In response to the story (“Galveston galleries organize stand-in event for Art Walk,” The Daily News, Feb. 9): The Galveston Arts Center has been closely monitoring the conditions to which ArtWalk would be able to be continued, acknowledging the challenges that COVID-19 presents.

As of this date, order GA-32 issued by Gov. Greg Abbott is quite clear regarding gatherings both interior and exterior like ArtWalk. The city of Galveston is adhering to these orders, as well. A brief outline of this order is noted below:

• Facial coverings: Masks or other facial coverings over the nose and mouth are required when in public spaces wherever it’s not feasible to maintain 6 feet of social distancing from another individual not in the same household, except when seated at the restaurant to eat or drink.

• Special events: Any outdoor event of more than 10 people requires a COVID-19 plan and mayoral approval.

• Restaurants in the Houston metro area (including Galveston) are operating at a 50 percent capacity with COVID-19 restrictions, such as requirements for staff to wear face coverings.

For this reason, The Galveston Arts Center at this time has not reintroduced ArtWalk for both the safety of our ArtWalk partners and our visitors.

ArtWalk has always been a celebration honoring the opening of an artist’s work with an exhibition. Our mission is to support the arts and artists. We believe any reactivation of ArtWalk must be done with great caution at a point when it can be enjoyed by all responsibly.

We understand our gallery partners like other businesses are suffering during this pandemic and its restrictions. We encourage visitors and locals to support the arts by purchasing artwork from galleries and artists during this difficult time.

To that end, we’ve had for several months a Gallery Guide on our website to urge visitors to seek out our gallery partners and artists. You can find it at www.galvestonartscenter.org as we continue to encourage the public to support the arts in Galveston.

Joyce Calver McLean is president of the Galveston Arts Center.

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