posted by CAA — December 13, 2017
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 Miami, at Cornell Fine Arts Museum, at 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
“Into the Fold: Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Fabric (and) Architecture”
Sandra Gomez Todó, University of Iowa
“‘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
“A Mexican Tarot? A 1583 Deck of Mexican Playing Cards”
Emilie Anne-Yvonne Luse, Duke University
“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.
Allison Renée Dunavant
Maja M. Michaliszyn
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
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.
posted by CAA — November 21, 2017
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.
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
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.
posted by CAA — October 16, 2017
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.
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.
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 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 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!
posted by CAA — September 05, 2017
The Services to Artists Committee invites artist members to participate in ARTexchange, CAA’s pop-up exhibition and annual meet-up for artists and curators. This social event provides an opportunity for artists to share their work and build affinities with other artists, historians, curators, and cultural producers. ARTexchange will take place at the 106th Annual Conference in Los Angeles on Friday evening, February 23, 2018, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.
Each artist is given the space on, above, and beneath a six-foot table to exhibit their work: prints, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and small installations; performance, process-based, interactive, and participatory works are especially encouraged. CAA encourages creative use of the space and in the past this set up has sparked many unique displays. Please note that artwork cannot be hung on walls, and it is not possible to run power cords from laptops or other electronic devices to outlets.
To participate as an exhibiting artist in 2018, email firstname.lastname@example.org, with “ARTexchange” and your last name in the subject line, by (deadline extended!) December 15, 2017, with the following information: (1) a short description of what you will exhibit and how you will use the six-foot table space (provide details regarding performance, sound, spoken word, or technology-based work, including laptop presentations); (2) your CAA member number (memberships must be active through February 24, 2018); and (3) your website or a link to a digital portfolio.
Because ARTexchange is a popular venue and participation is based on available space, early applicants are given preference. Participants are responsible for their work; CAA is not liable for losses or damages. Sales of work are not permitted.
CAA has been awarded a $25,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the next installment of ARTspace, taking place during the 2018 Annual Conference in Los Angeles. Spearheaded by CAA’s Services to Artists Committee, ARTspace is a forum for programming designed by artists for artists that is among the most vital and exciting aspects of the conference. Held at each Annual Conference since 2001, ARTspace is intended to reflect the current state of the visual arts and arts education. The grant is the NEA’s ninth consecutive award to CAA for this event.
ARTspace offers free program sessions and includes diverse activities such as the annual Distinguished Artist Interviews—most recently with Coco Fusco and Katherine Bradford at the Annual Conference in New York last February—and screenings of film, video, and multimedia works in the Media Lounge. Also hosted in ARTspace are live performances and panel discussions that facilitate a conversational yet professional exchange of ideas and practices designed to engage CAA’s artist members as well as the general public.
ARTspace programming for 2017 included sessions on economic fairness and internet activism, artists who collaborate with their families, alternative career paths for artists outside the studio and academia, and a roundtable on artist-run institutions. CAA’s 106th Annual Conference will take place February 21–24, 2018, at the Los Angeles Convention Center and at schools, museums, and other institutions throughout Southern California.
Jane Chu, chairman of the NEA since 2014, has approved over $84 million to fund nearly 1,200 projects and partnerships in all fifty US states in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. The Art Works category focuses on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts. Through grants to thousands of nonprofits each year, the NEA promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity.
For the full list of 2017 Art Works grants visit the NEA website.
posted by CAA — June 13, 2017
Ends on July 9, 2017
CAA seeks Professional Development Workshop leaders for the 2018 Annual Conference taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from February 21–24. The Association seeks active members who are well-established in their respective fields to serve as leaders for ninety-minute Professional Development Workshop offerings at the conference. The Annual Conference Committee and Programs Department have provided sample titles and/or subjects below, but welcome innovative topics and formats.
- Completed Submission form (see below) with related attachments and a succinct description of workshop
- Detailed syllabus for the workshop that outlines both activities and a proposed timeline for the ninety minutes (the selection committee encourages workshops that have active components such as guided discussions, writing exercises, and hands-on activities; the committee discourages lecture formats)
- List of required materials workshop participants should bring (laptops, resumes, etc.)
- An active CAA Membership ID number (All workshop leader(s) must be current individual CAA members through February 24, 2018.)
- Complimentary Full-Conference Registration
- 1 year of Premium Level Membership (renewal or upgrade to commence upon current membership’s expiration date)
List of Sample Topics, Subjects, or Titles:
Activating Audiences and Cultivating Engagement
Assessing and Comparing Citation Management Systems: Scrivner, Refworks, Retero
Basic Finance for Artists and Academics
Business Strategies and Negotiation for the Arts
Creating an Online Presence: Using Social Media Professionally
Creating Online Exhibitions
Finding Grants and Fellowships
Freelance Lecturing: A Guide
Fundraising Fundamentals for Academics
Get Out of the Office/Studio!: A Public Speaking Workshop
Getting a Job in the Arts in the Current Economic Climate
Getting into the Digital Humanities…
Interdisciplinary Practice: Successful Collaboration across Disciplines
International Post-Doctoral/Post-MFA Funding Opportunities
Legal Issue Primer for Artists and Art Historians
Marketing 101 for the Arts
Post-Doc Position: Right or Wrong Choice for You?
Record Keeping and Archiving: Importance and Efficiency
Researcher and Artist: How They Can Collaborate
Strategies for Teaching Assistants
Technologies for Teaching: Canvas, Piazza, M+Box, Google Suite
The Great Divide(s): Bridging the Museum, Gallery, and Academic Worlds
Thinking Outside or Beyond the Tenure Track
Working with Images: Copyright and Digitization
Director of Programs Tiffany Dugan and I just returned from a week in Los Angeles to make plans for CAA’s Annual Conference in 2018.
Scheduled for February 21-24 at the LA Convention Center, the 106th CAA Annual Conference promises to be one of the strongest ever. When the online session submissions portal closed last week, we had more than 800 submissions – one of the largest numbers in recent years. The Annual Conference Committee is reviewing the submissions this month and will be making final selections.
Based on past conference attendance, we anticipate more than 4,000 conference attendees in Los Angeles. We expect to schedule more than 250 sessions and over 200 events, including meetings, receptions, and tours. To house everyone, we secured three principal hotels, all within walking distance of the Convention Center, guaranteeing 6,000 guest nights.
We visited with the staffs and toured the Westin Bonaventure, Millennium Biltmore LA, and JW Marriott. Hotel rooms for the conference will range from $139 to $269 a night, depending on which hotel you select and the type of room you want. The John Portman designed Westin Bonaventure will be our host hotel and has the cool elegance reflecting the beginning of LA’s downtown revival in the mid-1970s. The Biltmore, which opened in 1923, reflects the opulence and beaux-arts style from LA’s golden age as the film industry was in its burgeoning stage. The new, swank JW Marriot is closest to the Convention Center and at the door of all the urban excitement of L.A. Live. All three hotels are within walking distance of the Convention Center. And the Westin even has a good cup of coffee below $2 in the lobby!
Near the hotels, we found lots of great restaurants – everything from a hearty breakfast at the Original Pantry Café (which is open 24 hours) to the Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar, Bunker Hill Bar & Grill, Bottega Louie, Eat.Drink.Americano, and Water Grill. Food trucks are on virtually every corner (you have to try the sushi burrito). And there are plenty of artisanal coffee shops as well. In the coming months we will be working on setting up discounts at local restaurants and businesses for our attendees. Our hosts at the LA Convention Center gave us a great tour and we were able to see where the registration area, book and trade fair, and sessions rooms will be. We were able to secure more creature comforts like additional seating between sessions for impromptu conversations, charging stations for phone and laptops, and a quiet room to decompress from the hustle and bustle of the conference.
The Getty Museum, LACMA, and MOCA all opened their doors to us and we had great meetings. Each institution is looking forward to CAA 2018 and is making plans to ensure that your visit is meaningful. We met with leaders at UCLA and USC. In upcoming trips, we will be meeting with leaders at the Norton Simon Museum, The Huntington Library, Hammer Museum, Fisher Museum, and The Broad, as well as Otis College of Art and Design, Pasadena City College, Santa Monica College, and many others.
We also toured other cultural organizations including REDCAT, The Brewery Artist Lofts, Japanese American Museum, Chinese American Museum, 18th Street Arts Center, A+D Architecture and Design Museum, Craft and Folk Art Museum and many others. They are looking forward to welcoming CAA members to visit during the conference. We are planning on a day of programing for local LA area artists at the Annual Conference similar to what we did in NYC this year.
Colleges and universities interested in holding reunions and receptions at the Annual Conference will also be able to find great spaces for their events. While there are some beautiful rooms available at the CAA hotels, we saw great spaces at the Hilton Checkers (check out the roof top terrace), the LA Public Library (check out the rotunda and courtyards), the gallery district in Chinatown (check out the Charlie James Gallery and A.G. Geiger Fine Art Books), and Hauser & Wirth. There are plenty of galleries in Hollywood and the Arts District, which will be available as well. We will keep adding to this list to create alternative reception options. Since the weather will be mild, there will be plenty of opportunities to sneak away from the Conference Center and check out what LA has to offer.
If you have not been to LA in a while, you will be happy to discover that getting around is easier than ever. While your CAA membership can get you a discount on an Avis rental car, ride sharing programs such as Uber and Lyft are popular and often cost less than $5 per trip between key cultural locations. LA has also been making great progress on its public transportation system as Metro stations are popping up everywhere.
Many thanks to Annual Conference Chair Judith Rodenbeck and CAA Regional Reps John Tain and Neha Choksi, who, along with Anu Vikram and Niku Kashef, made lots of great recommendations. If you have any more ideas of places you would like to see, just let Tiffany or me know.
Finally, we’ve pulled together all the details for the Getty sponsored Pacific Standard Time and will be offering that information in the months to come. You may want to arrive earlier to make sure that you take in as much as you can. President’s Day weekend is just before the Annual Conference. Be sure to watch CAA News for more updates about the conference as we solidify our planning.