Greetings Three Rivers Artist Guild and Gallery Members –
Hope you and your loved ones are all safe and well. It’s been a time of uncertainty, anxiousness, and concern for all of us – but also a time of inspiration, introspection, and a reevaluation of what is most meaningful in our lives. Life is all about change. We are definitely in the midst of transforming into a new world.
I’m sure that many of you have been wondering what is happening with our Gallery at the Singer Hill Café in Oregon City. Since information from our City, County, State and landlord seems to change on a daily basis, we wanted to receive a more definite plan of action before contacting you all.
As you probably know by now, retail and art galleries in particular have already received permission to open. Currently, they are to follow the guidelines of retail stores such as Fred Meyers and Target which were deemed essential. The only requirements at this time are:
- Limit the number of customers in the retail store and focus on maintaining at least six (6) feet of distance between people and employees in the store. Store management should determine maximum occupancy to maintain at least six (6) feet of physical distancing, considering areas of the store prone to crowding (like aisles) and limit admittance accordingly.
- Post clear signs (available at healthoregon.org/coronavirus) listing COVID-19 symptoms, asking employees and customers with symptoms to stay home, and listing who to contact if they need assistance.
- Use signs to encourage physical distancing.
- Frequently clean and sanitize work areas, high-traffic areas, and commonly touched surfaces in both customer/public and employee areas of store. Wipe down changing room doorknobs, walls and seating between each customer use.
- Require all employees to wear cloth, paper or disposable face coverings. Businesses must provide cloth, paper or disposable face coverings for employees.
In addition to these requirements, there are strongly recommended guidelines, but are not required. For these and more detailed information you can go to: Specific Guidance for Retail Stores.
I would like to make it clear that these guidelines for reopening a retail space are not a part of Phase I. Clackamas county, which the gallery is a part of, has not even submitted their plan to the Governor for approval. Mainly because Clackamas is more affected than other counties and has a longer process for submission and approval. When and if Clackamas County is approved for Phase I reopening, the above guidelines already in place will most likely entail more restrictions. This may include tracking customers entering the store in case of future infections. For complete information on each Phase of reopening, you can go to Reopening Oregon.
The TRAG Gallery has its own set of issues and concerns since we are located inside of a restaurant/café, and restaurants are not approved yet for reopening. Although the Gallery could potentially reopen by use of one of the Café doors, we would obviously lose the traffic from the café and the potential income. Additionally, the owners of Singer Hill Café are currently seeking a new owner and/or looking at a different business model for their site.
After much discussion at our TRAG Board meeting on May 15th and conversations with the Singer Hill owners, we have decided to keep the Gallery closed until the Café actually reopens. We have a potential date of September 1 st , but this of course could change.
If you currently have art in the Gallery, we will be in touch shortly with a plan and schedule on when you can pick up your art. We will have artists come in intermittently and require masks and other safety precautions as required.
TRAG is also deeply concerned about our members’ thoughts and feedback on reopening. Basically – we would like to know if you are comfortable yourself in participating in the Gallery when the Café reopens. If you would be so kind as to answer that question below, we will continue with our plans and guidelines for reopening. We will be sure to update you as time goes by and different guidelines are instituted by our governing officials. Take care and stay well.
President, Three Rivers Artist Guild