Arts Place Reopening Soon

Arts in the Parks will return to St. Marys this summer but will be modified to adapt to social distancing and other health guidelines. ArtFest has been canceled for 2020.
Staff Writer

After a plumbing issue closed the Arts Place Auglaize-Mercer Center on March 25, the doors have not opened since as the state issued the stay-at-home order during that time. That closure will end on June 15.

“We’re really excited to be able to open up again,” said center Director Heather Dowell. “There will be changes we have to make to keep up with health guidelines but we will be open again soon.”

When the center reopens, masks will be required inside the building and social distancing will be expected of guests as will hand washing upon entering. Opening receptions will be made virtual until further notice and carry-in food and drink is now prohibited.

Additionally, the center’s annual ArtFest — held concurrently with the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce’s SummerFest — is canceled for 2020.

“We typically send the prospectus out in April, but with all the uncertainty, we didn’t know if or when we could open so rather than changing the plans often, we canceled,” Dowell said. “It was tough making these decisions and we know it’s not what anyone wanted because we didn’t want to cancel either but we thought it was best to make a decision and stick with it instead of keeping everyone guessing.”

Although ArtFest is canceled, Arts in the Parks is still on for this summer. While social distancing will be used, kids will still get to make personalized art in the great outdoors. 

Some of the projects from previous years include making paper, painting rocks and sculpting animals.

“We are so excited to still be able to offer Arts in the Parks this year,” said Dowell. “We have had tons of interest, and the best way to stay up to date is to check out our website for updates, classes and events.

“We are going to be frequently disinfecting the facility and doing everything we can to keep people safe while still enjoying art made by local people.”