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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:

Vote Now

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



Filed under: Board of Directors, Governance

New CAA Standards and Guidelines

posted by CAA


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:




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.




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
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Executive Director
Hunter O’Hanian
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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.



Filed under: Board of Directors

New Members to the CAA Board

posted by CAA


CAA welcomes new members to the Board of Directors, Roberto Tejada of the University of Houston and Dina Bangdel of Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, who have filled vacant positions left by two resigning directors. The board also selected two directors to serve one-year officer terms: Tejada is secretary and N. Elizabeth Schlatter is vice president for Annual Conference. Four other new board members were elected in February 2016.




In March, the North Carolina legislature passed a bill that made it illegal for cities to enact laws that superseded or contradicted state law. The bill, known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, invalidated an ordinance established in the city of Charlotte that had extended rights to gay and transgender people. This month in Mississippi, the governor signed a bill, called the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, that came from the state legislature. This law may protect discrimination of LGBTQ people in schools, workplaces, and government locales.

Responding to the legislation in Mississippi and North Carolina, CAA’s Board of Directors approved its own statement, which reads:

The College Art Association denounces laws that sanction discrimination against LGBTQ people, including those recently enacted in North Carolina and Mississippi. The visual arts community has long stood for diversity and the inclusion of all peoples in the civic fabric of our country.  We support CAA members and others in the visual arts community who live or work in the affected states and their efforts to oppose these unjust laws.




Suzanne Preston Blier, a historian of African art and architecture at Harvard University, has been elected president of CAA for a two-year term, beginning in May 2016. A member of the board since 2012, Blier has served as vice president for publications (2013–15) and vice president of Annual Conference (2015–16), and has served on task forces related to the development of CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts and Guidelines for the Evaluation of Digital Scholarship in Art and Art History. She will succeed DeWitt Godfrey, professor of art and art history at Colgate University.

In her statement for candidacy, Blier wrote, “My priorities as president will focus on increasing membership in part through changes to the Annual Conference and enhancing CAA’s place in the community of discourse nationally and internationally through more effective social media engagement and the use of digital technologies. I hope also to broaden our engagement not only at the local and national levels but also internationally.”

Blier earned a BA from the University of Vermont in 1973 and completed a PhD in art history from Columbia University. Blier taught at Northwestern University for two years (1981–83) and returned to Columbia (1983–93) before landing at Harvard, where she is currently Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and Professor of African and African American Studies.

In 2008, Blier helped found an on-line GIS-enhanced database and mapping project supported by the Center for Geographic Analysis at her school that in 2011 was relaunched as Worldmap.

Blier’s involvement in CAA spans several decades. She originally served on the board from 1989 to 1994. She was a member of the Art Bulletin Editorial Board from 2003 to 2007, serving one year as chair, and participated on the juries for CAA’s Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art (2004–6) and Charles Rufus Morey Book Award (2009–11). Blier also helped to shape CAA’s Strategic Plan 2015–2020 and, in her role as vice president, chaired both the Annual Conference Committee and the 2016 task force that brought significant changes to the Annual Conference organization and structure.

“In my own academic work,” Blier continued in her statement, “I have come to understand firsthand the importance of engaging broad and diverse communities of participants; my work initiating an open source website focused on an array of mapping projects, has offered me opportunities to see the imprint that new technologies can have in the lives of both faculty and students.”

Blier’s most recent book is Art and Risk in Ancient Yoruba: Ife History, Power, and Identity, c. 1300 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), which won the 2016 PROSE Award for Art History and Criticism. She also wrote several other books of note: African Royal Art: The Majesty of Form (London: Calmann and King, 1998); African Vodun: Art, Psychology, and Power (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), which received CAA’s Morey Book Award in 1997; and The Anatomy of Architecture: Ontology and Metaphor in Batammaliba Architectural Expression (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987), which won the inaugural Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication Award from the Arts Council of the African Studies Association. The production of both African Vodun and The Anatomy of Architecture were supported by grants from CAA’s Millard Meiss Publication Fund. Blier’s books have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Korean. A publication edited with David Bindman, called The Image of the Black in African and Asian Art, is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.

Her scholarship has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including African ArtsJournal of African HistoryAmerican Journal of Semiotics, Anthropology and Art, and Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. A short essay “Art, Mimesis, and Tigritude” can be found in the June 2013 issue of The Art Bulletin as part of the series Notes from the Field: Mimesis. Other essays in CAA’s flagship journal are “Kings, Crowns, and Rights of Succession: Obalufon Arts at Ife and Other Yoruba Centers” (September 1985) and “Imaging Otherness in Ivory: African Portrayals of the Portuguese ca. 1492” (September 1993). Both articles were selected by members of the Art Bulletin Editorial Board for the Centennial Anthology of the Art Bulletin’s “greatest hits,” designating important articles and reviews since the journal’s 1913 founding to mark CAA¹s Centennial in 2011.




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