The Contemporary Austin aims to create a cultural center of gravity in Austin for a variety of experiences linked to contemporary art. We offer many dynamic opportunities for artists.
Talks and Events
The Contemporary Austin brings internationally renowned curators, artists, and art professionals to Austin for engaging talks and programs related to current exhibitions and a range of contemporary art subjects.
See all upcoming events here!
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. Crit Group comprises six required monthly three-and-a-half-hour evening sessions with co-leaders and informal gatherings organized by the participating artists. Crit Group is led by an artist and curators/museum professionals Sterling Allen, Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, and Andrea Mellard.
Crit Group is free for participating artists, with application acceptance.
Congratulations to our 2019 Crit Group!
- Veronica Ceci
- Madeline Irvine
- Paloma Mayorga
- Virginia Lee Montgomery
- Michael Muelhaupt
- Manik Raj Nakra
- Matthew Steinke
- Jenn Wilson
The 2019 Crit Group will culminate in a group exhibition at Austin’s grayDUCK Gallery opening on July 27 and on view through August 25, 2019.
Learn more here.
Open Call for Crit Group 2020, along with further information including application instructions, will be announced in the fall of 2019.
- 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 formal 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. Artists need not have a website or a commercially oriented art practice to apply.
Crit Group Artist Testimonials
Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what past participating artists have to say about Crit Group!
“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.”
“Overall, the program was one of the most beneficial experiences since graduate school. There aren't many programs like this and I'm grateful I was selected to participate. I hope other cities look at the Crit Group as an example of how to initiate programs in their own communities.”
“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 entered my life at the perfect time. I was transitioning between more commercial work to showing at galleries. I was preparing for a few gallery shows and the feedback I received was extremely helpful in influencing the new work I created.”
2019 Crit Group 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 a curator of modern and contemporary art—most recently as Curator at Large at the Blanton Museum of Art—Carlozzi has created seminal exhibitions, produced important commissions, and acquired major works by a wide range of artists. She has been a consultant/advisor/board member/panelist for over 50 national and regional organizations including Creative Capital, Artpace, 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 and arts writer.
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 over seventeen years of museum experience, and an MA in American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin inflects her interdisciplinary approach to contemporary culture.
Membership is an accessible way to be on the front lines of contemporary art and culture in Austin while providing essential support to The Contemporary Austin's exhibitions, public programs, and educational opportunities.
Artists are eligible for a 30% discount on Individual memberships. Please contact Nadine Pennypacker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512 458 8191 x 141, or visit one of our locations to retrieve discount code. Proper credentials, such as ID, CV, or website address will be verified.