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The Studio Critique

-a crit’s purpose is to help an artist better understand their work, to instigate new ideas or directions, to constructively determine what the work does and does not convey.

-The studio critique can be what the artist wants it to be--in progress, finished work, or mapped ideas of work. It is the artist’s job to determine what is necessary for the audience to evaluate a specific piece. How might they introduce their work, should they provide any background information, does the work has a specific context in which to be viewed, or a specific place to be viewed?

-the artist should remember that the visitor is giving them their time and attention and should be respectful to their audience. Likewise, the audience should keep the conversation from too distantly leaving the work presented. The length and context of the critique are important to consider.

-Be prepared. Background information on your visitor can encourage what you want to discuss or arouse specific questions. The artist should also mentally prepare themselves and have written questions to for lulls in conversation. They should have an idea of what they want from the critique but be open if the conversation takes another direction.

-The artist should first introduce themselves and explain what they want from the critique without directly addressing their work. A time period of silent investigation of the work should follow. The visitors should begin the conversation. Explain their experience with the work; provide allusions, criticisms, etc. At some point midway through the conversation, the conversation should turn to the artist where the artist can provide explanations and ask questions. The second half of the critique should more of a back and forth conversation between the artist and the audience.

-the artist should experiment with different methods of critique. These varying experiences can help the artist determine a format for a specific work or body of work to be critiqued.

-it is important to thank the audience.