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The Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA) has announced the recipients of the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Awards: Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, an educator and art historian from Washington, DC; Mary Jane Jacob, a curator and educator in Chicago; Senga Nengudi, an artist based in Colorado Springs; Joyce J. Scott, a visual and performance artist from Baltimore; and New York’s Spiderwoman Theater, comprising Lisa Mayo, Gloria Miguel, and Muriel Miguel.

These awards were first awarded in 1979 to Isabel Bishop, Selma Burke, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O’Keeffe in a ceremony at President Jimmy Carter’s Oval Office. Past honorees have represented the full range of distinguished achievement in the visual arts, and this year’s awardees are no exception, with considerable accomplishment, achievement, and contributions represented by their professional efforts.

Tritobia Hayes Benjamin

Tritobia Hayes Benjamin is professor of art history and director of the Gallery of Art at Howard University in Washington, DC, where she is also associate dean of the Division of Fine Arts in the College of Arts and Sciences. After receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history from Howard, she earned a PhD in the same subject from the University of Maryland. On the faculty of Howard since 1970, Benjamin has written and lectured widely on African American art and artists, including the 1994 publication, The Life and Art of Lois Mailou Jones.

Mary Jane Jacob

Mary Jane Jacob is a curator, educator, and author noted for her work on the national and international art scene. She currently serves as professor in the Department of Sculpture and executive of exhibitions at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She began her curatorial career at the Detroit Institute of Arts in the late 1970s before becoming chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In the public realm, Jacobs has organized multiyear installations and commissioned outdoor sculptures in urban and park settings. She has also published numerous books and exhibition catalogues on contemporary art.

Senga Nengudi

Senga Nengudi is strongly committed to both creating art and arts education. Currently a lecturer at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs in the Visual Arts and Performing Arts Department, she has always been involved with bringing arts programs emphasizing diversity to the communities in which she resides. Presently Nengudi’s sculptures are taking the form of installations of increasing size. She has been a featured performance artist, dancer, and installation artists in numerous exhibitions at major museums.

Joyce J. Scott

A native of Baltimore, Joyce J. Scott is a highly internationally regarded artist whose work incorporates various artistic media, including sculpture, jewelry, glass, printmaking, installation, and performance art. Her pieces draw strong influence from a wide range of sources: African and Native American experiences, comic books, television, popular American culture, and the culture of the streets of her urban Baltimore neighborhood. The use of beads is a central element throughout Scott’s work, helping turn her works into bold statements about such issues as racism, sexism, violence, and other forms of social injustice.

Spiderwoman Theater (Lisa Mayo, Gloria Miguel, and Muriel Miguel)

Spiderwoman Theater was founded in 1976 when Muriel Miguel gathered a diverse company of women of varying ages, races, sexual orientations, and worldviews, which included her two sisters. As the oldest women’s theater company in North America and originally emerging from the feminist movement, Spiderwoman continues moving toward its goal of creating an artistic environment where indigenous arts and culture—the three are from the Kuna and Rappahannock nations—thrive as an integrated and vital part of the larger arts community. Taking its name from the Hopi creation goddess Spiderwoman, who taught the people to weave, the theater calls its technique of creating their theatrical pieces “story weaving,” in which performers write and present personal and traditional stories that are layered with movement, text, sound, music, and visual images.

Award Ceremony in Chicago

The Lifetime Achievement Awards will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 East Randolph Street, on Saturday, February 13, 2010, in conjunction with the WCA and CAA annual conferences (WCA is a CAA affiliated society). A dinner will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 PM in the center’s G.A.R. Hall. The awards ceremony will follow at 7:30 PM in the Cassidy Theater. Tickets for the dinner—$90 before January 1, 2010, and $100 after—will be available for purchase from the WCA website. Reserved seating tickets for the awards ceremony will also be available for $10; limited general-audience seating for the awards ceremony is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis—please arrive early. For more information about WCA, please contact Karin Luner, national administrator.

Today in Inside Higher Ed, Scott Jaschik reports on recent work of a task force, comprising representatives from seven national and international organizations, that is raising awareness of the value of university and college art museums and galleries in light of recent events involving attempts by schools to sell work from their collections.

In “Avoiding the Next Brandeis,” Jaschik talks to the task-force cochair David Alan Robertson, director of Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, who is “trying to impress upon [regional higher-education accrediting agencies] that museums shouldn’t be viewed as extras, but as ‘teaching institutions and research institutions.’” Jaschik continues, “Another strategy being discussed is encouraging colleges to define the financial exigency plans—or what they would do in a severe financial crisis—and to make the case that museums should not be the first institutions to be closed.”

Lyndel King, task-force cochair and director and chief curator of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, tells the reporter that “we need to educate college administrators and governing boards that disposing of their collections can’t be a way to fill the coffers or seen as an easy way to bring in money.”

The task force comprises representatives from CAA, the American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of College and University Museums and Galleries, the International Council of Museums, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and the Association of Art Museum Curators. The next meeting of the task force will take place on January 9, 2010, in Sarasota, Florida, in conjunction with the midwinter gathering of the Association of Art Museum Directors.

You may read the petition, published by the task force in July 2009, and include your name and affiliation in the growing list of signatories. A prominent advertisement will appear in the Chronicle for Higher Education later this month; you can download a PDF of it or click and save the above image for use in blogs, press, and more. The task force had planned to include all signatories in the ad, but the list has exceeded 2,200 names and institutional affiliations—too many to include in print.

Today in Inside Higher Ed, Scott Jaschik reports on recent work of a task force, comprising representatives from seven national and international organizations, that is raising awareness of the value of university and college art museums and galleries in light of recent events involving attempts by schools to sell work from their collections.

In “Avoiding the Next Brandeis,” Jaschik talks to the task-force cochair David Alan Robertson, director of Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, who is “trying to impress upon [regional higher-education accrediting agencies] that museums shouldn’t be viewed as extras, but as ‘teaching institutions and research institutions.’” Jaschik continues, “Another strategy being discussed is encouraging colleges to define the financial exigency plans—or what they would do in a severe financial crisis—and to make the case that museums should not be the first institutions to be closed.”

Lyndel King, task-force cochair and director and chief curator of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, tells the reporter that “we need to educate college administrators and governing boards that disposing of their collections can’t be a way to fill the coffers or seen as an easy way to bring in money.”

The task force comprises representatives from CAA, the American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of College and University Museums and Galleries, the International Council of Museums, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and the Association of Art Museum Curators. The next meeting of the task force will take place on January 9, 2010, in Sarasota, Florida, in conjunction with the midwinter gathering of the Association of Art Museum Directors.

You may read the petition, published by the task force in July 2009, and include your name and affiliation in the growing list of signatories. A prominent advertisement will appear in the Chronicle for Higher Education later this month; you can download a PDF of it or click and save the above image for use in blogs, press, and more. The task force had planned to include all signatories in the ad, but the list has exceeded 2,200 names and institutional affiliations—too many to include in print.

Filed under: Advocacy, Museums and Galleries — Tags:

Join a CAA Committee

posted by October 01, 2009

CAA invites you to join one of our nine diverse, active Professional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees. These committees address crucial issues in the fields of art and art history and help to shape CAA’s activities and goals. Committees initiate and supervise ongoing projects and recommend new programs and formal statements and guidelines to the CAA Board of Directors. Joining a committee is also an excellent way to network with other members and to provide service to the field.

Committee members serve three-year terms (2010–13), with at least one new member rotating onto a committee each year. Candidates must possess expertise appropriate to the committee’s work and be current CAA members. Members of all committees volunteer their services to CAA without compensation. CAA’s president and vice president for committees will review all candidates and make appointments prior to the 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago. All new members are introduced to their committees at their respective business meetings at the conference.

The following vacancies will be filled for terms beginning February 2010:

  • Committee on Diversity Practices: 2 members
  • Committee on Intellectual Property: 3–4 members
  • Committee on Women in the Arts: 3 members
  • Education Committee: 4 members
  • International Committee: 2 members
  • Museum Committee: 2 members
  • Professional Practices Committee: 3 members
  • Services to Artists Committee: 2 members
  • Student and Emerging Professionals Committee: 2 members

Nominations and self-nominations for committee membership should include a brief statement (no more than 150 words) describing the individual’s qualifications and experience and an abbreviated CV (no more than two pages). Please send all materials to: Vice President for Committees, c/o Vanessa Jalet, Executive Assistant, CAA, 275 Seventh Ave., 18th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Email submissions must be sent as Microsoft Word attachments. Deadline: October 16, 2009.

Filed under: Committees, Governance