SAN ANTONIO – Kick off the dust from your cowboy boots and head to the west at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. As of Thursday morning, San Antonio’s local western art museum has once again opened their doors after a two-month hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Thursday and Friday are open to members only, followed by Saturday’s opening to the public.
“We're going to have a lot of fun (Thursday and Friday) with live artist demos and crafts for kids,” Meredith Balzen said. Balzen is the communications coordinator for the Briscoe.
As the Briscoe was gearing up to debut their signature exhibit, “Night of Artists,” they were forced to shut down. The exhibit, which also serves as the museums largest fundraiser, had to be moved online.
“We have a mobile app that people can download to take interactive tours,” Balzen said. “Normally we have a big opening weekend with two different types of sales, but we had to cancel that this year and take it online. It's actually been very successful online.”
Hundreds of art pieces were uploaded to provide a virtual experience, but the Briscoe said what visitors can see in person is even better.
“We have over 80 artists that participate and it's everything from nature scenes to Native Americans and cowboys, to beautiful wild animals,” Balzen said. “I think that seeing that and experiencing (it in person) is just something we need right now.”
On Thursday and Friday of reopening weekend, the Briscoe will have special guests like artist Chris Hunt that members can interact with.
“We'll have artist demos today and tomorrow,” Balzen said. “Artists that participated in this year's “Night of Artists” Exhibit. The (artists) like the time (they have had during quarantine where) they can stop, create and they can think outside the box. This is a chance for them to come out and connect with people, especially our members, who are really supportive of our “Night of Artists” Exhibit.”
From the moment they step into the museum, visitors will notice signage to encourage social distancing, hand sanitizer stations and sneeze guards at the reception area.
Employees will all wear masks, and although masks are not required for visitors to wear, Balzen said they’re encouraging everyone to stay in-theme.
“We encourage them to stay safe the cowboy way by wearing masks,” Balzen said. “We have also taken out all of our interactive displays. We had iPads next to some of our displays, but we've taken (it down).”
Visitors can use the app during their visit to travel through the exhibitions. The “Night of Artists” Exhibit will be available for visitors to enjoy until July 26.
Museum hours starting May 23 are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Beginning Saturday, the Briscoe is offering a 50% discount on general admission tickets. Healthcare heroes will enter free until the end of the summer. Although tickets are available at the front desk, visitors are highly encouraged to purchase online to limit in-person interaction. Click here to buy tickets.