Mona, the Museum of Old and New Art, will reopen its semi-subterranean galleries, outdoor art and bars and restaurants on Boxing Day, ‘provided the world and its many surprises don’t intervene’ (—David Walsh).
Mona will be open for four days a week—from Fridays to Mondays.
The galleries have undergone a major revamp, displaying owner and founder David Walsh’s extensive personal collection of ancient, modern and contemporary art. From old favourites to hidden gems that have never been seen at Mona before, the rehang comprises around 350 collection highlights (and lowlights).
David Walsh, Mona owner and founder said: ‘We are, of course, aware that we are reopening just before our tenth anniversary, so we’ve dug out some old stuff to commemorate our opening. We are also looking to the future. In this time of crisis, community is more important than ever, and so we are looking inwards while we look outwards.’
Outside, a giant sculpture by American artist Tom Otterness will double as a children’s playground. Titled Gals Rule, the sculpture features two figures with slides for limbs. It is over 7 metres high and made from bronze. A brand new venue, Dubsy’s, will serve burgers nearby on the lawns, which will also play host to live music every operating day selected by Mona music curator Brian Ritchie and his team.
Inside the museum, Tasmanian musician Ben Salter will be in residence each day writing songs, and occasionally performing them, in a gallery designed to feel like an art-filled lounge room. Another new lounge area is to offer pizzas and cocktails.
The Moorilla Wine Bar, The Source, and the Void Bar will be open. Faro, which has been serving lunch and dinner experiments while the rest of the site has been closed, will continue to operate—bookings required.
Mark Wilsdon, Mona Co-CEO said: ‘After nine months of being closed we’ve been busy doing our own reno. With major changes to the art, a daily music program and a playground, not to mention plenty of delicious things to eat and drink, we’re ready to throw open the doors once more. Whether you’re a local who has been to Mona regularly or a first-timer planning a trip, we’re looking forward to having you.’
David Walsh added: ‘That’s because we’re looking forward to having anyone. So much so that we’ll be charging locals if they don’t come.’
All visitors must have a pre-booked ticket. Mona will offer site-only or full museum entry tickets. Although entry remains free for locals, all Tasmanians will be required to pay a deposit, which can be refunded following a visit.
Visitors will also be required to download Mona’s app (The O), which will become their digital guide to the museum and grounds—and bring headphones to access additional audio content. The O is now available on iOS and Android.
Mona will reopen Friday to Monday, 10am-6pm, from 26 December 2020.
The Mona ferry will resume a regular service from Brooke Street Pier to the museum, with tickets costing $15 until the end of January. The Mona Pavilions will be available to book for overnight stays Thursday through Sunday.
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