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The 2018 Annual Conference kicks off next week in Los Angeles! Here are some tips for first-time attendees:

  • We expect between 3,500 and 4,000 in attendance.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. The Convention Center is large and there is a lot of walking. Most people dress business casual.
  • Be sure to talk to other conference attendees. Making connections is one of the most important things about the Annual Conference.
  • 300 ninety-minute sessions on art making and art history topics – many have Q+A sessions at the end. You don’t need to reserve a space for a particular session, however, space may be limited in due to popularity.

Session times are: 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM, and 6:00 PM

  • Use the Annual Conference App or the printed program to make your selection as to which sessions you want to attend. Select sessions in your own field, but also attend a session that interests you but you don’t know that much about.
  • Key Conversation sessions- 12:30 to 1:30PM each day. These cover more topical and current art topics.
  • Printed programs are $10. The mobile App for phone is free. There is Wi-Fi throughout the convention center.
  • Book and Trade Fair: Approximately 90 exhibitors by publishers and art supply makers
  • Cultural and Academic Network Hall: Booths by 52 colleges and cultural orgs
  • Interviews between colleges and attendees
  • Idea Exchange
  • Candidate Center
  • Poster sessions
  • There are many off-site events, some of which are free and some of which have a fee. Check the conference website for the list and see if they are sold out.
  • There are professional development workshops and mentoring sessions. Check the conference website or the App for details.
  • Be sure to check out the Media Lounge and ArtSpace, where the Annual Distinguished Artist Interviews take place.
  • If you are a presenter, there is a Speaker Ready Room for you to prep.
  • The CAA Annual Meeting takes place on Friday at 2:00 PM. All are welcome to attend.
  • Other services available include a Business Center, Quiet Room, and Lactation Room.
  • General CAA questions can be answered at the Welcome Booth in the Registration area in Concourse Foyer.
  • Bus service will run between the hotels and the Westin, Biltmore JW Marriott and the Convention Center – mostly in the morning and end of day. Check the Shuttle Bus Schedule icon in the App for service hours.

106th  CAA Annual Conference Schedule Highlights

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

  • Meet and Greet for early arrivals at the Convention Center

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

  • Registration open 8:00AM to 7:00PM
  • Sessions run at Convention Center
  • 6:00 – 7:30PM – Convocation, Awards for Distinction, and keynote speech by Charles Gaines. Reception will follow in the Registration Area.
  • Tour of the Broad Museum – Jasper Johns exhibition (sold out)
  • Hauser & Wirth after party (sold out)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

  • Registration open 8:00AM to 7:00PM
  • Book and Trade Fair opens, 9:00AM-6:00PM
  • Cultural and Academic Network Hall opens, 9:00AM-6:00PM
  • Sessions run at the Convention Center
  • Distinguished Scholar Award and Conversation, 4:00-5:30PM
  • Board of Directors Voting ends, 6:00PM
  • Getty Center Reception at 7:00PM – buses will be provided

Friday, February 23, 2018

  • Registration open 8:00AM to 7:00PM
  • Sessions run at Convention Center
  • Distinguished Artist Interviews, 3:30-5:30PM
  • CAA Annual Business Meeting 2:00PM at Convention Center
  • Receptions run at night at hotels for reunions

Saturday, February 24, 2018

  • Registration open 8:30AM to 2:30PM
  • Sessions run at Convention Center

Click here to see more tips for first-time attendees.

Filed under: Annual Conference

Pepón Osorio, Badge of Honor, 1995. Photo: Sarah Welles

Drawing on his childhood in Puerto Rico and his adult life as a social worker in the Bronx, artist Pepón Osorio creates meticulous installations incorporating the memories, experiences, and cultural and religious iconography of Latino communities and family dynamics. The 2018 CAA Distinguished Artist Awardee for Lifetime Achievement, Osorio is a professor in the Community Arts Practices Program at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He is also the recipient of a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship, among many other awards and fellowships.

CAA media and content manager Joelle Te Paske worked with Pepón in 2016 on reForm, a project responding to school closures in Philadelphia in collaboration with students, teachers, and Temple University. In the project high schoolers, affectionately nicknamed “Bobcats” after their former school mascot, were invited to contribute to an art installation at Tyler School of Art, where they also met with local politicians to advocate for community-based school reform.

Joelle caught up with Pepón in January 2018 to hear his thoughts on being an artist and professor, and to learn about his hopes for the year ahead.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Pepón Osorio, To my darling daughters, 1990. Photo: Carlos Avedaños

JTP: I’m happy to be speaking with you. When I heard that you were getting the award, it was great news!

So, we find ourselves in 2018—how are you doing? What’s on your mind?

PO: I think that I am still processing the fact that we are in 2018 and 2017 didn’t look very good for us. Both as an artist and a citizen. I’m hoping that we begin to tell the truth in a country of lies. I hope that is what 2018 is like. This is a very interesting moment with the CAA lifetime achievement award, because I’ve been mostly thinking in retrospect. How in the world did we get here? How did we get here and how did this happen?

I’m looking in retrospect and trying to see where energy is stored and how to rejuvenate so I can move forward with a new perspective. That’s where I’m at.

JTP: I love that—looking for pockets of energy that are there, but haven’t quite been found.

PO: That in addition to how do we tell the truth in a country of lies? What does that mean? Everything’s been blurry to the point that you begin to doubt. That’s where we are.

JTP: Definitely. And what does your work look like right now? 

PO: I am working on a couple of ideas. My production is very, very, very small. I don’t produce tons of work. I only produce work that I feel is urgent and is important. So I’m working on a whole bunch of ideas for possible pieces. Of all those ideas, one will emerge and come out. I’m working with that and also teaching. I’m trying to perfect the transformation of my methodology into a philosophical pedagogy. I’m trying to figure that out without losing touch with my creative self and my sense of curiosity.

JTP: When you say philosophical, do you mean putting together a formal pedagogy? Or more in a spiritual way?

PO: Well, both. I have been teaching at Tyler over the years and I feel that I always want to be able to center myself in my pedagogy in the way that I center myself in my artistic practice.

Pepón Osorio, Scene of the Crime… (whose crime?), 1993. Photo: Frank Gimpaya

I’m looking at what I’m really good at and that which I know most, which is my methodology of getting my work done, my practice. How do I transform that into a pedagogy of philosophy? That I can go around and teach something that I feel has this philosophy at the center of the work, similar to my artistic practice. Those are the things that I’ve been doing. A lot of looking in retrospect. Really looking in retrospect at the system.

JTP: That’s great. I’ve enjoyed being at CAA because I’ve been thinking more about history. It’s always there for you to learn from. The more you dig into it, the more you learn about the moment you’re in.

PO: Exactly.

JTP: What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your time at Tyler as part of the faculty?

PO: The changes that I’m seeing at Tyler are new faculty members are coming in with a preoccupation that seems to be different from the history Tyler was built on. I’m looking at faculty members who are much more interested and preoccupied with things other than the object; where new faculty members are coming in with a clear understanding of what the true intention of becoming an artist is.

So I’m seeing that. I’m seeing transformations. We obviously have a new dean who is also looking at ways of transforming the past into a bright and hopeful future. Which is basically what I think this whole nation should be looking at.

JTP: I’m with you. Feels a little blurry, as you said, right now.

PO: Exactly. I think that the new blood and new faculty members that are coming to Tyler are interested in redefining a lot of concepts. I see that a lot in the world. I see that a lot with new generations of people coming up who are very interested in: “Let’s redefine this thing, because the system as it is simply doesn’t work.”

JTP: Would you say that’s your favorite part of being on the faculty at the moment?

Pepón Osorio

PO: Yes. Also because I always feel that I found a niche in this. As an artist, dealing with the social, the political, the truth, and interdisciplinary work that creates very complex, chaotic environments—all that stuff seems to be so unacademic. I came in and I just felt like, “What in the world? What is my place in all this?” Little by little, by joining a new faculty and redefining, it’s making perfect sense. I’m finding myself more and more comfortable. That there are people around me that are supportive, that understand my trajectory and understand how I got to where I am now, whatever that place is.

It’s wonderful and I think to me that is a highlight. It’s finding a space in academia that feels comfortable and that I can bring the complexity of who I am into it, without necessarily having to be only one person.

JTP: I think that’s beautifully put. Everyone brings their own experiences. No one wants to be part of a monolithic institution that doesn’t let people be themselves …well, ok, some people do. But it’s interesting to me there’s so much more openness for that than I thought there might be, coming to a traditional academic membership organization like CAA, for instance.

PO: Basically, for me, it feels that this is not in demand. I am not filling up a demand of what all the people want to see. This is who I am. In relationship to the earlier question, I just feel like I was able to figure out a way to become myself in a world where people have demands of, “Oh you should be a professor.” Everybody thinks that you should be a [certain type of] professor. No. You just can’t be anybody else but who you are. It just so happened that being a professor is part of that.

We are looking at being an artist from a three-dimensional reality and in a more inter-dimensional way—that being an artist and professor is a very complex human being. I love that. I’d love to embrace that and not hide it from anyone. As a professor, I come in with all my imperfections as well. It’s not like I’m trying to correct them, I’m just going to do a balancing act with all this. That’s me, anyway.

JTP: If there was one thing that you would recommend to students or artists that they should be reading that they aren’t, what would you recommend?

PO: I’m not sure, but a student did ask me the other day if I have a recommendation of what he should be reading and what came out, which is really interesting, was feminist literature.  Just listen to that stuff, read it, and understand what it means so then you can place yourself, as a male, in a place of understanding. That’s all.

JTP: I love it—you say, “Yes, I have an answer. Feminist literature.” Done. 

Detail, En la barbería no se llora (No crying allowed in the barbershop),
1994. Photo: Frank Gimpaya

PO: I think that women should be reading it, but I think that men should be getting into it and reading and understanding where it comes from. I think that people, mostly men, will probably begin to empathize with the reality and the system, the fact that it’s not supportive of women.

JTP: I’m curious if you’ve attended CAA conferences in the past? What did you think?

PO: I have participated in the past. I have been in a couple of them.

JTP: It’s my first experience with the conference. It’s enormous.

PO: Yes, it always surprises me how the college system is much bigger than what I always think of it. I just wish that there were much younger people coming in to turn this thing upside down.

JTP: I agree. We’re trying to think of different ways to get closer to that. This year I know that we’re doing outreach to high schools in LA for all the free events. How amazing would it be to have a whole bunch of juniors and seniors in high school from a local public LA high school show up at the LA convention center alongside established, older academics? Just everybody.

PO: So both of them can see each other. Both of them can see each other and it’s like, “Okay, this is what’s coming up,” and the younger will say, “Oh, this is what it’s been.”

Find a happy medium somewhere in there. It’s just too much of the extremes. That’s my reaction. Too much of the extremes.

JTP: I agree. It reminds me of reForm, even just in terms of space—basically allowing people to feel comfortable. I just loved that the Bobcats (high school students who collaborated on the project with Osorio) walked through the main space of Tyler to get down to their classroom. It made Tyler theirs, in a way.

PO: A lot of people asked me, “Why aren’t you doing this piece in their neighborhood?” It was because the chances for the students to come into a college and to occupy space in a college environment were one in a million. I just thought if we can open up a space for them to occupy a classroom, open up a space for them to understand and to begin to look at the social architecture of a university, that’s more than enough for me.

I think that’s basically what I’m referring to when I’m talking about the CAA conference. If we can only suggest and show up a little bit more, that it’s much bigger than that, and that there’s a world out there both ways, that’s it. That’s what needs to happen. So people can come and begin to think differently. That was exactly what happened with the Bobcats. I said, “I’m just doing this at the institution because there are multiple functions in which the institution can work. This is one of them.” We think about institutions as the only place for education. Education is much bigger than that.

JTP: I agree, and I think that gets us closer to the truth you were talking about earlier. It opens up many more opportunities. 

PO: Yes. It unties that sense of curiosity in all the kids’ minds.

reForm, 2014-2016, installation at Tyler School of Art classroom. Photo: Constance Mensh

JTP: Do you think artists can change the world?

PO: I think artists have changed the world. I think that the changes that I have seen in this country are not by artists alone, but I think that they have. When you’re talking about artists, I think you’re mentioning just these single artists changing the world, and I don’t think that that has happened. But I don’t think that that cannot happen.

I’m saying yes, because in the changes that I’ve seen in the world, there has always been an artist behind that. I do agree, but I don’t think that an artist alone can do it.

To break it down, I think that creativity has always been at the center of world’s change. Artists have always been on the periphery of it. Sometimes at the center of those changes.

JTP: Great, thank you. Lastly, you touched on this a bit, but what gives you hope for the future?

PO: Change.

JTP: Pepón, I’m right there with you. The possibility that it won’t be how it is right now.

PO: Exactly. That’s all. I just hope for change.

CAA’s Annual Conference Convocation, including the presentation of the Awards for Distinction, will occur February 21, 6:00-7:30 PM and will be livestreamed.

See the full list of 2018 CAA Awards for Distinction.

Meet the 2018 Student Scholarship Winners

posted by January 30, 2018

CAA Student Scholarships
with support from tf-logo
blick-utrecht-logo-bw-prof

For the second year in a row, CAA is proud to partner with our sponsors, multinational publisher, Routledge, Taylor & Francis, and art materials specialist, Blick Art Materials, on student scholarships to assist CAA student members with conference costs.

Routledge, Taylor & Francis Student Scholarship

CAA’s Annual Conference Partner Sponsor, Routledge, Taylor & Francis supports four CAA student members with complimentary registration and an additional $250 in scholarship money to help with conference expenses such as travel, housing, or meals. The 2018 winners are:

Painting by 2018 Scholarship Winner Patricia Chow, Outremer (detail), 2017

Patricia Chow
“Sustainability and Public Good,” MFA Exhibition at California State University, Los Angeles

Xinran Guo
Session: The Poetics and Politics of “Anonymous” Craft, February 21, 4:00 – 5:30 PM

Kira Jones
Session: He, She, and the In-Between: Reassessing Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Mediterranean Art, February 21, 8:30 – 10:00 AM

Chris Rioux

2018 Scholarship Winner Xinran Guo

2018 Scholarship Winner Kira Jones

Blick Art Materials Student Scholarship

CAA’s Annual Conference Presenter Sponsor, Blick Art Materials supports conference registration fees for four CAA student members. The 2018 winners are:

Merih Cantarella
Session: The Elements and Elementality in Art of the Premodern World, February 21, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Indie Choudhury
Session: New Directions in Black-British Art History, February 24, 4:00 – 5:00 PM

Alyssa Fridgen
Member of CAA Committee on Women in the Arts
Meeting: February 21, 10:00 AM -12:00 PM

Yi Yi Mon Kyo
Session: Making Things Modular, February 24, 8:30 – 10:00 AM

2018 Scholarship Winner Merih Cantarella

2018 Scholarship Winner Yi Yi Mon Kyo

2018 Scholarship Winner Alyssa Fridgen

See Us Pick the Winners at the CAA Offices

Criteria for the Scholarship

Awardees were chosen at random and fulfilled the following criteria:

  • Individuals were registered for the Annual Conference by the Early Registration deadline
  • Individuals are current CAA members with proof of student status
  • Individuals did not receive conference registration or travel reimbursement from their institution or employer

We look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles! The 106th Annual Conference is February 21-14, 2018. Click here to explore the conference program. 

Honorees this year include Pepón Osorio, Firelei Báez, Kellie Jones, Joseph Masheck, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Lowery Stokes Sims, and many other scholars, artists, authors, and teachers

CAA Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA, February 21-24, 2018

Pepón Osorio. Courtesy the artist.

CAA is pleased to announce the recipients and finalists of the 2018 Awards for Distinction and the creation of a new Award for Excellence in Diversity. Honorees this year are among the leading scholars, artists, teachers, and authors in the field of visual arts. The CAA Awards for Distinction are presented during Convocation at the CAA Annual Conference on Wednesday, February 21 at 6:00PM at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The CAA Annual Conference runs from February 21-24, 2018.

Among the winners this year is Pepón Osorio, recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement. Osorio is the first artist of Puerto Rican descent to receive the award from CAA. Drawing on his childhood in Puerto Rico and his adult life as a social worker in the Bronx, Osorio creates meticulous installations incorporating the memories, experiences, and cultural and religious iconography of Latino communities and family dynamics. “The work is created when I bring together where I am and where the rest of society is,” said Osorio in an Art21 documentary about his work. Osorio is a professor in the Community Arts Practices Program at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He is also the recipient of a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship, among many other awards and fellowships.

Firelei Báez. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco.

Firelei Báez is the winner of the 2018 Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work. Báez was born in the Dominican Republic and works in New York City. Her work on paper, canvas, and in sculpture explores black female subjectivity, myth, and science fiction. Baez is a creator of fantastical figures that transmute through ornate pattern and vivid color. She has held residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts, Joan Mitchell Center, Fine Arts Work Center, Lower East Side Print Shop, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace, and is the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Award in Painting, the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting, and the Chiaro Award from Headlands Center for the Arts.

The newly created Award for Excellence in Diversity recognizes the work of an individual in the visual arts whose commitment to inclusion in scholarship or in practice stands out as groundbreaking and unifying.

The inaugural winner of the Award for Excellence in Diversity is Kellie Jones, Associate Professor in Art History and Archeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. Jones’s research and teaching concerns African American and African Diaspora artists, Latinx and Latin American artists, and issues in contemporary art and museum theory. Her most recent book, South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s, was published by Duke University Press in 2017.

CAA will also award for the first time two Distinguished Feminist Awards, one to a visual artist and one to a scholar. The winners of the 2018 Distinguished Feminist Awards are Lynn Hershman Leeson (visual artist) and Lowery Stokes Sims (scholar).

In publishing, CAA recognizes the achievements of several authors and editors.

Charles Rufus Morey Book Award

Benjamin Anderson

Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art, Yale University Press, 2017

Laura Anne Kalba

Color in the Age of Impressionism: Commerce, Technology, and Art, Penn State University Press, 2017

Finalists:

Susanna Berger

The Art of Philosophy: Visual Thinking in Europe from the Late Renaissance to the Early Enlightenment, Princeton University Press, 2017

Dorothy Ko

The Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China University of Washington Press, 2017

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award

Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holcomb, editors

Jerusalem, 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016

Finalists:

Wanda M. Corn

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern, Brooklyn Museum, DelMonico Books, Prestel, 2017

Matthew Affron

Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950, Yale University Press, 2016

Robert Cozzolino, Anne Classen Knutson, and David M. Lubin, editors

World War I and American Art, Princeton University Press, 2016

Pilar Silva Maroto

Bosch: The 5th Centenary Exhibition, Thames & Hudson, 2016

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions

Melissa Rachleff

Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965, Grey Art Gallery, New York University and DelMonico Books, Prestel, 2017

Finalists:

Jane A. Sharp, editor

Thinking Pictures: The Visual Field of Moscow Conceptualism, Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, 2016

Kevin Sharp, editor

Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art, University of Oklahoma Press, 2016

Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism

Elise Archias

The Concrete Body: Yvonne Rainer, Carolee Schneemann, Vito Acconci, Yale University Press, 2016

Art Journal Award

Heather Igloliorte

“Curating Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit: Inuit Knowledge in the Qallunaat Art Museum,” Art Journal, Summer 2017

Finalists:

Nazar Kozak, “Art Embedded into Protest: Staging the Ukrainian Maidan,” Art Journal, Spring 2017

Allison Young, “Visualizing Apartheid Abroad: Gavin Jantje’s Screenprints of the 1970s,” Art Journal, Fall/Winter 2017

Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize

Aaron M. Hyman

“Inventing Painting: Cristóbal de Villalpando, Juan Correa, and New Spain’s Transatlantic Canon,” The Art Bulletin, June 2017

AWARDS FOR DISTINCTION IN TEACHING, WRITING ON ART, AND CONSERVATION

Helen Frederick is the winner of the 2018 Distinguished Teaching of Art Award.

Edward S. Cooke, Jr., and Alex Potts are the winners of the 2018 Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award.

Joseph Masheck is the winner of the 2018 Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art.

The CAA/American Institute for Conservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation award for 2018 will be given to Paul Messier.

Learn about the juries that select the recipients of the CAA Awards for Distinction.

Contacts

Nick Obourn, Director of Communications, Marketing, and Membership
nobourn@collegeart.org, 212-392-4401

Joelle Te Paske, Media and Content Manager
jtepaske@collegeart.org, 212-392-4426

IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

Hashtags: #CAA2018 #CAALA #CAAworks #CAAadvocacy #CAAfairuse

CAA 2018 Annual Conference Keynote Speaker Charles Gaines is a Los Angeles-based artist whose complex grid-work and mapping pulls from conceptual art and the field of philosophy. His work is currently on view at ICA Miamiat Cornell Fine Arts Museumat kurimanzutto in Mexico City, and he has an upcoming show at Galerie Max Hetzler in Berlin. CAA media and content manager, Joelle Te Paske spoke with Charles about what he’s working on, his teaching at CalArts and Los Angeles in 2017, and if artists can change the world.

CAA’s Annual Conference Convocation, including the keynote address and presentation of the Awards for Distinction, will occur February 21, 6:00-7:30PM and will be livestreamed.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Charles Gaines, Numbers and Trees: Central Park Series 2, Tree #7, Maria, 2017. © Charles Gaines. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

Joelle Te Paske: I read the interview that you did for your Studio Museum exhibition in 2014 and you said: “I use systems in order to provoke the issues around representation.” I’m curious about how you’re thinking about systems right now in 2017.

Charles Gaines: I work with systems and structures, which results in the fact that the work itself is rule-based. My interest in it is really a suspicion about standard ideas of subjectivity. I felt that when I was in graduate school, the way we talked about art, seems that it was based on the assumption that the art object itself was a kind of access to the subjectivity of the artist. I got suspicious about [that] idea in modernism. That the purpose of art is, at its most essential core, a subjective practice, and if you take subjectivity out of it, you’ve eliminated or eviscerated the idea of art itself.

I wasn’t necessarily opposed to the concept of aesthetics itself, but again, when it became the principal and core purpose of a work of art, I had a lot of problems with that—to produce this aesthetic object—because that brings up issues of culture. And so, I was saying that aesthetic effects can be produced not by one’s intuition, but they can also be produced by rational strategies and intellectual, productive strategies, and one can have the aesthetic experience that’s a product of that. It’s a way of challenging the notion of how representation works in works of art.

JTP: It’s finding an alternative route into meaning, essentially. It gives you a different pathway.

CG: Yes.

JTP: Do you have a memory of first noticing a system—I’ve read that you’re interested in Buddhist teachings—that you hadn’t considered before?

CG: I was introduced to two books, one by Ajit Mookerjee which is called Tantra Art, and the other is Henri Focillon, The Life of Forms in Art. Buddhist works are interesting to me because the monks made works of art, but had no concept of the unconscious.

JTP: Interesting. 

Charles Gaines. Photo: Katie Miller

CG: The personal subjectivity, they did not privilege that. But nevertheless, they have an art practice, made sculptures, drawings, and so it was interesting, because I had had to go outside the Western paradigm in order to discover that there are other ways of making work. And another thing that interested me about that is that the effect of that kind of process, this kind of sublime exhilarating experience, where you don’t actually have control over what you’re doing, because either the system has control of it or chance has control of it. And so you’re in this space that is to me way more interesting.

JTP: Yes, I’d say there’s a different kind of freedom to be found there.

If you could recommend one book to students or artists that they probably haven’t read, what would you recommend?

CG: Right now, books that deal with the postcolonial. Books that allow you to think about the relationship of art and culture, and the way that challenges assumptions of modernism. In my particular case, a very important book is Fred Moten’s [and Stefano Harney’s] The Undercommons, because of the way [Moten is] trying to negotiate what blackness means. It’s quite different from certain sociological or essentialist ideas of that subject.

JTP: Thinking about your role at CalArts, what are the changes that you’ve seen as part of the faculty?

CG: CalArts has managed to maintain, to some degree, the kind of reputation of an art practice that is not the standard. I was talking to some people about this the other day, and in particular Europeans generally think that CalArts is the most elite of art schools. They think that it’s among the best schools in the United States, but the reason why is because the school privileges ideas and challenges notions of certain standard practices. There’s a general suspicion of the idea of mastery.

JTP: That’s beautifully put.

CG: I mean, a lot of schools have developed programs or disciplines called new genres. So they’ll have painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and the new genres. And so new genres is, I think, supposed to deal with the issues that are conceptually driven in works of art. You know, in particular, the avant-garde.

CalArts was invented with that kind of idea, and so I still think it’s a bit radical. Which blows me away actually, because I still get into discussions with other professionals, not so much in the art world, but certainly in academia, about whether the role of mastery informs curriculum. In our Masters program, we get the students who never really challenged the idea of mastery. In the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, there was the idea of art as an avant-garde practice; it wasn’t something that was controversial.  It’s sort of a weird reversal of history, that the idea of art as an avant-garde practice is becoming more and more provocative. Particularly in the way people are thinking about educational systems and curriculum development and so forth. It’s the idea that they haven’t really come into the framework experienced in critiquing the idea of mastery with respect to works of art. I guess that’s the largest change that I’ve seen.

JTP: Yes, I think that your comment about the longer view of the history and the purpose of art is interesting, because history repeats itself and reconfigures itself.

When you’re working with students, what are you most excited about?

CG: In terms of what I enjoy in the experience of teaching at CalArts, we are lucky to get really good students. And the graduate students tend to be a little older and so, you wind up having the richest seminars—critical discussions about works of art, where the teaching goes two ways. I learn from them, they learn from me.

JTP: That’s terrific.

CG: You know, that keeps it quite vibrant and alive. There is a transition that the art students have to go through to get to that point where their criticality can reach a more sophisticated level. Their first year, [that] tends to be pretty traumatic for them. The dismantling of a lot of their assumptions about art. But through this process, they segue into the ability to be quite intelligent and quite interesting [in] the way they ultimately critique ideas and each other’s work.

Charles Gaines, Manifestos 2 (Installation), 2013. Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Steven Probert © Charles Gaines. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

JTP: I’m curious too about LA. I know that you’re a longtime resident of the city—if you had to choose one thing for people coming to the conference, what you would recommend?

CG: LA has a remarkable list of museums, mostly contemporary art museums and modern art museums. Nobody should miss that. The art scene in LA is just generally interesting. I can also easily make a plug, because I’m on the board of the new ICA LA (Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles). People should make sure not to miss the ICA LA.

JTP: Thank you, that’s great. I know too that you’ve been part of the debate in Boyle Heights about art spaces and gentrification, and there’s been dialogue on all sides about it.

CG: I got caught up in the whirlwind of that. In this particular instance, the artists who’ve been moving into Boyle Heights in the last five or 10 years or so formed an alliance with a particular group of Latino artists to form a new strategy to fight gentrification. I was sort of upset by the fact that they’re attacking some very progressive alternative spaces.

In Boyle Heights, there’s a legitimate effort to fight gentrification that follows a history of certain strategies of fighting it that are unique to minority communities. In other words, Boyle Heights is a depressed community and was formed not because Latinos and Black people wanted to live there; it was formed because of redlining. And so those people, they want to stay in Boyle Heights, but they want it improved. And so their strategy against gentrification includes finding ways where they can increase their voices in terms of how this plays itself out. But this other group does not want any improvement. They just want to stop it.

They’re not interested in the idea of improvement, so what I said was that the artists who moved to Boyle Heights must recognize that they’re the first stage of gentrification. And I said that they were appropriating and colonizing the interests of the minority community.

JTP: You’re saying development could be good, it should be driven by the people who have been living there. They should have input and they should be guiding it.

CG: Whether it’s good or not, it’s inevitable.

JTP: It’s inevitable; okay that is a good distinction.

CG: There isn’t history where these kind of things, where gentrification was essentially stopped. What happened is that it was controlled.

JTP: We definitely want people coming from out of town to be aware of what is happening in Los Angeles. It’s helpful to hear your perspective, because you’ve lived there a long time and you’ve been active and involved, so thank you.

By the way, have you attended CAA conferences in the past?

CG: Absolutely. In fact, I’ve even been on a couple of panels. Several times in the past. There’s such a wide variety that’s available to see. I think it is very, very important to maintain that diversity and I have been noticing the increase in social and cultural issues.

Joelle: That’s definitely something we’re working on here at CAA.

I do have one more question, and it’s my favorite. Please feel free to answer it however you’d like. Do you think artists can change the world?

CG: I mean, it’s a cause and effect thing. Artists can change our ideas about art. But artists can also play a role in changing our ideas about society. They can play a role in that, like the activism that artists [did] in the 1970s helped to increase the number of women and minorities in art. And that comes from not only artists dealing with politics, but at the same time culture in general, a critique of male dominance and white male dominance, so artists play a role with other forms of social activism in changing things. It’s not like you can make a work of art and everybody’s just like “Oh, okay, I feel differently now.”

I think that people who make the argument that artists can’t change things—the phrase itself makes no sense to me. But the people who make that argument make it under the assumption—this is why Fred Moten’s The Undercommons is such an important book—of a simplistic notion about what politics is and how it works.

JTP: I agree. It’s my favorite question, because I very much believe that artists play a role in doing so.

This has been a rich discussion, thank you for taking the time. Is there anything else that you’d like to add in for people reading this?

CG: It’s a pleasure talking, and I’m looking forward to the event. I don’t know what I’m going to talk about yet, but I’ll think of something.

JTP: Yes, from this conversation, I have a feeling you definitely will.

The 106th Annual Conference takes place in Los Angeles, February 21-14, 2018. Click here to explore the conference program.

Meet the 2018 Travel Grant Recipients

posted by December 05, 2017

CAA offers Annual Conference Travel Grants to graduate students in art history and studio art and to international artists and scholars. Meet this year’s recipients below.

CAA TRAVEL GRANT IN MEMORY OF ARCHIBALD CASON EDWARDS, SENIOR, AND SARAH STANLEY GORDON EDWARDS

Established by Mary D. Edwards with the help of others, the CAA Travel Grant in Memory of Archibald Cason Edwards, Senior, and Sarah Stanley Gordon Edwards supports women who are emerging scholars at either an advanced stage of pursuing a doctoral degree or who have received their PhD within the two years prior to the submission of the application. 

Ashley Dimmig, University of Michigan

Woven Spaces: Building with Textile in Islamic Architecture

“Into the Fold: Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Fabric (and) Architecture”

Sandra Gomez Todó, University of Iowa

Unruly Women in Early Modern Art and Material Culture

“‘But ev’ry Woman is at Heart a Rake:’ Sartorial Agency and the Disruptive Female Masquerader in Lady Elizabeth Chudleigh’s Iphigenia”

Tania Vanessa Alvarez Portugal

De-centering the “Global Renaissance.” Encounters with Asia and the Pacific Rim

“A Mexican Tarot? A 1583 Deck of Mexican Playing Cards”

Emilie Anne-Yvonne Luse, Duke University

Avant-Gardes and Varieties of Fascism

“A Modern Pax Romana: Christian Universalism, Fascism and the Neo-Humanist Aesthetic of Waldemar George”

CAA GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE TRAVEL GRANTS

CAA awards Graduate Student Conference Travel Grants to advanced PhD and MFA graduate students as partial reimbursement of travel expenses to the Annual Conference.

Mensah Bey

Allison Renée Dunavant

Ezgi Isbilen

Steven Lemke

Kimberly Lyle

Kelly McClinton

Maja M. Michaliszyn

Hollis Moore

CAA INTERNATIONAL MEMBER CONFERENCE TRAVEL GRANTS

CAA awards the International Member Conference Travel Grant to artists and scholars from outside the United States as partial reimbursement of travel expenses to the Annual Conference.

Pamela Gerrish Nunn

Erin McClenathan

Friederike Schäfer

SAMUEL H. KRESS FOUNDATION CAA CONFERENCE TRAVEL FELLOWSHIP FOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARS

Recognizing the value of first-hand exchanges of ideas and experience among art historians, the Kress Foundation is offering support for international scholars participating as speakers at the 2018 CAA Annual Conference. The scholarly focus of the papers must be European art before 1830. Kress recipients will be announced in January 2018.

CAA-GETTY INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM

Every year since 2012, the CAA-Getty International Program has brought between fifteen and twenty art historians, museum curators, and artists who teach art history to attend CAA’s Annual Conference. This program is funded on an annual basis by the Getty Foundation. Click here to meet the CAA-Getty International Program participants.

For many years, CAA’s Annual Conference has been a good place for prospective academic employers and job candidates to meet and talk about working together.

Over the years, CAA has developed standards and guidelines for candidates and interviews. Those guidelines were last updated in 2015.

At the Annual Conference in 2018 and going forward, interviewing will take place in our newly created Cultural and Academic Network Hall. There will be plenty of spaces for interviews to be conducted.

As a supporter of the highest standards in professional practices, CAA does not condone or support employment interviews occurring in hotel guest rooms. If presented with the possibility of a professional interview in a hotel guest room, candidates should feel free to inform prospective employers that CAA has created interview rooms in the Cultural and Academic Network Hall and express their preference that the interview be conducted there.

UPDATE, November 28, 2017: If anyone doesn’t feel comfortable raising the issue with a prospective employer, they can reach out in confidence to Hunter O’Hanian, executive director of CAA, who will contact the employer and let them know that we have received a general concern about a hotel room interview and offer the prospective employer the opportunity to conduct the interview in the Cultural and Academic Network Hall.

The 2018 Annual Conference takes place February 21-24, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA. Click here to explore the conference schedule.

Annual Conference Committee Seeks Members

posted by November 07, 2017

CAA invites nominations and self-nominations for at-large members of the Annual Conference Committee to serve a three-year term and for New York Regional Representatives to serve a one-year term. Terms begin February 2018, immediately following the 106th Annual Conference.

Working with the Programs and Publications Department staff, this committee reads and reviews proposals and selects sessions for the Annual Conference. The committee ensures that the program reflects the goals of the association and of the Annual Conference, namely, to make the conference an effective place for intellectual, aesthetic, and professional learning and exchange, and to provide opportunities for participation that are fair, equal, and balanced.

The Annual Conference Committee meets at least three times a year via conference call, once during the Annual Conference, and at the call of the program chair and vice president for Annual Conference. Committee members must be available throughout May and June to review a significant amount of material and select conference content from the submitted proposals.

Please send a 150-word letter of interest and a CV to Michelle Stanek, CAA manager of annual conference. Deadline: January 15, 2018

Filed under: Annual Conference

Mentorship at 2018 CAA Conference

posted by October 30, 2017

We invite you to participate in our mentorship programs at Career Services during the 106th Annual Conference, taking place February 21-24, 2018, in Los Angeles.

APPLY TO BE A MENTEE

CAA members are invited to apply for one-on-one discussions with dedicated mentors during the annual conference, either as part of the Artists’ Portfolio Review or Career Development Mentoring.

Whenever possible, CAA matches mentees and mentors based on medium or discipline. Sessions are filled by appointment only and scheduled for 8:30 AM–noon and 1:30–5:00 PM Wednesday through Saturday. Conference registration, while encouraged, is not necessary to participate; appointments are offered free of charge.

Participants are chosen by a lottery of applications received by the deadline; all applicants are notified of their scheduled date and time slot via email in January 2018.

Deadline to apply: December 15, 2017 

Contact Michelle Stanek, CAA manager of the annual conference, if you have any questions.

ARTISTS’ PORTFOLIO REVIEW

The Artists’ Portfolio Review offers CAA members the opportunity to have images of their work reviewed by artists, critics, curators, and educators in personal twenty-minute consultations. You must bring a charged battery-powered laptop or hard copy of your portfolio to present your work.

To apply, complete and submit the Artists’ Portfolio Review Enrollment Form.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT MENTORING

Career Development Mentoring offers CAA members the opportunity to receive candid advice on how to conduct a thorough job search; present cover letters, CVs, and digital images; and prepare for interviews in personal twenty-minute consultations. You must bring your résumé or CV, your other job-search materials, and your specific career goals to discuss during these appointments.

To apply, complete and submit the Career Development Mentoring Enrollment Form.

APPLY TO BE A MENTOR

Participating as a mentor is an excellent opportunity for you to meet, influence and engage the next generation of emerging artists, scholars, and art professionals. CAA seeks mentors from all areas of studio art, art history, art education, film and video, graphic design, the museum professions, and other related fields. All mentors must demonstrate significant experience in their fields.

Interested candidates must be current CAA members with experience mentoring or advising and be prepared to give between four and nine successive twenty-minute critiques in a three-hour period. Reviewing shifts may occur between Wednesday, February 21, and Saturday, February 24, 2018, from 8:30 AM to noon and from 1:30 to 5:00 PM each day. Conference registration, while encouraged, is not required to be a mentor. Preference will be given to mentors able to serve multiple shifts or multiple days.

ARTISTS’ PORTFOLIO REVIEWERS

Please send your CV and a brief letter of interest (outlining your specialty or field and your scheduling availability during the conference) to Michelle Stanek, CAA manager of the annual conference.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT MENTORS

Please send your CV and a brief letter of interest (outlining your specialty or field and your scheduling availability during the conference) to Michelle Stanek, CAA manager of the annual conference.

Career Development Mentoring is not intended as a screening process by institutions seeking new hires. CAA does not accept applications from individuals whose departments are conducting a faculty search in the field in which they are mentoring. Mentors should not be attending the conference as candidates for positions in the same field in which mentees may be applying.

Filed under: Annual Conference

Curator and anthropologist Niama Safia Sandy at the CAA 105th Annual Conference New York, 2017. Photo: Ben Fractenberg

Change has been an ongoing topic of conversation in planning the 106th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, February 21-24, 2018. In our meetings with LA-based civic and cultural organizations, the topic came up over and over again. From the new museums opening in downtown, housing astonishing collections, to the protests in Boyle Heights over gentrification, LA is undergoing a metamorphosis. The parallels to CAA, which is undergoing its own transformation, were hard to ignore. We held close these discussions about changes, both CAA’s and LA’s, in designing the content and experience for the Annual Conference. We look forward to bringing together the international visual arts community once again to connect and learn in the great city of Los Angeles.

Register Online 

Registration form for mailing for faxing.

Book your hotel room at the lowest rates and take advantage of travel discounts

For registration rates and deadlines visit the registration page.

View the schedule for the 2018 Annual Conference.

The 2018 Annual Conference will include over 300 themed sessions, covering discussions on medieval tapestry, contemporary issues in Latinx art, and community engagement through the arts, among many other topics. The Annual Conference will include its Annual Artist Interviews, as part of ARTspace, made possible in part with a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Past interviewees have included Coco Fusco, Katherine Bradford, Joyce Scott, and Rick Lowe. The schedule for the 2018 Annual Conference is packed with more professional-development workshops than ever, a long list of LA-museums and cultural institutions our attendees can visit for free with their conference badges, and Special Events like a reception at The Getty, guided tours of “Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth” at The Broad, and breakfast at LACMA, to name a few.

Register for Special Events

We are thrilled to welcome Charles Gaines and Wu Hung as our Keynote Speaker and our Distinguished Scholar for 2018.

Convocation Keynote Speaker

Charles Gaines, 2018 Keynote Speaker, Photo by Katie Miller

Charles Gaines is an LA-based artist whose complex grid-work and mapping pulls from conceptual art and the field of philosophy. More on Charles Gaines and his 2015 solo show at the Hammer Museum, “Charles Gaines: Gridwork: 1975-1989.”

2018 Distinguished Scholar

Wu Hung, 2018 Distinguished Scholar, Photo by Kuni Takahashi

Wu Hung is the Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History and East Asian Languages & Civilizations at The University of Chicago. Wu is a scholar of traditional and contemporary Chinese art and a curator. See the 10 artworks to see China differently that Wu Hung chose for CNN.

The remainder of the CAA Awards for Distinction will be announced later in the fall, as well as the inaugural recipient of CAA’s new Excellence in Diversity Award.

Also new this year is the Cultural and Academic Network Hall, an opportunity for participating museums, colleges, and universities to reserve a full booth to promote academic or cultural programs to conference attendees, as well as the general public. It will be a great way for department leadership and alumni offices to connect with past students and faculty and to meet new students and instructors. Participants will be able schedule time in one of the sixteen interview booths that will be created adjacent to the booth area within the Network Hall.

As always, we thank all our sponsors at all levels who help make this amazing conference possible.

We look forward to seeing you in LA!

Filed under: Annual Conference