CAA ARTexchange

Sat, Feb 13, 2021

For the College Art Association's 109th annual conference, MAD will host the CAA's ARTexchange, a day of virtual, interactive projects and workshops created by twelve artists and collectives. ARTexchange is a true exchange of artists and ideas among artists, historians, curators, culture producers, and the public. One ticket allows audience members access to all programs throughout the day.

The preeminent international leadership organization in the visual arts, CAA promotes these arts and their understanding through advocacy, intellectual engagement, and a commitment to the diversity of practices and practitioners. CAA's annual conference brings together over 4,500 art historians, artists, designers, and visual arts professionals in all stages of their careers.

Artists and Schedule of Events

10–11 am Jamieson Thomas / Kyle Browne / Phil Rabovsky /Amy Whitaker, Critical Mass Exploration

What makes political art effective? What should the goal of political art be in our present moment of crisis? A roundtable discussion between four artists and the audience, Critical Mass Exploration engages these pressing questions, and asks how art can address the constituents of art institutions as powerful social agents.

10:30–11:30 am Sherry Muyuan He, Paper to Package to Product

Sherry leads an introductory paper engineering workshop, utilizing the affordable and accessible material—paper, inspired by her own process of inventing foldable standing desks that could be transformed from shipping boxes with a box cutter. Participants leave with their own paper structure, which could either turn into a package or a product.


  • pen/pencil
  • cardstock paper/used paper packages
  • scissors/box cutter/x-acto knife
  • tape
  • template

11:15 am–12:15 pm MiHyun Kim, Stories Become Data

Stories Become Data is an interactive digital workshop that invites participants to contribute their own stories to a collective narrative through writing, drawing or animating. Due to COVID-19, the workshop is remotely available for anyone who wants to participate in the collective co-creations via participants’ own iPads from their personal locations. A private app link will be shared with participants who register for the workshop ahead of the conference.

11:30-11:45 am Joshua Duttweiler, It's Not OK I'm Here

It’s Not Ok I’m Here asks CAA attendees and audiences to examine their privileges as it applies to their education, race, gender, sexuality, economic, and/or environmental opportunities and write down that admittance. The submissions to this interactive project will be assembled into the final piece, a wall of acknowledgements and promises to make a change.

12:30–1:30 pm Abena Motaboli, Sustainable Art-making Using Tea, Coffee & Ephemeral Material

Chicago based artist Abena Motaboli shares her practice of painting and staining with tea, coffee, natural materials, and experimentation with textures. Participants will use Jamaica, turmeric, tea, coffee and ink to stain and paint cloth as well as natural materials.


  • tea (black)
  • coffee (well steeped, any brand)
  • Dr. Martin's India Ink
  • 1/3 cup of regular salt (from your local grocery store)
  • access to a stove and two pots
  • mark-making object, e.g leaves/sponge cloth (cotton), loose canvas, loose linen, old t-shirt (10”x10”), larger
  • dirt/sand (from your garden/Home Depot) 


  • gessoberries (pokeweed/blueberry/raspberry/any darker berry available at your local store)
  • nature objects e.g leaves, dried flowers, small twigs or bark (from your garden/park)

12:30–2:00 pm Kimberly Callas / Melania Pugliese / Ashley Mapelli, Discovering the Ecological Self Workshop

Kimberly Callas guides this Social Practice workshop where participants seek out their own significant nature-based symbols and create colorful gouache and ink mandalas to hold their symbol. Please take this short survey to prepare for the workshop.

Materials (most can be purchased from

  • writing paper and pencil for taking notes or making reflections
  • watercolor paper cut into 6” circles or round bleached or unbleached coffee filters. NOTE: Unbleached coffee filters will cause your colors to appear darker. 
  • glass plate or piece of aluminum foil for a palette.   
  • small gouache set
  • watercolor brushes, at least one ¾” flat
  • waterproof ink pens:Micron .03 or .05 or Uniball 

We’ll be using gouache, ink pens and watercolor paper, but you can work from home with the following:

  • crayons and/or watercolors with brushes (something to mix your paint and hold water)
  • black ink pen and/or pencil
  • any paper or round coffee filters that can be pressed flat
  • a glass plate or piece of aluminum foil for a palette.
  • water container for cleaning brushes
  • newspaper or cardboard to cover your workspace

2–3 pm Laura Splan, Precarious Structures

Laura Splan leads an exchange of pandemic reflections and memories while unraveling textiles with participants. This will be followed by a demonstration of basic weaving and spinning using wool from laboratory llamas who produce antibodies for vaccines. Participants will mail their unraveled threads to be included in Splan’s woven sculptures. All participants should bring a textile of their choice to unravel or take apart as well as a pair of scissors or seam ripper. While the unraveling collaboration is in progress, participants will be asked to adjust the angle of their web cameras to focus on their hands.   

2:30–3 pm Elizabeth Morisette, Creating Sculptural Upcycled Paper Baskets

Fiber artist Elizabeth Morisette teaches you how to make sculptural baskets.  Using simple materials found around the house, participants will learn a coiling technique they can use to create baskets or large sculptures out of recycled books and other paper materials.


  • stapler and staples
  • paper (maps, newspaper, wrapping paper, any thin paper will work)
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Optional: acrylic paint and mod podge   

3:15–4:15 pm Heather Williams, Hands In the Earth

Heather Williams leads a sculpting workshop, utilizing clay to create mask-like works of art called Witnesses. The forms are inspired by the ancient Ife sculptures of Benin. Using earth as the material to facilitate healing, the discussion will focus on creating a sense of agency with regards to climate change. While exploring the ways in which human hands can affect the world, participants will use clay as a symbol of the earth to create something new—their own Witnesses to hands in the earth.   


  • Amaco air-dry clay  is recommended
  • newspaper, magazines, junk mail, anything that can be balled up into an oval shape
  • masking tape 
  • clay tools or household items such as fork, spoon, a small knife, sponge, spray bottle with water 

3:30–4 pm Yixuan Pan, How to Clean a Window

On cleaning, self-caring, and being bored. When the industrial revolution welcomes the age of Anthropocene, what can we do under self-quarantine? Yixuan Pan invites you to join her meditative window-cleaning routine. With unprecedented globalization, we are not only sharing economy, but health. By connecting our window-cleaning routines together, our solitude transforms into solidarity.


  • A window to clean

4:15–5:15 pm LabSynthE, One Breath Poem: Message for a Revolution

One Breath Poem: Message for a Revolution is a collection of recordings of poetic contributions expressed in a single exhale, made in response to police brutality and systemic racism. In this workshop, participants respond to our state of emergency by writing one-breath poems and calling our hotline to record them.


  • your breath
  • your voice
  • your willingness to write creatively
  • a phone (landline, “dumb”, or “smart")

4:30–5:30 pm Alexandra Hammond, Museum of Me

Alexandra Hammond leads a guided visualization where we envision our own bodies as museums and observe what arises in this imagined and embodied space. The meditation is followed by reflection and exchange in the form of journaling and conversation.


  • a quiet place where you can comfortably sit with your eyes closed
  • loose leaf paper or journal of any kind
  • pen or pencil to write and/or draw with

About the Artists

Learn more about the ARTexchange artists and collectives.

Image—Laura Splan, "Unraveling", 2020

Please review our health and safety protocols before you arrive. MAD strongly recommends all visitors six months and older are vaccinated against Covid-19 and visitors ages two and up wear face coverings, even if vaccinated. Thank you for your cooperation.

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