College Art Association

CAA News Today

CAA’s Nominating Committee met in early October 2017 to review the candidates who have applied to run in CAA’s Board of Directors election for the term 2018-2022. The Nominating Committee selected the following six candidates, four of whom will be elected to Board service. In the coming weeks, CAA will post their full biographies for consideration by the CAA membership.

Laura Anderson Barbata is a practicing, trans-disciplinary artist living and working in Brooklyn and Mexico City. Her work is intended to connect various cultures through the platform of contemporary art. Her art engages creative practices that promote dignity, shared values, diversity, and collaboration through reciprocal exchange of knowledge.  Among many unique projects, she has worked with the Yanomami of the Venezuela Amazon to document their oral history, overseen collaborative work with stilt dancing groups from Trinidad and Tobago, Brooklyn and Oaxaca and directed a 10-year effort to repatriate the remains of a Mexican Opera Singer. Ms. Barbata has extensive business expertise, as director of image and concept designer for a chain of 50 restaurants throughout Mexico. She was Vice President of the company and worked to protect the interests of the shareholders until the business was sold. Ms. Barbata feels she offers a unique perspective – having international business experience as well as maintaining a career as an artist.

Audrey G. Bennett is a full professor in the Department of Communication and Media, and director of the interdisciplinary graduate program in Communication and Rhetoric at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  She was a 1996 recipient of a CAA Professional Development Fellowship and is currently a member of CAA’s Inaugural Committee on Design. From 2002-2010 she was a member of the Board of the Upstate New York chapter of the AIGA, the professional association for design where she served in a number of leadership roles. She is a former 2015 Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Scholar, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Prof. Bennett secured funding for and founded the Global Interaction in Design Education (GLIDE), a biennial, virtual design conference. She would like to assist CAA in diversifying its membership culturally and intellectually.

Dahlia Elsayed is an Associate Professor of Fine Arts in the Humanities Dept. at CUNY-LaGuardia Community College. She is a practicing artist who combines text and imagery to create visually narrative paintings that document internal and external geographies. Her work is influenced by conceptual art, comics and landscape painting and cartography.  She is particularly interested in attracting and welcoming the vital constituency of community college faculty and students to CAA.  Furthermore she sees opportunities to facilitate interactions between community colleges, senior colleges and graduate programs to strengthen best practices and continuity.

Alice Ming Wai Jim is Associate Professor in Contemporary Art and Concordia University Research Chair in Ethnocultural Art Histories at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She is the founding co-editor of the international scholarly journal, “Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas.” Alice is an art historian, curator and cultural organizer in the fields of diasporic and global art histories, media arts and curatorial studies. Focusing on Asian Canadian and African Canadian artists, she has curated exhibitions of over fifty artists of color and Indigenous artists and organized major scholarly events within academic settings and for the broader arts community in Canada and internationally. She is also involved in a leadership capacity in several formal partnerships involving international networking and community building initiatives, with a strong commitment to research and social justice. Alice would like to work toward increasing the visibility of members from diverse cultural communities, strengthening international exchanges, and expanding critical capacities for art historical scholarship and critical visual culture studies on and by ethnic minority and Indigenous peoples across the Americas and internationally.

Richard Lubben is Dean of the Arts Division at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon.  He is a painter, whose recent work consists of a series of large format abstract oil paintings examining visual transitions of landscapes through seasonal changes, memories of nature and delicate ecosystems. He was awarded a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Human Rights and Social Justice at the University of Ottawa in 2013. He has served on CAA’s Task Force on Advocacy, been on panels at CAA’s Annual Conference and is currently the Chair of CAA’s Education Committee.  Lubben urges the inclusion of representatives from community colleges on CAA’s board but even more importantly attracting to CAA the thousands of 2-year institutional members, and potential individual members, associated with the nearly 1500 community colleges across the United States.

Walter Meyer, Professor of Art History at Santa Monica College, a 2-year community college  in California.  His degree is early 20th century art, specializing in Eastern Europe and Russia.  He has taken on a number of leadership positions at SMC including co-chairing the Technology Planning Committee . He is President of the Art Historians of Southern California, and former board member of the Craft & Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. Currently, he serves on CAA’s Professional Practices Committee. Meyer believes in the mission of the community college system and its ability to help art and art history programs close the equity gap with under-represented populations on college campuses.

Filed under: Board of Directors

Jack Hyland, CAA’s treasurer and close advisor for over 30 years, passed away suddenly on Friday, August 11, 2017. The CAA staff, board, and committees are saddened by this monumental loss. Hyland began his career in investment banking at major financial services firms, including Morgan Stanley, Warburg Paribas Becker, and PaineWebber/Young & Rubicam Ventures. In 2010, he founded Media Advisory Partners with several partners. Hyland was a strident advocate for CAA, ensuring the financial health of the organization and guiding it with sound input and wisdom through three decades.

Hyland was the author of two notable books, Evangelism’s First Modern Media Star, The Life of Reverend Bill Stidger and The Moses Virus. In the former title, Hyland examined the life of his grandfather, the famous preacher, Bill Stidger, who foresaw the possibilities of modern-day media to expand evangelical work. His second book, The Moses Virus, is a fictional thriller set in Rome.

Hyland was born in 1938 in Detroit, Michigan. He majored in Theoretical Physics at Williams College, graduating in 1959; and from Harvard Business School, graduating in 1961.

In addition to serving CAA, Hyland was Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees of Teachers College, Columbia University. He was also Chairman Emeritus of the American Academy in Rome; and Vice President and Director of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Formerly, he was also a Trustee and Treasurer of the National Building Museum in Washington.

We offer our condolences to his partner, Larry Wente; to his former wife, Karen Conant Hyland; to his children, Liza, Jonathan and Susannah, and grandchildren.

Filed under: Board of Directors, Obituaries

We were very sad to learn of the early and sudden passing of CAA Board Member Dina Bangdel. Dina, who was a long-standing member of CAA, joined our Board of Directors in 2016. Prior to that, she was on CAA’s Nominating Committee and served as the Board liaison to the Education Committee. In addition, Dina was active in the Student and Emerging Professionals Committee (SEPC) and the Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA). She is survived by her husband, Dr. Bibhakar Shakya, and her children, Deven and Neal.

Dina was Director of the Art History Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. A more complete obituary can be found here.

In addition, here is a wonderful interview with her.

We will all miss her warm smile and thoughtful participation at CAA.

To send condolences to her family:

Dr. Bibhakar Shakya
3029 Crossfield Road
Richmond, VA 23233

Results from the 2017 Board Election

posted by February 17, 2017

CAA announced the results of the 2017 Board of Directors election on Friday, February 17, 2017, during the second half of the Annual Business Meeting. The four new directors are:

They will take office at the next board meeting, in May 2017, and serve four-year terms. Thank you for voting!

The CAA Board of Directors comprises professionals in the visual arts who are elected annually by the membership to serve four-year terms. Please read the CAA By-laws on Nominations, Elections, and Appointments for more information on the process.

Meet the Candidates

The 2016–17 Nominating Committee has selected a slate of five candidates for election to the CAA Board of Directors for the 2017–21 term. Click the names of the candidates below to read their statements and resumes before casting your vote. The candidates are:

About the Board

The Board of Directors is charged with CAA’s long-term financial stability and strategic direction; it is also the Association’s governing body. The board sets policy regarding all aspects of CAA’s activities, including publishing, the Annual Conference, awards and fellowships, advocacy, and committee procedures.

HOW TO VOTE

CAA members may vote for up to four(4) candidates, including one write-in candidate (who must be a CAA member). The four candidates receiving the most votes will be elected to the board. CAA members may cast their votes and submit their proxies online beginning in early January 2017; no paper ballots will be mailed. Please have your CAA user/member ID# and password handy when you are ready to vote. All voting must take place by 6:00 PM (EST) on Thursday, February 16, 2017.

The results of the 2017 Board of Directors election will be announced at the second part of the Annual Business meeting – the myCAA segment – scheduled from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on Friday, February 17, 2017, in the East Ballroom, 3rd Floor, at the New York Hilton Midtown Hotel, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, Ny NY 10019

Questions? Contact Vanessa Jalet, executive liaison, at (212) 392-4434 or vjalet@collegeart.org

New CAA Standards and Guidelines

posted by December 05, 2016

At the most recent meeting of CAA’s Board of Directors, which took place on October 23, 2016, the following statements and guidelines were revised and approved:

2017–2018 Nominating Committee Seeks Members

posted by November 30, 2016

CAA invites you to help shape the future of the organization by serving on the 2017-2018 Nominating Committee. Each year, this committee nominates and interviews potential candidates for the CAA Board of Directors and selects the final slate for the membership’s vote. The candidates for the 2017 Board of Directors’ election were announced on November 29, 2016.

The Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee strive to find the best candidates that represent the broad subdisciplines and practitioners represented in the membership. The 2016-2017 Nominating Committee will select the members of the 2017-2018 committee at its business meeting during CAA’s Annual Conference in New York City in February 2017. Once selected as new members of the Nominating Committee, all members propose, in the spring, five to ten nominations of people to run for the board. Service on the committee involves conducting telephone interviews with candidates during the summer of 2017, and meeting in the fall to select the final slate of Board candidates. Finally, all Nominating Committee members attend their next business meeting, at the 2018 Annual Conference in Los Angeles to select the succeeding committee members.

Nominations and self-nominations should include a brief statement of interest and a 3–4 page condensed CV. Please email a statement and your CV as Word attachments, with the subject line “2017-2018 Nominating Committee,” to the attention of Jim Hopfensperger, CAA vice president for committees, care of Vanessa Jalet, CAA executive liaison. Deadline extended: Friday, January 6, 2017.

The 2016-17 Nominating Committee has announced a slate of five candidates for the annual election of four new CAA members to serve on the Board of Directors for a four-year term (2017–2021). Voting will begin in early January 2017. The web pages for the election, which will include the candidates’ statements and biographies, will be published in late December 2016.

The five candidates are:

  • Colin Blakely, Director, School of Art, University of Arizona
  • Peter M. Lukehart, Associate Dean, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts
  • Melissa Hilliard Potter, Associate Professor, Columbia College Chicago
  • Julia Sienkewicz, Assistant Professor, Duquesne University
  • Greg Watts, Dean & Professor, College of Visual Arts & Design, University of North Texas

If you have questions about the Nominating Committee, the candidates, or the voting process, please contact Vanessa Jalet, CAA executive liaison.

CAA Restatement of Values, November 2016

posted by November 22, 2016

For more than one hundred years, the College Art Association (CAA) has been dedicated to the creative process through making and thinking about art and how it affects our past, present, and future. We do this through scholarship, publications, convenings, research, and professional development for artists, designers, and art historians. As a member-driven association, we are committed to intellectual rigor, peer review, inclusion, and diversity. We uphold these values by engaging everyone, nationally and internationally; all races, ages, abilities, religions, citizenships, ethnicities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations. We defend academic freedom as forcefully as we reject discrimination, bigotry, sexual assault, and violence against the vulnerable.

As scholars, artists, and educators, we expect the same exactitude from leaders in education, cultural institutions, and, in particular, government. We will continue to advocate in no uncertain terms for an inclusive climate that fosters intellectual honesty, transparency, and human engagement.

President, Board of Directors
Suzanne Preston Blier
blier_signature
Executive Director
Hunter O’Hanian
hunterohaniansigwhite

Earlier this month Suzanne Preston Blier of Harvard University succeeded DeWitt Godfrey, an artist and professor at Colgate University, as president of the CAA Board of Directors. To commemorate the passing of the CAA torch, Godfrey has interviewed Blier about what lies ahead for the organization.

DeWitt Godfrey: First, before we start the interview, I’d like to congratulate you on the being elected president of CAA. I can think of no one who is more ready to take on the role. I take comfort in handing the reins over to you.

Suzanne Preston Blier: Thank you so much! I’ve been involved with CAA for a long time and this feels like a culmination of many years of new engagement with the organization.

DG: As an historian of art who specializes in the arts of Africa, how will this interest shape your role as president of CAA?

SPB: CAA’s 2015-2020 strategic plan emphasizes the need to think more internationally – more globally.  A key part of this strategy is to explore how CAA can better serve art and scholarly constituencies outside of the U.S., as well as projects here that address these wider sets of issues and concerns. It is important that artists and art historians in Africa, Latin America, and Asia are central part of the mix, along with our many colleagues in Europe and Australia. In a field such as art history that historically has been so Western-centric, the idea that CAA selected an Africanist as its new President also speaks volumes in terms of how far our field, and the Association itself, has come since its founding.

DG: We are in an important moment in CAA’s history characterized both by unique challenges and potentials. What are your perspectives on the organization as we go forward?

SPB: Being part of an organization of this complexity, one that is over a hundred years old is pretty awesome. Although in many ways it is a difficult time to be in this position of leadership, it is also a moment that carries real pluses in thinking about how we can renew and reshape the Association going forward. As to some of the challenges, we recently replaced two long-standing and really excellent senior staff members through retirement. Fortunately, we were able to find two great new leaders who I am excited to work with – people who bring new ideas, potential, and energy to the organization (Hunter O’Hanian and Tiffany Dugan). At the same time, many professional organizations, including ours, have seen financial challenges, due to budget cut-backs in university funding for not only professors but also support for things like research and travel. Because of these factors, we have to make CAA even more relevant and important as we begin to think more about both advocacy, and the kinds of intellectual and social sustenance that makes it not just worth participating, but also essential to do so. There is a lot we can do better, and I look forward to hearing from members (and non-members) about their specific suggestions and concerns.

DG: You do a fair amount with social media – and you helped found a website at Harvard on digital mapping. Do these interests extend to CAA and its digital presence?

SPB: Yes. I confess to being a fan of Facebook (indeed, I am active!). For many in my generation it has been important professionally. It is one of the ways I keep up with what is happening in my field and others. It is also a great means to bring in people internationally. I follow one group, African Art University, that has over 22,000 members, most of whom are in Africa. New technologies are coming into play and building on them as we go forward will be important. Being part of the team at Harvard that helped build Worldmap, an online digital mapping system that is readable in some 30-40 different languages, offered seminal insight. This nourished a passion for not only maps, but also digital tools, and the importance of both collaborative and cross-disciplinary work in building something that will serve a wide variety of needs and interests. In many ways I see this kind of experience offering insight for an organization like CAA as we move forward. New social media engagements and software technologies will be a key part of CAA’s future! For example, CAA Connect is scheduled to launch in the early fall of 2016.

DG: You have been involved with CAA for much of your career. How have you seen the Association change over time? What have been some of the real highlights for you?

SPB: Alas, some of it is a blur! Of course, it is hard to forget the trauma of job interviews in strange hotel rooms at the Annual Conference. I remember traveling up the elevators with other applicants – including artists – and thinking, not only did they look much better, but they had it far worse since decisions were based on works they chose to carry with them in their portfolios. On a better note, I remember being accepted for and giving my first paper at CAA. It was totally intimidating – a panel on semiotics, chaired by my future colleague Henri Zerner. Still today the CAA ballrooms tend to be really intimidating. I also remember the intellectual clashes that shaped earlier CAA conferences – Material Culture (labor, class, feminism) versus more traditional approaches. What I mostly remember however is meeting amazing scholars and artists over my years of service – many of whom are now good friends

DG: CAA has long brought artists and art historians together. What do you see as some of the advantages going forward of having such a broad wingspan organizationally?

SPB: As an organization we are clearly much broader in our interests and “wingspan” now than we were at the outset – including not only artists and art historians, but also museum professionals, critics, and designers. One of the great things about CAA is its very breadth. While today some of us are housed in different departments, many of us are visiting the same galleries, sharing the same social media posts, and interested in the same larger intellectual and social issues. In this period of economic uncertainty it is all the more important that we find ways to address shared interests and concerns collectively. Whether it is trivializing arts and culture through the recent STEM focus or finding tangent ways to help artists and art historians in our professional and other lives, there is clearly strength in numbers. One of the most important – and revolutionary – endeavors I have been part of at CAA is the Mellon Foundation-funded Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, which brought together artists and art historians in an effort to not only impact policy but also to change the law to help save time and money for many members of our group. In many ways it was a model.

DG: You chaired the task force on the Annual Conference that formulated substantial changes to the conference. What did you learn from that process? What are some of the impacts this will have on the conference itself and on the organization?

SPB: This was a great experience, working with a diverse group of people who helped to rethink the whole conference format. Basically, mine was more of a listening role and one of encouraging people to think creatively and outside the box. On a practical note, the time frame between proposal submission and presentation goes from nearly two years to eight months, and we are now encouraging members to present or participate in other ways multiple years in a row. In addition to a new time grid (shorter and a greater number of panels) we also have a Saturday suite of panels on key themes for the organization. Equally importantly we now have an Annual Conference chair (the first is Judith Rodenbeck) and with our new director of programs, Tiffany Dugan, we will be seeing lots of interesting things happening. I encourage everyone to keep making suggestions – and to come!

DW: “CAA is welcoming on board a new executive director to CAA, Hunter O’Hanian. What are your thoughts on this and other changes as you both begin this journey?”

SPB: I am really excited about being able to work with someone as skilled, knowledgeable, and energetic as Hunter. We share a similar vision about CAA, its potential, and how key changes might help. He is coming to the organization with lots of experience in areas that are important to both administration and the arts. In meetings with him he has stressed how much he looks forward to finding  new and improved ways for CAA to support and encourage the professional lives of visual artists, art historians, designers, and curators. As he has said to me “We have to make CAA even more meaningful in terms of various aspects of our professional lives and engagements.” I feel the same way. Moreover, it is clear he not only listens deeply but thinks deeply, and I have found him very insightful in thinking through how to best get from where we are now to where we want to be in the years ahead.

DW: “You earlier chaired The Art Bulletin editorial board and later served as Vice President for Publications during a key moment of change – plus you publish extensively – how has this changed and what does the future hold for publishing in the organization?

SPB: Publishing great journals has long been a CAA strength and it will continue to be so. It has been exciting to watch the growth of a new CAA journal – caa.reviews, which is now one of the most productive journals anywhere in terms of the sheer volume of content, and the global reach of its reviews. It is also great to see how much the content and scope of The Art Bulletin has grown since I began to read it. Art Journal too has grown in so many interesting ways. What I hear too often (and would love to shake up) is the idea that X CAA journal only publishes articles in Y areas or Z subjects. I know the CAA journal editors are searching for new and provocative works that don’t fit any pre-conceived frame. Now that we have turned the digital corner with the journals, I hope we can see new kinds of digital writing – whether informal discussions in social media, posts on CAA Connect, blogs, and other content that can be brought together. In addition to expanding the journals’ reach, what the digital revolution and the Internet make possible is a revolution in how we think about, engage, and make available new kinds of textual and image engagements.