Umlauf Sculpture Garden Reopening

Especially when it's rich with art, the outside is in again

Umlauf Sculpture Garden (Courtesy of Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum)

It's problematic to visit an art gallery right now, what with only the effectiveness (such as it is) of masks and social distancing to keep critical numbers of the present coronavirus out of one's lungs. Problematic because a gallery is typically an inside thing. It's most often an interior, that which architecture exists to more or less exclude from what lies beyond, to protect from the greater uncertainties (weather, wildlife, marauding or just clumsily destructive humans) running ever amok through the exterior.

Thus does Austin's Flatbed Press, that epicenter of the printing arts, currently offer only three-at-a-time, scheduled viewings of the gorgeous collections within its new venue. Thus does the Neill-Cochran House also require scheduled entry (and boast "HEPA filter ventilation") for visitors to its "If These Walls Could Talk" exhibition of contemporary sculpture inside the newly reopened historic rooms (Wed.-Sun., 11am-4pm). Thus do ICOSA and Vault Stone Shop provide their visual feasts in front-window arrays for a citizen to enjoy while gadding about the metrop.

Because it's only the great outdoors, when sparsely populated, that's as low-risk as self-isolation right now. As The New York Times notes, "In one study of more than 7,300 cases in China, just one was connected to outdoor transmission."

But of course, not all art collections are inside: Hello there, Umlauf Sculpture Garden!

(At this point, you can imagine the Umlauf's executive director, Sarah Story, waving back with a friendly, "Howdy!" and telling us the news. But, actually, we got a press release.)

The Umlauf will reopen its famed garden (but not the interior gallery) to the general public on Sat., June 6, 11am-4pm, featuring all those expertly wrought sculptures, the bronze or stone cynosures from Charles Umlauf and others anchoring sight among the bright gardenscapes and tree-towered paths: perfect for a strolling, fresh-air respite from yet another screenful of pixels in your all-too-familiar abode.

Still, the usual safety measures will be in effect: a limit of 30 visitors in the garden at a time, a one-way marked path to follow, masks and social distancing strongly encouraged, etc. (You know the routine: You're an old hand at this pandemic shit by now, right?) Also, know that the Umlauf's private event rentals will resume with limited capacity set by local and state guidelines – and its summer camp program will proceed with those restrictions in mind, too.

See the museum's website for details and to schedule an appointment.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

605 Azie Morton

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Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, Charles Umlauf, Flatbed Press, Neill-Cochran House, ICOSA, Vault Stone Shop

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