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Committee on Women in the Arts


Committee on Women in the Arts (photograph by Bradley Marks)

The Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA) promotes the scholarly study and recognition of women’s contributions to the visual arts and to critical and art-historical studies; advocates for feminist scholarship and activism in art; develops partnerships with organizations with compatible missions; monitors the status of women in the visual-arts professions; provides historical and current resources on feminist issues; and supports emerging artists and scholars in their careers.

Recent Projects

The Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA) researches and makes available published studies on the status of women in the arts while working with CAA to analyze women’s current professional status through questionnaires and databases. CWA collaborates with CAA affiliated societies such as ArtTable, the Feminist Art Project, the Women’s Caucus for Art, and the Queer Caucus (many of whose memberships overlap). Over the years, CWA has worked with other CAA committees—Diversity Practices, Education, and Student and Emerging Professionals, for example—to organize events for the CAA Annual Conference.  CWA is involved in the ongoing project of identifying organizations and funding sources that support women in the arts. As this information comes to light, it will be available online to the CAA membership.

CWA Picks

Each month, CWA presents a selection of exhibitions, conferences, symposia, panels, lectures, and other events for the CWA Picks. CWA Picks highlights art and scholarship by women that address gender issues.

Distinguished Feminist Award

In 2007, the CAA Board of Directors established the Distinguished Feminist Award, which honors a person who, through his or her art, scholarship, or advocacy, has advanced the cause of equality for women in the arts. CWA helps to identify nominees to be honored at the CAA Annual Conference.  From 1996–2008, CWA presented Annual Recognition Awards  to artists and scholars who have had a significant impact on feminist art, art history, theory, and/or criticism.

Survey on the Status of Women and People of Color on the Faculty of Art-History Programs

A Survey on the Status of Women and People of Color on the Faculty of Art-History Programs has been conducted by CWA in 1973, 1978–1979, 1987–1988, and 1995–1996. Kathleen MacQueen and Marjorie Och prepared the most recent survey between 1996 and 1998. Together with CAA, CWA will advance questions and concerns about gender and racial equality in art and art history departments across the country.

Committee Members (2017–18)

Jennifer Rissler, San Francisco Art Institute, Chair
Sampada Aranke, San Francisco Art Institute
Susanneh Bieber, Texas A&M University
Amanda Cachia, University of California, San Diego
Andy Campbell, Rice University
Jenn Dierdorf, AIR Gallery, The Feminist Art Project
Helen C. Frederick, George Mason University, CAA Board Liaison (ex officio)
Alyssa Fridgen, Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Joanna Gardner-Huggett, DePaul University
Johanna Gosse, postdoctoral fellow, Columbia University
Jim Hopfensperger, Western Michigan University, CAA Board Liaison (ex officio)
Vanessa Jalet, CAA Staff Liaison (ex officio)
Heather Belnap Jensen, Brigham Young University
Caitlin Margaret Kelly, Power Plant Gallery, Duke University
Kalliopi Minioudaki, independent art historian
Laura E. Sapelly, Pennsylvania State University
Miriam Schaer, Columbia College Chicago
Jean Shin, Pratt Institute