Shepparton Art Museum reopens to the public

By Spencer Fowler Steen

Shepparton Art Museum is set to reopen all exhibitions to the public on Friday ahead of the Queen's Birthday public holiday, with strict social distancing and precautions in place.

SAM closed its doors due to the pandemic on March 26 and exhibitions moved online, allowing people to enjoy virtual tours.

But after the relaxing of restrictions on June 1, SAM is back in full swing.

SAM director Rebecca Coates said the reopening would adhere to government guidelines, with increased cleaning, limited capacity and social distancing.

“At this stage, all exhibitions will be open,” she said.

“We will have a ‘one person per four-metre’ rule, take people's names as they arrive, safe and sensible social distancing, increased cleaning and limited numbers of people in each space.”

A Greater Shepparton City Council spokesperson said the new SAM construction was running to schedule.

The northern, eastern and southern secondary steel for facades has been completed, along with the northern facade face, the 60 kW solar system, amphitheatre base slab and atrium hanging system.

A passenger lift is nearly complete and a number of projects, including the western feature staircase, waterproofing for the art hill, and partitions and wall linings have commenced.

Ms Coates said construction on the new SAM site was tracking well.

“At my last site visit, it was unbelievably exciting, and I think it’s a beacon of hope that we’re all working towards our goals,” she said.

“We’ve pushed really hard to be open for the long weekend because we’re trying to work with the community, who have been fantastic, understanding what they need to do keep safe.

“I think this recognition of culture, and reflection of ourselves, is really key.”

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