CAA News Today

Dear colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the keynote speakers for Convocation at CAA’s Centennial Conference in New York: the artists Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison. This event, free and open to the public, will take place in February 2011.

The Harrisons are interdisciplinary, collaborative, multimedia, environmental, educational, activist, visionary, ethical, and humane. They exemplify many aspects of contemporary artistic practice and speak to numerous concerns of the CAA membership.

I first met Newton in the early 1990s: he was a visiting artist when I was a graduate student in Indiana. (I also met Helen years later at a gallery reception in Colorado.) He left a tremendous impression on me as someone with a truly perceptive mind, possessing the foresight, talent, and determination to create visually compelling art on a scale that makes a positive difference in life on our planet. The Harrisons have been doing this for over forty years. His and Helen’s concept of the individual contributing to the elevation of a collective “conversational drift” resonates today more than ever.

For more information on the Harrisons and their work, please visit their website. Other great sources include the New York Art World, Ronald Feldman Gallery, which represents the artists, Left Matrix, and the Community Arts Network, which republishes an essay on the artists by Arlene Raven.

I’d like to thank Sue Gollifer, CAA vice president for Annual Conference, for her thoughtful consultation with me about potential speakers, and Emmanuel Lemakis, CAA director of programs, for his assistance with confirming and making arrangements for our honored guests.

Please join me in welcoming the Harrisons and spreading the word about our good fortune to have them address CAA as keynote speakers for our 2011 Convocation.


Barbara Nesin, MFA
President, College Art Association
Department Chair of Art Foundations, Art Institute of Atlanta
Batya Tamar Studio at the Arts Exchange