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Participating as a mentor in CAA’s two Career Services mentoring programs at the Annual Conference—the Artists’ Portfolio Review and Career Development Mentoring—is an excellent way to serve the field while assisting the professional growth of the next generation of artists and scholars.

Artists’ Portfolio Review

CAA seeks curators and critics to participate in the Artists’ Portfolio Review during the 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago. This program provides an opportunity for artists to have slides, digital images, or DVDs of their work critiqued by professionals; member artists are paired with a critic, curator, or educator for twenty-minute appointments. Whenever possible, artists are matched with mentors based on medium or discipline. Volunteer mentors provide an important service to artists, enabling them to receive professional criticism of their work. Art historians and studio artists must be tenured; critics, museum educators, and curators must have five years’ experience. Curators and educators must have current employment with a museum or university gallery.

Interested candidates must be current CAA members, register for the conference, and be willing to provide at least five successive twenty-minute critiques in a two-hour period on one of the two days of the review: Thursday, February 11, and Friday, February 12, 8:00 AM–NOON and 1:00–5:00 PM each day. Send your CV and a brief letter of interest to Lauren Stark, CAA manager of programs. Deadline: December 4, 2009.

Career Development Mentoring

CAA seeks mentors from all areas of art history, studio art, art education, film and video, graphic design, the museum professions, and other related fields to serve in CAA’s Career Development Mentoring. Mentors give valuable advice to emerging and midcareer professionals, reviewing cover letters, CVs, slides and digital images, and other pertinent job-search materials in twenty-minute sessions.

Interested candidates must be current CAA members, register for the conference, and be prepared to give five successive twenty-minute critiques in a two-hour period on one of the two days of the session: Thursday, February 11, and Friday, February 12, 8:00 AM–NOON and 1:00–5:00 PM each day. Art historians and studio artists must be tenured; critics, museum educators, and curators must have five years’ experience. Curators and educators must have current employment with a museum or university gallery.

This mentoring session is not intended as a screening process by institutions seeking new hires. Applications are not accepted from individuals whose departments are conducting a faculty search in the field in which they are mentoring. Mentors should not attend as candidates for positions in the same field in which workshop candidates may be applying. Send your CV and a brief letter of interest to Lauren Stark, CAA manager of programs. Deadline: December 4, 2009.

On October 31, 2009, fifty-nine cultural heritage leaders from thirty-two countries, including representatives of Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Asia, unanimously passed the Salzburg Declaration on the Conservation and Preservation of Cultural Heritage. The declaration was the culmination of the Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS), entitled “Connecting to the World’s Collections: Making the Case for Conservation and Preservation of our Cultural Heritage” and held October 28–November 1, 2009, under the auspices of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and SGS. The declaration will be widely distributed to cultural ministries and other policy-making entities; it has already been translated into Arabic.

The seminar built on the findings of “Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action,” IMLS’s multiyear initiative on collections care, putting them into a global context. It combined presentations by leading experts in conservation and preservation throughout the world with small working groups tasked with making practical recommendations for future action on specific topics. Those guiding topics included emergency preparedness, education and training, public awareness, new preservation approaches, and assessment and planning. One evening was devoted to a fireside chat on “conservation in the developing world,” with a panel of participants representing Benin, Iraq, Mexico, Singapore, and Trinidad and Tobago.

At the opening session, Vinod Daniel, seminar coleader and head of Culture Heritage and Science Initiatives at the Australia Museum, noted that he had never attended a meeting “as diverse as this, with people from this many parts of the world, as cross-disciplinary as this.” A report summarizing the discussions and outlining the recommendations will be published later this year, sent to key stakeholders around the world, and made available online at www.imls.gov and www.SalzburgGlobal.org.

Additional support for the seminar was provided by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. For more information about the program, please contact Nancy Rogers, IMLS senior project coordinator, or Susanna Seidl-Fox, SGS program director.

Daily seminar blog posts by Richard McCoy, associate conservator of objects at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, are available at www.iiconservation.org/wpress.

November Obituaries in the Arts

posted by November 23, 2009

CAA recognizes the lives and achievements of the following artists, photographers, scholars, curators, critics, dealers, collectors, and other professionals and important figures in the visual arts. Of special note is Zena Pearlstone’s text on the Native American artist Michael Kabotie.

  • Sarane Alexandrian, an art historian, poet, writer, and founder of the literary magazine Supérieur Inconnu, which was dedicated to Surrealism, died on September 11, 2009, at the age of 82
  • Frances L. Brody, an arts advocate, collector, and benefactor of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Gardens, died on November 12, 2009, at the age of 93
  • José Cisneros, a self-taught artist best known for his pen-and-ink sketches of history and life in the southwestern United States, died on November 14, 2009, at the age of 99. He was awarded a National Humanities Medal in 2002.
  • Roy DeCarava, a photographer and professor of art who sought creative expression, rather than social documentary, through his photography of life in Harlem, died on October 27, 2009. He was 89
  • Evelyn Hofer, a photographer of both human and architectural subjects who excelled at still, composed portraits and scenes, died on November 2, 2009. She was 87
  • Michael Kabotie, a Hopi artist, muralist, jeweler, poet, and printmaker whose work promoted understanding of traditional Hopi teachings, died on October 23, at the age of 67. Read Zena Pearlstone’s text, written especially for CAA
  • Wolfgang Ketterer, a German art dealer whose gallery in Stuttgart and Munich specialized in modern art, died on October 14, 2009. He was 89
  • Irving Kriesberg, a figurative expressionist painter praised for his bold forms and intense colors, died on November 11, 2009, at the age of 90
  • Robert Lautman, an architectural photographer whose work focuses on the use of light to capture architectural design, died on October 20, 2009, at the age of 85
  • Claude Lévi-Strauss, a preeminent anthropologist whose structuralist approach influenced many writers, theorists, and art historians worldwide, died on October 30, 2009. He was 100
  • A. John Poole, an architectural sculptor, letter cutter, restorer of sculpture, and teacher whose often-ecclesiastical work can be found throughout Britain, died on September 2, 2009. He was 83
  • Meir “Mike” Ronnen, an art critic for the Jerusalem Post and a cartoonist known for his satirical commentary about life in Israel, died on August 30, 3009, at the age of 83
  • Robert Taylor, a former chief art and book critic for the Boston Globe, died on October 25, 2009, at the age of 84
  • Nick Waterlow, an art curator and the director of three Sydney Biennales whose exhibitions sought to challenge Australian and international views of contemporary art, died on November 9, 2009. He was 68
  • Albert York, a reclusive artist who painted intimate landscapes and still lifes with a quiet sense of the mysterious, died on October 27, 2009, at the age of 80

Read all past obituaries in the arts on the CAA website.

Filed under: Obituaries, People in the News

Michael Kabotie: In Memoriam

posted by November 23, 2009

Zena Pearlstone is emeritus professor of art history at California State University, Fullerton.

Michael Kabotie

Michael Kabotie with his work at the Del Rio Gallery in Flagstaff, Arizona

Michael Kabotie (Lomawywesa), a Hopi painter, jeweler, poet, and printmaker, died in Flagstaff, Arizona, on October 23, 2009, of complications from H1N1 influenza. He was 67.

Kabotie is known among Hopi artists as one who commanded several media and constantly pushed his iconographic and technical skills. His work was always powerful and often mystical. Kabotie worked with the mythology and sentiments of his people, but he described his art as pushing back in time in an attempt to arrive at the roots or basics of Hopi teachings that would promote a common understanding. His intelligence was far reaching. Some people think outside the box, but for him there never was a box.

Kabotie was born in 1942 at Songoopovi, Second Mesa, Hopi, a member of the Snow-Water clan and the son of the artist Fred Kabotie and Alice Kabotie. He attended Hopi High School, where he studied art with his father, and in 1961 graduated from the Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas. He began studies in engineering but did not complete the program, preferring to devote his full attention to his art. He lived at Hopi and also, for many years, in Flagstaff and New Mexico.

During the sixties and into the seventies Kabotie’s work was influenced by ancestral Pueblo art and European modernism. In the 1960 and 1961 Southwest Indian Art Project summer program at the University of Arizona, he studied with the Cochiti artist Joe Herrera, who introduced him to the kiva murals at the Hopi site of Awotovi. Herrera, Kabotie said, opened his eyes to the art of his people. The murals and the related Sikyatki pottery images remained a reference for Kabotie throughout his career. At his 1967 initiation into the Wuwtsim (a priesthood society) Kabotie received the name Lomawywesa, “Walking in Harmony.” The ceremony led him to consider the art of his ancestors as more central than modern art.

Still it was important to Kabotie to work with other artists in a modernist style that extracted elements from ancient sources. In 1973 he was a founding member of Artist Hopid, a group of five contemporary Hopi artists who felt the need to communicate their cultural and artistic experiences. Speaking for the group Kabotie said, “We hoped that from the presentation of our traditions and from the interpretations of the Hopi way in our art and paintings a new direction would come for American spirituality.” In 1996, he continued his search for basic truths when he began sharing canvases with Jack Dauben, who is of Celtic ancestry.

Michael Kabotie

Michael Kabotie, silver pendant, 2004

Kabotie began silversmithing seriously in the late 1970s. His unique work modified Hopi overlay into three-dimensional pieces, a process most Hopi jewelers would never attempt. One stunning 2001 bracelet with Awotovi designs is built like a box, squared and hollow, an astounding construction feat.

Kabotie’s painting and jewelry were incorporated into large public works, including murals at Sunset Crater Visitors Center in Arizona; a large mural, Journey of the Human Spirit, made with Delbridge Honanie and now in the Kiva Gallery at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff; and a gate at the Heard Museum in Phoenix designed to look like a piece of overlay jewelry.

Kabotie was a Southwestern force and in all his endeavors an ambassador for Hopi while absorbing the ideas of other cultures. In a career of almost fifty years, he was involved, as either participant or consultant, in myriad projects concerning Southwest and Californian art and culture. He worked with indigenous artists in New Zealand, Brazil and Mexico; had exhibitions in fourteen US states, South America, Europe, and New Zealand; and served as an advisor to the Heard Museum, the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, and the Idyllwild California Summer Arts program at the Idyllwild Arts Foundation. At the latter Kabotie taught Hopi overlay jewelry techniques for almost twenty years. His work is held by museums in the United States and Europe. In 2003 he received the Arizona Indian Living Treasure Award.

He was a warm and caring person and a wonderful friend. His thoughtfulness and his humor went hand in hand. He was a quick wit and always the trickster. “Come have Thanksgiving with us,” he asked one year. “We have too many Indians and not enough Pilgrims.”

Kabotie leaves a monumental body of work that will be admired and influential for many years. He leaves a large family and a multitude of friends, all of whom adored and respected him.

Filed under: Obituaries

CAA’s Services to Artists Committee invites artist members to participate in ARTexchange, an open forum for sharing work at the 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago. To be held Friday evening, February 12, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, ARTexchange is free and open to the public; a cash bar will be available.

The space on, above, and beneath a six-foot table is available for each artist’s exhibition of prints, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and small installations; performance, sound, and spoken word are also welcome. Previous ARTexchange participants have found that this parameter sparked creative displays, and the committee looks forward to surprises and inspiring solutions at the upcoming conference. Please note that artwork cannot be hung on walls, and it is not possible to run power cords from laptops or other electronic devices to outlets—bring fully charged batteries.

To participate in Chicago, please write to the ARTexchange coordinators, with the subject heading “CAA ARTexchange.” Include your CAA member number and a brief description of what you plan to present. Please provide details regarding performance, sound, spoken word, or technology-based work, including laptop presentations. You will receive an email confirmation. Because ARTexchange is a popular venue and participation is based on available space, early applicants are given preference.

Participants are responsible for their work; CAA is not liable for losses or damages. Sales of work are not permitted. Deadline: December 18, 2009.

Image: Dennis Olsen (right), an artist and president of the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy, shows his work at ARTexchange during the 2009 Annual Conference in Los Angeles (photograph by Kenna Love)

Filed under: Annual Conference, Exhibitions

Jules David Prown, a devoted teacher of the history of American art and material culture and Paul Mellon Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at Yale University, will be honored at the 2010 Distinguished Scholar Session. Held at the CAA Annual Conference in Chicago, this special event takes place on Thursday, February 11, 2010, 2:30–5:00 PM in Grand EF, East Tower, Gold Level, Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Bryan J. Wolf, a professor of American art and culture at Stanford University, writes this about Prown:

His remarkable career marks the coming of age of American art history. His two-volume study of the painter John Singleton Copley (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966) overturned the usual concerns of positivistic biography. His growing focus during the next several decades on the formal properties of objects, together with what he termed the system of cultural “belief” embedded within them, led to a methodological revolution that still resonates loudly in classrooms wherever American art and material culture are taught.

Please read Wolf’s article on Prown and his accomplishments, which is also published in the November 2009 CAA News.

Prown is CAA’s tenth distinguished scholar. He joins a list of illustrious past honorees: Svetlana Alpers (2009), Robert L. Herbert (2008), Linda Nochlin (2007), John Szarkowski (2006), Richard Brilliant (2005), James Cahill (2004), Phyllis Pray Bober (2003), Leo Steinberg (2002), and James Ackerman (2001).

The 2010 Distinguished Scholar Session is generously funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

The 2009 Nominating Committee has selected the following slate of six candidates for election to the CAA Board of Directors for 2010–14 terms:

  • Peter Barnet, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Roger Crum, University of Dayton
  • Conrad Gleber, La Salle University
  • Arthur F. Jones, University of North Dakota
  • Jean M. K. Miller, Towson University
  • Sabina Ott, Columbia College Chicago.

The board is charged with CAA’s long-term financial stability and strategic direction; it is also the association’s governing body. The board sets policy regarding all aspects of CAA’s activities, including publishing, the Annual Conference, awards and fellowships, advocacy, and committee procedures.

CAA members will elect four members from the above slate to the board. In early December, CAA will post biographies of the six candidates, as well as video statements prepared by each nominee. In mid-December, a ballot and a proxy will be sent by email to all CAA members eligible to vote.

If you are still receiving your ballot and proxy by postal mail, kindly change your email communication status to “vote online” in the Account Log In section of the CAA website. Voting online is considerably less expensive, and in these difficult economic times it is critical for CAA to save costs where it can.

You should return your ballot and proxy online before the Annual Members’ Business Meeting at the 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago. Voting ends at 5:00 PM CST on Friday, February 12, 2010. Results are announced at the close of the meeting, and new board members take office in the spring. If you wish to vote during the conference, CAA provides a computer in the registration area for electronic ballots.

Members of the 2009 Nominating Committee are: Mary-Ann Milford-Lutzker, Mills College, vice president for committees and committee chair (ex officio without vote); Jacki Apple, Art Center College of Design; Linda Downs, CAA executive director (ex officio, without vote); Ken Gonzales-Day, Scripps College and CAA board; James Hopfensperger, Western Michigan University; Suzanne McCullagh, Art Institute of Chicago; Edward M. Noriega, Troy University and CAA board; William Wallace, Washington University in St. Louis and CAA board; and Charles A. Wright, Western Illinois University.

The committee seeks at-large members for 2010. Please send a nomination or self-nomination.

Filed under: Board of Directors, Governance

Nominating Committee Seeks Members

posted by November 11, 2009

CAA invites you to help shape our Board of Directors by serving on the 2010 Nominating Committee. Each year, this committee nominates and interviews candidates for the CAA board and selects the final slate for the membership’s vote. (Read the names and affiliations of current candidates for the 2010–14 terms.)

The current Nominating Committee will select new members of its own committee at its business meeting held at the 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago. Once selected, all Nominating Committee members are called on to propose a minimum of five and a maximum of ten candidates for the board. Service on the committee also involves conducting telephone interviews with board candidates during the summer and meeting by conference call in September 2010 to select the final board slate. Finally, all committee members must attend the Nominating Committee’s business meeting at the Annual Conference in New York to select the 2011 committee.

Nominations and self-nominations should include a brief statement of interest and a two-page CV. Please send all materials to: Mary-Ann Milford-Lutzker, Vice President for Committees c/o CAA Executive Assistant, CAA, 275 Seventh Ave., 18th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Materials may also be sent by email as Microsoft Word attachments. Deadline: December 30, 2009.

Phyllis Bramson and Tony Tasset, two Chicago-based artists, will participate in CAA’s Annual Artists’ Interviews, hosted by ARTspace during the 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago. This session will be the fourteenth installment of the popular series, which features two major practicing artists in back-to-back interviews. The talks will be held on Friday, February 12, from 2:30 to 5:00 PM at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, Columbus GHIJ, Gold Level, East Tower.

The interviewers were selected by the artists: Lynne Warren, a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, will interview Bramson; and John Neff, a fellow Chicago-based artist, will speak with Tasset.

Phyllis Bramson

Phyllis Bramson is a painter whose works evoke a fairy-tale world of bright and engaging colors. Often burlesquelike and erotically charged, her images wander between a physical and mental existence that juxtaposes the nonsensical with the profoundly meaningful, mediating between the pleasure, trauma, and difficulty of being. She has recently taken a new direction with the creation of mixed-media scroll paintings.

Robert Berlind has written of her paintings in connection with a recent exhibition: “The combination of sensual allure and downright goofiness in [her] art conveys that slippage between the erotic sublime and the sometimes fumbling awkwardness of sexual desire. While her works are loaded with evocative pleasures for the eye and mind, they are also about beauty, which is to say not merely (however pleasurably) seductive.”1

Bramson received a BFA from the University of Illinois in Urbana and earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1973. She is professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and has been advising graduate students in the MFA Drawing and Painting Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since 2007.

In 2010, a two-person exhibition is planned for Carrie Secrist Gallery in Chicago. The Anitdote (the continued relevance of painting), curated by Bramson and Claire Oliver, will appear at Claire Oliver Gallery in New York, from January 21 to February 20, 2010. (The artist is represented by both Secrist and Oliver, as well as by Philip Slein Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri.)

Tony Tasset

Tony Tasset’s conceptually based, visually engaging art is manifested in a variety of media, including sculpture (using bronze, steel, fiberglass, resin, and more), photography, film, video, and performance. With great humor and pathos, his work engages a wide range of topics, from the historical weight of modernism and postmodernism to the playful tensions of domestic life. Nature mediated through humanity is also expressed in recent sculptural works depicting mudpies, carved pumpkins, snowmen, and colorfully painted stones.

Trained as a painter and sculptor, Tasset received a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1983 and earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1985. Currently a professor of art and design at the University of Illinois, Chicago, he has lived and worked in the city for more than fifteen years.

Solo exhibitions of Tasset’s work have taken place at Kavi Gupta Gallery in Leipzig, Germany (Gupta also represents him in Chicago); Feigen Contemporary in New York; and Christopher Grimes in Los Angeles. His work has been included in several recent traveling group shows, such as Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll since 1967, Into Me/Out of Me, and Situation Comedy: Humor in Recent Art.

Tasset was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Award in 2006 and has received awards from the Illinois Art Council, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.

1. Robert Berlind, “Phyllis Bramson at Little John Contemporary,” Art in America 89, no. 5 (May 2001).

Above photos:

Phyllis Bramson, Heat Seekers, 2008, oil and mixed media on canvas, 60 x 60 in. (artwork © Phyllis Bramson; photograph provided by the artist)

Tony Tasset, Snowman, 2008, bronze, resin, polystyrene foam, brass, epoxy, enamel, fiberglass, and galvanized steel, 85 x 48 x 30 in. (artwork © Tony Tasset; photograph provided by Kavi Gupta Gallery)

Filed under: Annual Conference

Google Books Settlement

posted by November 09, 2009

Today is the deadline for a revised settlement agreement to be filed in response to a lawsuit by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, who are protesting the unauthorized copying of in-copyright books by Google.

CAA has prepared a summary article on the Google Library Book Project to better inform you about the issues at stake; included are a brief description of aspects of the settlement and links to articles and editorials from authors and reporters supporting or criticizing the settlement.

CAA’s constituency includes both creators and users of books. The Committee on Intellectual Property has taken up the matter for consideration and is currently considering what position, if any, to recommend.