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Vol 57 No. 9 : May 2005
Vol 57 No. 9 | May 2005

Scoates Appointed Director of University Art Museum

Following an intensive national search, the CSULB's University Art Museum (UAM) has named Christopher Scoates as its new director. Formerly Chief Curator for the University Art Museum at UC Santa Barbara, Scoates comes to CSULB with 20 years' curatorial experience, having recently served as acting director at the UCSB University Art Museum.

“We are proud to introduce Christopher Scoates to the Long Beach community and to welcome him as director of our University Art Museum,” President Robert Maxson said of the appointment. “We know he will open an exciting and innovative new chapter in the life of this very important part of our university.”

“We are extremely pleased Christopher has agreed to become the next director,” said College of the Arts Dean Don Para. “He brings a bold vision for a dynamic future for the UAM and he will be an excellent addition to the Long Beach community. Our students, faculty, staff, patrons and art museum members will be the real beneficiaries of this appointment.”

During its 30-year history, the UAM has played an increasingly significant role in achieving international recognition for the arts and artists in Southern California and maintains a strong commitment to scholarly and artistic excellence. The UAM has earned a national reputation for its high-quality exhibitions, award-winning publications and a pioneering museum studies program. First accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1984, the UAM has been recognized by the California Arts Council as “a model for university museums.”

  “Christopher's commanding range of appropriate curatorial and directorial experience combined with an equally commanding range of abilities make him uniquely qualified to be the next director of the UAM,” said Department of Art chair David Hadlock, who also served as chair for the Search Committee. “With infectious enthusiasm, he presented an ambitious and inspiring vision for the UAM and its 'big picture' potential, but also embraced its mandate as a teaching tool for students and its position as an important cultural asset for the surrounding community.”

Christopher ScoatesScoates' curatorial projects have focused on a wide variety of genres, artists and issues. His writings have appeared in New Art Examiner, Sculpture, and Art Papers magazines and he has published numerous exhibition catalogues including Nosegays and Knuckle Sandwiches: Work By Thomas Woodruff; Green Acres: Neo Colonialism in the US; On Translation: The Games; and Mining Culture in Technicolor.

Three years ago he curated a retrospective exhibition titled "Custom Built: A Twenty-Year Survey of work by Allan Wexler" which traveled to such prestigious venues as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati; and the Forum for Contemporary Art in St. Louis. Recently, he worked with the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and jointly commissioned a new work and publication by the emerging New York-based architectural practice of Giuseppe Lignano and Ada Tolla, better known as LOT/EK.

“I believe the mission of a university art museum is to pursue the margins, explore unknown territory, rediscover the familiar and take risks,” said Scoates, who will provide directorial and curatorial leadership and oversee all of the UAM's programs. “It is my goal to guide the UAM with the conviction that contemporary art is a vital social force that extends beyond the art world and into the broader culture.”

Scoates holds an MFA in photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA in graphic design from the University of Florida. Also, he studied at Salisbury College of Art in the Film and Photography program.

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