Debi Pendell

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Visual Artist Independent Study & Critique

For many artists, the word ‘critique’ immediately brings to mind (and to heart) these dictionary synonyms: censure; find fault with; slam; slap; takedown; put down. Many artists avidly avoid critiques, having painfully experienced critique as disapproval. In the method taught and practiced in this workshop, critique means: to discuss the merits of; to analyze. We even employ what the dictionary considers antonyms for critique: compliment; praise. Critique is a necessary and valuable tool in the making of art, but it only functions when the goal is education and encouragement: everyone walks out of these critiques excited to get to work, to experiment, to play, to create.

By analyzing and speaking about the work of other artists, you learn tools and techniques that you can employ in your own work. By hearing educated and perceptive responses to your own work, you discover whether or not your work is being read in the way you intend. This is a unique opportunity to be that ‘fly on the wall’ and hear what is honestly said about the work you present.

In addition to critiquing the work of the other artists attending the residency, we will also go into museum exhibitions and explore some of those works. The intent is to analyze, understand, and clearly state one’s response in a way that enhances everyone’s experience – even when you don’t ‘like’ the work at all. You may very well discover just how useless the terms like and dislike are when it comes to engaging art and making art.

Each participating artist in this workshop-in-residence will develop their own project. The instructor is available for consultation in planning the project prior to the workshop. The instructor will provide targeted assistance to each and every artist tailored to the individual needs of their project. This includes one-on-one critiques, as well as technical assistance. 

$1,300 (includes 6 nights of housing & private studio for the week)

May 13- May 19, 2020

Email studios@massmoca.org to request a slot