CAA News Today
CAA 2021: A look back on the past year’s programming, publications, and opportunities
posted by CAA — November 30, 2021
CAA has produced this reel with a compilation of events, scholarship, programs, and initiatives CAA from the last year. See below for a full list of each item (in order of appearance in the video) with links to learn more.
CAA’s first virtual Annual Conference
Mariam Ghani in conversation with Laura Anderson Barbata
In Conversation with Dr. Nancy Odegaard
Theresa Avila, Annual Conference Program Chair in conversation with Meme Omogbai
An Inaugural Evening with CAA Distinguished Awardees and Artists
CAA Then & Now: Reflections on the Centennial Book and the Next Century
Karen Leader, author of Chapter 12: Advocacy
Publication, travel, and support grants
Publications and Publications Programming:
Artist Project, Elana Mann for Art Journal Open
Roundtable discussion for Art Journal Open, Holding Space…
Art Journal and The Art Bulletin
caa.reviews book and exhibition reviews
caa.reviews’s dissertation roster, 2020
CAA-Getty International Program
CAA-Getty 10-Year International Program online publication
CAA Conversations by CAA’s Education Committee
CAA’s 110th Annual Conference will take place in Chicago from February 17-19, followed by virtual live sessions to be held in Zoom from March 3-5. For more information and to register go to this link.
Ellen Levy, Author of Chapter 8: Art in an Academic Setting
posted by CAA — November 29, 2021
As part of CAA’s 10-year anniversary celebration of its publication The Eye, the Hand, the Mind: 100 Years of the College Art Association, chapter authors reflect on their contributions and how their impressions of the field have changed. Our second video in the series features Ellen Levy, who wrote Chapter 8, “Art in an Academic Setting: Contemporary CAA Exhibitions.”
Ellen K. Levy, PhD, is a multimedia artist and writer known for exploring art, science and technology interrelationships since the mid-1980s. Levy highlights their importance through exhibitions, educational programs, publications and curatorial opportunities. Her graduate studies were at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston following a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Zoology. She was President of the College Art Association (2004-2006) before earning her doctorate (2012) from the University of Plymouth (UK) on the art and neuroscience of attention. She then was Special Advisor on the Arts and Sciences at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. She was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Arts and Sciences at Skidmore College (1999) and taught many transdisciplinary classes and workshops (e.g., the New School, Cooper Union, Brooklyn College, Banff). She was recipient of an AICA award and an arts commission from NASA following a solo exhibition at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) (1985).
She has exhibited her art internationally and in such landmark exhibitions as Weather Report (Boulder Museum, cur Lucy Lippard) and Gregor Mendel: Planting the Seeds of Genetics (Field Museum, Chicago, adv. Martin Kemp). Levy has published widely on art and complex systems. With Berta Sichel, she guest edited and contributed to CAA’s special issue of Art Journal (spring 1996), likely the first widely distributed academic publication on contemporary art and the genetic code. With Charissa Terranova, she is co-editor of D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s Generative Influences in Art, Design: From Forces to Forms (2021, Bloomsbury Press). Levy has also curated a related exhibition for Pratt Manhattan’s gallery. Levy and Barbara Larson co-edit the “art and science since 1750” book series of Routledge Press. Levy and Patricia Olynyk co-direct the NY LASER program, a central initiative of Leonardo/ISAST. She was twice an invited participant in Watermill’s Art and Consciousness Workshop, led by stage director and playwright, Robert Wilson.
Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA) Picks: November
posted by CAA — November 29, 2021
The November “Picks” from the Committee on Women in the Arts explore spaces between the human figure and its psychic figurations. Each artist featured in the exhibitions traces the vacillations between interior perceptions and the objective contours of an external world eroded by alienation and violence. Whether they draw from traditional genres or experiment with new media, these artists destabilize the grammar of recognizable forms to reveal the vulnerability of human subjectivity and test the possibilities for repair.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Condor and the Mole, 2011, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Courtesy of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly in the League with the Night
October 16, 2021-February 13, 2022
Kunstammlung Nordheim Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye paints portraits to evoke the psychic depths of Black subjects while gently keeping them from the demand for full exposure. The fields of rich colors and soft, slightly loose brush strokes in which Yiadom-Boakye holds her sitters allow her paintings to pulsate with an elegance that is tangible but difficult to pinpoint, though it seems to emerge from the value the artist attributes to seeing as a private act. One painting featured in this exhibition, Condor and Mole (2011), seems to illustrate the mysterious camaraderie indicated by the title of the exhibition and links it to the veils of privacy Yiadom-Boakye brings to the painted image . Condor and Mole portrays two Black girls on a beach punctuated with dark rocks; the tide pulls their shadows into tan and blue-grey sheens that continue into the horizon line. The girls are turned to each other as they look down into a dark crevice in the sand. Viewers do not see what they are looking at, and Yiadom-Boakye portrays the playful attunement of their collaboration, expressed through the correspondence of their body language, without providing full access to their shared vision.
Ana Torfs, Dark Spaces Where Things Cannot Be Put
January 10, 2021-February 27, 2022
Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo
México City, México
Ana Torfs is an artist based in Belgium and Dark Spaces Where Things Cannot Be Put is her first solo exhibition in the Americas. Working with an idiosyncratic array of materials and sources, Tors makes her subject the contingency of visual perception and the unstable connections among images, words, and knowledge. How do words determine what becomes visible to us? For Tors, this is an aesthetic, historical, ethical question that takes her work into contexts of great consequence. The installation The Parrot and the Nightingale, a Phantasmagoria (2014) exemplifies her interest in language, translation, and power. In it, Tors draws from Christopher Columbus’ travel diaries to provoke reflections on linguistic alienation, curiosity, order, and repression. In dialogue with 81 black-and-white images of tropical nature, Tors presents a female interpreter translating an English version of Columbus’ diary into American Sign Language and then three male interpreters bring the text back to a spoken English fractured with error. The “original” diary and its exploratory record recedes further from vision and the connection to the photographs becomes even more unstable, but Tors suggests that the damage imperial encounters remain. The female translator in The Parrot and the Nightingale, a Phantasmagoria points to the stealth feminism running through Tors’ artwork and her attention to the long histories of depriving women access to the voice of authority. The installation Echo’s Bones/Were Turned to Stone (2020), a carpet overlaid with a recording of a woman speaking in an endless chain of associations, suggests that this gendered displacement into irrationality forces women to carry the deaths embedded in and covered over by sensible, rational language.
November 25, 2021-July 3, 2022
Tate Britain, London
The winner of the 2017 Turner Prize, Lubaina Himid is well-known for her impact on the Black British art movement and her innovative depictions of everyday life in the Black diaspora. This Tate exhibition features Himid’s recent work as well as selected highlights from her influential oeuvre, focusing in particular on her interest and training in the theatre. With vivid colors that appear within slightly unsettling arrangements of geometric forms, Himid stages mise-en-scènes that reflect on diasporic imagining, building, and making. These qualities are evident in Six Tailors (2019), a painting in which Himid has arranged six men of African descent around a table covered in bright turquoise blue. The fabric, scissors, and spools thread with which they work materialize the colored and textured worlds they are in the process of making, which sharply contrasts the painting behind them that depicts the sky and sea as flat gray horizontal lines. Himid’s work as a painter is figured into this meditation on making and registers the losses that compose it.
Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor
September 12, 2021-June 6, 2022
Geffen Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
The first West Coast survey of Pipilotti Rist’s work reveals how much her Pop-friendliness fits with Los Angeles. The playful eroticism, love of sparkle and shine, and hyper femininity that are the Swiss artist’s stylistic signatures all resonate with the city’s central place in the fantasy of making dreams come true. Of course, a dark cruelty lurks within this fantasy, and it therefore makes sense that despite the generosity alluded to in the exhibition’s title, Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor also reveals the artist’s affinity with figures such as Lynn Hershman Leeson and David Lynch. Surveying more than thirty years of her work, this exhibition highlights Rist’s talent for stretching video to its extremes with scale, color, and sound. For her, video is a threshold into a rich and elastic imaginary that lets interiors and exteriors flow into each other and announces the desire for big-hearted connections.
October 1, 2021-July 10, 2022
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art
Baseera Khan recently received the UOVO Prize for an emerging Brooklyn artist, and with an aesthetics of distortion pushed to theatrical extremes, they make their body a site for realizing spaces of disjuncture between Muslim and American identities. All of Khan’s artworks collage together a struggle with the archive of commodified objects, images, and materials through which Muslim Americans are perceived. Khan’s I Arrive in a Place with a High Level of Psychic Distress (Blue) (2021) encapsulates this struggle and crystallizes the meaning of the kaleidoscopic layers that are a predominant feature of their work. In this photograph, brown hands and legs adorned with silver chains, bracelets, and rings emerge from behind the broken fragments of painted floor tiles. It is a beautiful and violent fight to “arrive in a place,” but also a challenge to the conditions of raced and gendered visibility that materialize on the terrain of the image.
Yoko Ono: Mend Piece for London
August 25, 2021-January 2, 2022
Whitechapel Gallery, London
Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece for London consists of two plain white tables upon which she has placed broken cups and saucers as well as instruments of repair: scissors, glue, twine, and tape. In her instructions she states, “Mend carefully/ think of mending the world/ at the same time.” A gentle reassertion of her central place in the Fluxus tradition and its continued pertinence, Ono also draws from the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi, in which broken pottery is repaired with lacquer mixed with precious metals and silver. Mend Piece for London also exemplifies Ono’s irrepressible commitment to reaching people with her aesthetics of repair and inspiring them to create and hold an image of a peaceful world in their minds so as to thoughtfully cohere all its broken pieces.
Jennifer Packer: The Eye is Not Satisfied with Seeing
October 30, 2021-April 17, 2022
Whitney Museum of Art, New York
The Eye is Not Satisfied with Seeing features 30 artworks Jennifer Packer has produced over the last decade. Emerging from a historical period in which visual media testifies to the state-sanctioned murder of Black people, Packer explores the psychic states and experiences that exceed visual evidence with a lyrical and melancholic vision. Layered with swaths of bright color, discordant fragments, blank spaces, and the weeping lines of vertical drips, Packer’s paintings and drawings are both heavy and light, private and revelatory, understandable and illegible. It seems that for Packer, traditional genres are tools for containing chaotic feelings, giving them form, but also evoking what has yet to be expressed. The still life Say Her Name (2017) is Packer’s response to the 2015 murder of Sandra Bland. The flowers, leaves, and stems of this painted funerary bouquet, loosely suspended before an unstable background of yellow and black, becomes a scrim that evokes the intimacy of identification and the reality of death’s irrevocable distance.
CAA signs AHA statement on Censorship and Prosecution by Chinese Authorities
posted by CAA — November 29, 2021
CAA has signed onto a statement released by the AHA that expresses alarm in response to the escalation of censorship and prosecution by Chinese authorities on Chinese citizens who deviate from the Communist Party line of hero worship. It asserts, “Such efforts strike at the very heart of historical scholarship, which depends on open-ended inquiry and a free exchange of ideas, wherever that inquiry leads, and whether or not those ideas cast aspersions on historical actors…. The AHA stands firmly against national laws and policies that in effect criminalize the historical enterprise.” Read the entire statement here.
Meet the 2021 Wyeth Award Winners!
posted by CAA — November 18, 2021
MEET THE GRANTEES
Since 2005, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art has supported the publication of books on American art through the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant, administered by CAA. The 2021 grantees are:
- Emilie Boone, A Nimble Arc: James Van Der Zee and Photography, Duke University Press
- Sarah Cowan, Howardena Pindell: Reclaiming Abstraction, Yale University Press
- Elizabeth Hamilton, Charting the Afrofuturist Imaginary in African American Art: The Black Female Fantastic, Taylor & Francis
- Jacqueline Taylor, Amaza Lee Meredith Imagines Herself Modern: Architecture and the Black American Middle Class, The MIT Press
Read a list of all recipients of the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant from 2005 to the present.
For the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant, “American art” is defined as art created in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Eligible for the grant are book-length scholarly manuscripts in the history of American art, visual studies, and related subjects that have been accepted by a publisher on their merits but cannot be published in the most desirable form without a subsidy. The deadline for the receipt of applications is September 15 of each year.
Process, Materials, and Checklist
Questions? Please contact Cali Buckley, Content Manager, Education and Intellectual Property, at email@example.com.
Karen Leader, Author of Chapter 12: Advocacy
posted by CAA — November 15, 2021
As part of CAA’s 10-year anniversary celebration of its publication The Eye, the Hand, the Mind: 100 Years of the College Art Association, chapter authors reflect on their contributions and how their impressions of the field have changed. Our first video in the series features Karen J. Leader, who wrote Chapter 12, “CAA Advocacy: The Nexus of Art and Politics.”
Karen J. Leader is Associate Professor of Art History and Faculty Associate in the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Florida Atlantic University. She received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and her MA and Ph.D. at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her areas of interest include art and popular culture in the 19th-21st centuries, feminist theory and practice, and the history and future of the discipline of art history, the humanities, and higher education. She has published on the artist Gustave Courbet, representations of women in popular culture, and 21st-century tattoo culture. She directs the Barb Schmidt Fellowship: Cultivating Community Involvement, Activism and Social Change, and currently chairs the Services to Historians of Visual Arts Committee (SHVAC) at CAA.You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @proftinkerbell.
CAA Then & Now: Reflections on the Centennial Book and the Next Century
posted by CAA — November 15, 2021
On November 4, CAA had the privilege to host the digital event celebrating The Eye, the Hand, the Mind: 100 Years of the College Art Association. If you were unable to make it, please watch this recording of the event.
Published in 2010, this book documents and examines over a century of CAA’s history. The event features Susan Ball, editor of the publication, and author Julia Sienkewicz, who will discuss their contributions to the project and how topics and issues have shifted and changed in the last decade. A conversation between CAA CEO and Executive Director, Meme Omogbai, and art historian, Anne Higonnet, will reflect on these insights and CAA’s plans for the future. This conversation also will honor Robert L. Herbert, the dedicatee of the book, and will discuss how his legacy has impacted the field and so many at CAA.
Following this event, CAA will release a series of short videos from authors discussing their specific chapters within the book, including Julia A. Sienkewicz, Judith Brodsky, Ellen Levy, and Karen Leader. Their presentations will cover a range of topics concerning CAA’s history, from advocacy and feminist initiatives to CAA’s past exhibition programs and conferences.
About the book:
Susan Ball, editor. The Eye, the Hand, the Mind: 100 Years of the College Art Association (Rutgers University Press, 2011). Copies are available for purchase here.
In 1911 the College Art Association began with a small group of college art teachers whose single mission was to promote “art interests in all divisions of American colleges and universities.” One hundred years later the CAA, as it is commonly known, is as diverse as the decades that witnessed its maturity and growth. As leadership and membership grew dynamically, art and art history professors were joined by non-academic visual artists and art historians, museum professionals, art librarians, visual resource curators, independent scholars and artists, collectors, dealers, conservators, and non-college educators.
The Eye, the Hand, the Mind is a collaborative journey, filled with pictorial mementoes and enlivening stories and anecdotes. In these essays readers discover the important role CAA played in major issues in higher education such as curriculum development, preservation of world monuments, workforce issues and market equity, intellectual property and free speech, capturing conflicts and reconciliations inherent among artists and art historians, pedagogical approaches and critical interpretations/interventions as played out in association publications, annual conferences, advocacy efforts, and governance.
Celebrating the centennial of CAA members and milestones, Susan Ball and renowned contributors honor the organization’s complex history which, in part, also represents many learned societies and the humanities over the last one hundred years.
About the speakers:
Susan Ball, Ph.D.: Susan Ball edited The Eye, the Hand, the Mind. Ball holds a Ph.D. in art and architectural history from Yale University and holds over 35 years of professional experience – as a professor, scholar, museum professional and nonprofit agency director. Ball served as Interim Director of Programs at the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Prior, she was Executive Director at the College Art Association, Professor of Art History at the University of Delaware, the Director of Government and Foundation Affairs at the Art Institute of Chicago, and a consultant with the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation. As an author and editor, she has contributed significant works of scholarship in her field, such as The Profitable Artist: A Handbook for All Artists in the Literary, Media, Performing, and Visual Arts with Peter Cobb and Felicity Hogan (Allworth Press, 2011), and has served on many boards.
Julia A. Sienkewicz, PhD: In The Eye, the Hand, the Mind, Sienkewicz authored the chapter, “Uniting the Arts and the Academy: A History of the CAA Annual Conference.” Sienkewicz, an Associate Professor of Art History at Roanoke College, holds both an MA and PhD from the University of Illinois and a BA from Mt. Holyoke College. She is the author of Epic Landscapes: Benjamin Henry Latrobe and the Art of Watercolor (2019). Currently, she is at work on the monograph Forms of White Hegemony: Transnational Sculpture, Racialized Identity, and the Torch of Civilization, 1836-1865, research that has been recognized with the award of a Terra Foundation Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. She recently edited a special issue of the Art History Pedagogy and Practice journal entitled, “Teaching and Learning the Art History of the United States.” Sienkewicz served in leadership roles at CAA for more than a decade, most recently concluding a term on the Board of Directors as the VP for Committees.
Anne Higonnet, Ph.D.: Anne Higonnet is now Professor of Art History at Barnard College of Columbia University. She received her BA from Harvard College in 1980 and her PhD from Yale University in 1988 under Robert Herbert. Her work has been supported by Getty, Guggenheim, and Social Science Research Council fellowships, as well as by grants from the Mellon, Howard and Kress Foundations. In 2019-2020 she was a Fellow at the Harvard-Radcliffe Institute. She has published many essays, five print books, and two book-scale digital projects, is a prize-winning teacher, and has lectured widely, including in the Live Arts program of the Met Museum. One of her courses, Clothing, is among the most popular at Barnard and Columbia. She is now writing a book under contract with Norton: Three Fashion Stars and the Revolution They Wore; Joséphine Bonaparte, Juliette Récamier, Térésia Tallien.
Meme Omogbai, CAA Executive Director and CEO: Before joining CAA, Omogbai served as a member and past board chair of the New Jersey Historic Trust, one of four landmark entities dedicated to preservation of the state’s historic and cultural heritage, and Montclair State University’s Advisory Board. Named one of 25 Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal, Meme has over twenty-five years of experience in corporate, government, higher education, and museum sectors. As the first American of African descent to chair the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Omogbai led an initiative to rebrand the AAM as a global, inclusive alliance. While COO and trustee, she spearheaded a major transformation in operating performance at the Newark Museum. During her time as deputy assistant chancellor of New Jersey’s Department of Higher Education, Omogbai received legislative acknowledgment and was recognized with the New Jersey Meritorious Service award for her work on college affordability initiatives for families. Omogbai received her MBA from Rutgers University and holds a CPA. She did postgraduate work at Harvard University’s executive management program and has earned the designation of Chartered Global Management Accountant. She studied global museum executive leadership at the J. Paul Getty Trust Museum Leadership Institute, where she also served on the faculty.
ARTexchange Exhibition 2022: Call for Submissions
posted by CAA — November 08, 2021
CAA’s Services to Artists Committee seeks proposals for interactive and participatory projects and/or workshops for CAA’s 2022 ARTexchange and ARTexchange Online.
Originally formatted as a pop-up exhibition and meet-up event for artists and curators, ARTexchange provides an opportunity for artists to share their work and build affinities with other artists, historians, curators, and cultural producers.
This year, Columbia College Chicago will host ARTexchange, a dynamic exhibition of participatory projects and/or workshops, in their C33 Gallery. Located on the bustling corner of Ida B. Wells Drive (formerly Congress Parkway) and Wabash Avenue. Artists should be available February 15 or 16 for delivery and installation of their projects, and are highly encouraged to provide engaging and collaborative workshops or interactions with the public on February 17 or 18. The gallery will also be open to the public on Saturday, February 19, and ephemera will remain on exhibition through February 25.
Additionally, ARTexchange will include an online component. The virtual ARTexchange, a day of interactive and participatory projects and/or workshops accessed via Zoom, will take place on Saturday, March 5.
The Services to Artists Committee encourages applications that engage issues of social justice, inclusivity and intersectional discourses in the arts. Proposals that include community engagement and meaningful interaction with CAA and larger communities will be prioritized.
Please email any questions to <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Include CAA ARTexchange or CAA ARTexchange Online in the subject line.
Apply for the in-person ARTexchange here.
Apply for the virtual ARTexchange Online here.
In Memoriam: Julie L. Green
posted by CAA — November 04, 2021
Artist and educator Julie Green died at home on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. Green (who preferred gender neutral pronouns) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer nearly two years ago.
Julie Lynn Green was born in 1961 in Yokosuka, Japan to Frederick William (Bill) Green and Jane Green. Green’s birth wasn’t without excitement: their father was airlifted by helicopter off a Navy ship to support Jane during pregnancy complications. Both mother and child were fine. As a child, Green lived in Washington State, Ohio, New Jersey, Illinois, and Iowa, where they attended Des Moines Roosevelt High School, graduating in 1979. From an early age, Green shared their mother’s passion for creative projects, thriving as an artist and performing with a high school mime group. One of Green’s favorite pastimes was to play Scrabble with grandmother “GrandMary.” In 1995, Green married longtime partner Clay Lohmann, who encouraged a lifelong interest in yoga and expanded Green’s artistic pursuits.
Green wrote that they wanted to be a stewardess until age four, but became a painter instead. Green received a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from The University of Kansas, studying with noted artist Roger Shimomura, who remained a lifelong mentor and friend. Green joined the faculty at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon in 2000 as a professor in the Art and Art History Department. While garnering admiration and affection from a generation of students, Green also maintained an active studio practice. Green started their best-known work, a series of paintings on second-hand plates depicting the last meal requests of death row prisoners titled The Last Supper, in 2000. A few weeks before their death, Green decided to end the project at 1,000 plates. The first 800 plates are currently on view at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington.
Green worked in a variety of mediums but identified primarily as a painter, often combining humble materials and techniques with art historical traditions. Green painted on linens, Tyvek, and Chinet-brand paper plates as well as paper and canvas, with pigments from sources as diverse as industrial waste byproducts, rare earth elements and 7UP. Awarded a Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts from The Ford Family Foundation, Green’s accolades also included grants and fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission, the ArtPrize 3-D Juried Award, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Green’s work was featured in a variety of publications and programs including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, and PBS, and was exhibited widely in museums and galleries throughout the United States. Green’s final public exhibition in their lifetime, at The Armory Show in New York in 2020, garnered the Presents Award.
Green was preceded in death by their father Frederick WIlliam Green. Green is survived by their husband, artist Clay Lohmann, brother Scott Green, and mother Jane Hamilton.
–Theo Downes-Le Guin and Scott Green
In Conversation: Meme Omogbai speaks with Theresa Avila
posted by CAA — November 01, 2021
We’re delighted to introduce CAA members to a new series of coffee talk conversations between Meme Omogbai, our executive director and CEO, and Theresa Avila, the Program Chair of the 110 Annual Conference. In this first video, they discuss the format of the Conference and how this key program is part of CAA’s response to members, both domestic and international, and vital to positioning our organization for sustainable growth. Upcoming conversations will address questions sent by members. Check it out and send us your thoughts for the next installment!
Please send us your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Theresa Avila is a curator and an Assistant Professor of non-Western Art History at California State University, Channel Islands. She earned a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of New Mexico with a focus on Modern Latin American and Latin@x art. As a scholar and curator her work focuses on the intersections between the visual and political, as she interrogates historiography, empire and nation building, and systems of differentiation. Published works include “Echoing the Call for Revolution: Emiliano Zapata in Chican@x Art” for the exhibition catalogue Emiliano Zapata despues de Zapata (2019), the book Making and Being Made: Contemporary Citizenship, Art, and Visual Culture (2017), as well as the forthcoming “The History of the Barrio Mobile Art Studio, a vehicle for creative transformations” for the fifty-year anthology of Self Help Graphics (2023) and the project “Dialogos: on Landscapes of the Americas” for Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture Journal. (2023). As the Director of the Broome Library Gallery at CSUCI she curated Magnetic Currents: Art charged by the U.S. and Mexico Border (2020); Colecion de Lucha, Desde Santa Paula a las Americas: The Personal Archive of Luzma Espinosa (2019); and Tracing History: Mapping California (2018). Dr. Avila firmly believes we must activate art in meaningful and engage art as a tool for change.
Meme Omogbai, CAA Executive Director and CEO: Before joining CAA, Meme Omogbai served as a member and past board chair of the New Jersey Historic Trust, one of four landmark entities dedicated to preservation of the state’s historic and cultural heritage, and Montclair State University’s Advisory Board. Named one of 25 Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal, Meme has over twenty-five years of experience in corporate, government, higher education, and museum sectors. As the first American of African descent to chair the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Omogbai led an initiative to rebrand the AAM as a global, inclusive alliance. While COO and trustee, she spearheaded a major transformation in operating performance at the Newark Museum. During her time as deputy assistant chancellor of New Jersey’s Department of Higher Education, Omogbai received legislative acknowledgment and was recognized with the New Jersey Meritorious Service award for her work on college affordability initiatives for families. Omogbai received her MBA from Rutgers University and holds a CPA. She did postgraduate work at Harvard University’s executive management program and has earned the designation of Chartered Global Management Accountant. She studied global museum executive leadership at the J. Paul Getty Trust Museum Leadership Institute, where she also served on the faculty.