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A Conversation with Anne Collins Goodyear

Anne Collins Goodyear, associate curator of prints and drawings at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, became president of the College Art Association’s Board of Directors in May 2012. CAA News caught up with her this month to discuss what’s happening in the organization.

CAA just finished its Centennial year at the 2012 Annual Conference in Los Angeles. What’s next?

Marching into its next century, CAA has a number of important initiatives on the docket. Many of these involve taking advantage of new technologies to ease access to CAA’s resources and to enhance the ability of members to connect with one another and to share information. The Board of Directors has just committed to exploring a copublication agreement with an outside publisher that would involve the digitization of Art Journal and The Art Bulletin, albeit retaining print versions of these publications for the foreseeable future. It has also committed to providing open access to within the coming year.

We hope to provide a digital version of our print publications—together with hard copy—by 2014. In addition, a task force formed last year is now reviewing the use of technology at the Annual Conference. At the upcoming 2013 event, we will offer free Wi-Fi for conference goers for the first time. This should make it easier for speakers to bring online resources into the session room and even use Skype or similar services to incorporate talks by artists and scholars who are unable to attend. On the Monday and Tuesday before the conference, we will experiment with the Humanities and Technology Camp—better known as THAT Camp—in order to allow one hundred members to convene for a self-organized discussion on how art, the humanities, and technology intersect.

Of course, one pressing matter that new digital technologies raise—one that “predates” the internet—is obtaining and using reproductions of artwork. This complex issue has important implications for everyone in the visual arts—scholars, curators, and artists. To this end, CAA has undertaken a study that it hopes will lead to a Code of Best Practices for Fair Use of Copyrighted Images in the Creation and Curation of Artworks and Scholarly Publishing in the Visual Arts. Over the course of fall 2012, thanks to funding recently received from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, CAA will be facilitating a review of the literature in the field and conducting interviews with leaders in the visual arts on the subject of copyright and creativity. We will also develop a survey for CAA members to make their views on the subject known. We are working with Patricia Aufderheide, director of the Center for Social Media at American University, and Peter Jaszi, professor of law and faculty director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic at American University’s Washington College of Law, who have successfully developed fair-use codes for other creative disciplines, including for independent filmmakers. Aufderheide and Jaszi are the authors of Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), which describes their work on and approach to the fair use of copyrighted materials. Their efforts will be overseen by a task force of CAA members cochaired by Jeffrey P. Cunard, longstanding CAA counsel and a managing partner in the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and Gretchen Wagner, general counsel of ARTstor and a member of CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property. The committee’s upcoming session at the Annual Conference will provide an update on the task force’s progress to members.

What’s the importance of being a CAA member in 2012, for emerging, midcareer, and established artists and scholars?

To my mind, CAA offers many benefits for artists and scholars at all stages of their careers—though we’re always eager to hear how we can provide more support. CAA delivers top-notch scholarship through its publications and sessions at the Annual Conference and also provides excellent opportunities for artists to discuss and showcase their work at the conference. The Services to Artists Committee, chaired by Sharon Louden, is extraordinarily active in developing terrific programming in ARTspace for 2013.

In addition to these resources, CAA provides valuable guidelines for tenure and promotion, information about navigating copyright, and other best practices. Last year, in response to concern expressed by members engaged with authentication, CAA worked with its insurance broker, which now extends authentication insurance to interested members. CAA also provides great networking opportunities through its committees and its conference. Ultimately, members shape CAA’s identity, from their time as graduate students throughout the duration of their careers. CAA has an incredibly dedicated staff and board, all of whom are committed to serving the membership and addressing matters of professional concern. Members shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to us.

If CAA wishes to be more inclusive of artists and designers, as it has indicated in the 2010–2015 Strategic Plan, how might it do so?

CAA currently has a task force investigating opportunities for designers. As previously mentioned, the Services to Artists Committee produces a lot of conference content. CAA also provides a great forum to present and discuss work outside a commercial framework. Artists have an important hand in the Task Force on Annual Conference Technologies. CAA’s guidelines for artists with respect to academic tenure and promotion, conventions for résumés and CVs, and studio health and safety are highly prized. CAA hopes artists will find much value in the Code of Best Practices for Fair Use of Copyrighted Images. Artist members, like others, should feel encouraged to let the staff and board know if there are other ways in which we can advocate on their behalf or provide services that would be helpful. CAA is also now embarking on the development of its new 2015–2020 Strategic Plan, which will enable the organization to solicit and build upon input from the membership about its evolving needs and priorities and the ways in which CAA can adapt to serve those most effectively.

Digital publications and social networking are among important internet-related issues for artists and scholars. What are your ideas regarding these two areas?

CAA is developing a plan to digitize its print publications, as discussed above, and hopes to offer as an open-access journal in a year. Nia Page, CAA’s director of membership, development, and marketing, recently circulated a study to CAA’s membership to ask how CAA members might benefit from new platforms for social networking related to their professional interests.

How do you envision the relationship between the CAA membership and the president and board?

My hope is for a fluid relationship. The board, which is elected by the membership, is extremely active in the organization. CAA members should feel welcome and encouraged to reach out to anyone who serves on the board, including the president and the executive director. Members should also give serious consideration to becoming personally involved in the governance of the organization. This includes considering running for the board and serving on it, as well as simply taking time to get to know candidates for the board and casting votes in the annual election. The business meeting at the Annual Conference is a great way to get information about recent activities, financial reports, or other matters of interest. Joining one of the Professional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees is another way for members to have a voice and to shape the organization. Other opportunities for them to contribute to or benefit from CAA’s activities are to serve on an editorial board, the Annual Conference Committee, awards juries, or the Nominating Committee, which is charged with interviewing those who have expressed an interest in serving on the board and developing the final slate of candidates.

What is CAA’s role in relation not only to government, politics, and the freedom of expression, but also to workforce issues and intellectual property?

CAA has the clout and organizational capacity to play an important role advocating issues of significance on behalf of its members and makes every effort to do so. Members should feel free to alert the organization to topics of concern. CAA regularly participates in the national Humanities Advocacy Day and Arts Advocacy Day. It is part of the American Council of Learned Societies and well integrated with other professional organizations. CAA is involved in supporting the interests of adjunct faculty as well as other professionals. CAA is a founding member of the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, which has just published results about part-time professors from its 2010 survey. As noted at the outset of this interview, CAA is currently undertaking a serious study of the fair use of copyrighted materials—including images—by scholars and artists. We hope to clarify how and when nonlicensed reproduction of third-party works can be considered “fair.” A generous grant from the Kress Foundation is supporting preliminary work in this area.

How CAA uses its organization capacity to serve its membership is ultimately the most important concern for the organization. Clearly, that can take many different forms. We welcome the ongoing input of our membership to ensure we are doing that as effectively and meaningfully as possible.

Originally published on the CAA website on November 19, 2012.