Construction of new CSULB art museum promises more inclusion in art and community • Hi-lo

While still in the trenches of construction, the museum’s new exterior walls are in place and now encompass an additional 4,000 square feet of land, most of which is dedicated to the Main Gallery, an impressive windowless expanse of nearly 3,000 square feet which will be constructed with movable walls, allowing for several exhibits at the same time.

Two galleries were usually the maximum that the museum could accommodate previously.

Amanda Fruta of the CSULB stands in the Main Hall of the 3,000 square foot Gallery of the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Museum of Contemporary Art on the CSULB Campus in Long Beach on Thursday, July 8, 2021. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The remaining area (11,000 in total, including the new outdoor gardens and seating areas) will include a state-of-the-art teaching lab, reading and archives room, office space, lobby reception area and reception area, retail store, temperature controlled storage room and three permanent gallery spaces, some of which will have multipurpose uses.

“Expanded professional-grade galleries will host several different exhibitions at once and allow the museum to deepen its leadership in the exploration of abstraction,” new museum director Paul Baker Prindle said in a statement.

Clark Construction Group began work on the museum in June 2020, alongside renovations to the Horn Center next door to the museum, which is in the process of renovating and converting its computer lab and undergraduate counseling center into 10 classrooms, two amphitheatres and additional toilets for all genders.

The total cost of the two projects is $ 24 million, according to the CSULB. While state funding pays for the Horn Center, private donations foot the bill for the new museum. Its biggest benefactor is the museum’s new namesake, artist Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld, who has donated $ 10 million, as reported by the Daily 49er.

The museum also includes a 521 square foot gallery built in his honor that will be fitted with barrel ceilings and hardwood floors. The hall of the Kleefeld Gallery will house a permanent collection of some of his works in addition to a rotating selection of other artists.

The Kleefeld Gallery Hall will be the only space with hardwood floors. The rest of the museum, with the exception of the carpeted offices, will be covered with concrete. Thanks to this warm feature, the gallery room will also be used as a community room where visitors can reserve quiet, noisy hours in the evening or on weekends.

“We certainly don’t want to be another ivory tower in the museum space, it’s really the antithesis of what we’re working towards,” said Amanda Fruta, public affairs and communications specialist for Kleefeld. Contemporary. “With the quiet hours, the noisy hours, the extended hours, the gardens, the multipurpose spaces, the learning spaces and the bathrooms for all, we really want everyone to feel welcome here.”

Pfeiffer Partners Architects will add a new glass vestibule to the original mid-century facade designed by renowned architect Ed Killingsworth. The nearly 15-foot-tall diamond structure will act as an eye-catching attraction, hopefully encouraging passers-by to wander the museum, something the space had previously struggled to do, Fruta said.

A construction worker walks through the main entrance to what will be the glass lobby of the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Museum of Contemporary Art on the CSULB Long Beach campus on Thursday, July 8, 2021. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

A rendering of the exterior facade of the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Museum of Contemporary Art. Image courtesy of CSULB.

Pfeiffer Partners Architects continued the angular theme with three triangular points on the roof of the extension. When completed, the exterior walls of the expansion will be clad in sturdy metal panels and stucco.

The entire expanse of the original museum building has been renovated; the floor plan also revamped. What was once the main gallery space will now be the Constance W. Glenn Court (named after the museum’s founding director) which features a visitor reception and registration hall, a modest retail store and two small revolving art galleries.

A rendering of Constance W. Glenn Court which will feature a modern 20 foot long stone reception desk. Image courtesy of CSULB.

Upon entering the museum’s 8-foot-high double doors, visitors will immediately notice a small retail space that will sell hand-made or wearable artwork by recent CSULB art students graduating from the School. of Art, the School of Industrial Design and other interdisciplinary programs.

“We recognize that it’s hard to be a fresh fish out of the water jumping into the cold ocean of the art market,” Fruta said. “We want to help these emerging artists have some kind of bridge so that they have a higher likelihood of success.”

A small selection of works from the museum’s permanent collection and other preserved pieces will be lined up along the wall along the sales area. From June to July, an art history student will be offered the opportunity to organize and present an exhibition of the museum’s collection on the wall as well.

The Glenn Court Community Gallery (200 square feet) will line the wall space leading to the Horn Center and feature three exhibits, two from local professional artists and a “local appeal” exhibit for interested Long Beach residents.

“So we really wanted to make this center-forward to show that we embrace the community and that we see ourselves not only as a part of the community, but as a community ourselves,” Fruta said.

In keeping with the university’s push towards sustainability and environmental control, the museum will be upgraded to LEED Silver standards with solar panels on the roof to help power the building. The gallery will be fully illuminated by LED lighting strips and LED spotlights, which are significantly more energy efficient than conventional bulbs.

Aerial view of the museum and the Horn Center just behind. Image courtesy of CSULB.

“The new LEED Silver-certified museum is built to serve as a living laboratory for cultural exploration and a showcase for the campus’s aggressive commitment to sustainability,” said CSULB’s director of design and construction services, Mark Zakhour, in a statement. “Intentional selection of native plants in landscaping, use of sustainable and local building materials, integration of solar panels, energy efficient design, green cleaning and maintenance plans and investment in Sustainable learning technologies were key aspects of the construction that contributed to the sustainability rating.

An expensive new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system throughout the museum will provide temperature control and protect the art on display as well as the works kept in the museum’s new storage vault. The new safe will allow the university to finally house its permanent collection on campus – the works are currently kept in storage areas all around South Bay.

“All of our Modern American Masterpieces from the Gordon F. Hampton Collection have been hosted offsite,” said Fruta. “Now we can have them here and have much better access not only to this collection, but also to our works on paper, which includes a large print, drawings and photographs that will be available for research requests for study. “

The Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Museum of Contemporary Art plans to open its doors to the public by February 2022.

Interested in more Kleefled Contemporary content? Click below:

PODCAST: The Art of Museum Navigation with Paul Baker Prindle of Kleefeld Contemporary

PODCAST: Back to school at CSULB; journalism, art and the ‘B’ word

Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to correct the name of artist George F. Hampton, not Hanson as previously stated, and the correct height of the glass vestibule, which will be nearly 15 feet high, not 8.


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