WEST JEFFERSON — The Ashe County Arts Council announced it would temporarily close Friday, Oct. 9, after the staff was exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
According to Arts Council Executive Director Jeff Fissel, everyone who has come in contact with the staff have been notified, while staff members have been tested.
“We closed after the stay-home order and then we’ve opened back up at limited capacity,” Fissel said. He added that the Arts Council has been following guidelines on social distancing, having hand sanitizer readily available and everything that has come with the pandemic. “Relatively speaking, things had been going really well. We’ve been able to have a couple of exhibits, artists have been dropping stuff off and putting things up on the wall, trying to make do with what the circumstances allow for.”
Fissel said that the entire building will be given a deep cleaning, while the location will be closed until they feel they can safely open.
The Arts Council’s current exhibit, “Best of the Blue Ridge,” is a juried exhibit which Fissel called one of, if not the biggest exhibit of the year.
Under non-pandemic circumstances the exhibit features a packed opening reception with awards given out, however the plan for this year was pre-taped presentation to go with a virtual tour of the exhibit. Fissel added the hope is that filming can take place soon, to honor the artists, but nothing is certain for now.
Ashe Post & Times will provide updates for this story as they are made available.