The Crit Lab

Critique is an encounter.

An Alternate Critical Community for Working Artists

founded in 2013 by artist, educator and curator Patricia Miranda

The Crit Lab is a community of working artists. Crit Lab participants are not students. We are artist driven, not mentor-driven. We engage as colleagues and fellow artists in a community of peers.

The Crit Lab is an alternate critical community for working artists outside academia to come together for sustained contact, with empathetic listening, radical optimism and rigorous dialogue, in an act of hope over destruction.

The Crit Lab is about the studio

The Crit Lab offers the intense dialogue and feedback of an MFA program, in a supportive and  nonjudgemental environment, without the agenda, degree, or high tuition. If you are actively working and want a higher level of dialogue around your work, miss the discourse of an academic program, and don’t want or require the piece of paper, The Crit Lab offers intentional space for work to flourish.

The Crit Lab is a supportive forum for exploration and discussion of new, vulnerable, in progress, and experimental works and ideas, as well as finished bodies of work. The connection and community transcend the Lab. The ongoing, intensive, inclusive, space of the meetings encourages work to flourish and grow in critical depth and perception, while building a strong community of committed artists.

The Lab is for artists at every level in their practice

The Lab invites artists who are serous about wanting to grow and push their work within a small intentional community. Success is defined by each artist's particular practice; "career" is not important. What matters in the Lab is that artists engage fully and consistently with their studio practice and with the group. Lab artists support one another to focus and push the work. Intentional community makes for profound change. 

Critters are all in!

The Crit Lab offers 5 month graduate-level critique seminars for artists engaged in serious discussion around their work. We employ a rigorous structure and pedagogy, with critical, supportive, feedback in small ongoing artist groups. The intensity of an ongoing 5 month conversation acts as an incubator, and helps create structures for a sustainable studio practice.

Rigorous critique in small ongoing groups

A: Curated Groups

One of the most important + unique aspects of the Crit Lab is the curation of the groups. Patricia Miranda combs through each application, visits every artist's website, and interviews applicants. This process forms groups in which work speaks to work in complex and meaningful ways. We create trust in a dynamic community, and feed and support both studio practice and artist. When the curated groups come together it is transformational.

B: Crit Lab Pedagogy

Another powerful component is the Crit Lab pedagogy, designed by Patricia from years of working with artists professionally and in grad and undergrad programs. Structured and language-focused, the pedagogy keeps discussions intensive and at a graduate level. We develop and learn critical observation and ethical language in a rigorous space of discussion. Artists develop the tools to effectively articulate ideas, and engage in a dialogue around their work and that of fellow artists. Together we explore the potentiality inherent in the work. We meet the work where it is and ask where it wants to go. And we help it get there. The Crit Lab is about the art- not the artist.

C: The Artists

The most powerful component is the Lab artists. Crit Lab participants are NOT students. This is an artist community of PEERS. At any level artists can come to this table - bring their work and their whole selves. Patricia guides the structure of the meetings, and brings much expertise and ideas to the table- but the table belongs to ALL.

The Crit Lab was founded by artist, curator and educator Patricia Miranda. Miranda designed a structured pedagogy to focus and deepen discussion beyond common subjective reactions, and to help support ethical structures in which artists can thrive. Additional faculty are available for one-on-one sessions and at the AltMFA.

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