CAA

CAA News Today

New CAA Board Members

posted by Christopher Howard — Mar 10, 2009

CAA members have elected four new members to serve on the Board of Directors from 2009 to 2013: Jacqueline Francis, DeWitt Godfrey, Patricia Mathews, and Patricia McDonnell.

Results of the election were announced on February 27, 2009, during the Annual Members’ Business Meeting at the 97th Annual Conference in Los Angeles. These four take office at the next board meeting in May 2009; their original candidate statements appear below.

CAA is still seeking nominations and self-nominations for individuals interested in serving on CAA’s board for the 2010–14 term.

Jacqueline Francis
California College of the Arts and San Francisco State University

For the last two years, I have served on the CAA Committee on Diversity Practices, which works to advance several of CAA’s most important objectives: to define diversity, to communicate its importance to our membership, and to provide strategies for achieving it in the cultural realms in which we operate. As an organization, CAA will be stronger through the recognition of existing diversity within our ranks and through clear articulation about its centrality to stated goals of increasing membership (and hence, revenue), promoting and expanding our services, and demonstrating our continued relevance as a resource nexus and network. This is the vibrant profile that we must present to current and future members, to partner organizations, and to philanthropies and other potential sources of support.

DeWitt Godfrey
Colgate University

Because I spent the first fifteen years of my professional life as an independent artist, followed by a decade of teaching at the university level, I believe I offer some unique insights into CAA’s mission. In addition, my own academic experiences, as a student and professor, are located in departments that combine the study of art practice and art history. The creation, teaching, and reception of art, I have found, resonate strongly in settings that sustain multiple intellectual, critical, and creative discourses.

As CAA approaches its one-hundredth year and embarks on its next strategic-planning process, it must be equally creative and innovative, responding to and taking the lead in its support of emerging hybrid forms of artistic creation and scholarly production. Building on its core strengths, CAA must maintain its vitally important academic and professional standards, sustain the Annual Conference while exploring new models of collegial gatherings, and provide expanded venues for the presentation and publication of creative and scholarly work. CAA needs to better support its recent graduates and emerging professionals, encourage and provide for pedagogical innovation, and reexamine, reaffirm, and reinvigorate strategies to support its artists members. The association should also explore new paths of communication with membership that better address the specific needs of its various constituencies and embrace the opportunities and challenges of an increasingly digital world, as well as increase its advocacy for the place of art in the larger culture by expanding partnerships with other organizations. The planning, articulation, and implementation of these programs, as well as fundraising and membership expansion, are essential to CAA’s long-term fiscal health and stability.

Patricia Mathews
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

CAA has recently moved in constructive directions. I particularly applaud the interest in diversity and would like to improve financial support and organizational visibility for women and underrepresented scholars and artists. Further, as an extremely vital and lively organization, CAA should have a broader profile, especially in light of shrinking resources for arts organizations across the country.

As a member of a small liberal-arts college, I am interested in pedagogy and curricula. I have personally worked to develop these areas at Hobart and William Smith Colleges over the last few years and consider both of importance for the future of art history. To this end, I recently attended a Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching on new ideas in education and have been working closely with the director of the Center of Teaching and Learning at my school. There is a great deal of new literature on how students learn and what keeps them from learning well, and the workshops on pedagogy this year at the CAA Annual Conference in Los Angeles look quite valuable. Accordingly, I would like to institute our own study of best practices for teaching art and art history that could benefit both our professionals and our students.

I would bring to the board an unusual talent among art historians. I supported myself as an undergraduate by working for a small accounting firm, where I kept the books and did taxes for a number of medium-size companies. These skills would be useful in the board’s work with the annual budget.

Patricia McDonnell
Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University

College Art Association—the organization’s name signals its role as an advocate for all who teach the visual arts at the postsecondary level. Many of its members do that in the classroom. Those of us who work in art museums also guide learning about visual culture by enriching people’s firsthand encounters with works of art. Museum curators, editors, conservators, and librarians, as well as faculty artists and art historians, all contribute to the CAA world.

As a longtime curator and now as a museum director, and as a devoted member for seventeen years, I have relied greatly on CAA. Because CAA does an excellent job with its highly valuable Annual Conference and various publications—programs that we should sustain—I am especially interested in expanding the organization’s advocacy role for the visual arts in American culture. This advocacy should extol the intrinsic value of encounters with original works of art and partner with organizations such as Americans for the Arts. Advocacy should emphasize the critical importance of visual-arts education in American life and support for those who teach it.