Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all had to adjust. And as the world around us continues to adapt to the new norm, that includes the way we enjoy art.
In March, museums, galleries and installations had to close to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Many of those establishments pivoted to virtual viewings, but as Gov. Greg Abbott started to reopen state businesses, some have reopened with new safety guidelines, allowing us to engage with art in person again.
Art has long served as a special way to escape life’s uncertainty, even if it looks a little different now. We’ve compiled a list of eight stunning art exhibitions you can visit in the Lone Star State this fall while wearing a mask and maintaining safe social distance. Check with each one for the latest hours and guidelines before traveling.
If you can’t escape from the city, indulge in the colorful exhibition "Concrete to Canvas" at West Chelsea Contemporary (formerly Russell Collection Fine Art). This is the first show in their expansive, remodeled space, running through Dec. 31. Expect to see works from some of the biggest names in street art, from Banksy and Jean-Michel Basquiat to Kaws and Keith Haring. The collection is a celebration of graffiti, street art and the artists that sprung from such movements.
Face coverings are required at all times in the space, and there are hand sanitizer stations and social distancing reminders throughout the space.
Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. daily, with private morning appointments available. Address: 1009 W. Sixth St. Online: wcc.art.
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Art in a parking garage, because why not? Public arts organization Aurora currently is hosting an immersive exhibition titled "Area 3." The exhibit has taken over more than 100,000 square feet of a parking garage in downtown Dallas. Featuring works by 16 regional artists, the exhibition includes extensive light, video and sound installations, as well as performances, all viewable from the safety of your own car. If you’re looking for another reason to explore "Area 3," here it is: The exhibition supports local artists and vendors whose income has been adversely affected by the pandemic. "Area 3" will run through Jan. 1.
Hours: 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Address: 1600 Commerce St. in Dallas. Tickets: $30 per car. Online: area3.site.
While you’re in Dallas, be sure to visit Sweet Pass Sculpture Garden’s outdoor installation, titled "Black Power Naps Park/Parque Siestas Negras," which runs through Dec. 10. Curated by Ignite/Arts Dallas director Clyde Valentín and Southern Methodist University Pollock Gallery director Sofia Bastidas Vivar, this interactive and multisensory installation highlights themes like reparation and environmentalism. "Black Power Naps," created by Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa, has been presented in cities such as Miami and Madrid. This is the installation’s first outdoor exhibition. Rest and reflect in a hammock or on the lush mounds of grass while you absorb the tranquil blend of wind chimes and music.
Hours: 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; make required appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Address: 402 Fabrication St. in Dallas. Online: sweetpasssculpturepark.com.
Last month, the experiential art exhibition Hopscotch opened in the heart of downtown San Antonio. (It had previously done a pop-up in Austin.) The curated gallery features over 40 local, national and international artists. Amada Miller, a multidisciplinary artist, is the mastermind behind one of our favorite immersive installations at Hopscotch, titled "A Strange Slant of Light." We won’t fully spoil the surprise, but it’s a sculpture that includes hanging acrylic shapes coated with color-morphing film — and you become part of the art. Hopscotch has a list of coronavirus safety protocols on its website, including limited capacity and required face masks.
Hours: 2 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Address: 711 Navarro St. in San Antonio. Tickets: $15-$29, and children 3 and younger are free. Online: letshopscotch.com.
From November 6, 2020 through May 21, 2021, San Antonio locals and visitors can engage with the innovative group exhibition "Please Form A Straight Line" at Blue Star Contemporary. The timely theme of the exhibit encourages viewers to take in how society is designed both physically and existentially. Whether it’s artist Yuge Zhou’s experimental video installation "Midtown Flutter" or the paintings of Maggie Evans’ series "Collective Behavior," there’s surely a featured artist that will captivate your senses. COVID-19 safety protocols are listed on the website and include face masks, social distancing and prescreening with touchless thermometers.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Address: 116 Blue Star in San Antonio. Tickets: Donations accepted from the general public; military, veterans, educators, students with ID and Lone Star Card holders are free. Online: bluestarcontemporary.org.
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You can’t talk art without making mention of Marfa. The beauty of this West Texas town is meant to be explored from the inside out — literally. One of the most mesmerizing contemporary art mainstays is the Chinati Foundation. While the campus’ indoor museum remains closed, self-guided walking tours of the outside sculptures are open to the public. You’ll be able to soak in the sun while taking in 15 untitled concrete works and peer through the windows at 100 untitled aluminum works created by Chinati’s founding artist, Donald Judd, plus other gems along the path. Guests also will be able to catch sight of the remarkable architecture of Fort D.A. Russell, as well as get in touch with the beautiful, sweeping landscape and wildlife that brought Judd to Marfa. The foundation has its coronavirus protocols listed on its website, so review them before traveling.
Hours: 8 to 11 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, by reservation only. Address: 1 Cavalry Row in Marfa. Tickets: $15. Online: chinati.org.
Houston-based art gallery Laura Rathe Fine Art unveiled a joint artist exhibition, "Untethered," on Nov. 12, and it runs through Dec. 12. Featuring Texas-based artists Carly Allen-Martin and Lucrecia Waggoner, this multimedia show features artwork inspired by freedom (Allen-Martin) and ideas of naturalism in an industrial world (Waggoner). Both artists are releasing completely new bodies of work that are full of exquisite colors and textures. Masks are required, and there are social distancing reminder stickers on the floors.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, with appointments recommended. Address: 4444 Westheimer Road in Houston. Online: laurarathe.com.
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth currently has "Meditations: Eleanore Mikus at Tamarind" on exhibit through April 18. Mikus adapted her style from painting to printmaking. Consisting of rare prints Mikus created at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1968, "Meditations" is an exhibit that is just as pleasing to the eyes as it is to your heart. The museum lists its coronavirus safety protocols on its website.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Address: 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth. Online: cartermuseum.org.