I am a writer, curator, and educator, bringing representative experience of the new shape of employment in higher education for as many as two-thirds of college and university faculty. I am running to participate in developing studies and policies that address the working conditions of adjunct faculty in meaningful ways. CAA has established the goal of advocacy for members, including part-time faculty, in its strategic plan. Adjuncts have careers as artists, writers, or curators, are often younger than full-time tenured faculty, and represent a diverse constituency within the association’s membership. Spread across the country, sometimes commuting between multiple counties or even states, we depend on CAA as a source of collective discourse and action, and on the Annual Conference as a place to connect with and build our personal networks of colleagues and partners. My experience as a non-profit arts administrator also serves two important goals of the plan: to develop representation for curators and “professionally allied communities” within CAA, and to identify and cultivate fundraising opportunities for growth. Another goal that I view as primary is that of adopting regional meetings and developing an online membership platform to support mentorship within the membership, as these strategies are likely to increase CAA’s diversity in important ways.
The College Art Association also needs to grow financially in order to successfully address these pressing concerns in the field. As a board member, I will bring relevant experience in fundraising, strategic planning, and event production, developed through my past and present non-profit leadership positions. Additionally, my past board service with ArtTable informs my approach to the specific challenges that membership service organizations such as CAA face in communicating their value to potential funders.
If elected, I will encourage the association to act as a point of information and influence from which full-time and part-time faculty can work together to improve the conditions under which they teach and research within the academy, while protecting the integrity of the arts at colleges and universities. The Graduate Public Practice program at Otis College of Art and Design, where I teach, was founded by Suzanne Lacy around values of social justice and activism in contemporary art practice. Our faculty dialogue concerning our own and our students’ economic realities is one that should be expanded to a national and international conversation through CAA’s networks. From this discourse, CAA can take concrete action by undertaking studies and writing guidelines for curriculum and teaching loads that can improve the precarious circumstances currently threatening student and faculty well-being at so many institutions. My knowledge of part-time faculty concerns will assist the association in supporting the fullest range of concerns shared by its membership.
Anuradha Vikram is a writer, curator, educator, and director of residency programs at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, California. She is a lecturer in the Graduate Public Practice program at Otis College of Art and Design, teaching public art and critical theory with a focus on transcultural approaches to technology and the social. As a curator, she has organized over forty exhibitions and residencies at 18th Street Arts Center, including Candice Lin: Sycorax’s Garden; Slanguage Studio: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost; Patricia Fernández: Points of Departure (between Spain and France);andforthcoming solo exhibitions with the 2015 Guggenheim Fellow Vishal Jugdeo and the artist Shana Lutker. Major curatorial efforts include Spaces of Life: The Art of Sonya Rapoport (Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, cocurated with Terri Cohn) and Social Fabric (Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles). She has taught art history and critical theory at San Jose State University, College of Marin, and University of California, Berkeley, and served as a consultant and board member for a variety of cultural organizations.
Vikram’s research focus is transnational futurism, combining media studies, theory of globalization, and critical race discourse with modern and contemporary art history. Recent publications include “Becoming Human: Nam June Paik’s Futuristic Compassion” in X-TRA; “A Brief and Incomplete History of Art and Technology Ventures in the Bay Area 1980–2010” in Afterimage; and “Sonya Rapoport: A Woman’s Place is in the Studio” in Pairings of Polarities: The Life and Art of Sonya Rapoport (Heyday, 2012). She has contributed essays to Leonardo, KCET Artbound, Artillery, Hyperallergic, Daily Serving, and OPEN SPACE, the blog of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
I am enthusiastic in my endorsement of Anuradha Vikram for the College Art Association Board of Directors. I’ve worked with Anu closely in my capacity as chair of the Graduate Public Practice program at Otis College of Art and Design, a program that I founded. Anu is an excellent teacher, fully invested in our students, in our program, and in higher education in the arts. She is a thoughtful champion for values of fairness and equity, and is well versed in social and political issues important to artists. CAA will benefit immensely from her thoughtful and engaged presence on the board.
— Suzanne Lacy, Chair of Masters in Fine Arts in Public Practice, Otis College of Art and Design