James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

52: The Community of Critique

Last week’s start on this series investigating community led to learning quite a bit about food related community events taking place in the midwest. Margot Harrington shared with me an art project in the Twin Cities earlier this year. Think of a large, community table, but a half-mile long and the whole community sharing a meal. Another is from Lauren Miller of the fantastic Chicago-based Black Girl in Om that hosts a monthly holistic meal series called Food Church. Every month, there’s a new theme with this month being southern-inspired grub with a healthy twist. Email her if you’d like to check that out on March 29th.

——

recently had a studio visit with Black Radical Imagination. They happened to be in town because later that afternoon they were hosting a public critique group in partnership with the School of the Art Institute Chicago. The style of the critique mimicked speed dating, each artist was given 15 minutes to show their work and have critiques from a general public audience and curators of Black Radical Imagination.

The afternoon was donned with a single projector and a room of ~60 chairs. As the work was placed on screen, artists chatted their way through the screenings, giving insight as the audience rapidly jotted and tapped away on analog and digital notebooks. Nervousness filled the air as egos were forced to face a sea of eyeballs, with many artists giving the appearance that they were expecting a verbal firing squad. Instead of the stereotype of malice laced negative feedback, a desire to help everyone to become a better filmmaker, photographer, sculptor, and performance artist.

As the variety of artists went up and took the good and the bad, you could sense the trust, vulnerablity and focus in the room. Communities mean that you should feel like you could be yourself among others and know that you will be taken at face value, with betterment of everyone in the end. Honesty and realness are the key to a soild critique circle.

Thanks for reading,

-James

What did I find interesting this week?

  1. Congratulations on Your Opinion: Embrace the decisions made by the person creating the art/food/movie you are indulging.

  2. Twitter text shots, and what design wants: If you use Twitter, you may have noticed that a lot of folks are posting screenshots of text lately.

  3. A studio interview with RH Timber: Ana Brazaityte of Truss & Ore jewelry did a long-form interview with an independent Chicago furniture maker, Riley Henderson. If you love images of saws, and reading about the process of furtniture? This.

James T. Green