On behalf of the ARLIS/NA and VRA Executive Boards, Joint Conference Co-Chairs Alan Michelson and Joshua Polansky, the Seattle Conference Planning Team, and the ARLIS/NA Northwest and the VRA Pacific Rim Chapters, we are delighted to welcome you to the 3rd joint ARLIS/NA + VRA conference March 8 – 12, 2016, in beautiful and lively Seattle, Washington. Marking the 44th Annual Conference of ARLIS/NA and the 34th Annual Conference of VRA, join us as we explore the affinities among art and visual information professionals through our conference theme, Natural Connections.
The ARLIS/NA + VRA Joint Annual Conference provides myriad opportunities to meet and reconnect with colleagues from around the world, learn about innovative projects and practices, engage in discussion about current trends and issues of most concern to our profession, and explore the easily accessible attractions found in this world-class city. We hope conference attendees will extend their visits to devote ample time to study at a THATCamp digital humanities unconference planned ahead of the conference for March 8, and the annual meeting of the Association of Architecture School Librarians (AASL), March 11 – 13, 2016, which will overlap with the end of our joint conference. The ARLIS/NA + VRA Seattle conference planning committee has worked with AASL leadership to provide reciprocal cross-listed programming, such as sessions and tours, of interest to members in all three organizations. We warmly welcome THATCamp and AASL attendees to our meeting and know that these complementary events will provide relevant and timely content for many ARLIS/NA + VRA conference attendees.
Seattle offers a wealth of extraordinary art, culture, and natural environment experiences. Special conference events will be held at magnificent venues within easy walking distance of the conference hotel, The Westin Seattle, such as the Welcome Reception at the Seattle Art Museum and the Convocation Reception at the Seattle Public Library. Also located near the hotel are numerous art galleries; the Pioneer Square historic district; the Pike Place Market; the Waterfront, home of the Seattle Aquarium; and the Seattle Center, which includes the iconic Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum, for starters.
Seattle’s excellent public transportation system offers convenient access to many more of the city’s offerings, such as the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the Frye Art Museum, and the Museum of History & Industry. The Westlake Center Station, located just two blocks from the Westin, is a public transportation hub that connects visitors to the airport and other destinations via light rail, bus, and monorail. Our local arrangements co-chairs Traci Timmons and Cindy Abel Morris, in collaboration with AASL leadership, have organized an enticing selection of self-guided and scheduled tours to many fantastic Seattle destinations. Be sure to consult the program for more information.
Program Co-Chairs Denise Hattwig, Dan McClure, Mar González Palacios, and Chris Strasbaugh have developed an enriching program of papers, workshops, and sessions that will address current and emergent topics of mutual interest to professionals centered in art and architecture libraries, visual resources facilities, archives, and museums. Together we will explore issues relating to digital and analog collections; digital humanities and new technologies; environments, including architecture, facilities, and planning; management and professional development; and instruction and outreach.
With the many Natural Connections created by this dynamic gathering of like-minded colleagues, thought provoking sessions, practical workshops, beautiful exhibits, festive social gatherings, and diverse cultural offerings, the stimulating Seattle conference will help us navigate the waters of our professional past and present, and guide our ascent as we rise together to meet the challenges of the future.
We look forward to meeting you there!