Soaking Up Sun at the Museum

“The Princess‘” (2018) © Bisa Butler



Two extraordinary exhibitions will stick around in Westchester just a little longer than planned. These are one-person shows by two brilliant African American artists that opened just shortly before the coronavirus changed our world.

At the Katonah Museum of Art, the vivid portrait quilts of Bisa Butler reign in the galleries until October 4th, 2020 before traveling to the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC). Bisa Butler: Portraits is the first solo museum exhibition of the artist’s work and features her vivid and larger-than-life quilts that capture African American identity and culture. Butler, a formally trained artist of Ghanaian heritage, broaches the dividing line between creating with paints on canvas and creating with fiber by fashioning magnificent quilts and elevating a medium hitherto designated as craft into one that is clearly high art. While quilts have historically been isolated in the history of art as the products of working women, Butler’s work not only acknowledges this tradition, but also reinvents it. What results are stunning works that transform family memories and cultural practices into works of social statement. Before you go, get to know the work and take a virtual tour of the exhibition by clicking here.

Admission for Bisa Butler: Portraits, which opens to the public Sunday, July 26, requires advance reservations to ensure the comfort and safety of visitors and staff. Face masks are required for all visitors over age two. Twenty-five visitors will be permitted in the museum per time slot. Families are also welcome to visit the Museum’s Learning Center with timed tickets. If you are a senior citizen or have a compromised immune system, fear not. Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10-11:15am and Sundays from 12-1pm are reserved exclusively for visitors who are at a higher risk of more serious COVID-19 complications.

At the Hudson River Museum (HRM), a smashing collection of works by Derrick Adams will reopen to the public on Saturday, July 25. Due to social distancing guidelines, only 40 people will be allowed into the museum at one time and pre-registration is required.

Derrick Adams is a visual and performance artist whose work frequently references images and themes of Black culture in America. If you feel you missed out on soaking up the sun pool-side this summer, check out the artist’s Floater series, which folks at HRM describe as “a world where joy, love, leisure and even prosaic normalcy play central roles.” Derrick Adams: Buoyant will be on view until August 23, 2020, before traveling to the Museum of Fine Art St. Petersburg (MFA St. Pete) and his site-specific We Came To Party and Plan will be on view at HRM through October 18, 2020.

So here’s what you need to know: All visitors to HRM are required to reserve timed entry tickets and can be purchased on their website or over the phone (914-963-4550). Upon entry into the museum, visitors will be required to wear face masks. All staff will also wear masks. The HRM has created a set one-way route that adheres to social distancing regulations, where visitors will be able to engage with Derrick Adams’ exhibitions. Here’s a tip—stick around after the show to soak up the sunshine in the HRM courtyard, and—think about coming back for an evening show at the HRM Amphitheater.