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A Philosophy to the Practice of the Studio Critique

So often an artist gets little feedback about their work. Maybe at an opening reception they might get to hear and see how a viewer interacts with a work. Or they might have a friend or colleague take a look. Other than that artists are left without a public perception on how their art is interpreted. The studio critique is a format that allows an artist to get that feedback in a constructive environment. It may be used to help develop an idea or simply a chance to hear and see what people think. The studio critique allows an artist to get a sneak peek on the effect of their art before it is shown to the masses. It allows the artist to make adjustments; it allows their ideas to grow. It is a chance to learn from others, to see the work from someone else’s viewpoint.

Guide to the Practice of the Studio Critique

Step one.

Set up the your work in an appropriate fashion. They way you envision it showing at a gallery. Don’t leave odds and ends lying about. This detracts from the work. Before the critique question yourself on the meaning of the work. Ask yourself why it matters and what you are trying to do with it. Basically, be prepared to defend your ideas and how the work relates.

Step two.

Have the participants in the critique view the work. Stay silent. Don’t explain yourself. Have the participants give their feedback. Let them discuss the work as if you are not there. This will allow you to see how the work is interpreted. It gives you the chance to see if your ideas are conveyed through the piece. If no ones talking let the awkward silence build up, don’t fold, someone will speak up.

Step three.

Inform the participants on what you were thinking about when you conceived the idea and in the process of creation. Tell them what you were trying to convey. If your idea came across loud and clear acknowledge the success. Answer any questions that arose during step two.

Step four.

Open up to discussion. Ask questions.