The Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum at California State University, Long Beach, is set to launch a compelling series of exhibitions this fall, highlighting a diverse array of artists and their thought-provoking works. From drag history to synesthetic realities, the museum’s lineup promotes inclusivity, community-building, and activism. The museum will be hosting a free opening ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the fall exhibitions with drag performances by Jewels Long Beach, Big Dee, and Ava Stone; CSULB student DJs; and accessible collage art activities inspired by the art of Pau S. Pescador. Here is a list of the exhibitions that will be running from Sept. 14 to Dec. 15, 2023. For more information or to RSVP for the opening ceremony, visit csulb.edu/museum.
Drag Show: Narrating a Countercultural Experience
The Main Gallery will play host to “Drag Show,” a riveting exhibition that delves into the vibrant history of LGBT counterculture in 1980s and 1990s New York City. Drag, a form of performance art, is celebrated for its power to critique and resist conventional norms. The exhibit invites viewers to explore how drag serves as a catalyst for building resilient communities. The show runs from September 14 to December 15, 2023.
Remembering Lives Lost: Nery Gabriel Lemus
In the Mini Gallery, the works of multidisciplinary artist Nery Gabriel Lemus take center stage. His 2016 installation sculpture, “A Memorial to Three Unknown Females,” pays homage to three women who tragically lost their lives along the U.S-Mexico border. Lemus employs a blend of historical and contemporary elements to create a powerful memorial that prompts viewers to reflect on the enduring legacy of cultural traditions. The exhibit is a testament to the enduring power of remembrance and empathy.
Emancipation of P.P.: The Personal Journey of Pau S. Pescador
Pau S. Pescador’s photographic collages in the Main Gallery Corridor provide an intimate glimpse into the artist’s personal journey as a trans/non-binary individual. Through the deconstruction of their own physical appearance, Pescador navigates the complexities of identity, offering viewers a poignant and thought-provoking experience. The exhibit is a testament to the power of self-expression and the fluidity of identity.
Félix González-Torres: Interactive Art and Commemoration
Constance W. Glenn Court will feature “Untitled (L.A.),1991” by Félix González-Torres, an influential Cuban-American artist whose works invite viewer participation. Viewers are encouraged to take a piece of candy from the exhibit, fostering an exchange that transcends the traditional observer-artist dynamic. This interactive experience serves as a poignant metaphor for the impact of AIDS on the human body, highlighting the enduring legacy of the artist’s message.
Empowering Through Art: Tierra del Sol Exhibition
The Community Gallery will showcase the works of Aura Herrera, Ericka Lopez, John Maull, Kyle Johnson, Tonmoy Khan, and Trina Kirkman, self-taught artists whose pieces collectively explore the concept of “softness” in various forms. Curated by Tierra del Sol director Paige Wery, the exhibition highlights the power of shared exploration and creativity, demonstrating how art can empower individuals and communities.
Exploring Intimacy and Social Themes: Arthur Tress (no photo available)
The Prints and Drawings Room will feature composite Cibachrome prints by American photographer Arthur Tress. Tress’s work blends elements of real life with theatrical fantasy, addressing social themes through narrative still life. These vibrant prints offer viewers a unique perspective on relationships, human desire, and hidden dramas.
Andy Warhol: Polaroids and Changing Perceptions (no photo available)
Also in the Prints and Drawings Room, visitors will find a collection of Polaroids by iconic artist Andy Warhol. These intimate portraits challenge conventional notions of sexuality and art, referencing classical sculptures and Renaissance works. Warhol’s work continues to provoke reflection on evolving attitudes towards sex, nudity, and the boundaries between high and low art.