Deadline for Crit Group Program 2020 Applications: Midnight, Sunday, December 1, 2019
Crit Group is free for participating artists, with application acceptance.
The Contemporary Austin’s Crit Group program builds a community and network of critical support for working artists dedicated to growing their artistic practices. Monthly sessions focus on traditional group art critique to provide peer feedback for a new body of work and current work in progress. Participating artists receive two critiques. Further opportunities for focused feedback and professional growth include one-on-one studio visits with co-leaders and grayDUCK gallerist. A portion of sessions include gaining relevant professional development and discussing the work artists do when not making artwork. Topics addressed may include writing an effective artist’s statement, applying for grants and residencies, marketing your work, public speaking, sustaining a holistic creative life, and more. The program culminates in a satellite group exhibition at grayDUCK gallery, Austin, in August 2020. The exhibition will both showcase participating artists’ new art made during the program and act as an opportunity to apply newly-honed professional development skills.
Crit Group comprises seven required monthly three-hour evening sessions with co-leaders and informal gatherings organized by the participating artists. Steered by an artist and curators/museum professionals Sterling Allen, Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, and Andrea Mellard, Crit Group seeks applications for 2020.
- Open to artists working in all disciplines living and working in Travis County
- Open to artists with at least 3–5 years of professional activity outside of any degree-granting programs (BA, BFA, and/or MFA)
- Commitment to full participation including attending Crit Group meetings and some informal sessions. Participation in exhibition required.
- Ideal for: Working artists in active production who are career-oriented as well as conceptually and technically rigorous; artists willing and eager to accept critical feedback and gain insights into how others view their work; artists committed to a studio (or post-studio) practice; artists exploring a period of artistic transition; artists who have attended (either in the recent or distant past), or soon plan to attend, an MFA program and want to hone their focus; artists new to Austin seeking community and/or a network of engaged peers; artists from varied media practices, including interdisciplinary and those with familiarity with more than one medium.
Meetings: Tuesdays 6:30–9:30PM downtown at the Jones Center on Congress Avenue
January 7 (Meet & Greet at Laguna Gloria), January 21, February 11, March 3, March 24, April 14, May 12, June 2; Wrap-up meeting early September. (Attendance required)
In addition, artists will plan informal off-site gatherings of their choosing, such as a studio crawl, or gallery openings for the other artists to join. (Attendance encouraged)
Exhibition: August 8 – September 6, 2020. Exhibition Opening: Saturday, August 8, afternoon. Installation: August 3 – 6, 2020; Artist Talk: TBD
To apply, please send five images, an image list (including title, date, medium, dimensions), CV, brief artist statement about your work, plus a short statement describing what you hope to get out of the Crit Group program (no longer than one page) via free file sharing website, WeTransfer, to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and "Crit Group" in the message. Time-based artists are welcome to submit video and audio files. Applications accepted Friday, October 18 through Sunday, December 1.
Crit Group Artist Testimonials
Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what past participating artists have to say about Crit Group!
“My Crit Group experience has made my practice more consistent, encouraged much needed experimentation, and has impacted the direction of my work more than any other single experience in my career. The format and process of the crits fostered a positive environment that invited vulnerability, something that is truly unique to the program, and I felt that because of it I was able to share new ideas.”
“Crit Group was extremely helpful in navigating what was already a transitional time in my work. The feedback was so valuable as I explored new media and ideas to forge a path. I am also so glad to have a new group of artists to call on to continue these types of conversations, and to have my work shown to a new audience.”
“This was a truly fabulous experience for me as a newcomer to Austin. The community building, critical conversation, and the chance to exhibit and discuss my work in public were tremendous professional and personal opportunities.”
“This was one of the most valuable experiences I've had as a person, and an artist. The program is so comprehensive, is a great size, and the co-leaders and administrator were very open to sharing their experiences in the art world.”
“Crit Group is an amazing program. I feel lucky to have been a part of it when I did. During Crit Group seeds of ideas were planted, and I think the residual changes in my practice are going to be the best part. The consistency of meetings, hang outs, and studio work made that change happen. Thank you!”
Crit Group 2020 Co-Leaders
Sterling Allen holds an MFA in Sculpture from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College. He is a co-founder and co-director of Okay Mountain, an artist collective and former gallery based in Austin. As a solo artist and in collaboration with Okay Mountain, he has exhibited, organized, and completed projects at venues throughout the U.S. and received several residencies, including the Artpace International Artist-in-Residence Program in San Antonio. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Studio Art at Texas State University, where he teaches professional practice, 3-D Foundations, and Sculpture.
Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, a champion of local artist communities who stays abreast of international developments, has a keen eye for emerging talent and a steadfast commitment to looking beyond labels. Building an expansive practice as an institution-based curator of modern and contemporary art, Carlozzi has nurtured artists across disciplines in Minneapolis, Colorado, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Atlanta, New York, and especially Austin and statewide. She has been a consultant/advisor/board member/panelist for over 50 national and regional organizations including Creative Capital, the Nimoy Foundation, and UT's Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Named to the Austin Arts Hall of Fame in 2013, Carlozzi is now an independent curator with an upcoming show at Artpace's Hudson Showroom in 2020.
Andrea Mellard is the Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement for The Contemporary Austin and founder of Crit Group. She curates public programming that takes advantage of the museum’s two distinct sites—one urban and the other natural—and provides platforms for audiences to come together, investigate art, and create new experiences. Mellard has curated recent exhibitions and performances with Ragnar Kjartansson, Janine Antoni, Sanford Biggers, Nick Cave, Lucky Dragons, and Mark Mothersbaugh. She has worked with a multitude of emerging Texas artists for the New Art in Austin, Texas Prize and New Works exhibition programs (both at the formerly named Austin Museum of Art and AMOA-Arthouse). She has eighteen years of museum experience, and an MA in American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin inflects her interdisciplinary approach to contemporary culture.
Past Crit Group Co-Leaders
Sarah C. Bancroft is Executive Director of the James Rosenquist Foundation. An art historian and curator, Bancroft has held curatorial positions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Orange County Museum of Art and was Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs at Fluent~Collaborative/testsite in Austin. Her major exhibitions include Richard Diebenkorn; LOVE: George Herms; Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series; 2010 California Biennial, Two Schools of Cool; James Rosenquist: A Retrospective; and other projects. She specializes in modern and contemporary art, and co-led Crit Group with Andy Campbell, PhD, from 2014 to 2016.
Andy Campbell, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at USC Roski School of Art and Design, as well as an independent curator and critic. His writings have appeared in Artforum, Terremoto, Art Lies, Aperture, and The Austin Chronicle. He is the author of Queer X Design: 50 Years of Signs, Symbols, Banners, Logos, and Graphic Art of LGBTQ. Campbell participated as a Crit Group leader with Sarah C. Bancroft from 2014 to 2016.
2019 Crit Group
View works by the 2019 Crit Group in the image gallery below.
2018 Crit Group
View works by the 2018 Crit Group in the image gallery below.
2017 Crit Group
View works by the 2017 Crit Group in the image gallery below.
2016 Crit Group
View works by the 2016 Crit Group in the image gallery below.
2015 Crit Group
View works by the 2015 Crit Group in the image gallery below.
2014 Crit Group
- Bug Davidson
- Daedalus Hoffman (formerly HIXX Collective)
- Rachel Alex Christ (formerly HIXX Collective)
- Jeana Baumgardner
- Katy Horan
- Masumi Katoaka
- Olivia Moore
- Robert Jackson Harrington
- Teruko Nimura
View works by the 2014 Crit Group in the image gallery below.