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September 20, 2018

Following Director’s Dismissal, Artist Pauses Exhibition at University Art Museum at CSU Long Beach

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA—Artist lauren woods has paused her exhibition “American MONUMENT” to protest Kimberli Meyer’s abrupt termination as director of the University Art Museum at California State University, Long Beach. Meyer had commissioned woods’ exhibition, her first as director, and collaborated with the artist over the last two years in an effort to introduce more progressive programs to the museum’s initiatives. woods will resume the project upon Meyer’s reinstatement, Asia Morris reports for the Long Beach Post.

“American MONUMENT” presents audio recordings of police brutality against African-Americans and written testimonies by police officers. The presentation at UAM is the first at an on-campus art institution.

woods announced the project’s suspension at the opening, stating, “the University Art Museum, College of the arts, and Cal State Long Beach, have kneecapped a project that is focusing on black lives and police brutality. They have killed a leadership whose focus was not only to address white supremacy, but to disrupt it, they have rejected the invitation for collective authorship.” The full statement, which is displayed in the museum, is available on the project’s website.

Speaking with the Long Beach Post, Meyer said, “It’s such an important project. I’m pretty devastated because for me this was an opportunity to really look at some real, institutional transformation and so I’m just hoping that can still happen.” Meyer has sent a letter to the university appealing her dismissal.

Cyrus Parker-Jeannette, dean of the College of Arts at California State, Long Beach, said in a statement that Meyer’s dismissal “was part of a longer-term process” and that the CSULB campus “is a place for civil discourse and artistic expression. ‘American MONUMENT’ is part of this culture.”

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