College Art Association

CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Mar 18, 2015

Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Welcome to the Brave New World of the Corporate-Sponsored Artist

It has never been easy for writers and artists to pursue their craft: art takes time and does not, in most cases, result in much monetary payoff. Since the 1900s, nonprofit organizations have filled this role with residency programs that are usually funded by wealthy donors or public donations. The Alliance of Artists Communities tracks these programs: there are currently over two hundred in the United States. But over the last couple of years, a new variety of artist-in-residence program has entered the scene, this time sponsored by big companies. (Read more from Fast Company.)

A Real Estate Investment Cooperative for NYC

In 2008, some friends and I built out and managed a studio space in New York. We signed a five-year lease (with a three-year option) and hoped for the best. Most of us got involved to save money, but quickly the space became an emotional intellectual home. When I realized that we would pay our landlord $960,000 over eight years for a dilapidated 8,000-square-foot studio space, I became obsessed with affordable, equitable ownership models. (Read more from Medium.)

A Palette of Textures

We become painters at some deep level not out of a love of images—after all, there are many ways to create those. Instead, at some point, we fall in love with the very stuff of our chosen medium. And if that happens to be oils, then our love is with the silky, dense, slippery, and intractable mud we spend our lives trying to master. (Read more from Just Paint.)

The Near and Far Future of Libraries

Recently, Google vice president Vint Cerf warned that we might be headed for a digital dark age, a massive loss of information with obsolete file types and hardware. That’s an especially dire prophecy in an era when digitization is rapidly eclipsing print media, artificial intelligence is perfecting search queries, and drastic upheavals are quietly underfoot at the world’s historic libraries. All this leads to the question of what happens if we lose our traditional libraries? (Read more from Hopes and Fears.)

In the Memory Ward

At first, the library of the Warburg Institute, in London, seems and smells like any other university library: four floors of fluorescent lights and steel shelves, with the damp, weedy aroma of aging books everywhere, and sudden apparitions of graduate students wearing that look, at once brightly keen and infinitely discouraged, eternally shared by graduate students, whether the old kind, with suede elbow patches, or the new kind, with many piercings. Only as the visitor begins to study the collections does the oddity of the place appear. (Read more from the New Yorker.)

Global Audiences, Zero Visitors: How to Measure the Success of Museums’ Online Publishing

Fifty percent of arts organizations in the United States maintain a blog. The Metropolitan Museum of Art calculated that while it draws six million visitors in a year, its website attracts 29 million users and its Facebook page reaches 92 million. Yet only a small percentage of these online visitors would ever walk up the New York museum’s famous steps. If the internet has changed the definition of what a museum’s audience is, then it also poses the difficult question of how to interact with it. (Read more from Rhizome.)

Spare Us the So-Called Experts and Call for the Connoisseurs

In the quest for academic impartiality, we often ignore actual ability. True attributional expertise—let us be grown up and call it connoisseurship—can only be gained through years of experience. It requires intense scrutiny of paintings by all manner of artists, of all levels of quality, and of pictures in varying conditions. Although there is a certain element of natural talent in connoisseurship, there is no substitute for training your “eye” over time. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Teaching Art History and Race: Bridging Gaps in the Global Survey Course

Designed to explore art from prehistory through the present, the current global survey course is often problematic. Many popular textbooks analyze art in the Western world extensively and chronologically while reviewing thousands of years of non-Western art history geographically in single chapters. This imbalance avoids addressing important issues including gender and race. In 2014, the murders of Eric Gardner and Michael Brown brought similar concerns in our society to light. These events provoked us to engage our art-history survey students about the relationship of art and race, and how that interaction calls attention to the inherent inequalities in our own field. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

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