posted by Christopher Howard — January 23, 2017
For more than a century, the College Art Association (CAA) has represented art historians, artists, museum professionals, designers, and others who think and care about the visual arts and its impact on our culture. We do this in part through direct advocacy for artistic and academic freedom.
Like many other Americans, we have closely watched the proposed changes to the federal government. Recent news reports reveal that the US President intends to propose the elimination of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This proposal is reportedly based in part on a recommendation by the Heritage Foundation that states, “As the U.S. Congress struggles to balance the federal budget and end the decades-long spiral of deficit spending, few programs seem more worthy of outright elimination than the National Endowment for the Arts.”
We offer our complete and total opposition to these efforts.
Since the 1960s, the NEA and NEH have supported artists, writers, museum professionals, and a wide array of scholars of various disciplines in creating new work and scholarship. The NEA supports thousands of cultural and educational organizations, and, in a few cases, individual artists. The NEH, which strengthens teaching and learning in schools and colleges—as well as the work of independent scholars—creates access to educational scholarship and research nationwide. In addition, the NEH is a strong supporter of museum exhibitions throughout the country. Combined, the budgets for the two agencies are less than $300 million. The organizational grantees generate hundreds of millions of dollars in matching support and countless new works of art and scholarship. These works and related projects are studied and enjoyed by millions of Americans in museums and other venues. The cultural sector of the US economy generates more the $135 billion in revenue and employs over three million people in small towns and large cities countrywide.
Given that the respective budgets of the NEA and NEH represent only a tiny fraction of the entire federal budget, their planned elimination cannot logically be seen as a cost-saving measure. Rather, it appears to be a deliberate, ominous effort to silence artistic and academic voices, representing a potentially chilling next step in an apparent effort to stifle and eradicate oppositional voices and cultural output from civic life. By eliminating the support for these agencies, the government undermines the unifying potential of the arts, culture, and education that encourages and nurtures communication and positive discussion.
CAA leadership is monitoring the possible elimination and/or reduction of funding for the NEA and NEH and how it may affect our members and the work they do. CAA will communicate and collaborate with other cultural and educational organizations and learned societies to determine potential future advocacy options.
We urge our fellow CAA members to contact their representatives in Congress to let them know the importance of maintaining a robust, national, publicly supported framework for artistic and academic freedom. When you contact your representative, we ask that you let them know you are a member of CAA and together we are advocating for continued public funding for the arts. We also encourage you to contact the National Humanities Alliance and Americans for the Arts to become further involved.
Through our collective strength, we can ensure that public funding of scholarship and art making continues, free from political and commercial interference.
Suzanne Preston Blier
Chief Executive Officer
Diversity has long been a part of CAA’s history and this year’s conference is no different. Artnet News notes how race and politics are “at the forefront” of our programming this year. Our effort to find more ways to involve artists and makers in the conference has not gone overlooked either. Brian Boucher, author of the Artnet piece, cites the CAA collaboration with NYFA to offer professional development programming.
At Artnews, writer
posted by CAA — November 28, 2016
CAA is excited to present talks by the following special guests at the 105th Annual Conference, taking place February 15–18, 2017, in New York.
This year Mary Miller, a scholar of art of the ancient New World, Sterling Professor of History of Art, and senior director of the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale University, will deliver the keynote address during Convocation.
This special event, to be held on the first evening of the Annual Conference, includes a welcome from Suzanne Preston Blier, CAA president, and Hunter O’Hanian, CAA executive director, as well as the presentation of annual Awards for Distinction.
Convocation is free and open to the public.
Distinguished Artist Interviews
Organized by CAA’s Services to Artists Committee, the Distinguished Artist Interviews feature esteemed artists who discuss their work with a respected colleague. The interviews are held as part of ARTspace, a program partially funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
First, the artist and activist Coco Fusco will be in conversation with the art historian Steven Nelson of the University of California, Los Angeles. Next, the painter Katherine Bradford will speak with a fellow artist, Judith Bernstein.
The Distinguished Artist Interviews are free and open to the public.
Kaja Silverman, a historian of art and film, critical theorist, and Katherine and Keith L. Sachs Professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania, will be recognized as CAA’s Distinguished Scholar for 2017 in this special session.
In addition to remarks from Silverman, the panel will feature talks from Richard Meyer, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History at Stanford University, and Homay King, Professor of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College.
Please join the speakers for a reception immediately following the session in the Third Floor East Promenade. A cash bar will be available.
Conference registration is required to attend the Distinguished Scholar Session.
New York Foundation for the Arts, 20 Jay Street, Seventh Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2017
9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
This Valentine’s Day, the College Art Association (CAA) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) are showing their love for artists by partnering to offer professional development programming, “The Artist as Entrepreneur,” the day before the CAA Annual Conference. This day-long event has been customized to fit the needs of CAA artist members but is open to all artists. It allows participants the opportunity to attend part of the CAA Annual Conference with a ticket to a session of their choice. Participants are also welcome to join numerous conference events that are open to the public.
NYFA’s “The Artist as Entrepreneur” is a course that teaches the fundamental principles of sustainability—and ultimately profitability—in the arts. This includes topics such as strategic planning, finance, and marketing. Additional material is drawn from NYFA’s popular textbook which accompanies this curriculum, The Profitable Artist (Allworth Press, 2011). The structure is a blend of formal lectures, breakout groups, and one-on-one meetings. Participants work through a flexible and dynamic “action plan,” which provides a blueprint for their practice or specific projects. Each receives specific feedback from experts in the field as well as their peers in the course.
First come, first served.
To learn more about NYFA Learning, please see a list of programs on their website.
posted by CAA — October 13, 2016
CAA Media Lounge
105th Annual Conference NYC 2017
Nov 30, 2016
Craft Action: Genre Bending
Craft Action: Genre Bending is a juried video screening exploring the role of process, skill, and action as it relates to craft mediums. The growing interdisciplinarity of craft practices is the impetus for this call for submissions of video work by practitioners engaged craft media, such as ceramics, textiles, metals, wood, and glass. The use of video with craft enables the artist to engage in using materials and tools in combination with their representation to express new ideas, addressing making by investigating not only what is shown, but how it is shown.
Media Lounge is CAA’s main stage of new media explorations where students, academics, and artists come together to build camaraderie. These methods of working with conceptual and technical content provides fodder for a dynamic dialogue of how artists’ place themselves in the larger distinction of media, both analog and digital.
Each year Media Lounge coordinates a central theme to explore the interrelationship of media across a topic. This year in NYC, Media Lounge presents screenings, panels and discussions that explore the genres of craft and video, politics and strategy, and inter-related material explorations of new media and footage that entangles what is expected of cross-disciplinary explosions of content, surrounding the theme of Genre Bending.
Genre is a way to group practices into categories that are familiar-or frame an expected experience from the audience. Media Lounge NYC 2017 uses genre and the elasticity of bending to explore new media genre relationships and their impulse of hybrid crossovers.
Anne Sophie-Lehman has theorized that the combination of craft and film produces its own unique genre, which she calls “showing making”. Part archival, part instructional, part visual pleasure, and part showmanship, this idea of genre bending and genre production is the starting point for this year’s Media Lab theme.
Craft Action: Genre Bending seeks to explore how artists bend, break, subvert, or invent new genres for craft and film. Artists will be asked to note in their application what genre/s they see themselves as bending or creating. This may be a traditional genre, like comedy, tragedy, animation, or a craft-based genre like the instructional demonstration – or a genre yet-to-be defined that can provoke new understanding and considerations.
All video submission must be original works of art completed within the last 3 years.
- Entries will be accepted from the link HERE
- Artists are required to submit video as Vimeo files, opening up the access of the files to shared
- The video(s) should be an excerpt totaling no longer than 5 minutes.
- Artists may submit up to three videos to be selected
Screening Dates and Panel Discussion
CAA Conference Media Lounge
February 16, 2017
Guest Curators and Conference Panelists
Marilyn Zapf is the Assistant Director at The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) and Curator of CCCD’s Benchspace Gallery & Workshop in Asheville, NC where she has curated a number of nationally-traveling exhibitions including Made in WNC (2015) and Gee’s Bend: From Quilts to Prints (2014). Zapf teaches courses on the History of Craft at Warren Wilson College and publishes articles and reviews in international publications, including Art Jewelry Form and Crafts Magazine (UK). She is a founding member of the international experimental history of design collective, Fig. 9, holds a MA in the History of Design from the Royal College of Art and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England, and a BA (English Literature) and BFA (Jewelry and Metalworking) from The University of Georgia. Her areas of research include craft, postmodernism and de/industrialization.
Namita Gupta Wiggers is a curator, writer, educator and artist based in Portland, Oregon. She is the Director of Critical Craft Forum, and Exhibitions Review Editor, Journal of Modern Craft. From 2004-12 Wiggers served as the Curator, and later Director and Chief Curator (2012 -14) of Museum of Contemporary Craft. She curated over 65 exhibitions, including: New Embroidery: Not Your Grandma’s Doily, Touching Warms the Art, The Academy is Full of Craft, Object Focus: The Bowl, and Manufractured: The Conspicuous Transformation of Everyday Objects (curated by Steven Skov Holt and Mara Holt Skov), and Gestures of Resistance (curated by Judith Leemann and Shannon Stratton.). She curated the first museum exhibitions on Betty Feves, Laurie Herrick, Nikki McClure, Emily Pilloton, and Ken Shores. Recent exhibitions include Across the Table, Across the Land with Michael Strand for NCECA’s 50th Anniversary, and Everything has been Material for Scissors to Shape, on view at the Wing Luke Museum of Asian American Experience. Wiggers is editing a Companion on Contemporary Craft (Wiley Blackwell), and collaborating on a project focused on gender and jewelry with Benjamin Lignel.
Hilton New York Midtown, College Art Association Conference, Media lounge
ArtSpace + Media Lounge
CAA’s Services to Artists Committee hosts offerings in ArtSpace and Media Lounge, a “conference within a conference” of innovative programs that are of special interest to artists, emerging professionals, and artist / educators. ArtSpace and Media Lounge programming offers an informal, dynamic setting with sessions, panels, screenings, curated media, distinguished artists interviews, exhibition opportunities and other social events. These programs are free and open to the public, and do not require CAA membership or registration fees for the conference to participate or attend.
Thank you in advance for your participation and please feel free to contact carissacarman at gmail.com if you have questions regarding the submission.
This fall, CAA will visit local New York colleges and universities and host a number of wine and cheese receptions throughout the country, connecting professionals in the visual arts within their communities. Taking place at many art institutions in major U.S. cities, these meet-and-greets are a great opportunity to join arts scholars and art makers in your area. Whether you are an existing or former CAA member, work in some capacity in the arts, or are just curious about what we do, we hope you will be able to join us.
CAA’s new executive director, Hunter O’Hanian, will attend many of the receptions and will discuss his ideas and vision for the future of CAA. Come meet new CAA members and reconnect with fellow members.
Upcoming Receptions and Meet and Greets
Brunswick, ME Sept. 24, 3:30PM Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Please RSVP to the Brunswick, ME event here.
Boston, MA Sept 26, 5:30PM Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Paine & Bakalar Galleries
Please RSVP to the Boston, MA event here.
Nashville, TN Sept. 26, 6:30PM Vanderbilt University, Sarratt Center Gallery
Please RSVP to the Nashville, TN event here.
Portland, OR Oct. 5, 6:00PM Yale Union
Please RSVP to the Portland, OR event here.
posted by CAA — September 08, 2016
The Services to Artists Committee invites artist members to participate in ARTexchange, CAA’s unique 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 105th Annual Conference in New York on Friday evening, February 17, 2017, 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. Previous ARTexchange participants have found that this parameter sparked many creative display options. 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 2017, contact Katie Apsey, CAA manager of programs, by December 2, 2016, 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 18, 2017); 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. Deadline extended: January 6, 2017.
CAA invites submissions for artists to create projects for Art Journal Open, an open-access, independently edited website that provides an agile counterpart to the quarterly Art Journal. Art Journal Open takes advantage of the unique qualities of the web to present artists’ projects, scholarly essays, conversations and interviews, notes from the field, artifacts of materials and process, and news items. The site embraces the evolving nature of multimedia formats and techniques, seeking to serve as a provisional, suggestive, and projective archive for contemporary art. Contributors include artists, scholars, critics, curators, researchers, archivists, librarians, and other cultural producers who generate primary-source material of contemporary art and the interpretative network that coalesces into the historical record. Operating on an open platform, the website is committed to fostering new intellectual exchanges. Gloria Sutton of Northeastern University serves as web editor for Art Journal Open, which publishes content on a rolling basis.
Please send a proposal describing your project, a website URL or images of your recent work, and your contact information to Sutton at email@example.com.
One of CAA’s annual Distinguished Artists’ Interviews at the 2016 Annual Conference in Washington, DC—the artist Rick Lowe in conversation with the photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier—is among the first events of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s year-long series of performances, discussions, and other events to celebrate the thirty-fifth anniversary of its iconic fellowship program. The MacArthur Foundation will collaborate with a diverse set of partners for 2016 programming, including Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival, Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and New York’s 92nd Street Y. Most events will be open to the public for free or at low cost. Video of many events will be published online.
Lowe received a MacArthur fellowship in 2014, and Frazier won the prize in 2015. The Distinguished Artists’ Interviews will take place on Friday, February 5, 2:30–5:00 PM, in the Thurgood Marshall Ballroom East/South, Mezzanine Level, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. Preceding their conversation will be another interview: the artist Joyce Scott interviewed by George Ciscle of the Maryland Institute College of Art. Both talks will be live streamed on CAA’s YouTube page.
“Working across every field imaginable, MacArthur fellows capture the public imagination and inspire people to nurture creativity in their own lives and communities,” said Cecilia Conrad, managing director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, during a luncheon at the City Club of Chicago that also featured the labor organizer Ai-Jen Poo and the artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, both MacArthur fellows. “This year-long celebration will showcase fellows’ work, foster new collaborations, and enable these highly creative people to further inspire us all.”
Programming is under development and subject to change; but it is expected to include the following events:
- Lowe will deliver a lecture on “Art in the Social Context” at Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service in California, as part of the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor program(February 4)
- In conjunction with an exhibition of her work, the Whitney Museum of American Art will host a discussion with the documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras (New York, February).
- Sixth & I, a historic synagogue and cultural event space in Washington, DC, will present a panel discussion featuring MacArthur fellows (March)
- The 92nd Street Y in New York will present a panel discussion featuring MacArthur fellows (March)
- The Economics Club of Chicago will feature two conversation pairings with the arts entrepreneur Claire Chase and the music educator Aaron Dworkin, as well as the computational biologist John Novembre and the historian Tara Zahra (May 25)
- MacArthur fellows will be featured in a plenary session at the annual convention of Americans for the Arts in Boston (June)
- The Chicago Humanities Festival will incorporate MacArthur fellows into its regular annual programming (September)
- The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, will host two free public performances by MacArthur fellows through its Millennium Stage series (October)
The anniversary celebration will also include an online component, featuring one MacArthur fellow each month responding to public questions on Reddit as well as interviews with fellows on popular YouTube channels.
The MacArthur fellowship—called “genius grants” by the media—recognizes exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the future. Fellows each receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000, which comes with no stipulations or reporting requirements and allows recipients maximum freedom to follow their own creative visions. Since 1981, 942 people have been named MacArthur fellows. Fellows are selected through a rigorous process that has involved thousands of expert and anonymous nominators, evaluators, and selectors over the years.
posted by Janet Landay, Program Manager, Fair Use Initiative — November 16, 2015
On October 30, CAA gave a presentation about its Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts to participants at an all-day Leadership Forum organized by the Aspen Institute’s Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative (AEFI). Attending the event were directors and board members of approximately seventy foundations, such as the Warhol Foundation, the Rauschenberg Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and many others. Speaking on behalf of CAA were Richard Dannay, an intellectual property attorney at Cowan Liebowitz & Latman, and a member of the legal advisory committee for the fair use project; Christine Sundt, editor of the journal Visual Resources and a fair use task force member and project advisor; and Anne Collins Goodyear, co-director of the Bowdoin College Art Museum, a principal investigator for the fair use project, and past-president of CAA, under whose leadership the initiative began.
Invited by Christine Vincent, project director of the Aspen Institute’s program, this was a unique opportunity for CAA to share the new Code. As caretakers of their artist’s lifetime works, these foundation directors are greatly concerned with the quality and accuracy of images and factual information published about them, as well as the protection of the artists’ reputations. This panel presented the thinking behind the principles and limitations to the doctrine of fair use that can ally the goals and interests of both copyright holders and users of copyrighted works.
Moderated by Stephen K. Urice, professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law and advisor to the Aspen Institute’s program, Richard Dannay began the panel with a definition of fair as stated in U.S. copyright law. He outlined the doctrine’s importance in providing room for creators to use copyrighted materials under certain circumstances without seeking copyright permission. These “fair uses” of copyright are in contrast to “infringing uses” and exist when the copyrighted materials are being used for qualifying interpretive or creative purposes. He then outlined the four factors listed in the Copyright Act of 1976 that help determine whether a purpose falls under fair use and went on to discuss the notion of transformative use: whether it “adds something new, with a further purpose or difference character.” In conclusion, Dannay emphasized the importance of understanding these considerations when determined whether or not a use of copyrighted materials can be considered fair or not; each instance of fair use is determined separately, based on the specifics of each case.
Christine Sundt spoke next about CAA’s longstanding commitment to copyright issues. “…the question of how to apply US law to our practices as artists and art historians, especially the doctrine of fair use, has been a recurring theme at our annual conferences for decades. Our members wanted answers and direction because they faced uncertainty and even disappointment in either trying to seek the law’s benefits as creators or when attempting to use rights lawfully as interpreters of art. Copyright is meant to be a balanced right but it was often impossible to see where or how this balance works.”
Sundt described CAA’s collaboration with the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage and the American Council of Learned Societies between 1997 and 2003 to sponsor workshops and discussion forums at conferences and universities, and, in collaboration with sister organizations, to explore the benefits, effects, and consequences of fair use to CAA’s wide and varied constituencies. She added that the association has also developed policies regarding orphan works. “When creative works are abandoned or not properly identified with a creator’s name, what should be required in order to use these works in transformative ways that revived them from obscurity? CAA’s members wanted direction about being innovative and creative while remaining ethical and lawful. CAA participated in the hearings on Orphan Works and prepared several amicus briefs when asked to provide opinions.”
The last speaker was Anne Goodyear, who described the best practices outlined in the Code, the method by which they were derived, and how CAA has implemented the Code since it was published in February. She cited the extensive research conducted by the authors of CAA’s Code of Best Practices, Peter Jaszi and Pat Aufderheide, including confidential interviews with 100 leaders in the field (a small number of whom represented artist’s estates.) The study revealed that many of the concerns CAA members had about copyright restrictions grew largely out of uncertainty about how and when fair use might apply to the development of new interpretive projects. “A principle aim for CAA,” she stated, “has thus been to educate visual arts professionals about its application.”
Next, Jaszi and Aufderheide met in small groups with a wide range of visual arts practitioners in five cities across the United States. Based on the information gleaned from these meetings a series of five fair use principles, each with attendant limitations, were developed in the following areas: analytic writing, teaching about art, making art, museum uses, and online access to archival and special collections.
Goodyear proceeded, “The third phase of the project brings us here today: the dissemination of the Code. On that note, it is worth stressing that CAA’s Code of Best Practices does not dictate specific standards, but instead provides flexible strategies to evaluate if a given use, whether traditional or innovative, is likely to be considered fair, even as applicable professional standards evolve. The Code will thus provide an enduring tool for both those who use and those who protect copyrighted materials as we work together to foster new creative insight and new knowledge.” She went on to describe ways in which the field is beginning to change, starting at CAA itself, where new author agreements invite contributors to its journals to rely on fair use if, based on a careful reading of the Code, they believe their use of the copyrighted materials falls within the principles and limitations described there. In conclusion, she pointed to the many endorsements the Code has received from professional associations, as well anecdotal evidence that in only eight months since its publication, the document is providing a greater sense of confidence to individuals and organizations wishing to use copyrighted materials in their scholarly and creative work.
The panel concluded with numerous questions from the floor, indicating the great interest in the topic by the artist-endowed foundation directors attending the event. Now that this community knows more about CAA’s fair use code, we hope more conversations will ensue to make reliance on it increasingly useful to the field. More information about the Aspen Institute’s Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative can be found at www.aspeninstitute.org/aefi.
Image: Participants in CAA’s panel on fair use. From left to right: Richard Dannay, Christine Sundt, Anne Goodyear, Stephen Urice.