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‘Catalyst Sessions’ recap: Kristen Shepherd

Bill DeYoung



This Saturday, the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg will re-open to the public, after six months off the grid. It’s the last of the city’s major museums to do so.

It will, of course, be on a limited basis, CEO and executive director Kristen Shepherd said Monday on The Catalyst Sessions, with timed reservations necessary, to keep the number of visitors down to a manageable social distance.

“We would love to see an army of our members and visitors inside,” Shepherd explained, “but we know right now that the safer course of action is to keep people spaced out, enjoying the art and having a really wonderful experience in the museum.”

Other topics in the wide-ranging interview include the sad final days of the expansive Art of the Stage exhibit and performance series, the new exhibitions (from contemporary artist Derrick Adams, and a collection of historic photography) and the tricky business of booking on-loan exhibits a year, or two, in advance, when everything in the art world is topsy-turvy from Covid repercussions.

Some of the galleries are bring renovated, she explained, and the time away gave the MFA staff a chance to dig deep into the permanent collection, explore and plan.

“There are some really spectacular surprises ahead,” Shepherd said.


Today on The Catalyst Sessions: John Collins, director of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.

Streaming weekdays at 7 p.m. on the Catalyst Facebook page. All episodes are archived on our YouTube page.

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