CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Coral Springs Museum of Art is closed due to the coronavirus, but its staff is working to keep the center’s exhibitions, events, and, most of all, inspiration available to all online.

Instead of walking through rooms filled with artwork, visitors can view collections by going to the museum’s websites and social media channels. And in place of sitting in an art classroom, they can take a virtual class and do art projects at home with their families.

“We’ve put out what’s really needed right now – the feeling of being human again,” said Petra Guiland, the museum’s interim director.

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It’s a challenge Guiland and her staff of four are taking in stride as their organization works to maintain its mission in the fast-changing world of the pandemic. They are now looking at ways to eventually restart their education and specialty programs, either online or in-person once it’s safe to return to gatherings.

The oversight of that falls on Guiland, 43, who became the museum’s interim director in mid-February when Julia Andrews retired.  

She said she has long been inspired by the power of art in healing and bringing people together. That was the case, she said, after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, and it’s going to be the situation now in the post-coronavirus world.

“Art reminds us of who we are and how we are connected to a community and the larger picture,” she said.

Originally from Washington, D.C., Guiland came to the Coral Springs Museum of Art in the summer of 2019 as the assistant director after years of working at a nonprofit and government agencies including the National Gallery of Art and the Chilean Ministry of Education.

Her parents got her interested in art when she was young by taking her to some of the nation’s premier art museums in the Smithsonian. Art, as well as music, were also all around her – her mother was an artist, and her father played drums when he wasn’t working as a carpenter.

“Art has always been there for me,” she said. “It’s given me heart and soul and a mind and body connection.”

Guiland is trying to make those same connections for visitors to the Coral Springs Museum of Art, especially now.

It’s working. In the past few weeks, the museum has seen a lot more traffic on its website and higher engagement on social media, she said.

The staff is working on new videos and online materials, using art to inspire people and take them places away from the daily gloom of the pandemic.

“We want people to find their center and replenish their mind and spirit,” she said.

To see the museum’s current exhibitions, visit here.

To get tips on how to keep yourself mentally healthy, visit the museum’s Facebook page here on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 pm.


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