Ilee Kaplan

Ilee Kaplan at University Art Museum at the opening of the 2011 exhibit “Peace Press Graphics 1967-1987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change.”

Ilee Kaplan was well known in the Long Beach arts community both for her own work and for her longtime position as associate director of the University Art Museum at Long Beach State University.

Sunday, that community and friends will gather to celebrate Kaplan's art and life. She died Jan. 24 at 65 from heart failure.

The UAM will host the celebration from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. It will include an exhibit of Kaplan's work, including some of the bold, multicolored woodcut portraits that she was best known for.

The celebration is open to the public with an RSVP by Friday, May 31. Call 562-985-2169.

Kaplan spent 31 years at UAM before retiring in 2015. At the same time, she was active in the Long Beach art community both as an artist and serving on multiple public arts grant competitions.

Kaplan was part of the foundational feminist art collective Double X, whose aim was to expand the visibility of art made by women. At UAM, as associate director, and in 2003 interim director, she oversaw much of the day-to-day operations. She also authored and contributed to publications for the museum’s exhibits and curated and co-curated multiple exhibits.

In conjunction with the UAM recognition of Kaplan, some of the art work left in her estate will be available for purchase by the public, with proceeds going to an endowment in her name that will benefit the museum.

For those unable to attend and wishing to make a donation to the endowment, mail to CSULB 1250 Bellflower Blvd. BAC, #202 for Ilee Kaplan Memorial Fund.

—Harry Saltzgaver

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

Load comments