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Columbia's 701 Center for Contemporary Art to reopen gallery on July 16

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Kent Ambler’s Beer & Bananas

Another prominent exhibition space is reopening its doors.

On July 16, the 701 Center for Contemporary art will join the South Carolina State Museum and the Columbia Museum of Art in inviting the public back to its gallery space. The center gets back to business with an extended viewing period for Kent Ambler: Into the Wood.

The display— described in a February press release as "presenting woodcuts, related sculptures, and architectural installation of woodblocks" — had been on view for just a few days when the center shuttered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic back in March.

Free Times is awaiting comment on the exact nature of 701 CCA's safety protocols for reopening, but a July 10 message to the institution's email list noted that, "For the safety of all, face coverings will be required," and detailed that the initial reopening hours will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

The Ambler exhibition will remain on view through Aug. 27. The email also teases that another exhibition, Doug McAbee: Instagram Remix, is "coming soon in the ground floor windows at 701 Whaley," and that updates will follow via the center's website and social media.

The email also indicates that the annual 701 CCA Prize will go ahead. Applications for the award, open to professional artists residing in South Carolina who are 40 or younger, will be accepted through Aug. 23.

The center's reopening news comes as the state's case numbers for COVID-19 remain high. The 1,725 new daily coronavirus cases for July 9 represent the fourth highest total South Carolina has seen, and the seven-day average for new cases sits at 1,536.

Gov. Henry McMaster reacted to the consistently high case numbers on July 10 by enacting an executive order that will force alcohol sales at bars and restaurants to cease at 11 p.m. starting July 11. It's the first new restriction he's enacted since he began to loosen coronavirus measures — re-granting access to public boat ramps — on April 16.

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