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Distinguished Teaching of Art Award

The Distinguished Teaching of Art Award, established in 1972, is presented to an individual who has been actively engaged in teaching art for most of their career. This award is presented to an artist of distinction who has developed a philosophy or technique of instruction based on their experience as an artist; has encouraged their students to develop their own individual abilities; and/or has made some contribution to the body of knowledge loosely called theory and understood as embracing technical, material, aesthetic, and perceptual issues.

2023 WINNER

Mary Lum 

Mary Lum is CAA’s 2023 Distinguished Teaching of Art Award recipient. Lum, an accomplished visual artist in her own right, has been a professor of painting and drawing at Bennington College in Vermont since 2005, and prior to that taught at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Among her many notable contributions as an educator is her ability to nurture a passion for art making in her students that has taken many of them from foundational studies, to graduate school, and to successful professional practices as artists, art directors, curators, and academic professors.    

Steven Frost, Assistant Professor and Faculty Director, University of Colorado Boulder says of his time as a foundation student under Lum; “With her help I began to understand a creative practice needed to be fed by more than time in the studio . . . She took the time to bring me up to speed and prepare me for the professional world.”   

Rebekah Modrak, foundation student, current professor University of Michigan, STAMPS School of Art and Design says of Lum “Thank goodness her main concern was the possibility that there might be compelling artists lurking below our early and often tenuous attempt at artmaking.” “When I think of moments in my life that changed my trajectory,” says former student and UK-based art director and curator Christine Serchia, “Mary Lum is responsible for multiple moments.”    

CAA is excited to recognize Mary Lum’s more than two decades of teaching with this award.   

Jury members:   

Derek G. Larson, Purdue University, Chair  
Stephen Fakiyesi, Independent Artist  
Jessica Hong, Art Museum    

Past Winners

The first five winners of the Distinguished Teaching of Art Award—Josef Albers, Tony Smith, Philip Guston, Jack Tworkov, and Grace Hartigan—are all major figures from the American modernist canon. Demonstrating effectively that the teaching and practice of art is often inseparable, each professor has influenced thousands of art students over the years, in mediums ranging from sculpture (Lester Van Winkle), painting (Wayne Thiebaud, Mercedes Matter), and printmaking (Robert Blackburn) to photography (Jerry N. Uelsmann), new media (Margaret Lovejoy), and interdisciplinary practices (Hans Haacke, Vernon Fisher).

2022 Fred Hagstrom, Carleton College
Jury: Beauvais Lyons, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, chair; Jessica S. Hong, Hood Museum of Art; and Stephen Fakiyesi, Independent Artist, Toronto. 

2021 Dona Nelson, Tyler School of Art, Temple University 
Jury: Beauvais Lyons, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Jessica S. Hong, Hood Museum of Art; Helen O’Toole, University of Washington; and Lisa Austin, Civitas Social Sculpture.  

2020 Annet Couwenberg, Maryland Institute College of Art
Jury: Kristy Deetz, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, chair; Beauvais Lyons, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and Sue Johnson, St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

2019 Susanne Slavick, Carnegie Mellon University 
Jury: Brian Bishop, Framingham State University, chair; Kristy Deetz, University of Wisconsin–Green Bay; Sue Johnson, St. Mary’s College of Maryland 

2018 Helen Frederick, School of Art and Design, George Mason University
Jury: Reni Gower, Virginia Commonwealth University, chair; Brian Bishop, Framingham State University; and Anita Jung, University of Iowa.

2017 Virginia Derryberry, University of North Carolina at Asheville
Jury: Reni Gower, Virginia Commonwealth University, chair; Brian Bishop, Framingham State University; and Anita Jung, University of Iowa.

2016 Sabina Ott, Columbia College Chicago
Jury: Jacki Apple, Art Center College of Design, chair; Reni Gower, Virginia Commonwealth University; and Anita Jung, University of Iowa

2015 Richard Brown
Jury: Karen Kunc, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, chair; Jacki Apple, Art Center College of Design; and Virginia Derryberry, University of North Carolina, Asheville

2014 Reni Gower, Virginia Commonwealth University
Jury: Karen Kunc, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, chair; Jacki Apple, Art Center College of Design; and Virginia Derryberry, University of North Carolina, Asheville

2013 Buzz Spector, Washington University in Saint Louis
Jury: Karen Kunc, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, chair; Margot Lovejoy, Purchase College, State University of New York; and Dean Nimmer, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (emeritus) and Holyoke Community College

2012 Jacki Apple, Art Center College of Design
Jury: Barbara Tisserat, Virginia Commonwealth University, chair; Margot Lovejoy, Purchase College, State University of New York; and Dean Nimmer, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (emeritus) and Holyoke Community College

2011 William Itter, Indiana University
Jury: Debra Drexler, University of Hawai‘i, chair; Dean Nimmer, Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Holyoke Community College; and Barbara Tisserat, Virginia Commonwealth University

2010 Dean Nimmer, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Jury: Debra Drexler, University of Hawai‘i, chair; Barbara Tisserat, Virginia Commonwealth University; and Ronald Leax, Washington University in St. Louis

2009 Roland Reiss, Claremont Graduate University
Jury: Lester Van Winkle, Virginia Commonwealth University, chair; Debra Drexler, University of Hawai‘i; and Ronald Leax, Washington University in St. Louis

2008 Ronald A. Leax, Washington University in St. Louis
Jury: Michael Aurbach, Vanderbilt University, chair; Muriel Magenta, Arizona State University; Yong Soon Min, University of California, Irvine; and Lester Van Winkle, professor emeritus, Virginia Commonwealth University

2007 Margot Lovejoy, Purchase College, State University of New York
Jury: Michael Aurbach, Vanderbilt University, chair; Muriel Magenta, Arizona State University; Yong Soon Min, University of California, Irvine; and Lester Van Winkle, Virginia Commonwealth University

Lester Van Winkle

Lester Van Winkle

2006 Lester Van Winkle, Virginia Commonwealth University
Jury: Michael Krueger, University of Kansas, chair; Michael Aurbach, Vanderbilt University; Yong Soon Min, University of California, Irvine; Wayne Potrantz, University of Minnesota; and Muriel Magenta, Arizona State University

2005 Lloyd Menard, University of South Dakota
Committee: Christine M. Waters, University of Michigan, Flint, chair; Leslie King-Hammond, Maryland Institute of Art; Michael Krueger, University of Kansas; Wayne Potratz, University of Minnesota; and Gina Werfel, University of California, Davis

2004 Robert Reed, Yale University
Committee: Christine M. Waters, University of Michigan, Flint, chair; Leslie King-Hammond, Maryland Institute of Art; Michael Krueger, University of Kansas; Wayne Potratz, University of Minnesota; and Gina Werfel, University of California, Davis

2003 Harvey Breverman, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Committee: Thomas Morrissey, Community College of Rhode Island, chair; Christine Waters, University of Michigan, Flint; Leslie King-Hammond, Maryland Institute of Art; and Gina Werfel, University of California, Davis

2002 Hans Haacke, Cooper Union School of Art
Committee: Thomas Morrissey, Community College of Rhode Island, chair; Robert Rindler, Copper Union, Larry Thomas, San Francisco Art Institute; and Christine Waters, University of Michigan, Flint

2001 Jerry N. Uelsmann, University of Florida
Committee: Archie Rand, Columbia University, chair; Thomas Morrissey, Community College of Rhode Island; Larry Thomas, San Francisco Art Institute; and Robert Rindler, Cooper Union

2000 Winifred Lutz
Committee: Archie Rand, Columbia University, chair; Robert Rindler, Cooper Union; Norie Sato; and Larry Thomas, San Francisco Art Institute

1999 Ruth Weisberg, University of Southern California
Committee: John S. Gordon, Pratt Institute, chair; Archie Rand, Columbia University; Joseph M. Ruffo, University of Nebraska; and Norie Sato, independent artist

1998 Robert Swain, Hunter College, City University of New York
Committee: Ofelia Garcia, College of Arts and Communication, chair; John S. Gordon, Pratt Institute; Joseph M. Ruffo, University of Nebraska; and Norie Sato, independent artist

1997 Ken Ferguson
Committee: Ofelia Garcia, College of Arts and Communication, chair; William Conger, Northwestern University; John S. Gordon, Pratt Institute; Joseph M. Ruffo, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; and Raymond Saunders, California College of Arts and Crafts

1996 Edna Andrade
Committee: Diane Burko, chair; William Conger, Northwestern University; Ofelia Garcia; Joseph Ruffo, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; and Raymond Saunders, California College of Arts and Crafts

1995 Andrew Forge and Jules Heller
Committee: Joan Backes, South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, cochair; Diane Burko, Community College of Philadelphia, cochair; William Conger, Northwestern University; and Raymond Saunders, California College of Arts and Crafts

1994 Paul Brach
Committee: Murry DePillars, Virginia Commonwealth University, chair; Joan Backes, South Dartmouth, Massachusetts; Diane Burko, Community College of Philadelphia; and Carolyn Manosevitz, Austin Community College

1993 Richard Carlyon, Virginia Commonwealth University
Committee: Murry DePillars, Virginia Commonwealth University, chair; Joan Backes, Kansas City Art Institute; Carolyn Manosevitz, Austin Community College; and Idelle Weber, Harvard University

1992 Vernon Fisher, University of North Texas
Committee: Murry DePillars, Virginia Commonwealth University, chair; Leonard Hunter, San Francisco State University; Carolyn Manosevitz, Austin Community College; and Idelle Weber, Harvard University

1991 William Daley, University of the Arts; and Sylvia Lark, University of California, Berkeley
Committee: Leonard Hunter, San Francisco State University, chair; Robert Blackburn, Printmaking Workshop; and Suzanne Stephenson, Eastern Michigan University

1990 Robert Blackburn, Printmaking Workshop
Committee: Vivian Browne, Rutgers University, chair; Harry Nadler; and Adolf Rosenblat

1989 Vivian Browne, Rutgers University
Committee: Nancy Macko, chair; George Bayliss; and Beatrice Rivas Sanchez, Kansas City Art Institute

1988 Wilbur Niewald, Kansas City Art Institute
Committee: Beatrice Rivas Sanchez, Kansas City Art Institute, chair; George Bayliss, Tyler School of Art, Temple University; and Nancy Macko, Scripps College

1987 George McNeil, Pratt Institute
Committee: Cynthia Carlson, chair; Roger Gilmore, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Leonard Lehrer; and Arizona State University, Tempe

1986 Bernard Chaet, Yale University
Committee: William Bailey, chair; Pat Adams, Bennington College; and Wayne Thiebaud, University of California, Davis

1985 Leon Golub, Rutgers University
Committee: Ellen Lanyon, chair; Robert Arneson, University of California, Davis; and Nancy Graves

1984 Pat Adams, Bennington College
Committee: Barbara Zucker, University of Vermont, chair; Peter Plagens; and Roy Slade

1983 Elmer Bischoff
Committee: Sandy Wormfeld, chair; Joan Brown; and Grace Hartigan

1982 Gyorgy Kepes
Committee: Ed Colker, chair; Jerome Hausman; and Wayne Thiebaud

1981 Wayne Thiebaud
Committee: James McGarrell, chair; Robert Gray; and Howardena Pindell

1980 Mauricio Lasansky
Committee: Rudy Pozzatti, chair; Richard Black; Nathan Oliviera; Clare Romano; and William Walmsley

1979 Louis Finkelstein
Committee: Wolf Kahn, chair; Dore Ashton; Edward Betts; George Bunker; and Jason Seley

1978 Mercedes Matter
Committee: Miriam Schapiro, chair; Natalie Charkow; and David Pease

1977 Grace Hartigan
Committee: Miriam Schapiro, chair; Natalie Charkow, and David Pease

1976 Jack Tworkov
Committee: Rudy Pozzatti, chair; Dore Ashton; William Bailey; and Miriam Schapiro

1975 Philip Guston
Committee: Rudy Pozzatti, chair; Dore Ashton; William Bailey; and Miriam Schapiro

1974 Tony Smith
Committee: Ed Wilson, chair; Al Held; Rudy Pozzatti; Barbara Rose; Miriam Schapiro; and Donald Judd

1973 Josef Albers
Committee: Ed Wilson, chair; Garo Antreasian; William Bailey; Katherine Kuh;and George Rickey