Dusting off the displays: Turchin Center reopens to the public


Courtesy of TCVA

“Fictive Strategies: Suzanne Sbarge & Holly Roberts” is one of the galleries currently on display at the Turchin Center.

Aubrey Smith, Reporter

When walking down King Street, people stop and stare through the tall glass window of the Turchin Center. Closed since the start of the pandemic, visitors have only been able to get a glimpse of the artwork from the outside. For those curious about what lurks behind the glass, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts will reopen to the public on Thursday. 

Admission will remain free, and the center will use a ticketed reservation system to ensure safety for staff and guests, which visitors can access from its website. The Turchin Center will also welcome walk-ins as capacity allows, but will give those with reservations priority.

The center will operate on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12-4 p.m., but will extend hours back to their regular days of operation, Tuesday through Saturday, if the system works properly. 

“What we want to do is make sure that the system is operating as efficiently and safely as possible, and then we definitely will be expanding our hours to get back to what we used to be open,” said Lynn Rees-Jones, the director of marketing for the Turchin Center. 

The Turchin Center is requiring masks and social distancing, and is currently working at 50% capacity, Rees-Jones said. 

“We’ve really thought through the whole process and we feel like we’ve come up with a really good method to ensure people’s safety and enjoyment of what we have in our galleries,” Rees-Jones said. 

The Turchin Center has been closed to the public since mid-March of last year but has continued to provide services for App State staff and students. Adjusting to the pandemic, the center began to offer art talks, exhibition guides and tours to students digitally. 

“It has come with its challenges, but we feel like we really were able to sustain our programming,” Rees-Jones said. “Honestly, because we were digital, we had participants that we normally wouldn’t have.” 

The Turchin Center will host their annual Summer Exhibition Celebration July 2, where visitors can make reservations to see exhibitions in six of their galleries and talk to fellow art appreciators and some of the artists of the galleries themselves. 

“It’s just a really nice opportunity to get together with other people who have an interest in the arts,” Rees-Jones said. “I think that’s something that a lot of people have missed this past year because there hasn’t been the opportunity to go and physically look at art.”