CAA News Today

Report on the 2014 Annual Conference

posted by Nia Page — Feb 28, 2014

CAA hosted its 102nd Annual Conference from February 12 to 15, 2014, at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. This year’s program included four days of presentations and panel discussions on art history and visual culture, Career Services for professionals at all stages of their careers, a Book and Trade Fair, and a host of special events throughout the region. Preceding the Annual Conference was CAA’s second THATCamp, an “unconference” on digital art history that took place at Columbia College Chicago.


Over 4,000 people from throughout the United States and abroad—including artists, art historians, students, educators, curators, critics, collectors, and museum staff—attended the conference. Visual-arts professionals from over 43 countries were represented at the conference.


Conference sessions featured presentations by artists, scholars, graduate students, and curators who addressed a range of topics in art history and the visual arts. In total, the conference offered over 200 sessions, developed by CAA members, affiliated societies, and committees. Approximately 800 individuals presented their work.

Career Services

Career Services included four days of mentoring and portfolio-review sessions, professional-development workshops, and job interviews with colleges, universities, and other art institutions. Approximately 240 interviewees and 47 mentors participated in Career Services. During the week of the Annual Conference, there were 165 active jobs posted on the Online Career Center and 56 employers participating onsite.

Book and Trade Fair

This year’s Book and Trade Fair presented 108 exhibitors—including participants from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Mexico, and Germany—that displayed new publications, materials for artists, digital resources, and other innovative products of interest to artists, scholars, and arts enthusiasts. The Book and Trade Fair also featured book signings, lectures, and demonstrations, as well as three exhibitor-sponsored program sessions on art materials and publishing.


ARTspace, a “conference within the conference” tailored to the needs and interests of practicing artists, presented programming that was free and open to the public, including this year’s Annual Distinguished Artist Interview with Kay Rosen. Over three hundred people attended this lively event. The scheduled interview with William Pope.L was unfortunately cancelled due to inclement weather.

ARTspace also featured four days of panel discussions devoted to visual-arts practice, opportunities for professional development, and screenings of film and video.

ARTexchange, an open-portfolio event in which CAA artist members displayed drawings, prints, photographs, small paintings, and works on laptop computers, took place on Friday, February 14. Nearly 40 artists participated in ARTexchange this year.

The Media Lounge, a space for innovative new-media programming in conjunction with ARTspace, presented the UncommonCommons project. UncommonCommons was an incubator for skills and knowledge-sharing that responded to the themes of the commons and “commoning.” The project included a series of workshops, film and video screenings, public discussions, and provocations by a range of international artists, filmmakers, activists, art critics, curators, educators, lawyers, and ethnographers.

Programmed by CAA’s Services to Artists Committee, ARTspace was made possible in part by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Student and Emerging Professionals Lounge

The Student and Emerging Professionals Lounge served as a hub for networking, information- sharing, collaboration, professional development, and much more. The Student and Emerging Professionals Committee hosted an incredibly informative session on “Teaching Professional Practices in the Arts” to a packed audience; five Brown Bag Sessions with attendance ranging from 25 to 60; a successful, first-ever social night; and two days of Mock Interviews at full capacity.

The SEP Lounge was sponsored by Wix workshops were held daily at the Annual Conference to captive audiences. Wix empowers creatives and entrepreneurs to build their own website—without having to write a single line of code.

Distinguished Scholar Session

Wanda M. Corn, professor emerita of art history at Stanford University, was CAA’s 2014 Distinguished Scholar. Corn was honored during a special session, sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw of the University of Pennsylvania chaired the session and five additional participants—Lanier Graham, Cécile Whiting, Richard Meyer, Ellen Wiley Todd, and Tirza Latimer—joined Shaw in exploring and celebrating Corn’s many contributions to American art.

Convocation and Awards

More than 400 people attended CAA’s Convocation and presentation of the annual Awards for Distinction, which honor the outstanding achievements and accomplishments of individual artists, art historians, authors, conservators, curators, and critics whose efforts transcend their individual disciplines and contribute to the profession as a whole and to the world at large. Jessica Stockholder of the University of Chicago delivered the keynote address. Video of her presentation will be posted on CAA’s website and YouTube page in the coming weeks.

The recipients of the 2014 awards are:

  • Yvonne Rainer, Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • Kay Rosen, Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work
  • John Berger, Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art
  • T. J. Demos, Frank Jewett Mather Award
  • Lorraine O’Grady, Distinguished Feminist Award
  • Yukio Lippit, Charles Rufus Morey Book Award
  • Jeff L. Rosenheim, Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award
  • Peter C. Sturman and Susan S. Tai, Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions
  • Reni Gower, Distinguished Teaching of Art Award
  • Margaretta M. Lovell and W. J. T. Mitchell, Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award
  • Glenn Wharton, CAA/Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation
  • Sascha Scott, Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize
  • Jeanne Dunning, Art Journal Award

The recipients of the 2014 Professional-Development Fellowships are:

Professional-Development Fellowships in the Visual Arts:

  • Roberta Gentry, University at Albany, State University of New York
  • Jaime Knight, University of Iowa
  • Liss LaFleur’, Emerson College
  • Patrick Segura, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Valentina Vella, Columbia College Chicago

Professional-Development Fellowships in Art History:

  • Maggie M. Cao, Harvard University
  • Michelle Maydanchik, University of Chicago

Honorable Mentions in the Visual Arts:

  • Ann Bartges, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Rachael Lynn Davis, Colorado State University
  • Michelle Young Lee, New York University

Honorable Mentions in Art History

  • Lacey Baradel, University of Pennsylvania
  • Karlyn Griffith, Florida State University

Board Election and Member Vote

Results of the Board of Directors election were announced on February 14, 2014, during the Annual Members’ Business Meeting. The new directors are:

  • Helen C. Frederick, Professor, School of Art and Design, George Mason University
  • Gunalan Nadarajan, Professor and Dean, Stamps School of Art and Design, University of Michigan
  • Dannielle Tegeder, Associate Professor of Art, Art Department, Lehman College, City University of New York
  • David C. Terry, Director of Programs and Curator, New York Foundation for the Arts

They will take office at the next board meeting in May 2014.

CAA’s membership also voted in favor of an amendment to the By-laws. The board believes that this change will benefit members and sustain the services that CAA provides. The amendment also provides for flexibility in enabling CAA to make further changes to the membership structure as may be deemed desirable in the future.

Special Events

Following Convocation, the Art Institute of Chicago hosted CAA’s Opening Reception on Wednesday evening, February 12. Over 600 attendees gathered to celebrate the conference while enjoying a stroll through the Art Institute’s Modern Wing.

CAA celebrated its copublishing partnership with Routledge, Taylor & Francis, with a reception and champagne toast at the CAA booth in the Book and Trade Fair on Friday afternoon.

International Travel Grant Program

The highlight of this year’s CAA International Travel Grant Program was a full-day preconference on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. The grant recipients, who came from 20 countries from around the world, gave presentations about their work, addressing topics such as art and national identity, international issues in contemporary art, cross-cultural influences on artistic styles, and curriculum reassessments of art-historical training. The talks featured a wide range of art, from Renaissance arches to Islamic-Hispanic domestic architecture, from communist-era paintings in Poland and Russia to contemporary art in Estonia, South Africa, and Malaysia. Following the presentations, Rick Asher, professor of art history at the University of Minnesota, led a stimulating discussion that further explored the above topics as well as the differences in how art history is practiced around the world. This is the third year of the International Travel Grant Program, funded by the Getty Foundation. Additional support for the program was provided by the National Committee for the History of Art.

Online Presence

Digital media were used in a number of creative ways to expand the reach of Annual Conference programming and encourage greater interactivity:

  • Thanks to the sponsorship of Golden Artist Colors, select conference sessions were filmed and will be posted to CAA’s YouTube page in the coming weeks
  • Informational preconference Google+ Hangout and Q&A currently has 753 views
  • A free mobile app helped attendees navigate the conference. The app was downloaded 1,186 times
  • Columbia College Chicago students hosted the conference blog, reporting on panels, receptions, exhibitions, and participant experience
  • ARTspace organized Art2Make, an exhibition of 3D printed art
  • Renowned blog and podcast Bad at Sports recorded a podcast onsite at the conference

Other Exciting Highlights

  • CAA released and distributed a Fair Use Issues Report and held a discussion about the ongoing fair-use project. Video from the fair-use session will be posted to CAA’s YouTube page in the coming weeks.
  • Unscheduled performance art enlivened the Hilton Chicago during the Annual Conference

Thank You

Members of CAA’s Board of Directors and staff would like to extend their gratitude to all conference funders and sponsors, attendees, volunteers, and participants; the organization’s committees and award juries; the Hilton Chicago staff; Choose Chicago; the museums and galleries that opened their doors to conference attendees free of charge; and everyone else involved in helping to make the 102nd Annual Conference such a tremendous success!

A warm thanks to the following for their generous support of CAA:

  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
  • Art in America
  • Artstor
  • Blick Art Materials
  • Burlington Magazine
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • David L. Klein Jr. Foundation
  • Getty Foundation
  • Golden Artist Colors
  • Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Arts
  • National Committee for the History of Art
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Pearson
  • Prestel
  • Samuel H. Kress Foundation
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Terra Foundation for the Arts
  • Wix
  • Wyeth Foundation for American Art

Save the Date

CAA’s 103rd Annual Conference will be held in New York City, February 11–14, 2015.

About CAA

The College Art Association is dedicated to providing professional services and resources for artists, art historians, and students in the visual arts. CAA serves as an advocate and a resource for individuals and institutions nationally and internationally by offering forums to discuss the latest developments in the visual arts and art history through its Annual Conference, publications, exhibitions, websites, and other events. CAA focuses on a wide range of issues, including education in the arts, freedom of expression, intellectual-property rights, cultural heritage and preservation, workforce topics in universities and museums, and access to networked information technologies. Representing its members’ professional needs since 1911, CAA is committed to the highest professional and ethical standards of scholarship, creativity, criticism, and teaching.

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