After being closed for the past few months in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19, museums and art galleries in Quebec are set to reopen as early as Feb. 8.
Montreal’s arts and culture industry, like many others, has been suffering because of the pandemic, and many Montrealers are ecstatic to get back to a more colourful life.
“When you go to a museum and look at a piece of art — (to) have the emotion when you look at it, you can’t have it (digitally),” said Pascale Chassé, communications director at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA).
According to some experts, art is a form of therapy– especially in these difficult times.
“Unfortunately because of the pandemic this opportunity has been taken away from a lot of people that were able to relieve their stress or ground themselves through art making or art activities,” said Reyhane Namdari, therapist and founder of Montreal Art Therapy.
“Arts is important and culture is important this is something a part of our life and our community and without that it’s like you miss something,” Chassé said.
Observing, enjoying and practicing art is known to reduce stress and anxiety.
“Research shows that a lot of people that have been hospitals or are homebound because of illnesses they find that they can ground themselves,” Namdari said.
Some feel the Quebec government hasn’t done enough to help the industry.
“The government seems to think art is a luxury and there are more urgent to take care of but of course we all know especially in this kind of difficult times culture is really important,” art historian Itay Sapir said.
The MMFA says it can allow 135 visitors per hour in all four exhibitions. Tickets to the McCord, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) and MMFA will be available on its websites.
“(There will be an) online ticketing syste because you have to reserve your place to come at the museum now,” Chassé said.
The MMFA’s permanent collections, however, will remain closed and some aren’t pleased.
“There’s no access to these works at all. I myself have not seen any artwork from my own field in a year,” said Sapir, who teaches art history at L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).
During the time museums were closed this year, some exhibitions were running out of time — the clock was ticking and many end dates were fast approaching.
The MMFA says it has done its best to keep the art-on-loan hanging on its walls for as long as it could through negotiations and solutions.
“Sometiems it’s not possible because the exhibition is going somewhere else, or the loan is not possible to extend or we have another exhibition that we have to open… And you know it’s very difficult,” Chassé said.
The museum of fine arts and the McCord are set to open on Feb. 11 and the MAC on the 10th.