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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!



Staff Interview: Alyssa Pavley

posted by CAA


The next in a series of interviews with staff members is a conversation with Alyssa Pavley, CAA associate editor of digital publications.

How long have you worked at CAA?

Six years.

What do you do at CAA?

I work in CAA’s Publications Department, where I started out as the editorial assistant. I am currently the associate editor for digital publications and work closely on Art Journal Open.

What does CAA mean to you?

To me, CAA is a place of creative and intellectual exchange.

Can you talk about one of your favorite member moments?

One of my favorite member moments was at last year’s conference in DC, where I had a great conversation with a member who had recently joined CAA and was attending the Annual Conference for the first time. It was fantastic to be able to speak at length with her about her experience, the sessions she had attended so far and those she was looking forward to, and her career. It’s always fun to hear from someone experiencing the Annual Conference for the first time!

What do you like best about the arts and working in the arts?

It’s wonderful to work in such a creative environment. Since I work specifically in arts publishing, it’s great to be in a space where I can help others peruse their artistic and creative passions via digital publications.

Do you have a favorite moment from the Annual Conference?

It’s great when I’m able to help a conference attendee, even if it’s something as small as giving directions to the room where their next session is taking place or looking up the time a session starts—it’s nice to think that I’ve possibly made someone’s day a little less stressful! On a personal note, I love browsing through the Book and Trade Fair.



Filed under: myCAA, People in the News, Staff

CAA has awarded two 2016 Professional-Development Fellowships—one in visual art and one in art history—to graduate students in MFA and PhD programs across the United States. In addition, CAA has named one honorable mention in art history and two in visual art. The fellows and honorable mentions also receive a complimentary one-year CAA membership and free registration for the 2017 Annual Conference in New York.

Accepting the $10,000 fellowship in visual art is Daniel Seth Krauss, an MFA student in photography in the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The recipient of the $10,000 fellowship in art history is Sara Blaylock, a doctoral candidate in visual studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The honorable mention for art history goes to Lex Lancaster, a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The two honorable mentions in visual art are Allison Rose Craver, an MFA candidate at Ohio State University in Columbus, and Andrew Jilka, an MFA student at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Suzanne Preston Blier, president of the CAA Board of Directors, will formally recognize the two fellows and three honorable mentions at the 105th Annual Conference during Convocation, taking place on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at the New York Hilton Midtown.

CAA’s fellowship program supports promising artists and art historians who are enrolled in MFA and PhD programs nationwide. Awards are intended to help them with various aspects of their work, whether for job-search expenses or purchasing materials for the studio. CAA believes a grant of this kind, without contingencies, can best facilitate the transition between graduate studies and professional careers. The program is open to all eligible graduate students in the visual arts and art history. Applications for the 2017 fellowship cycle will open in the late spring.

FELLOW IN VISUAL ART

Daniel Seth Kraus

Daniel Seth Kraus‘s work blends historical research with photographic practice to deepen our understanding of people and places. Currently his research investigates faith and work in the American South. Kraus’s work has been featured in numerous print and online publications, including Fraction Magazine, SeeSaw Magazine, Oxford American, and Aint Bad Magazine. His photographs have been exhibited in national and international juried exhibitions, including one at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia. He earned a BFA in photography and a BA in history from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville and is pursuing a MFA in photography at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

FELLOW IN ART HISTORY

Sara Blaylock

Sara Blaylock will complete her PhD in visual studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in spring 2017. To date, the bulk of her research has concerned the experimental film, art, and visual culture of the German Democratic Republic during the 1980s. Her dissertation, “Magnitudes of Dissent: Art from the East German Margins,” focuses on how photography and film, body-based practices, print media, and galleries addressed issues of representation, performativity, and collectivity. It argues that experimental practice in a 1980s GDR was not only an antidote for but also an interpretation of a weakening state—a foil and a mirror to official culture.

Blaylock’s dissertation research has been supported by the German Academic Exchange Service and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, as well as by numerous grants from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has published in numerous academic forums. Most recently, an article appeared in Gradhiva, a French-language journal of art history and anthropology, and Blaylock contributed an essay in both German and English to the catalogue for the exhibition Gegenstimmen. Kunst in der DDR 1976–1989 [Voices of Dissent: Art in the GDR 1976–1989], held at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin. Another article, “Bringing the War Home to the United States and East Germany: In the Year of the Pig and Pilots in Pajamas,” will appear in Cinema Journal later this year.

Blaylock was recently invited to codirect the International Association for Visual Culture, a scholarly organization that encourages inquiry and debate within the field and that advocates the critical and theoretical expansion of visual-culture studies in academic and artistic venues. She looks forward to helping to advance and strengthen the association’s vision.

HONORABLE MENTIONS IN VISUAL ART AND ART HISTORY

Allison Rose Craver

Allison Rose Craver will complete her MFA, with a concentration in ceramics, at Ohio State University in in Columbus in May 2017. Craver grew up in East Aurora, New York, and earned a BFA in 2010 from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred. A year later she studied as a special student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Craver has shown her work nationally, including exhibitions at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana, and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In 2014 she was invited to demonstrate in the Process Room at the annual National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference in Milwaukee. Craver’s work is process driven, using ceramics materials in conjunction with fiber and found objects to explore the nature of care and work.

Andrew Jilka

Andrew Jilka was born in in 1986 to a working-class home in Salina, Kansas. The son of a bus driver and a lunch lady, Jilka has been employed as a fast-food worker, a cigarette warehouse stocker, a furniture deliveryman, a Hewlett-Packard call-center representative, a bartender, and later an assistant to the artist Tom Sachs. After selling his Camaro, he enrolled at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where he received a BFA in printmaking in 2009, as well as a scholarship to study printmaking at Hongik University in Seoul, Korea. Jilka’s work is greatly influenced by the instabilities and anxieties of his Midwestern upbringing. His painting is an attempt to reconcile the “high” of the history and lineage of contemporary painting with the Walmart culture he was raised in. Jilka approaches painting with both the deference of Brahms and the irreverence of the Ramones—and perhaps a touch of Taylor Swift. His work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions in Kansas City, Atlanta, New York, and Seoul. He is currently an MFA candidate at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Lex Lancaster

Lex Morgan Lancaster is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where they will complete their degree in May 2017. Lancaster’s dissertation, “Dragging Away: Queer Abstraction in Contemporary Art,” investigates abstraction as a tactic of queering in the work of contemporary artists who deploy nonrepresentational form for political ends. Their related article, “Feeling the Grid: Lorna Simpson’s Concrete Abstraction,” was published in ASAP/Journal (2017), and “The Wipe: Sadie Benning’s Queer Abstraction” is forthcoming in Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture. Lancaster is chairing the session on “New Materialisms in Contemporary Art” at CAA’s 2017 Annual Conference in New York.

Lancaster received their BA in art history from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. They have assisted with exhibitions and public programs at the Cleveland Museum of Art as coordinator of teen programs and intern to the curator of contemporary art, and at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, as a paid summer intern in the Department of Photographs. At the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Lancaster curated the exhibition Our House! Unsettling the Domestic, Queering the Spaces of Home at the Chazen Museum of Art.




CAA announces the recipients of the 2017 Awards for Distinction, which honor the outstanding achievements and accomplishments of individual artists, art historians, authors, conservators, curators, and critics whose efforts transcend their individual disciplines and contribute to the profession as a whole and to the world at large.

CAA will formally recognize the honorees at a special awards ceremony to be held during Convocation at the 105th Annual Conference in New York, on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at 5:30 PM. See the conference website for full details.

Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (policeman), 2015, acrylic on PVC panel, 60 x 60 inches, 60 9/16 x 60 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches (framed) © Kerry James Marshall. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Among the winners this year is Kerry James Marshall, recipient of the 2017 CAA Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work. In his 35-year career painting and making art, Marshall has depicted the African American experience through a medium that has often overlooked the lives of black Americans. His current retrospective at the Met Breuer, titled “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry” (October 25, 2016–January 29, 2017), brings together nearly 80 works by Marshall. Holland Cotter in The New York Times wrote of the show glowingly: “Mr. Marshall has absorbed enough personal history, American history, African-American history and art history to become one of the great history painters of our time.”

Kerry James Marshall biography

Faith Ringgold, the winner of the 2017 CAA Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement, is widely considered one of the most influential living African American artists. Born in Harlem in 1930, she is an artist, feminist, activist, and educator who makes use of a variety of media, including painting, quilts, sculpture, performance, and children’s books. Civil Rights, racial justice, feminism, and art history are consistent themes. Ringgold earned BS and MA degrees in art from the City College, the City University of New York, and taught in the NYC public school system for almost twenty years. Since the 1970s Ringgold has been an activist and cofounder of several feminist and antiracist organizations, along with artist Poppy Johnson, art critic Lucy Lippard, and her daughter Michelle Wallace, among others.

Faith Ringgold biography

Full list of 2017 CAA Awards for Distinction recipients

Charles Rufus Morey Book Award
Kishwar Rizvi
The Transnational Mosque: Architecture and Historical Memory in the Contemporary Middle East
University of North Carolina Press

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award
Ruth Fine, ed.
Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in association with the University of California Press

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions
Carmella Padilla and Barbara Anderson, eds.
A Red Like No Other: How Cochineal Colored the World
Skira Rizzoli, in association with the Museum of International Folk Art

Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize
Christine I. Ho
The People Eat for Free and the Art of Collective Production in Maoist China”
The Art Bulletin, September 2016

Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism
Laura U. Marks
Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image
MIT Press

Distinguished Feminist Award
Joan Marter

Art Journal Award
Amy A. DaPonte
“Candida Höfer’s Türken in Deutschland as ‘Counter-publicity’”
Art Journal, Winter 2016

Distinguished Teaching of Art Award
Virginia Derryberry

Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award
Patricia Mainardi

Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (Looking Man), 2016, acrylic on PVC panel, 30 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches, © Kerry James Marshall. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work
Kerry James Marshall

Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement
Faith Ringgold

CAA/American Institute for Conservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation
Tom J. S. Learner

Morey and Barr Award Finalists

CAA recognizes the 2017 finalists for the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award and the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Awards for their distinctive achievements:

Charles Rufus Morey Book Award Finalists

  • Niall Atkinson, The Noisy Renaissance: Sound, Architecture, and Florentine Urban Life, Pennsylvania State University Press
  • Elizabeth Kindall, Geo-Narratives of a Filial Son: The Paintings and Travel Diaries of Huang Xiangjian (1609–1673), Harvard University Asia Center

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award Finalists

  • Helen Molesworth, ed., Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Skira Rizzoli (honorable mention)
  • Barbara Haskell and Harry Cooper, Stuart Davis: In Full Swing, National Gallery of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and DelMonico Books
  • Alisa LaGamma, Kongo: Power and Majesty, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Adrian Sudhalter, Dadaglobe Reconstructed, Kunsthaus Zürich and Scheidegger & Spiess

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions Finalists

  • Andreas Marks, ed., Tōkaidō Texts and Tales: Tōkaidō “gojūsan tsui” by Kuniyoshi, Hiroshige, and Kunisada, University Press of Florida (honorable mention)
  • Zdenka Badovinac, Eda Čufer, and Anthony Gardner, eds., NSK from “Kapital” to Capital: Neue Slowenische Kunst—An Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia, Moderna galerija and MIT Press
  • Geoffrey Batchen, Emanations: The Art of the Cameraless Photograph, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and DelMonico Books
  • Valérie Rousseau, Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet, American Folk Art Museum

Contact

For more information on the 2017 Awards for Distinction, please contact Tiffany Dugan, CAA director of programs. Visit the Awards section of the CAA website to read about past recipients.

 



Staff Interview: Katie Apsey

posted by CAA


Katie Apsey

The next in a series of interviews with staff members is a conversation with Katie Apsey, CAA manager of programs.

How long have you worked at CAA?

I have worked at CAA just over one year now. I originally started in the Publications Department as data coordinator for the graduate-school directories and moved over to the Programs Department when Lauren Stark left her position to pursue work in the archives field.

What do you do at CAA?

Many different things! I do the administrative work for all programs related to the conference: session submissions for the Annual Conference Committee’s review, ARTexchange applications, submissions to the various conference publications and the conference website, special events, business meetings, poster sessions, appointments for mentoring sessions, and more! I also help the juries for the annual Awards for Distinction as well as the conference travel grants. Both are quite rewarding.

What does CAA mean to you?

I became a member of CAA long ago when I graduated with a BA in photography and was searching for my first job. At that point in my career, membership was a way for me to determine the state of the field—what kind of jobs and opportunities and career paths there were for me as a young artist. As my career shifted away from art practice and toward museum work and then art history, CAA became a network for keeping up with peers rather than a resource for the job market.

Can you talk about one of your favorite member moments?

It would be too hard to pick one moment of engagement with a member. While working in the Speaker Ready Room I overhear amazing conversations between session chairs and their speakers while they prepare before or recombobulate after their sessions. Observing the uniqueness of each group and noting the different approaches that session chairs take when creating thoughtful panels is equally inspiring. I always learn things about new theories, historiographies, artists, and exhibitions through osmosis while I am running around doing management tasks!

What do you like best about the arts and working in the arts?

This sounds so cliché, but I like being surrounded by creative people and getting inspired and challenged by them: people who know that the “right” or “best” answer is an ambiguous, moving target; people who, after they are done with the business of an email, send me a link to an article, exhibition, or artist’s webpage; people who know the value of thinking deeply or uniquely; and people who do what they do not for the money but for their belief in the importance of discourse.

Do you have a favorite moment from the Annual Conference?

When I attended as a regular member, my favorite moments were seeing my academic heroes speak or listening to the annual Distinguished Artist Interviews. Now that I work for CAA “behind the scenes,” my favorite moments have become working with the room monitors onsite. These are the people that check conference badges at the doors to session rooms. I enjoy hearing what they are working on with their art or scholarship, pointing them toward sessions they may have overlooked in the program, and taking in the stories of the retired professors who are volunteering their time.

You are writing your dissertation on Native American art, and the CAA office is up the street from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Have you visited the museum often since working here?

Yes, I feel very lucky to be so close to the museum’s New York branch. One of the main curators there, Kathleen Ash-Milby, is a powerhouse who focuses on contemporary Native American art, which is what I write about most often, so I value seeing the exhibitions at the George Gustav Heye Center as soon as they open. The museum also has the film and media center with rare digital content and a cozy educational library that I like to visit on my lunch break. It is the perfect spot for even fifteen minutes of reading outside the office, or for watching a VHS tape from the NMAI collection of performances that hasn’t been digitized yet! A lot of tourists visit lower Manhattan, but many of them don’t know they can go inside the Customs House—the building that houses the museum—for free, so it still remains a quiet refuge with rotating exhibitions and frequent nighttime events. In fact, I attended a MuseumHue event there about art and social change just a few weeks ago!

Katie Apsey practices the Brazilian martial art of capoeira (photograph provided by Capoeira Vida)

You have performed and taught dance. What are your specialities and favorites?

Oh, I could go on for hours about this. I love whatever classes I can take. As a company dancer, I felt like contemporary dance challenged me the most intellectually. It really pushes the boundaries of expansive concepts like “movement,” “performance,” and “choreography.” Closer to my heart, though, are samba dance and the Brazilian martial art of capoeira, both of which feed my soul. Samba is physically demanding yet joyful and amazingly fun to perform. I love looking into the crowd from the stage and seeing hundreds of people smiling back or even dancing themselves because they can’t sit still. Conceiving of and making new costumes uses my creativity in a different way.

There are many types of samba—including carnival mas group/Rio-style samba, Bahian-style samba de roda, and Orisha dances associated with Candomblé—that speak to different needs, abilities, histories, lives, and energies. Dance is an art form that grows with a person over time and answers their needs in the moment. Capoeira is the same way. It is actually a martial art, not dance. It challenges both my body (I swear someday I will still be able to learn a back flip … in my thirties) as well as my mind (in the strategy of the game). Capoeira even challenges my musical abilities in having to learn all the songs and instruments while trying to sing in tune!



Filed under: myCAA, People in the News, Staff

mm-october-16
spectacle-of-late-maya-court

Mary Miller, Sterling Professor of History of Art at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, will deliver the keynote address during Convocation at the 2017 Annual Conference, to be held at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan. Free and open to the public, Convocation takes place on Wednesday, February 15, 5:30–7:00 PM. The event will include the presentation of the annual Awards for Distinction and be followed by the conference’s Opening Reception.

Miller earned an AB in 1975 at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. Six years later she completed her PhD at Yale, joined the faculty there, and has remained at the school ever since. Miller was recently appointed as senior director of the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale. She also served as dean of Yale College from 2008 to 2014 and has taken many other professorial and administrative roles over the years.

Miller is the author of The Murals of Bonampak (1986), The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec (1986), and Maya Art and Architecture (1999). A frequent collaborator, she wrote The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya (1993) with Karl Taube and edited A Pre-Columbian World (2006) with Jeffrey Quilter and The Aztec Calendar Stone (2010) with Khristaan D. Villela. In recent years Miller edited Painting a Map of Sixteenth-Century Mexico City (2012), a study of a rare indigenous map in Yale’s Beinecke Library, with Barbara Mundy and completed The Spectacle of the Late Maya Court: Reflections on the Murals of Bonampak (2013) with Claudia Brittenham.

Miller has written essays for both of CAA’s scholarly print publications. In “A Re-examination of the Mesoamerican Chacmool,” published in The Art Bulletin in 1985, Miller proposed Maya sources for “the form, location, variety, and iconography” of the chacmool, the Mesoamerican stone sculptures of reclining male figures associated with war and sacrifice; previous scholarship had assumed they were of Central American origin and introduced to the Maya during the Toltec era.[1] In “Shaped Time,” published in Art Journal in 2009, Miller considered George Kubler’s 1962 landmark study The Shape of Time, “so rich in its textured treatment of the ways that streams of history and art-making intersect.”[2] She drew on her deep knowledge of ancient Mesoamerica to contextualize the book in relation to both Kubler’s research and other postwar scholarship in the field.

In 1988 Miller and Linda Schele accepted CAA’s Alfred H. Barr Award for museum scholarship for The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art (1986). The book, with photographs by Justin Kerr, was the catalogue for a traveling exhibition organized by Schele and Miller for the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

Among Miller’s many accolades are a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010 she gave the fifty-ninth A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC—one of the highest honors in American art history.

CAA communicated with Miller via email last month. Here’s what she had to say.

How has teaching art history changed over the last twenty years?

Well, that takes us back to 1996, and just about then I volunteered to be the departmental pioneer (or guinea pig, take your pick) for digital images. I had to wrestle with the visual resources department to be allowed to build my own PowerPoints in that first iteration! And before I knew it, the slide cabinets had departed for remote storage. But that is the technical change. There are other changes that come along, especially in terms of what it is students bring to the class, and how the visual image is beginning to be the center for most of them.

What were the most important lessons you learned while serving as a dean?

You don’t want to know most of them! But, seriously, I gave a lot of thought to grading while dean. I also paid attention to learning outcomes, especially the importance of short assignments and detailed feedback early in the term. And I committed to developing opportunities for public speaking for students in class—a critical part of education but rarely intentionally instructed these days.

What does your current research concern?

My current research is focused on the gold disks of the Sacred Cenote at Chichén Itzá. The only serious study of the full set of them was published in 1952, although everyone knows them. Or thinks they know them. They’ve turned out to be even more fascinating than I though they’d be: the material—gold—was entirely new to the Maya of the ninth century, the technique of executing imagery on it entirely new as well. And then the imagery itself quite distinct. All but one of the disks were burned, ripped into pieces, crumpled, stomped upon, and then hurled into the Cenote (and the “one” is distinct only in not having been torn apart). There is meaning embedded in that dramatic ending! But three other projects have been developing along the edges. I keep all the files and notes for one of them—a history of the dealers, collectors, and materials that are critical to the formation of pre-Hispanic art as a field in the United States, 1940 onward—in a folder I call “The Rabbit Hole,” which tells you it is a wild and winding journey.

What was your first CAA Annual Conference experience like?

Oh, gosh. I think I was the driver of a group of Yale graduate students to DC [in 1979] and I am almost certain that George Shackelford was in the car. I’d had the bad fortune to have my wallet relieved of folding bills while I snoozed in the Yale Art and Architecture Library, so I scrounged together $40 to make the trip. I slept in the basement of a house some of my college friends shared near the Washington Cathedral, and then I hiked down Mass Ave to the Hilton—a good distance, I can assure you. I attended a session chaired by Joel Snyder that thrilled me. I watched a grad-school colleague give a presentation on African time, among other talks, and I had a lot of fun.

What are two or three pressing issues that both artists and academics share?

We all share the problem of the Google search: no matter what I am looking for, once I start searching for images, by page three the algorithm is offering me pictures of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. If I am looking for a work of art, then surely I must want Sunflowers!

Seriously, I think the most pressing issue we share is that of conservation and preservation. How can the past—or the present—be preserved for the future?

Can you give us a teaser of what you will discuss at Convocation?

Well, last year I gave a talk at the Clark Art Institute in which I said art history can play a different role in twenty-first-century humanities than it did in twentieth-century humanities. I’ve developed these ideas more fully—and I hope I have some interesting things to say to the community of art historians, and the community of artists!

Notes

[1] See Mary Ellen Miller, “A Re-examination of the Mesoamerican Chacmool,” The Art Bulletin 67, no. 1 (March 1985): 7–17.

[2] See Mary Miller, “Shaped Time,” Art Journal 68, no. 4 (Winter 2009): 71–77.




CAA is excited to present talks by the following special guests at the 105th Annual Conference, taking place February 15–18, 2017, in New York.

mm-october-16Keynote Speaker

This year Mary Miller, a scholar of art of the ancient New World, Sterling Professor of History of Art, and senior director of the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale University, will deliver the keynote address during Convocation.

This special event, to be held on the first evening of the Annual Conference, includes a welcome from Suzanne Preston Blier, CAA president, and Hunter O’Hanian, CAA executive director, as well as the presentation of annual Awards for Distinction.

Convocation is free and open to the public.

va2014po_CocoFusco-Dr.Zira Visual Arts; artists portraits. Coco Fusco as Dr. Zira, November 6, 2014.

Distinguished Artist Interviews

Organized by CAA’s Services to Artists Committee, the Distinguished Artist Interviews feature esteemed artists who discuss their work with a respected colleague. The interviews are held as part of ARTspace, a program partially funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

First, the artist and activist Coco Fusco will be in conversation with the art historian Steven Nelson of the University of California, Los Angeles. Next, the painter Katherine Bradford will speak with a fellow artist, Judith Bernstein.

The Distinguished Artist Interviews are free and open to the public.

unknownDistinguished Scholar

Kaja Silverman, a historian of art and film, critical theorist, and Katherine and Keith L. Sachs Professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania, will be recognized as CAA’s Distinguished Scholar for 2017 in this special session.

In addition to remarks from Silverman, the panel will feature talks from Richard Meyer, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History at Stanford University, and Homay King, Professor of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College.

Please join the speakers for a reception immediately following the session in the Third Floor East Promenade. A cash bar will be available.

Conference registration is required to attend the Distinguished Scholar Session.



Staff Interview: Doreen Davis

posted by CAA


doreenIn our first staff interview, we spoke with Paul Skiff, assistant director for Annual Conference. Continuing in the staff interview series, we spoke with Doreen Davis, who currently holds the record for longest-serving CAA staff member.

How long have you worked at CAA?

Twenty-six years.

What do you do at CAA?

I am the manager of member services.

What does CAA mean to you?

CAA has many meanings, but the greatest meaning to me is that it represents the opportunity for me to grow, for me to share what I have learned, for me to plant the seed of possibilities and leave behind a bigger, better organization than the one I first started working for. CAA will always be the organization that challenged me to be better and to have the flexibility to make our members feel that we are not just an organization. We are their partner for as long as they are members, whether active or lapsed.

Can you talk about one of your favorite member moments?

One member was very dissatisfied on several occasions and continued to be very mean on the phone. Even after I resolved her membership issues, she did not say “thank you” but instead hung up. The conference was approaching, and I am usually stationed at the “Problem Information Booth.” I hoped and prayed that I would not see her at the conference, because she would definitely come to that booth. Well, I was not so lucky. She showed up and, after reading my badge, said, “Hi Ms. Davis, I am so and so. I want to apologize for my behavior—it was so unlike me. I was going through a rough period, but thank you for your patience and your help.” I responded, “You are very welcome, and enjoy the conference.” Whew!

What do you like best about the arts and working in the arts?

I love that art can transcend time, and if art is good it will last forever. I also love that we can have an unlimited number of interpretations of art. Everyone sees or hears roughly the same thing, but each of us has our own opinion of it. Our experiences in life help shape our opinions of art. No two people experience the exact same thing, so our interpretations are bound to vary. I love working for the arts because I see how my efforts positively affect people in need. Nonprofits are a great place to maximize your mental talents along with your compassion.

Do you have a favorite moment from the Annual Conference each year?

One of my favorite moments was encountering a job seeker who had an interview, but because she was not a current member she was not allowed in the Interview Hall to meet with the employer. I gave her an individual-membership brochure with an application and walked her into the hall. She took it and thanked me. I said to myself, maybe she will join. She came back later and informed me that the interview went well. I said, “Congrats!” I forgot all about her until a few months later, when she sent me an email telling me she had been hired. Because of that, she took out a membership!



Filed under: myCAA, People in the News, Staff

Staff Interview: Paul Skiff

posted by CAA


Paul Skiff

As part of the new myCAA campaign where we ask our members to share with us what CAA means to them, we thought it also makes sense to share with our members more about ourselves at CAA. In this spirit, every few weeks we will post an interview with a staff member at CAA. We want our members to know who we are also.

Our first interview in the series is with Paul Skiff, assistant director for Annual Conference.

How long have you worked at CAA?

Seventeen years.

What do you do at CAA?

I handle all space use for the Annual Conference: facility specification and coordinating with facility personnel, logistics, service providers, production, marketing, and sponsorships for the Book and Trade Fair, receptions, tours, onsite direction, and the task of working up budgets for all of this. Essentially I set up the arrangements that enable us at CAA to coordinate everyone and everything into and out of the conference.

What does CAA mean to you?

CAA is a leading international organization promoting visual art and culture in a way that has direct impact on society. The conference brings together the membership, along with related professions, for a large public event that gives a high profile to the cultural sector of the host city and contributes to defining the forward direction of culture in general.

Can you talk about one of your favorite member moments?

Too many to mention, really. CAA members are so frequently a great pleasure to work with no matter what the situation. At its base the organization is a collective, and that really guides so much of what members bring.

What do you like best about the arts and working in the arts?

Art, and culture in general, provides a basis for unity across social, cultural, national, and political boundaries. In the urban culture of the United States, cultural practice is seen as an open forum with authority to comment upon—and provide a way for coping with—the prevailing conditions of the time. Applied this way, cultural practices have as their main goal establishment of a democratizing equality. What I like about one part of the particular work I do in the arts with CAA is that my efforts serve to create opportunities for thousands of people involved in art and culture. Over my time working with CAA, this has amounted to providing a wide variety of opportunities for literally tens of thousands of people involved with art and culture.

Do you have a favorite moment from the Annual Conference each year?

The closing celebration for department staff after sessions conclude on the last day of the conference, when a year’s worth of hard work is complete and you know thousands of people had a pleasurable and fulfilling experience.

Video capture of Paul Skiff’s performance Blood Circle

What have your most recent performances consisted of?

My most recent performances have been straightforward presentations of texts and poetry spoken live, often with supplemental sound, and mostly presented for community-based cultural organizations with a vision for preserving, promoting, and strengthening local culture.

How do you feel about the differences between your art performed live or recorded on tape?

My live performance often incorporates recorded sound and images, so it is not that easy to separate the two modes of presentation. But to consider electronically recorded material separately, there is of course a vast difference with regard to the resultant sensory phenomenon. The main strength of actual live, spoken work is its generative quality, its immediacy, and its ability to create a “hearership” that can challenge existing listening institutions. With electronically recorded sound and/or images you have the rather endlessly deep toolbox of technology, which mostly amounts to applying exaggeration and distortion to live forms, and playing with time, as well as simply preserving information for transmission. I’m not saying anything profound by that, of course. Applying technology to a live performance enables an extension and transformation of form that allows for many different and new ways to present the work, seek a broader audience, and invent ever more creative solutions.

The creation of electronic information along with storage and retrieval is the most expansive creative environment for us now. At this point in our history telelectricentrism is second nature. Humanity has adapted to this so that forms of experience based on electronic image and sound increasingly dominate everyday life. We are still discovering how this is an asset and liability. It has mixed results and risky implications for our ability to really communicate. But in this for me is a great and absorbing task of applying these distorting and exaggerating technologies to instill acts of rehumanizing our culture. It’s kind of like taking something inherently dangerous and reshaping or repurposing it to provide pleasure, fulfillment, and a greater sense of shared well-being—not to mention preserving and strengthening our sense of self-worth.



Filed under: myCAA, People in the News, Staff

A Radical Change: An Interview with Irving Sandler

posted by Christopher Howard


 

The art critic and historian Irving Sandler was a regular contributor to ARTnews and other magazines in the 1950s and 1960s. He is best known for The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism (London: Pall Mall, 1970) and its follow-up, The New York School: The Painters and Sculptors of the Fifties (New York: Harper and Row, 1978). Born in New York in 1925, Sandler turned 91 years old on July 22.

He and his wife, Lucy Freedman Sandler, a historian of medieval art and an accomplished author in her own right, are CAA life members. Both scholars have a long involvement with CAA spanning several decades: Lucy served as president of the Board of Directors from 1981 to 1984 and organized the 1978 Annual Conference with her husband. Both have spoken many times at the conference; they have organized and moderated numerous panels and sessions as well. In addition, Irving was part of a group of CAA members who introduced a new format to Art Journal, back in 1979.

Sandler’s second book of memoirs, Swept Up by Art (Brooklyn: Rail Editions, 2015), follows his first, A Sweeper-Up after Artists (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2003). Christopher Howard, CAA managing editor, visited Sandler in May 2016 at his New York apartment to talk about his recent book and about his involvement with CAA over the years.

CAA: Let’s start with Art Journal. In the late 1970s you and a handful of others—Anne Coffin Hansen, Ellen Lanyon, George Sadek—got together to reinvent the publication.

Irving Sandler: That is pretty much it. We took the journal, which had become pretty moribund—it was sort of run by an old guard—and we turned it into something much more interesting by doing thematic issues, and also getting interesting editors to do it. It’s still working more or less that way.

Yes, it is. Editors have three-year terms—but they get a longer time span to take it over. You even produced one of those early issues, in Winter 1980, yourself.

Yes, I did. This issue was, to my knowledge, was the first issue on modernism and postmodernism, indicating the change that had been taking place in art, and in the art world as well. That was a very good issue.

You and your wife first joined CAA in 1954. How has the teaching of art and art history changed over the last sixty years?

Well, one of the things—the primary thing I believe—that’s changed would be the introduction of contemporary art into curricula. That simply wasn’t done. In places like the Institute of Fine Arts, you couldn’t write a dissertation on an artist who wasn’t dead for a century. And suddenly, not only do you have contemporary art, but the primary emphasis, in our art-history programs now, is on the contemporary. That’s a radical change to the entire approach to art.

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Filed under: People in the News

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