CAA

CAA News Today

Jennifer Drinkwater and Karen Gergely

posted by November 26, 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, Jennifer Drinkwater and Karen Gergely discuss social practice.

A Mississippi native, Jennifer Drinkwater is an assistant professor with a joint appointment between the department of art and visual culture at Iowa State University extension and outreach.

Karen Gergely is a West Virginia native and an assistant professor of Art at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa.

Filed under: CAA Conversations

We are pleased to welcome Elizabeth Hill Boone, Professor of History of Art and Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art at Tulane University, as the 2019 CAA Distinguished Scholar.

The Distinguished Scholar Session honoring Elizabeth Boone will take place Thursday, February 14, 2019, from 4-5:30 PM.

An expert in the Precolumbian and early colonial art of Latin America with an emphasis on Mexico, Professor Boone is the former Director of Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks and recipient of numerous honors and fellowships, including the Order of the Aztec Eagle, awarded by the Mexican government in 1990.

CAA media and content manager Joelle Te Paske corresponded with her recently to learn her thoughts on art history, scholarship, and challenges in the field. Read their interview below.

Photo: Paula Burch, Tulane University

Joelle Te Paske: Thanks for taking the time to speak with CAA. So, where are you from originally?

Elizabeth Hill Boone: Coming from a military family rooted in Virginia, I moved from coast to coast often as a child and then attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia for my BA.

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

EHB: It was at William and Mary, where I was a Fine Arts major. The sculpture professor Carl Roseberg offered a course, Ancient Art, that included a three-week section on the Pre-Columbian Americas. He showed us and presented the then-canonical explanation of the monumental “Coatlicue” sculpture from Aztec Mexico, and I was immensely intrigued. I wondered what kind of mind would conceptualize and carve a work like that as its creator or mother goddess. That question led me into Aztec studies, which took me to the University of Texas at Austin for my PhD, and to Aztec painted books, where similar images were to be found. I became a manuscript specialist because I needed to understand what the manuscript paintings meant, how they related to the Coatlicue, why they came to fill those particular pages. Since the field of Mexican manuscript painting was in its infancy, I left the Coatlicue behind to focus on the other manuscript genres and Mexican pictography as a system. My study of Mexican pictography naturally led me to the issue of how the concept of Writing should be broadened.

JTP: What are you working on currently?

EHB: I am now finishing up a book analyzing the corpus of pictorial manuscripts created in the early colonial period to document the ideologies and practices of Aztec culture. United by their decendency from Mexican pictography, these painted reflections of the Aztec past were re-purposed to inform Europeans principally about Aztec religion, as weapons of conversion and aids for colonial administrators.

JTP: What is your favorite part of the work you do?

EHB: I think most art historians love solving mysteries: discovering connections and uncovering histories and contexts. I want to understand what an object meant to its different audiences at the time of its creation, and also what it can tell us now about our own perspectives. Depending on the object, it can also be rewarding and telling to track its reception and reconceptualization through time.

Coatlicue Statue in National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City. Photo: Antony Stanley

JTP: If you could boil your teaching philosophy down to a central idea, what would it be?

EHB: My goal is to excite students about the potentials of visual expression. This means giving them knowledge of the material such that they can understand its cultural context and power, but also showing the students how the objects speak today as works of art.

JTP: What’s exciting to you right now in the field?

EHB: Globalism. The discipline has broken the confines that once centered it in Western Europe and is now focusing on connections between peoples. Centers of discourse are now shifting toward the larger Atlantic world, the Pacific world, the Silk Road, and the trans-Mediterranean/African network, to name just a few. It is opening up new ways of understanding the meaning and agency of art.

JTP: What do you see as the greatest challenges in the field right now?

EHB: I see two challenges. The first and most important is relevance. Art history must articulate why it matters in these times. As graphic communication (communication that is not oral or gestural) becomes even more the principal form of communication between people, the discipline needs to assert its place as a source of theoretical knowledge and of models for investigative practice.

The second challenge is linked to the increasing study of trans-cultural connections. Scholars who seek to follow the movement of objects and ideas across spaces and between cultures need to develop strong local knowledge of all participants, so that these global connections are grounded in area expertise. In order to avoid facile comparisons and connections, researchers now have to master multiple areas.

JTP: Have you attended CAA conferences? Do you have a favorite memory?

EHB: I have attended many. Perhaps my favorite memories are of cross-cultural sessions that focus on issues relevant to many cultures, for example, civic identity, and in which the presenters push their material to address the large question in a serious way.

JTP: Thank you, Professor Boone. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the 2019 conference.

REGISTER FOR CAA 2019

Elizabeth Hill Boone is Professor of History of Art and Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art at Tulane University. An expert in the Precolumbian and early colonial art of Latin America with an emphasis on Mexico, she is the former Director of Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. Professor Boone has earned numerous honors and fellowships, including the Order of the Aztec Eagle, awarded by the Mexican government in 1990. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Member of the Academia Mexicana de la Historia. Her research interests range from the history of collecting to systems of writing and notation, and are grounded geographically in Aztec Mexico, but extend temporally for at least a century after the Spanish invasion. She is the author of Cycles of Time and Meaning in the Mexican Books of Fate (Texas, 2007) and Stories in Red and Black: Pictorial Histories of the Aztecs and Mixtecs (Texas, 2000), which was awarded the Arvey Prize by the Association for Latin American Art.

Sissel Tolaas, Yelena McLane, and Meredith Lynn

posted by November 19, 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, Sissel Tolaas, Yelena McLane, and Meredith Lynn discuss “Smells, Diversity, Tolerance.”

Sissel Tolaas is an artist and founder of the SMELL RE_searchLab in Berlin.

Yelena McLane is Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture & Design, Florida State University.

Meredith Lynn is Assistant Curator & Director of Galleries, Florida State University.

Filed under: CAA Conversations

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