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110th Annual Conference Designs

posted by December 13, 2021

This year, CAA partnered with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) College Arts Access Program (CAAP), which held a design competition for CAA’s upcoming Annual Conference. This three-year college bridge program provides Chicago Public Schools students who are dedicated to studying art and design with the skills and preparation needed for admission to and success at SAIC, art and design schools, or post-secondary institutions. Eight CAAP students participated in a graphic design workshop to produce designs for the CAA Annual Conference. Led by SAIC Alum Jenna Russo, students designed work based on the prompt “Chicago: City in a Garden.”

We are excited to share the winning design for the conference’s tote bag by Betty Leisen. It will be available at the Annual Conference, made possible by SAIC.

This second design was created by Ethan Rodriguez and will be presented at the conference digitally.


Filed under: Annual Conference

In Memoriam: Robert Farris Thompson

posted by December 10, 2021

Robert Farris Thompson

Robert Farris Thompson, an eminent art historian recognized for his field-leading research and writing on the art, history, culture, dance, and music of Africa and the Afro-Atlantic world, and who was the longest serving head of college in Yale’s history, died on Nov. 29. He was 88.

Thompson was professor emeritus of African American studies and the former Colonel John Trumbull Professor of the History of Art at Yale. For more than a half-century on Yale’s faculty, and during his 32 years as “Master T” at the helm of Timothy Dwight College, he secured his place in the pantheon of beloved professors and university leaders.

In recognizing Thompson with its inaugural Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art in 2003, the College Art Association described him as a “towering figure in the history of art, whose voice for diversity and cultural openness has made him a public intellectual of resounding importance.” In May 2021 he was honored with an honorary degree from Yale celebrating his lifetime of academic achievement.

Above excerpts and image from, “Robert Farris Thompson, pioneer in study of African and Afro-Atlantic art,” YaleNews (December 1, 2021). Please click this link to read the full article.


Filed under: Obituaries

As part of CAA’s 10-year anniversary celebration of its publication The Eye, the Hand, the Mind: 100 Years of the College Art Association, chapter authors reflect on their contributions and how their impressions of the field have changed. Our second video in the series features Craig Houser, who wrote Chapter 5, “The Changing Face of Scholarly Publishing: CAA’s Publication Program.”

Craig Houser is the director of the MA in Art History and its concentration in Art Museum Studies at the City College of New York. His scholarship has addressed institutional politics related to studio art and art history, as well as issues in gender and sexuality in modern and contemporary art.  

Vote for CAA’s 2022 Board of Directors!

posted by December 06, 2021

As a CAA member, voting is one of the best ways to shape the future of your professional organization. Thank you for taking the time to vote! Scroll down to meet this year’s candidates and submit your online voting form.

2021 CAA Board of Directors candidates, from left to right, top to bottom: Ashanté Kindle, Adity Saxena, Tiffany Lin, Alex Bostic, Gregory Gilbert, Karen J. Leader, Nazar Kozak, and Victoria McCraven.


The CAA Board of Directors is comprised of professionals in the visual arts who are elected annually by the membership to serve four-year terms (or, in the case of the Emerging Professional Board members, two-year terms). The Board is charged with CAA’s long-term financial stability and strategic direction; it is also the Association’s governing body. The board sets policy regarding all aspects of CAA’s activities, including publishing, the Annual Conference, awards and fellowships, advocacy, and committee procedures. For more information, please read the CAA By-laws on Nominations, Elections, and Appointments.


The 2021–22 Nominating Committee has selected the following candidates for election to the CAA Board of Directors. Click the names of the candidates below to read their statements and resumes before casting your vote.



Alex Bostic 

Associate Professor of Painting, Department of Art 

Mississippi State University (Starkville, MS)  


Gregory Gilbert 

Director of Art History Program 

Knox College (Galesburg, IL) 


Nazar Kozak 

Senior Research Scholar, Department of Art History, Ethnology Institute 

National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine 


Karen J. Leader 

Associate Professor of Art History 

Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, FL) 



Tiffany Lin  

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Art & Design 

University of Nevada (Las Vegas) 



Adity Saxena 

Dean, School of Arts & Design 

Woxsen University (India) 





Ashanté Kindle 

MFA Candidate in Art 

University of Connecticut (Storrs) 


Victoria McCraven 

Programs Manager, NXTHVN

New Haven, CT



CAA members must cast their votes for board members online using the link below; no paper ballots will be mailed. The deadline for voting is 6 p.m. EST on February 17, 2022.

The elected individuals will be announced at CAA’s Annual Business Meeting to be held from 1–2 p.m. (Central) on Friday, February 18, 2022.


Questions? Contact Maeghan Donohue, Manager, Strategic Planning, Diversity & Governance, at

Filed under: Board of Directors

Our series of coffee talk conversations continues with a follow up chat between Meme Omogbai, our executive director and CEO, and Theresa Avila, the Program Chair of the 110th Annual Conference. In this video, they address questions from international participants, safety protocols and more details. Check it out and send us your thoughts for the next installment! Please send us your questions: . 


Theresa Avila is a curator and an Assistant Professor of non-Western Art History at California State University, Channel Islands. She earned a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of New Mexico with a focus on Modern Latin American and Latin@x art. As a scholar and curator her work focuses on the intersections between the visual and political, as she interrogates historiography, empire and nation building, and systems of differentiation. Published works include “Echoing the Call for Revolution: Emiliano Zapata in Chican@x Art” for the exhibition catalogue Emiliano Zapata despues de Zapata (2019), the book Making and Being Made: Contemporary Citizenship, Art, and Visual Culture (2017), as well as the forthcoming “The History of the Barrio Mobile Art Studio, a vehicle for creative transformations” for the fifty-year anthology of Self Help Graphics (2023) and the project “Dialogos: on Landscapes of the Americas” for Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture Journal. (2023). As the Director of the Broome Library Gallery at CSUCI she curated Magnetic Currents: Art charged by the U.S. and Mexico Border (2020); Colecion de Lucha, Desde Santa Paula a las Americas: The Personal Archive of Luzma Espinosa (2019); and Tracing History: Mapping California (2018). Dr. Avila firmly believes we must activate art in meaningful and engage art as a tool for change. 

Meme Omogbai, CAA Executive Director and CEO: Before joining CAA, Meme Omogbai served as a member and past board chair of the New Jersey Historic Trust, one of four landmark entities dedicated to preservation of the state’s historic and cultural heritage, and Montclair State University’s Advisory Board. Named one of 25 Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal, Meme has over twenty-five years of experience in corporate, government, higher education, and museum sectors. As the first American of African descent to chair the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Omogbai led an initiative to rebrand the AAM as a global, inclusive alliance. While COO and trustee, she spearheaded a major transformation in operating performance at the Newark Museum. During her time as deputy assistant chancellor of New Jersey’s Department of Higher Education, Omogbai received legislative acknowledgment and was recognized with the New Jersey Meritorious Service award for her work on college affordability initiatives for families. Omogbai received her MBA from Rutgers University and holds a CPA. She did postgraduate work at Harvard University’s executive management program and has earned the designation of Chartered Global Management Accountant. She studied global museum executive leadership at the J. Paul Getty Trust Museum Leadership Institute, where she also served on the faculty.  

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