh, Dovecot Gallery presents a brand new show of work by Scotland’s “forgotten pop artist”, Archie Brennan.

Opening on April 26, Archie Brennan: Tapestry Goes Pop! celebrates Pop artist, weaver, and former Mr Scotland Archie Brennan who is described as someone who changed the course of modern weaving.

Sculpture park Jupiter Artland near Edinburgh is already open to visitors, and on May 8 will unveil a brand new work by Rachel Maclean, who represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2017, while visitors will also be able to see four landmark works made by the artist during the last decade.

In Dundee, artist Emma Talbot, who won the 2020 Max Mara Art Prize, will present her first ever solo show in Scotland, “Ghost Calls”, which opens at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) on April 28.

Scan director Moira Jeffrey said: “As Scotland begins to open up after a long, tough winter, we’re delighted to be sharing the good news that contemporary art is safe, family-friendly and opening soon in your neighbourhood.

“From Orkney to rural Dumfriesshire, Dundee to Edinburgh and Glasgow, you will be able to visit outdoor and indoor venues this spring and summer.

“As art unlocks its doors across the country, we know it also unlocks potential, new ideas and health and wellbeing. Scotland’s art galleries, workshops, and contemporary art venues are waiting to welcome you.”

New openings will be announced and shared using the hashtag #ArtUnlocks and a continually refreshed list of contemporary art openings will be available at:

In Glasgow the CCA (Centre for Contemporary Arts) in Sauchiehall Street re-opens on Friday April 30 in preparation for a new exhibition in partnership with Glasgow School of Art.

The title of the exhibition, ambi, is Punjabi for the pattern known as Paisley Pattern and the show opens on May 7.

Other museums and galleries reopening this week include The Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, Black Watch Castle and Museum in Perth, and Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, near Melrose in the Borders.

Lucy Casot, chief executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “It has been an incredibly challenging year for the sector’s staff and volunteers.

“Everyone is looking forward to welcoming visitors back and they have worked immensely hard to make it a safe experience, without losing the magic of spending time in a museum and gallery.

“Museums need our support now that they are open, and we encourage people to visit them in person or online.”

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