CAA

CAA News Today

Elaine Bezold and Sidney Stretz

posted by November 12, 2018

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

CAA podcasts are now on iTunes. Click here to subscribe.

This week, Elaine Bezold and Sidney Stretz discuss failure in the classroom.

Elaine Bezold (Stephen F. Austin State University) is a photographer and educator living in Dover, New Hampshire. She makes work about human-animal interactions, rebirth, loss, and instinct.

Sidney Stretz (University of North Carolina Greensboro) is an artist and educator living and working in Greensboro, North Carolina. She makes work about everyday life and its challenges, strange social situations, and failure.

Filed under: CAA Conversations

Natasha Hovey and Steve Hilton

posted by November 05, 2018

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

CAA podcasts are now on iTunes. Click here to subscribe.

This week, Natasha Hovey and Steve Hilton discuss a yearlong artist residency model at Midwestern State University.

Natasha Hovey is currently an assistant professor at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas, where she teaches: Ceramics 1, Intermediate and Advanced Ceramics, Sculpture 1, Intermediate and Advanced Sculpture, and Practicum Course for Seniors. She never thought she would miss it, but she longs for the Midwest’s subzero temps and feet of snow.

Steve Hilton is a professor of art at the Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, teaching both Ceramics and Art Education. He just found out that the current MSU ceramics resident has been offered a full-time position, which means the MSU residency program is 6 for 6 in placing residents.

Filed under: Artists, CAA Conversations

Paul Catanese and Greg Pond

posted by October 29, 2018

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

CAA podcasts are now on iTunes. Click here to subscribe.

This week, Paul Catanese and Greg Pond discuss intermedia pedagogy and research.

Paul Catanese is an associate professor at Columbia College Chicago where he directs the graduate program for the Art and Art History Department; he’s been known to fly kites, launch rockets, pilot drones, and lately a blimp as part of his art practice.

Greg Pond is professor of art at Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Pond is one of the founder’s of Nashville’s Fugitive Projects and a sculptor who incorporates sound, video, and digital media into his practice and also makes documentaries about social justice issues in inner city Kingston, Jamaica.

Filed under: CAA Conversations, Pedagogy

Lanterns lit in Teramachi Street, Kyoto. Photo: Pauline Chakmakjian, MA

Coming up in the spring of next year, we’re pleased to partner with Martin Randall Travel to offer a trip for scholars and artists to Japan. “Understanding Japan for CAA – Arts & Crafts, History, Religion & Traditions” will take place May 9-20, 2019, and will be led by independent Japan scholar and CAA lifetime member, Pauline Chakmakjian.

As a lifetime member and a specialist who lectures on a variety of subjects related to the history, fine arts, and culture of Japan, we wanted to highlight the work Pauline is doing in our Member Spotlight series. Read our interview with her below.

Pauline Chakmakjian, Freeman of the City of London, September 2018. Photo: Pauline Chakmakjian, MA

Joelle Te Paske: Hi Pauline. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. So to begin, where are you from originally?

Pauline Chakmakjian: I was born in Los Angeles, California.

JTP: What pathways led you to the work you do now?

PC: My primary passions are travel and the arts. The associations and networks I have developed throughout the years have naturally led to projects that combine this fondness for both cultural variety and the diversity of thought and creativity in various countries, especially Japan.

Temple in Kyoto. Photo: Pauline Chakmakjian, MA

JTP: When did you first become a CAA member? 

PC: In the summer of 2015, in order to support art and art education.

JTP: Why are you a life member? What has that meant to you?

PC: I think in a long-term manner and carefully select organizations to support that reflect my own interests. With time, becoming a life member will increase in value for me personally, since CAA is focused on art and art makes life exceptionally rich and pleasant. My preference is to support things that encourage creativity and beauty—arts and culture are what makes us human.

JTP: Have you attended CAA conferences? 

PC: I have not yet had the pleasure of attending a CAA conference due to my previous travel commitments, but certainly plan to in the future.

JTP: The upcoming tour—“Understanding Japan for CAA – Arts & Crafts, History, Religion & Traditions”—is specifically designed for CAA members. What are you most excited for?

PC: The Kyoto part of the trip, which is towards the end of the tour, of course! In so many ways, the old capital of Kyoto is the heart of Japan, from artistic and culinary traditions that are over one thousand years old, to the eternal backdrop of the tastes and pastimes of the nobility of the Heian-period court, which have cascaded down to influence generations of Japanese people ever since.

JTP: What is the most surprising thing for people to know about Japanese art history?

PC: There are many surprises for those who have never been to Japan or studied its artistic heritage, but if I had to choose one it would be that much of the traditional look or aesthetics of Japanese art are manifestations of the preferences of the upper tiers of the hierarchical class system the Heian court of one thousand years ago, borrowed from the ancient Imperial Chinese court in Chang’an (Xian). The upper two tiers consisted of the Emperor and his retinue of courtiers first, and then the warrior class. These two classes were largely responsible for the distinctive elements and emphases found in Japanese art, from landscape architecture to painting to teaware.

Doll of Lady Murasaki Shikibu, Kyoto. Photo: Pauline Chakmakjian, MA

JTP: Can you tell our members one unforgettable travel story?

PC: Yes, sailing to Easter Island was probably the most adventurous thing I’ve attempted travel-wise. From Tauranga to Hanga Roa I was on board a two-masted brigantine with a permanent and voyage crew for 33 days of sailing across the Pacific. I had always wanted to visit Easter Island and this travel journey combined this dream with my love of classical sailing ships. We were also given instruction on celestial navigation over the course of the sailing experience.

The image that stays in one’s mind and feeling of sailing through a gale force 8 storm at the helm is thrilling. I love paintings by Montague Dawson and this was like one of his paintings in motion.

Montague Dawson, A Night at Sea, n.d. (Artwork in the public domain, via Flickr)

JTP: What advice would you give someone looking to partner with travel agencies and lead the sort of tours you do?

PC: A broad range of knowledge on the destination is essential. Though the focus is usually on the arts in terms of cultural travel companies, the tour leader will be asked about the other aspects of the country such as its politics, economy, technology, and other areas, so it’s not enough to simply know about fine art, music, and the performing arts.

Heian Shrine, Kyoto. Photo: Pauline Chakmakjian, MA

JTP: What is your top recommendation (such as a book, website, or resource) for people working in the arts right now?

PC: There are so many resources both offline and online depending on one’s particular focus or interest in the arts, but I do quite like the international edition of The Art Newspaper. It’s particularly handy for people who travel a lot.

JTP: Do you have a favorite artist or artwork?

PC: This is difficult to answer as there are so many talented people who have created beauty of various types in this world, but the moment that made me want to lecture on art was during my undergraduate studies after I gave a talk for over an hour on The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymous Bosch. This triptych is truly one of the most unique and extraordinary works of art ever made. The eccentricities within each section of the triptych as well as Bosch’s personal associations is what also partly made me curious about private, esoteric networks such as Freemasonry, which I also lecture on.

Join the CAA Tour

Pauline Chakmakjian is an independent lecturer on a variety of subjects related to the history, fine arts and culture of Japan. She lectures for private member societies, corporate entertainment, private homes, universities, cruises, charities and other related organizations including lecture tours in Australia and New Zealand. She holds a BA in English Literature during which she was also awarded a Merit Scholarship in Fine Art, a Diploma in Law, an MA in Modern French Studies and is a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. Pauline was elected onto the Board of the Japan Society of the United Kingdom from 2008–2014 and the Japan Society of Hawaii from 2015–2017. In 2014, Pauline was appointed a Visit Kyoto Ambassador by the Mayor of the City of Kyoto. 

Visit Pauline Chakmakjian’s website 

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

CAA podcasts are now on iTunes. Click here to subscribe.

This week, Elizabeth Guffey, Matt Ferranto, and Rebecca Mushtare discuss “Bringing Access to Design Practice: Teaching Inclusion in the 21st Century.”

Elizabeth Guffey is Professor of Art & Design History, State University of New York at Purchase.

Matt Ferranto is Associate Professor of Design, Westchester Community College.

Rebecca Mushtare is Associate Professor of Graphic Design, State University of New York at Oswego.

Filed under: CAA Conversations, Design

Sarah Berkeley and Steve Snell

posted by October 15, 2018

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

CAA podcasts are now on iTunes. Click here to subscribe.

This week, Sarah Berkeley and Steve Snell discuss performance art.

Sarah Berkeley is an artist who works across media questioning cultural norms such as the 9:00 to 5:00 work day, the office environment, indoor living, gender stereotypes, and the voluntary sharing of personal data.

Steve Snell is an assistant professor in the Foundation Department at the Kansas City Art Institute whose work is inspired by American history, mythology, and the image (and experience) of adventure.

Filed under: CAA Conversations

Martha Hollander and Tyler Rockey

posted by October 08, 2018

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

CAA podcasts are now on iTunes. Click here to subscribe.

This week, Martha Hollander and Tyler Rockey discuss web-based tools and approaches in the art history classroom.

Martha Hollander is a professor of art history at Hofstra University. Tyler Rockey is an adjunct professor of art history at Neumann University.

Filed under: CAA Conversations

Janis Chakars and Martha Lucy

posted by October 01, 2018

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

CAA podcasts are now on iTunes. Click here to subscribe.

This week, Janis Chakars and Martha Lucy discuss art education in a visual society within the context of the Barnes Foundation.

Janis Chakars is associate professor of communication and digital media, Neumann University. Martha Lucy is deputy director for research, interpretation and education at the Barnes Foundation.

Filed under: CAA Conversations

Amy K. Hamlin and Karen J. Leader

posted by September 25, 2018

The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast continues the vibrant discussions initiated at our Annual Conference. Listen in each week as educators explore arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field.

CAA podcasts are now on iTunes. Click here to subscribe.

This week, Amy K. Hamlin and Karen J. Leader discuss Art History That, a project they launched in 2014 to curate, crowdsource, and collaborate on the future of art history.

Amy K. Hamlin is Associate Professor of Art History at St. Catherine University. Karen J. Leader is Associate Professor of Art History at Florida Atlantic University. They are the co-founders of Art History That, and are co-authoring the book Art History That: Initiatives for the Future of a Discipline.

Filed under: CAA Conversations

CAA’s executive director, Hunter O’Hanian, recently visited the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Florida to speak with Eric Segal, the museum’s director of education and curator of academic programs, about the role of academic art museums and Resources for Academic Art Museum Professionals (RAAMP).

A project of CAA supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, RAAMP aims to strengthen the educational mission of academic museums and their parent organizations by providing a publicly accessible repository of resources, online forums, and relevant news and information.

Watch and read the interview below.

Hunter O’Hanian: Hello everybody. My name’s Hunter O’Hanian and I’m the director of the College Art Association. I’m very pleased today to be with Eric Segal, who is the director of education and curator of academic programs here at the Harn Museum in Gainesville, Florida. Hello, Eric. How are you?

Eric Segal: Hunter, I’m doing well. It’s great to have you here in Gainesville.

HO: Well, it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s been great to be spending time here and to go through the museum. Before we start, tell us a little bit about your background. I know you’ve been a CAA member since you were in graduate school, but tell us a little bit about your professional background.

ES: Sure. CAA since 1993.

HO: Yay.

ES: I actually started my college career as a computer engineering major. So, it was a big change when my sister made me take an art history class and that led me into art history, and I studied American art subsequently at UCLA, Masters.

HO: And, I think you won a Terra award, too.

ES: I was really fortunate to have a Terra award in 1999.

HO: Great.

ES: And that was very exciting for me and helped me in my studies. Following the completion of my doctoral dissertation, I took an assistant professor position here at University of Florida. So, I was in the art history department teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in American art, African American art, illustration and even occasionally about museum theory. Later, in 2010, a position opened up in the museum where I was able to take on museum practice a bit more. That position was the academic programs position, which had just been created as the museum realized it was important to draw closer to the university. At that time, before the position opened up, there were perhaps a few dozen courses using the museum, because there was no one doing the outreach to work with faculty across campus.

Since that time, about 10 years, we’ve maybe increased that tenfold. The number of courses, the number of faculty, the number of disciplines and students using the museum—we’ve been really delighted to expand that quite a bit.

HO: That’s great. So, [the] University of Florida here in Gainesville, about 50,000 students here on campus.

ES: Yes.

HO: You have an art history department here. And do you have a studio arts department as well?

ES: It’s a combined school of art and art history and they’re both very robust. There’s a faculty of about seven in art history and the tens, twenties in art and they’re all great colleagues. In fact, in 2019 we will have the studio art faculty show here at the museum, which comes [around] every five years.

We want to reach audiences that have not seen themselves in museums.

HO: Wonderful. So, the Harn Museum has been around since 1990. Roughly, how big is it? How many square feet is the facility?

ES: The museum is about 26,000 square feet.

HO: That’s big for an academic art museum.

ES: It is. We have all of our storage onsite. We have great galleries devoted to five collecting areas. We collect in African [art], in Asian [art], in photography, in modern and contemporary art. And we have a curator in each area. So, we’re very lucky. Many academic museums don’t have such a robust curatorial staff. And we also have classrooms where we can do teaching, where we can bring objects out from storage in order to connect with academic classes on campus if we have a theme we want to try to address, say, “urban imagery.” It may be better just with works that are in storage, rather than those that happen to be on view at a given time.

HO: And 11,000 objects in the collection?

ES: That’s right.

HO: Wow. And so how do you go about procuring objects for the collection?

ES: Right. So our curators are very active along with our development officer and our director in building relationships. So, we do have an endowment for acquisitions, but many of our acquisitions do come through gifts from donors, and that would be in all areas.

HO: I noticed too in going through the museum with you that you also have a fair number of Florida artists in your collection. Can you speak about some of them?

ES: We have Florida artists from the 19th century through the present. Some of them are former faculty at UF with international and national reputations, and some include folk artists who work locally and are widely collected and whose work reveals unexpected and inspiring perspectives on our own community. So, we have both highly-trained professional artists and amateur or untrained artists.

HO: It seems to me also that you’ve done a lot of work in your role as far as inviting members of the local Gainesville community, people who are not part of the academic campus on or into the museum through different programs. Can you talk generally about how you’ve been programming in trying to bring the local Gainesville community into the museum?

ES: Sure. So, as curator of academic programs, I obviously personally focus a lot on the academic community, but I’m also director of education as you mentioned, and I have a staff with whom I work to engage the community. I also consider that my responsibility as well. We have public programs that I think of as creating layers of access. There’s programs that are traditional museum programs of lectures and educational docent tours, which have immediate appeal to people who are familiar with museums and have a museum-going experience and know they might want to learn something about an exhibition, but we also have our whole range of activities that invite the community in perhaps for a first time. We’re creating museum goers out of our local citizenry.

So, those might be experiences that sound more fun and social, but include informal learning opportunities. We have a museum nights event once a month which is open in the evenings. So, lots of programs such as that, but we also think it’s really important to reach audiences that aren’t even looking at the museum as a possible venue for leisure or art experiences and we find it’s really effective to work with the local public schools. All children go to schools and we’re able to work with them to provide transportation and rich tour experiences and programs that engage children and parents as well. Creating the opportunity to connect with families that might not be thinking of the museum, but may learn from the children that it’s a really welcoming, relevant, and meaningful space.

HO: Overall for the whole museum, how big is the staff here?

ES: The staff, including security and frontline staff, is about fifty.

HO: Wow. Great.

ES: So, it’s pretty robust.

HO: And for academic programs and education, how big is that?

ES: In education, we have six full-time staff and a number of part-time staff who support programs and activities. So, we’re also very lucky. There are smaller museums that are working on a narrower range of staff resources.

HO: What challenges do you see for the education programs here at the Harn Museum going forward?

ES: Well, you did ask about our connecting with community audiences and our challenge is to continue to grow that and be relevant and to let audiences know that we are welcoming. We want to reach audiences that have not seen themselves in museums. So, diversity in our audiences is something we’ve done a lot to improve with by partnering with local groups, with activists, with people in different communities. We’ve done a lot to improve our diversity of audiences, but we’re still expanding there. In staff, that’s another area where we really need to work hard and we have focused part of our strategic plan extension into 2019 to focus on developing new ways to build diverse staff members across the museum, including in senior staff, which as we know in museums in the United States is a real problem.

HO: If you were speaking to someone else in your position, maybe in a more rural location or a smaller facility, and they wanted to engage the community more, what advice would you give them?

ES: That’s a great question. I think that it’s really important to let audiences know that they’re welcome and to my mind, the best way to get that message out there is by being out in the community, attending community fora on relevant topics, being part of discussions of education and educational resources, being part of discussions on how universities are trying to engage—the local university or college may be trying to engage the community, both on campus and in the community. Being a face in the community makes you somewhat approachable and starts to build the relationship that’s hard to build with an advertisement in the paper that says, “Everyone’s welcome. Admission is free”. Hopefully.

So, that would be one of the first steps that I think I would try in that position is to really be part of the community and to make contact with community leaders who already have authentic connections to different members of different areas of the community.

HO: We’re going to be recording some video practicum about different areas in the museum and we’ll get into some more of those details later, but it also seems as if you’ve developed good relationships with different departments within the college itself. Can you speak a little bit about doing that and how you go about being successful there?

ES: Some of our failures in doing that have been—not that I wouldn’t continue to do it—you know, I go and give a talk to the faculty senate and I send a letter to all faculty and I get a lot of emails back, if I’m lucky, that say, you know, I saw your email but I didn’t read it last year because you sent it to everyone. So, the hard work is making individual contacts either by email but also being out there again on campus. I try to serve on committees, be it in the international center or on undergraduate curriculum, wherever it might be useful, seeing that the museum could be a resource that can be built into emerging programs and projects. So, being at the table is important. And then building the individual connections to faculty. One faculty member in a language and literature department can be your ambassador to other faculty members.

We’re creating museum goers out of our local citizenry.

HO: And, of course you’re familiar with RAAMP resources for academic art museum professionals, and the Harn has been one of the original stakeholders, and this has been a great project that CAA has worked on with the Mellon Foundation.

ES: Yes.

HO: We’ve been very happy with the success. As a resource out there, how have you been able to use RAAMP and also were there any changes you’d like to see to it or more things you’d like to see us add to it?

ES: Yes. RAAMP is a great resource. It’s been wonderful to see it grow and the website has, for anyone who hasn’t visited it recently, really been improved in the last year, making it searchable in a way that it wasn’t before. So, it’s a resource where you can actually find the materials that are there pretty easily now and that makes it especially useful. So, for me, it’s been great as a source of inspiration when I come up against a problem such as “How do I…?” I haven’t found this one yet, but one of my problems is how do I connect with low temperature physics? I’ve never solved that problem, but when someone posts that to RAMP, that’s where I’m going find it.

HO: Great. So, for any of you out there who have an answer to that quick question as to how to deal with low temperature physics, please post it on RAAMP now.

ES: That’s right. But, it’s really a great source of inspiration [for] problem solving and models that exist out there. It’s also I think increasingly going to continue to serve the role of [a] point for conversations, which is something that I’m really looking forward to, because sometimes someone hasn’t posted on low temperature physics, but they may have already done it. And so it’s a chance to get feedback and ideas. I’m also really looking forward to in the future ideas about building diversity, as we discussed earlier. How it’s being pursued at other museums, both in terms of audiences but also in terms of staff. I think as a community academic program officers in museums need to come together to build the pipeline of museum professionals. That includes recruiting students when they’re young. I’ve been working with high school students in the past week to just tell them that museums are a career and that’s important.

It includes supporting internships. I think that discussion can happen in RAAMP about how we can sort of strategically create a pool that we’re all going draw on to diversify our staff. I’m also looking forward to learning from RAAMP more about ideas for academic programs working with development offices.

HO: Interesting. The fundraising piece.

ES: Yes. The fundraising piece. We’re all challenged in our budgets. In the past year, we’ve developed a program on early learning that we built with the college of education, and we built a really robust project, and someone said: “You need to do a video for this.” And that video has been helpful for us in developing private funds to continue to pursue this program that provides education for headstart students.

HO: Which is great, because it gives potential funders the opportunity to see what the programs are really about and be able to see that.

ES: It is. And that’s the kind of thing I’d love to share on RAAMP and also learn from others their strategies for taking our programs and having them be tools for building our funding.

HO: Yes. I’ve been recently reviewing the session proposals for the upcoming CAA conference in New York in February of 2019 and there are a lot of sessions that are coming up for professionals in academic art museums, because I do think it’s a growing field that a lot of PhD students or PhD holders and Masters will be going into it in the future. So, there will be a lot at this year’s conference in February.

ES: That’s really great to hear. And I hope that non-museum professionals, hope that artists and art historians will attend those as well, because their voices are really useful to be part of those conversations that art museum professionals are having. I was thinking about the sort of professionalization that another area of RAAMP is going help us connect on is going to be evaluation. Museums are always challenged in terms of evaluation. We know it’s important to prove that what we do is effective. Evaluation is time-consuming or expensive or both, and sharing expertise and ideas in that area I think is going to be something that’s going to really help us to build our case in the future.

HO: Yes, I mean, ultimately all museums are educational institutions, and we have to be able to quantify how that happened.

ES: I think that is the case.

HO: Eric, thank you so much for your time here. It’s been great to tour the museum and I really have appreciated it. And so good luck with all your work going forward.

ES: Thank you, Hunter, for sharing your interest of the museum with our RAAMP audiences.