Embrace Creatives gives Local Detroit Artists and Designers an Opportunity to Get and Give Necessary Artwork Critiques
Our first Feedback Forum at Galerie Camille (our Empower Partner) in Detroit was a HUGE success as it brought together artists and designers looking for support, ideas and “fresh eyes” on their work to guide them past sticking points. (This was our first event of this type and we’re already gearing up for another one because it was SO powerful and connective.)
Galerie Camille provided wine and the safe space for us to really dive deep and share our personal experiences behind our work, including the death of a loved one and confusion on how to do business side of art. Exposing faults, wrong turns, and the fact that you “just don’t know where to go” with a piece can be a vulnerable experience but as we all took center stage, we drew strength from one another.
We gathered in a circle with our art “hidden” until we were called to present. One by one, we shared our art and our frustrations or specific questions about our work, as deeply as our comfort zone would allow then the viewers would gently but passionately express what they saw, where THEY got stuck in the piece’s composition and then “ooh” and “ahhh”, especially when the artist shared the background of their creation, their “why”…
Canvases were repositioned, turned on their head to explore new views, GLITTER was mentioned numerous times (and we laughed) as we handled and explored crevices and textures of the 3D work. I was touched by the amount of insight and ideas our EC Members gave to one another. And because there were numerous types of artists there (photography, ceramics, printmaking, mixed media, encaustic, fiber and painting) we brought different ways of looking at the same piece which was invaluable. Each artist took what they wanted from the feedback but it gave us a lot of stuff to chew on back in the studio. Here’s a few comments from our Feedback Forum guests;
The critique group gently provided thoughtful and helpful suggestions for improvement of art piece or ideas for marketing. They were very positive and encouraging. -Linda Allen, mixed media
Having a space where artists can feel comfortable and safe sharing unfinished or finished pieces is really special. It can be hard to ask for help or advice on something so close to you. The event couldn’t have been run better, the comments and advice the artists gave were so helpful. I hope in the future, more artists take advantage of this opportunity. –Leah Cohen, fine artist
I felt validated as an artist by my peers, does it get any better than that? I’m still in a euphoria bubble… -Tina Towell, fiber
Last night’s feedback session was a lot of fun and very useful. I wanted feedback re: a new direction I was taking, and I got it. -Ken Axelrad, mixed media
It was a wonderful, positive and reassuring group to talk with. –Wendy Wernet, encaustic
Networking with other creatives is often positive especially when they were so willing to discuss their struggles and common obstacles. Different perspectives suggested alternatives and the potential for viable solutions. It was particularly nice to critique a variety of art in varied media as it allows for new ideas for expressing one’s own artistic viewpoint. Exploring new marketing options and business considerations was also a welcome component. Of course, such a congenial group and a wonderful venue enhanced all aspects of the evening. I’m looking forward to the next one. -Jamie Feldman, photography
When it was my turn, well, I told the story of the canvas (a figure study taken from someone’s trash) that I reworked and expressed that I’m not an abstract artist so they would cut me some slack. I envisioned everyone saying, “Scrap it” or “Try again” because, in my own head I was absolutely CONVINCED that the place where I was “stuck” in my piece had to be reworked, completely. I brought chalk to mark up my canvas because I was sure I would be told to fix areas but to my surprise, my chalk never left the box. Where I saw “STOP! Redo it”, my colleagues saw important tension and energy. Where I saw a “horrible” yellow, they saw a powerful color that popped. When, during our discussion of my work, I mentioned that I almost white washed the areas that were giving me angst, they screamed, “Noooo!!!!”… I didn’t expect that and it was amazing. Having a studio at home, with no one to ask questions of, this feedback forum was a shining light and I absolutely cherished being able to share my professional art ideas with the others on their pieces.
As a connector, art business coach and now, startup founder, it’s important that I not only find ways to bring my artistic community together but that these events bring value and if possible, fun! Feedback Forum, like Mix With a Maker, is a keeper for sure. I hope you can make it to our next one. Look for the announcement in our newsfeed, our Newsletter and via social media.
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