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CAA Report by America Salomon, Recipient of the Judson-Morrissey Excellence in New Media Award

Hello! My name is America Salomon and I am incredibly honored to be the first annual recipient of the Judson-Morrissey Excellence in New Media Award from the New Media Caucus! Now that we've been formally introduced, please let me tell you a bit about myself, this award, and what it meant for me to receive it.

I am currently an MFA Interdisciplinary Arts and Media thesis candidate at Columbia College Chicago, where I am in the process of creating and mounting my thesis work, a video installation entitled América, Like the Country. As this work represents for me a manifestation of growing up as a first generation, Mexican-born, American-raised individual, I was thrilled to learn first and foremost that the New Media Caucus was seeking to engage with and support POC artists with this award.

"Double America 2" by Glenn Ligon, as seen at the Broad, offering a personal call to me.

This being the final year in my MFA program, I felt it was especially important that I attend the College Art Association (CAA) Annual Conference and interface with professionals engaged in the field of college art at least once before trying to emerge into that very field as a teaching artist myself in just a few short months.

That said, the New Media Caucus’ call was a very fortuitous find during this professional development endeavor, as it facilitated what would have otherwise been a still-fruitful, but financially challenging trip for a full-time student. Moreover, beyond financial support, this award linked me to a community of kindred artists, scholars, teachers, and makers within the very membership of the New Media Caucus itself.

Enough cannot be said about the immense benefit of feeling a sense of community in what can seem like a very siloed professional art world, and so going into a large conference like CAA with a new group of colleagues in the New Media Caucus was incredibly reassuring. Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles and first taking in the expansiveness of a new city, I was met with open arms by the New Media Caucus members with whom I’d been interacting virtually for weeks.

A panorama of Los Angeles, as seen from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

After going to sessions at the main conference, I attended the New Media Caucus’ showcase, where I was introduced to even more of the group’s constituents and offered a view of some of their creative work. It was fascinating to see the thematic overlaps and continuity that carried through from the conference and into the New Media Caucus’ showcase. Specifically for me, I was excited to see so much work considering notions of identity, belonging, and the immigrant experience, like the work of New Media Caucus member Ricardo Miranda.

Getting to see the work of other New Media Caucus members at their Member Showcase.

In all, my first time attending the College Art Association’s Annual Conference was nothing short of enlivening and I owe that experience in great part to the New Media Caucus and the Judson-Morrissey Excellence in New Media Award.

 

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