VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Hampton Roads is slowly reopening during the coronavirus pandemic and the latest museum to open its doors is the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach.
13News Now got a look at the museum's first day back open. Brad Tuggle, MOCA's Director of Audience Development, said, "(re-opening) feels great."
He said they worried if the museum would make it through the pandemic.
"I think all of us were concerned,” said Tuggle.
However, opening day brought a big turnout.
"People were so excited about coming to see the exhibitions that all of the tickets are used today,” he said.
The first people in line drove to the museum from Washington, D.C.
"We said let's go to see this museum and so, it was just luck on our part to see it,” said visitor Trevor Johnston.
Johnston said a lot of museums in D.C. are still closed, so it's refreshing to see some art again.
"Places like Virginia Beach aren't going to lose out on tourism,” said Johnston.
Visiting the Virginia Beach MOCA looks a little different though. Tuggle said the museum has a lot of phase two precautions still in place to "make sure everyone's as safe as possible."
For example, everyone must reserve a time slot online, before visiting. MOCA will only let 10 people inside every 30 minutes.
Once you're there, you must wear a face mask.
While visiting, guests can explore three new exhibits that were meant to open in March. Many of the new paintings are timely and focus on race and identity.
"Come with your family or your friends, people that you're close to, and have conversations around the topics of the day using this artwork as the catalyst,” said Tuggle.
"Just being able to culturally enrich yourself in things like contemporary art is always a pleasure,” said Johnston.
Normally you have to pay to visit the museum, but a donation from someone in the community means you can visit for free through January 3, 2021.