By Amanda Fruta, Public Affairs & Communications Specialist, Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum
Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum of Cal State Long Beach is currently undergoing an exciting expansion and renovation adding roughly 4,000 square feet to the completely redesigned site. The expanded Museum is scheduled to re-open with a public celebration on February 12, 2022, highlighting several new exhibitions and public spaces. With a nearly doubled footprint of roughly 11,000 square feet, the Museum can better serve visitors with more accessible upgraded facilities. Well-developed inclusive policies and multi-use spaces make the only free Museum in Long Beach welcoming for everyone.
Museum leadership is working with Pfeiffer Partner Architects and Clark Construction Group to improve the Museum with more functionality and beauty. Highlights include a new native and water-wise plant garden and sculpture park that boasts spaces for outdoor gatherings, performances, and programs. A museum store offers functional art from Cal State Long Beach alumni, from ceramics and jewelry to small sculptures. Two flexible spaces offer research and learning opportunities through direct access to museum archives and collections via a new reservation system. Also included are exhibition galleries, an education laboratory, visitor lobby and event center, and the refreshed and renamed outdoor Patron’s Plaza.
Museum Director Paul Baker Prindle emphasizes, “Expanded, professional-grade galleries will host several different exhibitions at a time and allow the Museum to deepen its leadership in the exploration of abstraction. A community gallery highlighting local artists and feature gallery for students to curate summer exhibitions offer greater capacity to support the developing careers of regional artists. Improved research and learning spaces will improve the Museum’s ability to focus on advancing multidisciplinary research and arts integrated learning strategies.”
Cal State Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley praised the new Museum as the “crown jewel of [CSULB] campus” in her recent Grunion Gazette column. She emphasized: “This new facility presents fresh opportunities for the Long Beach community. [With] free admission, as well as [Thursday] evening and weekend hours, families, workers, students and others can experience exceptional art.” She continued, “Making the [Museum] more accessible to the community adds to our mission to promote ‘the public good’ and represents our commitment to develop the next generation of artists and appreciators of the arts.” Other inclusive improvements include the advent of quiet hours, loud hours, dim hours, and color-vision glasses options for people with disabilities or neurodivergence.
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