A small commercial art gallery that earlier this month reopened in defiance of public health orders has once again closed after receiving warnings from local police in Menlo Park.
Katharina Powers, the owner of Art Ventures Gallery, said in an interview she closed her doors to the public last week after receiving a phone call and visit from Menlo Park police officers.
Powers had decided to reopen with physical distancing precautions on Friday, May 1, reasoning her business posed a low risk of transmitting the disease and that art has therapeutic qualities.
“For me art is essential to the human spirit,” Powers said. “Art has survived everything—during the black plague in Italy, people were running around with paintings under their arms.”
A Menlo Park police commander called Powers to urge her to close, saying it was a “ridiculous” conversation to have about an art gallery, according to Powers. “I didn’t close,” she said.