Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Missoula Art Critique Group
Just got back from an Art critique group that my friend Carol O'Bagy started. I have to say that I can't encourage people enough to do this type of thing. Those of you who have taken my classes, know that I always end with a critique session...which often means my classes run a bit late. When I was in Art School I LOVED the critiques. One thing to remember is that often what you see in your head is not what everyone else sees. Remember, Art is communication, and the idea is to get your ideas across. The creator must be willing to defend his/her position and intention. Both the creator and the viewer grows from such and experience. My critiques are NEVER NEVER negative. I believe they should be about helping people grow, and not about shooting people down. I love when people give me suggestions...I may not always use them, but I always consider them, and sometimes when I do use them I wonder..."gee why didn't I think of that"
The hardest thing to do in a critique (if not down right impossible) is to be totally aesthetically neutral. We all come from a different point of view aesthetically, and we all have biases. But that is okay, those biases are worth hearing and considering. I do try and take on the position of "if I had your aesthetic, what would I do differently?". I'm not saying that it is easy to do that, but it is worth attempting, because it helps me understand and appreciate art that I may not initially gravitate towards. Plus, some of the issues that are addressed in the discussion, probably are applicable to my style.
In a nutshell. I think it's worthwhile venture. Thanks Carol and keep up the good work. Those Missoulians who are interested in participating drop me a line and I'll forward it to Carol. Those of you who want to start something in your neck of the woods, I did find a good article on starting and maintaining such groups online at Fiberarts Magazine. Check it out.