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2016 Annual Conference Highlights

posted by Nia Page — Feb 26, 2016

CAA hosted its 104th Annual Conference from February 3 to 6, 2016, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC. This year’s program included four days of presentations and panel discussions on art history and visual culture, Career Services for professionals at all stages of their careers, a Book and Trade Fair, and a host of special events throughout the region.


Close to 4,000 people from throughout the United States and abroad—including artists, art historians, students, educators, curators, critics, collectors, and museum staff—attended the conference. Visual-arts professionals from over 49 countries were represented.


Conference sessions featured presentations by artists, scholars, designers, graduate students, and curators who addressed a range of topics in art history and the visual arts. In total, the conference offered over 200 sessions, developed by CAA members, affiliated societies, and committees. Over 750 individuals presented their work.

Career Services and Professional Development

Career Services included four days of job interviews with colleges, universities, and other art institutions while Professional Development offerings included career mentoring and portfolio-review sessions, professional-development workshops, professional development roundtables and a variety of Student and Emerging Professional Committee programming such as Brown Bag discussions and Mock Interviews. During the professional development programming, approximately 30 professionals served as mentors to 120 young professionals, 5 established professionals led free professional roundtable discussions, and 13 Visual Arts specialists conducted development workshops throughout the conference. During the week of the Annual Conference, there were over 189 active jobs posted on the Online Career Center and more than 24 employers participating onsite.

Book and Trade Fair

This year’s Book and Trade Fair presented 98 exhibitors—including participants from the United States, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Canda, Mexico, United Kingdom and Ukraine—that displayed new publications, materials for artists, digital resources, and other innovative products of interest to artists, scholars, and arts enthusiasts. The Book and Trade Fair also featured book signings, lectures, and demonstrations, as well as three exhibitor-sponsored program sessions on art materials and publishing. The conference had generous sponsorship support from the exhibitors Artforum/Bookforum, Art in America, Blick Art Materials, Bloomsbury, Frieze, Laurence King Publishers, Pearson, Prestel, Richmond-The American International University in London, Routledge and Yale University Press.


ARTspace, a “conference within the conference” tailored to the needs and interests of practicing artists, presented programming that was free and open to the public, including this year’s Annual Distinguished Artists’ Interviews with Joyce Scott who spoke with George Ciscle, Maryland Institute College of Art and Rick Lowe, who conversed with LaToya Ruby Frazier, Independent Artist and The School of the Art Institute, Chicago. The latter was presented as a partnership with the MacArthur Foundation to celebrate 35 years of its Fellowship program. Both Lowe and Frazier received MacArthur Fellowships in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Watch the Annual Distinguished Artists’ Interviews

Over 150 people attended this lively event.

ARTspace also featured four days of panel discussions devoted to visual-arts practice, opportunities for professional development, and screenings of film and video.

ARTexchange, an open-portfolio event in which CAA artist members displayed drawings, prints, photographs, small paintings, and works on laptop computers, took place on Friday, February 5. Nearly 35 artists participated in ARTexchange this year.

The Media Lounge, a space for innovative new-media programming in conjunction with ARTspace. This year, the Media Lounge brought together academics, new media artists, artist collectives, alternative communities, guest speakers, filmmakers, and performers to lead workshops, present work, and generate productive discussions and crowd sourcing under the conceptual framework VISIBLE/INVISIBLE, Art & Politics.

The theme, VISIBLE/INVISIBLE, Art & Politics explored the legacy of identity and representation politics, considered in the context of our present culture where individuals, organizations and ideas can be easily captured, tracked, exposed, appropriated from the circulation of digital material which simultaneously feeds capitalist media assembly lines and alternative economies. The aim of the Media Lounge programming was to foster a dialog centered on emerging artistic sensibilities that mix art and a politics of representation amid a transforming sociopolitical landscape. The setting of CAA 2016, Washington DC and an election year, offered a unique opportunity to engage in these discussions.

ARTspace was made possible in part by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Student and Emerging Professionals Lounge

The Student and Emerging Professionals Lounge served as a hub for networking, information sharing, collaboration, professional development, and much more. The Student and Emerging Professionals Committee hosted an incredibly informative session on “Mentoring in the 21st Century” to a packed audience; a breakfast meet-and-greet with 200 attendees; five Brown Bag Sessions with attendance ranging from 45 to 160; a successful social night; and three days of Mock Interviews at full capacity.

Distinguished Scholar Session

Richard Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History and Dean of Humanities, Duke University was CAA’s 2016 Distinguished Scholar.

A panel including Kobena Mercer, Professor, History of Art and African American Studies at Yale University; Gwen Everett, Associate Dean of the Division of Fine Arts at Howard University; Kellie Jones, Associate Professor of Art History at Columbia University; and Suzanne Preston Blier, Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University joined in exploring and celebrating Powell’s many contributions.

Watch the Distinguished Scholar Session honoring Richard Powell.

Convocation and Awards

More than 1,000 people attended CAA’s Convocation and presentation of the annual 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. Tania Bruguera, the Cuban performance artist, delivered the keynote address.

Watch the CAA Convocation and Keynote Talk by Tania Bruguera.

The title of Bruguera’s talk was “Aest-ethics: Art with Consequences.” Bruguera’s work on issues of free speech and immigration and her fearlessness to speak out against forces of oppression—many of which she has experienced firsthand in Cuban prisons—is important and undeniably relevant to not just the art and academic worlds, but also the world at large.

The recipients of the 2016 Awards for Distinction were:

Charles Rufus Morey Book Award
Krista Thompson
Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice
Duke University Press

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award
Stephanie Barron and Sabine Eckmann
New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic 1919–1933
Los Angeles County Museum of Art and DelMonico Books

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions
Myroslava M. Mudrak and Tetiana Rudenko
Staging the Ukrainian Avant-Garde of the 1910s and 1920s
Ukrainian Museum

Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize
Matthew C. Hunter
“Joshua Reynolds’s ‘Nice Chymistry’: Action and Accident in the 1770s”
The Art Bulletin, March 2015

Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism
Chika Okeke-Agulu
Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria
Duke University Press

Art Journal Award
Abigail Satinsky
“Movement Building for Beginners”
Art Journal, Fall 2015

Distinguished Feminist Award
Carrie Mae Weems

Distinguished Teaching of Art Award
Sabina Ott

Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award
Patricia Berger

Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work
Arlene Shechet

Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement
Carmen Herrera

CAA/American Institute for Conservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation
Debra Hess Norris

Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art
Rosalind E. Krauss

Morey and Barr Award Finalists

CAA recognizes the 2016 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

  • Paul Binski, Gothic Wonder: Art, Artifice, and the Decorated Style, 1290–1350, Yale University Press, for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
  • Elina Gertsman, Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna, Pennsylvania State University Press
  • Adam Herring, Art and Vision in the Inca Empire: Andeans and Europeans at Cajamarca, Cambridge University Press

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award Finalist

  • Jens M. Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin, eds., Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World, J. Paul Getty Museum

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

  • Timothy Verdon and Daniel M. Zolli, eds., Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces from Florence Cathedral, Museum of Biblical Art, in association with D. Giles

Special Events

Following Convocation, the Katzen Arts Center at American University was host to CAA’s Opening Reception on Wednesday evening, February 3. Over 250 attendees gathered to celebrate the conference while enjoying a stroll through the museum’s permanent collections.

CAA Travel Grant in Memory of Archibald Cason Edwards, Senior, and Sarah Stanley Gordon Edwards

Established by Mary D. Edwards with the help of others, the CAA Travel Grant in Memory of Archibald Cason Edwards, Senior, and Sarah Stanley Gordon Edwards will support women who are emerging scholars at either an advanced stage of pursuing a doctoral degree (ABD) or who have received their PhD within the two years prior to the submission of the application. Diana Seave Greenwald of the University of Oxford delivered her paper “Within the grade of certain obvious criteria of merit:” Sample Bias in Art History and Earl Shinn’s The Art Treasures of America in the “Very Generally Ignorant, Flippant: Art Criticism and Mass Media in the Nineteenth Century” session and Imogen Wiltshire of the University of Birmingham presented her paper Process and Function at the New Bauhaus in Chicago: Concepts of Modernism and the Development of Therapeutic Art Practices as part of the “Modernism and Medicine” 2-part session.

CAA-Getty International Travel Grant Program

In an effort to promote greater interaction and exchange between American and international art historians, CAA brought 15 scholars from around the world to participate in the Annual Conference. This is the fifth year of the program, which has been generously funded by grants from the Getty Foundation since its inception.

The CAA-Getty International Program participants’ activities began with a one-day preconference colloquium on international issues in art history, during which they met with North American–based CAA members to discuss common interests and challenges. The participants were assisted throughout the conference by CAA member hosts, who recommended relevant panel sessions and introduced them to colleagues who share their interests.

Representatives from several CAA affiliated societies served as hosts, including the Arts Council of the African Studies Association, the Association for Latin American Art, the Society of Contemporary Art Historians, and the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasia, and Russian Art and Architecture. More information about the group’s activities will appear in upcoming articles in CAA News and on the International Desk of the CAA website.

To date, this program has brought 90 scholars from 41 different countries to participate in CAA’s Annual Conference and expanded international networking and the exchange of ideas both during and after the conference.

The 2016 recipients were:  Sarena Abdullah, Senior Lecturer, School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang; Abiodun Akande, Principal Lecturer, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo State, Nigeria; María Isabel Baldasarre, Associate Professor, Universidad Nacional de San Martin, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Danielle Becker, Lecturer in Art History and Visual Studies, University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University, South Africa; Heloisa Espada, Postdoctoral Researcher, Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of Saõ Paulo, Brazil; Ildikó Fehér, Associate Professor, Art History Department, University of Fine Arts of Hungary, Budapest, Hungary; Peyvand Firouzeh, Post-doctoral Fellow, Museum fur Islamische Kunst, Berlin, Germany; Lev Maciel, Associate Professor, National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia; Bui Thi Thanh Mai, Lecturer of Art History, Head of Department of Academic Research Management and International relations, Vietnam University of Fine Arts, Ha Noi, Vietnam; Emmanuel Moutafov, Associate Professor, Director, Institute of Art Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria; Ceren Ozpinar, Lecturer, Isik University and Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey; Horacio Ramos, Associate Professor, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú; Olaya Sanfuentes, Professor,  Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Paulo Silveira, Professor, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil; Sandra Uskokovic, Assistant Professor, University of Dubrovnik, Arts & Restoration Department, Croatia.

CAA 2015 Professional-Development Fellowships

CAA awarded four 2015 Professional-Development Fellowships—two in the visual arts and two in art history—to graduate students in MFA and PhD programs across the United States. In addition, CAA has named two honorable mentions in art history and four in the visual arts. The fellows and honorable mentions also receive a complimentary one-year CAA membership and free registration for the 2016 Annual Conference where they were honored at Convocation and at a private reception.

Recipients of the fellowships in the visual arts were:

  • Delano Dunn, School of Visual Arts, $10,000
  • Derrick Woods-Morrow, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, $4,000 (gift of the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation)

Recipients of the fellowship in art history were:

  • Marin Sarvé-Tarr, University of Chicago, $10,000
  • Emilie Boone, Northwestern University, $2,500 (gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Museum Educational Trust)

The honorable mentions for art history were awarded to: Adrian Anagnost, University of Chicago; and Monica Bravo, Brown University. For the visual arts, honorable mentions are bestowed upon: Zhiwan Cheung, Carnegie Mellon University; Sarah Hewitt, Purchase College, State University of New York; Victoria Maidhof, San Francisco Art Institute; and Kaiya Rainbolt, San Diego State University.

Board of Directors Update

Results of the Board of Directors election were announced on February 3, 2016, during the Annual Members’ Business Meeting. The new directors are: appear below.

  • Carma Gorman Associate Professor & Assistant Chair, Department of Art and Art History, University of Texas at Austin
  • Elizabeth Schlatter Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University of Richmond Museums, Richmond
  • Andrew Schulz Associate Dean for Research & Associate Professor, College of Arts and Architecture, Pennsylvania State University
  • Anuradha Vikram Lecturer, Graduate Public Practice, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles

They will take office at the next board meeting in May 2016.

New board officers were elected:

  • Doralynn Pines, Vice President for External Affairs
  • Jim Hopfensberger, Vice President for Committees

Affiliated Societies

CAA would like to welcome two new affiliated societies:

Thank You

Members of CAA’s Board of Directors and staff would like to extend their gratitude to all conference funders and sponsors, attendees, volunteers, and participants; the organization’s committees and award juries; the Washington Marriott Wardman Park staff; the museums and galleries that opened their doors to conference attendees free of charge; and everyone else involved in helping to make the 104th Annual Conference such a tremendous success!

A warm thanks to the following for their generous support of CAA:

  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Artforum/Bookforum
  • Art in America
  • Blick Art Materials
  • Bloomsbury
  • Frieze
  • Getty Foundation
  • Katzen Arts Center
  • Laurence King Publishing
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Pearson
  • Prestel
  • Richmond, The American International University in London
  • Routledge
  • Samuel H. Kress Foundation
  • Terra Foundation for American Art
  • Wyeth Foundation for American Art
  • Yale University Press

Save the Date

CAA’s 105th Annual Conference will be held in New York, February 15–18, 2017.

About CAA

The College Art Association is dedicated to providing professional services and resources for artists, art historians, and students in the visual arts. CAA serves as an advocate and a resource for individuals and institutions nationally and internationally by offering forums to discuss the latest developments in the visual arts and art history through its Annual Conference, publications, exhibitions, websites, and other events. CAA focuses on a wide range of issues, including education in the arts, freedom of expression, intellectual-property rights, cultural heritage and preservation, workforce topics in universities and museums, and access to networked information technologies. Representing its members’ professional needs since 1911, CAA is committed to the highest professional and ethical standards of scholarship, creativity, criticism, and teaching.

Image Captions

Conference attendees gather for a Professional Development Roundtable (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Conference attendees meet vendors in the Book and Trade Fair (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Rick Lowe and LaToya Ruby Frazier in conversation in ARTspace (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Mentoring activities in the SEP Lounge (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Tania Bruguera speaks at Convocation (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Friends gather at the Opening Reception at the Katzen Art Center (photograph by Bradley Marks)

The 2016 participants in the CAA-Getty International Program (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Fellowship recipients and honorable mentions in art history (photograph by Bradley Marks)

Filed under: Annual Conference, Uncategorized