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Galleries shut by COVID-19, Brazil has a drive-thru art show

SAO PAULO (AP) — With galleries and museums shuttered for the coronavirus pandemic, a Brazilian art gallery owner decided to adapt the culture of drive-in movies to the visual arts and inaugurated a drive-thru exhibition in Sao Paulo.

“DriveThru.Art” displays art works on 18 panels measuring 10 meters (33 feet) wide by 5 meters (16 1/2 feet) high by different artists in a huge shed that once housed a metallurgical business. Viewers can visit only inside a car. The cost is 40 reais ($8) per car, with up to four people. For those who do not have a car, the exhibition offers one that can accommodate up to three people, for the same price.

Tickets can be obtained on a website and the ticket provides information on the art works, which will be on exhibit through Aug. 9. The show is open 1-9 p.m. every day but Monday and Tuesday. “As it is an exhibition inside the car and at a time when there is nothing to do, an audience that is not a consumer of culture, may come here,” said Luis Maluf, curator of the exhibition and owner of the Luis Maluf Art Gallery.

Visitors make a circuit of the shed that takes approximately one hour. Only 20 cars are allowed in the shed at one time, to prevent built-up of deadly gases from the vehicles' exhausts. For health safeguards, no one can get out of a car.

Viewers scan a QR Code to access audios that explain the works. On the panels, there are paintings, photographs, videos and graffiti that deal with social themes, such as representation of Black women and preservation of the environment.

The pieces of art were created during the coronavirus pandemic, which in Brazil already has resulted in more than 2 million confirmed cases and more than 85,000 deaths. “Art brings reflections, very important discussions, especially during this chaos that we are experiencing," Maluf said. "The exhibition tries to bring a gesture of hope, but also issues that are happening now.”

Associated Press Writer Tatiana Pollastri reported this story in Sao Paulo and AP writer Daniel Carvalho reported from Brasilia.

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