College Art Association

CAA News Today

The College Art Association (CAA) is pleased to announce Hunter O’Hanian as its next executive director. He will start at CAA on July 1, 2016. O’Hanian succeeds Linda Downs, who served as CAA executive director from 2006 to 2016. O’Hanian comes to CAA at a moment of expansion and opportunity in the organization. In January 2016, CAA announced comprehensive changes to its Annual Conference that will increase the number of sessions and chances for participation. In response to the changes, CAA received over 850 session proposals for its 2017 conference in New York, February 1518.

“I am very excited to welcome Hunter O’Hanian to CAA as executive director,” says Suzanne Preston Blier, president of CAA. “He brings not only unique administrative experience but also striking energy and vision at this key moment in the Association’s history.”

As executive director, O’Hanian is an employee of the CAA Board of Directors and serves as the Association’s chief executive officer. In this role, he will work with board members, committees, and task forces to develop the Association’s strategic plans. O’Hanian’s experience in fundraising, law, and the arts will greatly benefit the membership and the larger visual arts, design, education, and cultural communities with whom CAA works. O’Hanian will oversee a wide variety of initiatives, including the CAA Annual Conference, an advocacy program, member services activities, the career center, fellowships, grants and opportunities offered by CAA, and the publications program, which includes The Art Bulletin, Art Journal, Art Journal Open, and caa.reviews.

“I have long been an admirer of the work CAA has done. They have helped so many artists, art historians, and curators in the pursuit of their professional goals,” says O’Hanian. “I am pleased to be part of this exciting team and look forward to playing a role in growing its membership, bolstering the conferences, and helping the organization thrive on every level.”

O’Hanian is currently the director of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York’s Soho neighborhood. The Leslie-Lohman Museum is the only art museum devoted exclusively to artwork that speaks to the LGBTQ experience.

Prior to joining Leslie-Lohman, Hunter was the vice president of institutional advancement and executive director of the Foundation for Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Previous to that, he led two renowned artists’ residencies programs, having served as the president of Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, outside of Aspen, Colorado, and executive director of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, which is the largest residency program for emerging artists and writers in the United States. The Fine Arts Work Center recently permanently endowed a fellowship in his name.

O’Hanian has a long career of non-profit board and community involvement. He is the past board chair of the Alliance of Artists Communities, the national membership organization for artists’ residency programs. He studied painting at Boston College and received his bachelor of laws degree from Suffolk University in Boston. O’Hanian has an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the Art Institute of Boston.

Photo credit: Johnathan M. Lewis