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Notes from the 2018 College Art Association Conference

Mon, Mar 12, 2018
by Alana Ryder, Manager of Public and University Programs

Last month, I was absolutely thrilled to share the Wex’s recent work at the College Art Association Conference (CAA) in Los Angeles with over 100 museum staffers, professors, and students. The Association for Critical Race Art History (or ACRAH) brought three of us together for the panel, “Curating Difference: Race and Ethnicity in the US Museum”. 

Alana Ryder at the 2018 College Art Association Conference

Alana outside the Broad

We don’t often have the luxury to set aside time to reflect on our work. In preparation for CAA, I relived the months leading up to last September’s Director’s Dialogue on Art and Social Change featuring Pens to Pictures. I watched the recordings of the conversation and panel and went through about four inches of notes and other debris from those months. (Was this all real?) Thank you to those who came up after the panel to find out more. New Ohio State fine arts librarian Emilee Mathews also attended. Your questions about decentering power, brave spaces, and willingness to take missteps as well as your recommended readings and examples of challenges to the status quo provided me with so many topics to bring back to Columbus.

Another exciting part of the trip was the chance to speak casually with public programs curators and educators from The Hammer Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, and other universities. We discussed everything from new social practice M.A. programs to Chuck Close to committees for inclusion and diversity within museums. In between sessions, visits were made to the Broad, MOCA, Schindler House (most highly recommended by Douglas Crimp), Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Hammer at UCLA. I also met up with former Johnson Museum of Art colleague, Sonja Gandert, who moderated a discussion that was part of the U.S. LatinX Art Forum. On the last night, I had dinner with new Californian Chinonye Chukwu, founder of Pens to Pictures, who’s working on a feature film this year!

Sculpture by Nancy Rubins at MOCA Los Angeles

Chas Stainless Steel, Mark Thompsons Airplane Parts, About 1000 Pounds of Stainless Steel Wire, Gagosians Beverly Hills Space by Nancy Rubins, a recent exhibiting artist at the Wex, at MOCA

If you have questions or want to learn more about last year’s Director’s Dialogue or public programs and the Wex, please email me.


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