Vaping Teen Sets Off Fire Alarm at Orange County Museum of Art

This past Sunday, a teenager set off the fire alarm system at the Orange County Museum of Art when they vaped in the bathroom, an OCMA spokesperson confirmed to ARTnews Monday morning.

Attendees at the museum were quickly evacuated. The fire department came and found the source of the alarm’s trigger, and attendees were allowed to re-enter soon after.

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Heidi Zuckerman, OCMA’s CEO and director, posted on an Instagram story Monday, “PSA: Please do not vape in the bathrooms (or anywhere) @ocmamuseum. If you do: 1. You will set off the smoke alarm 2. We will have to empty the museum of our guests 3. The fire department will come.”

The Orange County Museum of Art re-opened its doors to the public last October a major expansion and relocation to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts campus in Costa Mesa, California, that had been ten years in the making.

However, the $94 million expansion has attracted some criticism, including an article from the Guardian that called the museum an “unfinished Frankenstein” due to an abundance of flaws. Apparently, supply chain issues made it difficult to procure some of the materials needed to give the museum some needed finishing touches.

On view at OCMA currently is the California Biennial 2022, which is guest curated by Elizabeth Armstrong, Essence Harden, and Gilbert Vicario, as well as a solo show for Fred Eversley and new commissions by Sanford Biggers and Peter Walker. Thanks to $2.5 million donation from Lugano Diamonds, a Newport Beach–based jewelry retailer, the museum is offering free entry for the next ten years.


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