Monday, March 31, 2008

Gotta Quit The Undercut

Come on artists, where is your sense of solidarity? Your admiration for the integrity and commitment of others? PUT ASIDE YOUR EGOS. PLEASE.
Artcade forum posted a particularly unfair entry on its "critique night" with the American University MFA students. They implied that the students were uninformed, unprepared and inarticulate during their bizarrely organized, choppy critiques and guest talk with Jeffry Cudlin.
I find it very inappropriate to ostensibly organize an event for generating dialog and run home to unexpectedly slam both the students and the institution online. I left the event feeling pleased that these students had been offered suggestions, had a chance to speak about their work with a semi-professional audience and hopefully had some information to chew on in the weeks before their first year and exit shows.
I am terribly disappointed to discover that the presupposition of support and excitement the students had going into this event was met with an unnecessarily cold assessment of their progress.
Blog for good, it doesn't make you any less of a person to say something nice about your fellow artists, students, and community members.

That being said:
A really awesome job done by all, it was a pleasure to get to see a preview of their end of year shows!

Zac Willis and his many interpretations of the self portrait

Kate Gartrell and her gestural figures

Lauren Rice's mixed media wall installations

Lana Stephens' Pastel portraits

Bradley Chriss' surreal, sexual drawings

Nikki Painter's drawing and collage work


We're all entitled to our opinions, we have the capacity to articulate and/or publish them, and we'd be boring without them, but: the best way to be supportive is to extend yourself as a resource, offer useful suggestions, and don't write people off, especially when they're still learning.