College Art Association

CAA News Today

Last week, I had a chance to participate in a conference call with Jon Parrish Peede, the new acting chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). He assumes the role after the resignation of William D. Adams in May of 2017, who stepped down concurrent with the release of the White House FY2018 budget that called for eliminating the NEH. The call with Peede was organized by the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), and included leaders of other humanities organizations.

Peede, who was appointed by President Trump in late July, is the brother of a senior member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff.

During the call, Peede talked about his closeness to Dana Gioia, the George W. Bush-appointed head of the NEA, and proudly referred to himself “a product of rural America,” stressing the need for having people from all 50 states on NEH panels.

When asked about his vision for the NEH, he mentioned that humanities could be funded and supported by other organizations, such as colleges, foundations, and individuals. He offered support for grant selection being “grounded in rigor” and wanted grantees to talk about “outcomes and not activities.”

Peede was asked why the public should care about the NEH and stated that the agency’s role is to preserve records and to place them in context, an important position for a federal agency, but one which does not necessarily address the larger idea of the impact of humanities in society. He did state, “a life in the humanities is a life well lived.” In response to a question about what he would do if the NEH received an increase in funds, Peede was not sure, but opined that he might not offer more grants as it may “dilute the value” of other grants.

Unfortunately, he was not asked how he felt about the President’s desire to zero out funding for the NEH or NEA, and what he was planning to do about it. For many in the arts and humanities, this is the pressing issue. Currently, the NEH is approved by the House Appropriations Committee for $145 million in funding for FY 2018, a $4.8 million drop from FY 2017. But the funding is not secure and certain. Hopefully on our next call, Peede will be able to address this important question.

Hunter O’Hanian
Executive Director

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News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by September 20, 2017

Anna Halprin, detail of installation, documenta Halle, Kassel, documenta 14. Photo: Mathias Völzke

Each week CAA News summarizes articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

University of California Sues Trump over DACA

Has your college taken a stand on DACA?
(Read more from The Chronicle of Higher Education.)

A New Museum Opens Every Year in LA

This February the CAA conference will be in LA.  There are so many great museums that it seems that one in opening virtually every year.

(Read more from Hyperallergic.)

Teaching Ph.D.s How to Teach

There are so many options in training the next generation in of talented faculty.
(Read more from The Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Do You Withhold Your Opinions?

Some say that art historians and critics withheld their opinions because it can earn them enemies.  Do you agree?

(Read more from e-flux.)

Plenty to See Here

The NYTimes offers its amazing showcase of exhibitions to watch this fall.

(Read more from The New York Times.)

NH Institute Sets Up Fellowship and Expands Photo Collection

Amazing gift of more than 500 prints by significant 20th Century artists: Harry Callahan, Paul Caponigro, Imogen Cunningham, Lee Friedlander, Kenneth Josephson, Andre Kertesz, Sally Mann, Elliot Porter, Man Ray, Edward Steichen, Jock Sturges, Brett Weston, Edward Weston, and Minor White.
(Read more from The Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design.)

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News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by September 06, 2017

Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

With the 2016 opening of The National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution, consider a similar effort from another national museum dedicated to the African diaspora.

Here is a short introduction to the Caribbean Centre for the Expressions and Memory of African Slave Trade & Slavery which opened in 2015. (Read more from A Gathering of the Tribes.)

What is the everyday practical value of an education in design?

Institutions providing fine art education have formulated a detailed response to the question of practical value, in part to justify financial support of art education programs. This brief essay wonders about the role of design in general education. Design as a Third Area of General Education.
(Read more from Design Observer.)

Major news outlets now find agitprop an art practice their readership relates to with ease.

At this point, agitprop is so celebrated that mainstream publications run features based on its appeal. Whether one agrees with the practice or opinions carried by the work, it is a tactic as ubiquitous as the civic demonstrations that have proliferated recently. 5 Artists Respond to Charlottesville.
(Read more from The New York Times.)

Do you speak International Art English? Do you converse in Globish?

Hear what Berlin-based writer and critic Jennifer Allen would like us to know about one of the largest current discussions in art criticism and writing – how the ability to be an expert communicator comes from an inclusiveness built on the way the language is used by nonnative speakers.
Jennifer Allen: How do we talk about art?
(Read more from Art & Education.)

Public art occupies more national debate at this moment than it has in years.

As the practice of removing Confederate memorials occupies headlines nearly every week, important
long-overlooked questions about ways to treat controversial material are confronting the public. Twelve authorities from the field discuss the conflict. Tear Down the Confederate Monuments—But What Next? 12 Art Historians and Scholars on the Way Forward.
(Read more from Artnet.)

Utopia or spoof?

Can the ideal of getting a free MFA education survive the attempt to make it a reality? A brief history of the Bruce High Quality Foundation University. MFA Quality.
(Read more from Art in America.)

What does independent arts advocacy really look like?

A high-paid lobbyist schmoozing a senator over a three-martini lunch? Let’s take a look at one person’s everyday efforts at art advocacy to get a feel for how individual, practical efforts at an organized advocacy shape up the daily routine. Advocating for the Everyday Advocate.
(Read more from the Americans for the Arts.)

If you find yourself needing medical care, you might want to know if the doctor had ever studied art.

For their medical students, major institutions rely on art education to develop the essential professional traits of a critical consciousness and empathy . Coursework in art has been required by many medical curriculums since the late 1990’s. Find out why. Why Med Schools Are Requiring Art Classes. (Read more from Artsy.)

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News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by August 30, 2017

Each week CAA News shares eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Writing a PhD Thesis? What Does It take?

Take a look at advice for writing a PhD thesis. Is this what you would tell your students?  What else would you tell them? (Via Times Higher Education). 

Check the Sofa for Loose Change!

It’s time to plan your fall travels.  Here are 30 of the most important exhibitions for the fall.  Near and far, old and new, there is something for everyone.  Check back in December and let us know how many you made it to. Go! (Via Artnet News).

Making Art in a Hurricane

Within a week after Katrina hit New Orleans, artist Lori Gordon starting making work from the wreckage. Opportunities abound in Texas. (Via NPR).

What to Wear in Korea

The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco is the only US venue for an exhibition of Korean couture which spans over 600 years. Fall 2018. (Via Asian American Press).

Are You Surprised?

For-profit colleges find few reasons to lobby the new secretary of education, Betsy DeVos. (Via Chronicle).

How Much Did You Pay for That?

The National Gallery in London paid 11.6 million pounds ($15 million) for a painting by Bernardo Bellotto. Who says landscapes don’t matter anymore? (Via Art History News).

Wait! That’s My Phone!

Depicting the founding of Springfield, MA, this 1937 painting shows a Native American holding what can be seen as nothing other than an iPhone. What could it be? (Via Daily Mail).

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New in caa.reviews

posted by August 25, 2017

                                 

Pascale Rihouet discusses A Feast for the Eyes: Art, Performance, and the Late Medieval Banquet by Christina Normore. Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Morgan Thomas visits Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia, which was on view at the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA, from February 5–September 18, 2016. Read the full review at caa.reviews. Image credit: Tommy Watson, Wipu Rockhole, 2004. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. © Tommy Watson/Courtesy of Yanda Aboriginal Art.

Heather Madar reviews Daughter of Venice: Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus and Woman of the Renaissance by Holly S Hurlburt. Read the full review at caa.reviews.

Filed under: Books, CAA News, caa.reviews, Publications

Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Conference Strategies for the Shy and Introverted

A comment on Twitter made me realize how many strategies I’ve developed over the past few years to deal with being shy and introverted in a conference environment. Caveats that these are a work in progress, they function best at small to midsized conferences, and I don’t always practice what I preach. (Read more from Jessica Otis.)

11 Studio Hacks That Will Save You Money in Art School  

Back to school season means spending all that money you earned at your summer job on art supplies. In this helpful guide, we’ll share some money-saving studio hacks that will get you through the school year without maxing out your credit card. And only one tip involves Dumpster diving! (Read more from Artspace Magazine.)

Why Shamanic Practices Are Making a Comeback in Contemporary Art

“Everyone always talks about how, in times of crisis, people start looking for God,” says Jeremy Shaw. “And I think that’s very synonymous with what’s happening now.” Since his days at art school, Shaw has been exploring the human pursuit of transcendental experience by way of altered states of consciousness. (Read more from Artsy.)

White Supremacists Are Waging a War against Public Space

The Charlottesville attack threatens public space, an amenity that is both scarce and necessary for democracy. The idea of the public square is under attack. And the extremist alt-right is waging a campaign to shut down the public square, using both violence and intimidation, especially under open-carry laws. (Read more from City Lab.)

Now Is the Time to Think about Accessibility

As a new semester approaches, the academic’s to-do list can fill up fast. That course planning you’ve been putting off now seems urgent. Your chair wants a copy of your syllabi by the end of the week. And there’s still the matter of those writing deadlines. I’m here to add one more item to your list. Now is the time—not later—to think about accessibility in your classroom. (Read more from Vitae.)

Sociology Panel Seeks Changes for Adjuncts

The American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Contingent Faculty released its interim report ahead of the association’s annual meeting this week. The report includes an overview of the existing literature on non-tenure-track faculty members and recommends various policy changes. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

The Highest Form of Flattery

Why risk being classified as a mere imitator? In a new book entitled, with quiet provocation, Modern Painters, Old Masters: The Art of Imitation from the Pre-Raphaelites to the First World War, Elizabeth Prettejohn sets out to answer this question, even as she argues for a more expansive understanding of what counts as “modern art.” (Read more from the New York Review of Books.)

The 10 Best Artworks by Raphael, Seraphic Genius of the Renaissance—Ranked

To celebrate the artist’s enduring legacy, we surveyed ten of Raphael’s most popular paintings—determined by their presence on Google Images, the number of reproductions created, and our own aesthetic enthusiasms—and ranked them from one to ten, in order of their degree of accomplishment. (Read more from Artnet News.)

Filed under: CAA News

Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Professors as Targets of Internet Outrage

Many professors who have expressed their views about race and politics this year have found themselves targets of both the left and right. Nothing is too abstrusely academic, it seems, to seed an attack campaign fueled by websites that surveil social media to find gotcha-worthy gems. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Demands to Cancel Dana Schutz’s ICA Exhibit Don’t Help the Cause for Social Justice

A small group of Boston activists demand as much in their passionate opposition to the current Dana Schutz exhibition at ICA Boston. Should an artist be blacklisted and blocked from showing their work at museums around the nation because one of their recent paintings tackled the painful topic of the history of racial violence? (Read more from the National Coalition against Censorship.)

Upstart Co-Lab Wants Businesses to Hire More Artists

We’re used to the common narrative of the artist as someone so inspired that they simply can’t stomach a drab office job, preferring to ditch the cubicle for the white cube. And yet research has found that employers almost universally report creativity is of increasing importance in the “traditional” workplace. (Read more from Artsy.)

The Letters of Picasso’s Dealer and a Century’s Worth of Impressionist Archives Are Going Online

Art historians and dealers researching works of art will soon have a new trove of materials to work with, courtesy of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute. A century’s worth of documentation—stock books from galleries, artists’ correspondence, annotated sale catalogues—will be digitized to develop online catalogues raisonnés for Manet, Morisot, Monet, and more. (Read more from Artnet News.)

The Multifarious Book

A few years ago the director of a university press told me that her goal was “to save the monograph.” “Which one?” I responded. It was an impolitic remark, but it helped to make the point that books perform all kinds of tasks, and when we say we want to “save” the book, it is reasonable to ask if some of those tasks could usefully be performed in better, faster, and cheaper ways. (Read more from the Scholarly Kitchen.)

Cindy Sherman Takes Selfies (as Only She Could) on Instagram

For the most part artists use Instagram like the rest of us: as a document of everyday fascinations, a bit scrubbed up for public consumption. But Cindy Sherman—who knows more than most about the deceptions of selfies—has quietly been exploring Instagram’s potential for something more than self-promotion. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Performance Piece Featuring Witches Raises Questions at Seattle Art Fair

On Thursday evening, at the end of the first day of the Seattle Art Fair, I went on a witch hunt. Ten women wearing black hooded cloaks were wandering the aisles. Amid booths housing galleries from around the world, the dark figures walked, carrying battle axes, reading poetry, playing music, and taking pictures on their phones. (Read more from the Observer.)

Philippe de Montebello on How the Metropolitan Museum Can Reclaim Its Glory

Philippe de Montebello is an institution in his own right—as venerable and encyclopedic as would befit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which he led for three decades. Recently, Artnet News’s editor-in-chief sat down with de Montebello to discuss the changes and opportunities at the Met, and his new role in the gallery world. (Read more from Artnet News.)

Filed under: CAA News

Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

How Do Artists Get Gallery Representation?

While it’s possible to go it alone, it’s hard to understate the importance of a supportive, dedicated gallery to your career. The right gallerist doubles as a sounding board while you develop your work, a public platform for your practice, and a source of income. (Read more from Artsy.) 

Seven Residencies That Can Help Emerging Artists

For young artists fresh from art school or an MFA program, studio space may be prohibitively expensive, and leaving the nurturing bubble of school is daunting. Residencies can fill that gap—if these up-and-coming artists know which ones to apply for. (Read more from Artnet News.)

The Distracted Classroom: Transparency, Autonomy, and Pedagogy 

If we want to make a dent in the problem of digital distractions in class, we must begin by clarifying the policies we have created and the reasons behind them. Those reasons might look different from teacher to teacher. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Another Year on the Academic Job Market

Perhaps the summer months can provide you some time for concentrated focus on your next—and hopefully last—round on the market. Here is one person’s perspective on what you might do between now and the next academic hiring season. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Your Syllabus Doesn’t Have to Look Like a Contract

Zac Wendler was tired of the same routine at the beginning of every semester. He would hand out his syllabus—five or so pages of text—and students would glance at it and wait for him to walk them through it. Then for the rest of the semester, they would ask him questions that could be easily answered if they had read the syllabus. (Read more from Vitae.)

Protesters Call on ICA Boston to Cancel Dana Schutz Show

An exhibition of Dana Schutz’s recent work opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and it won’t be without controversy. Protestors released an open letter expressing their disappointment that the museum is honoring an artist they believe should instead be held accountable for her portrait of Emmett Till, Open Casket. (Read more from Hyperallergic.)

Why We Shouldn’t Punish Small Museums for Deaccessioning

AAM and AAMD contend that their member institutions should only deaccession artworks in their holdings for the express purpose of either acquiring new works or, in the AAM’s case, caring for existing works. It’s an ideologically pure, dependably crowd-pleasing position to take. (Read more from Artnet News.)

Look Up, See a Masterpiece

You’re strolling around an art museum, and one painting catches your eye. Intrigued and mesmerized, you think to yourself, “Now that’s a masterpiece!” Many intangibles go into that judgment, but new research suggests it is partially inspired by one easily measured variable: the painting’s placement on the wall. (Read more from Pacific Standard.)

Filed under: CAA News

Making Changes for the Future

posted by July 27, 2017

Dear CAA members,

CAA exists to serve its members and the wider community of arts and culture professionals. Many of our members are facing challenging fiscal dynamics in their own institutions. They have seen opportunities to attend professional conferences and discretionary departmental budgets decrease. Even more concerning is the lack of new professional opportunities for those entering the field as the number of full time and tenured positions continues to decline.

We know how integral our staff is to serving our 9,000 individual and 600 institutional members. Recently, we took a closer look at our staffing at CAA in relation to changes in the higher education landscape, the visual arts field, and the ecosystem of associations. We discovered that in order to move forward as an organization CAA had to reduce its organizational footprint. Coming to this realization was difficult but we also knew we did not want to simply cut staff.

With this reality in mind, last spring we worked to reduce the size of the CAA staff. Based on my recommendation, the Board of Directors adopted a 2018 budget that matched realistic revenue projections against actual expenses. We offered an Employee Exit Incentive Plan, a plan of choice, to all staff. Several people took the plan. We are saddened to see staff at CAA leave. Some have served the organization for many years and contributed to much of what makes CAA tick. But we also know they are headed for new adventures professionally and personally, and we are proud to offer them support and security as they embark.

The departures at CAA gave us a rare opportunity to restructure the organization, to look at every department and assess its work and goals. It also gave us the chance to hire for a few new mission-driven positions. Programming is important to CAA and its members, and as part of the new structure we expanded programs and placed publications, one of our flagship programs, in that department. The publications department will not change fundamentally and will continue to produce exemplar issues of Art Journal and The Art Bulletin, as well as outstanding digital content in Art Journal Open and caa.reviews. Tiffany Dugan has been named the director of programs and publications to lead the new department. Communications and marketing will also grow as a department as it joins forces with membership services, a pairing that will bring more clarity to how we communicate with our members and how we will look to build our membership in the coming years. The newly formed communications, marketing, and membership department will be led by Nick Obourn. Lastly, our finance department will take the IT department under its wing, forming what will be the center of operations for CAA. Teresa Lopez will lead that department.

We know this is a lot to digest, but we felt it necessary to explain things in full. Restructuring CAA was difficult for us as an organization, but it was a decision we had to make to gain stability and ensure that we exist to serve our members and professionals in the visual arts for another 106 years. These changes will not result in any reduction of services or support to our members and the visual arts field at large.

In the coming weeks we will also announce exciting new offerings for our members at CAA. Stay tuned!

We look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles, February 21–24, 2018 for the 106th Annual Conference.

Please reach out to us at 212-691-1051 or nyoffice@collegeart.org if you have any questions at all.

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Each week CAA News summarizes eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

On Graduate Education: Is it Worth it?

If you are reading this, you are likely a graduate student in the field wondering whether to stay. How will I pass my qualifying exams? Do I really have to take German? How do I find a topic for my seminar paper? Will I ever get a talk accepted to CAA? (Read more from Rutgers Art Review.)

Defining Warm and Cool Colors: It’s All Relative

The concept of warm and cool colors has been written about for hundreds of years. Most theories start with the classic six-point color wheel: three primary colors and three secondary colors. (Read more from Just Paint.)

First-Ever New York City Cultural Plan Calls for Funding Institutions in Underserved Communities

New York City spends more on arts and culture than any other city in the US—and more than any single state. The budget of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs exceeds that of the NEA and NEH. Until now, City Hall has never embarked on a comprehensive review of where all that money goes and what it does. (Read more from ARTnews.)

Kenny Schachter on Learning to Love the LA Art Scene

Los Angeles is a weird place. Angelenos, I observed, have a messianic otherness about them, self-consciously calling attention to themselves and their city in the third person. There’s a refrain heard over and over again: This is so LA. (Read more from Artnet News.)

Tensions in the Art Classroom

A well-known in the art world as a professor specializing in comics and outsider art has resigned from his position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago amid tensions among the institution, his students, and himself. The resignation is one more example of the ongoing debate between academic freedom and issues stemming from teaching controversial or offensive subject matter. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

If There’s an Organized Outrage Machine, We Need an Organized Response

Anticipating the possibility of an internet mob harassing a professor because of something he or she said can seem a bit like prepping for a lightning bolt. Yes, people get struck by lightning, but it feels like a freak occurrence. It’s easily avoided, some might say, by not flying a kite in a thunderstorm. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Stop Telling Students Free Speech Is Traumatizing Them

One idea that pops up during the endless national conversation about college campuses, free speech, and political correctness is the notion that certain forms of speech do such psychological harm to students that administrators have an obligation to eradicate them—or, failing that, that students have an obligation to step in and do so themselves. (Read more from New York.)

Mattress Protest and Its Aftermath

A case of alleged rape at Columbia first yielded much sympathy for the accuser and her unusual protest, but ends with the university apologizing to the accused. The case has had a lasting impact on the discussion of sexual assault on campus. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Filed under: CAA News