The Encinitas-based Lux Art Institute recently launched an app to give the public a virtual experience of its space as the stay-at-home order continues.
The app, which offers viewers a tour of the main gallery space, compliments the institute’s many digital offerings that were implemented immediately after the new coronavirus made its way to the U.S.
“We’re excited to be able to continue offering access to our exhibitions and educational content in a virtual environment,” Andrew Utt, executive director at the Lux Art Institute,
said. “It allows our community to remain part of Lux during this period, while also reaching a broader audience who may not have been able to experience our space in person.”
Utt said he and his team began making digital plans in late February in anticipation of the virus spreading to the U.S.
“By the time we had our first all-staff meeting at the beginning of March, we had a three-phased plan for cancelling and shifting programming and a ridiculously long list of virtual replacements,” Utt said. “When we had to close in mid-March, we were quite ready, even launching a webinar gallery tour two days after lockdown, and have been able to learn and adapt quickly as a result.”
Like other organizations and businesses, the beloved Institute was forced to make cutbacks to its budget and send its employees home to work remotely. Despite the challenges, the team successfully launched new programs to cater to its audience.
“While being home is difficult for many, we all have adapted pretty well,” Utt said. “I am constantly amazed by what our team has accomplished in the last four months–especially for those with children at home.”
Among the programs offered by the Lux Art Institute are weekly webinars, a kids activity program, virtual classes for children and adults and a virtual summer camp. The Institute also unveiled two podcasts and its app.
So far, audiences have been receptive to the new offerings by the Institute.
“The majority of comments are incredibly positive,” Utt said. “We also have a system of evaluation for some of our programs and have learned quite a bit from surveys. All of that helps us become better in the way we present and engage with our audience. We’re also learning from the successes of other institutions and finding opportunities in new partnerships.”
Looking ahead, the Institute plans to host a virtual event on Aug. 15 and will unveil its season of artists in September. Utt said he’s also hopeful the Institute can reopen its doors in the fall.
“We’re excited to be opening our physical space with these new exhibitions in September,” Utt said. “Of course, it will be pending approval by the county and the state. We’re very much looking forward to inviting people back to our space, but are taking the right precautions in making sure that visitors and staff are safe to return.”
For more information about the Lux Art Institute, go to luxartinstitute.org.