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The Soul of the Studio

A Crit Labber who was moving studios- from a space outside to one inside her home expressed surprise at the level of grief she experienced, to leave a studio of many years, even while knowing the new studio was the right move. I responded that it makes sense to grieve; the studio is a space of the soul.

This will be a tumultuous year on many fronts. As we begin this new session, let's dream together about objects to create, ideas to explore, artistic families to build, community to nurture, change to enact in the work and in the world.


Happy New Year!
Artists and Leadership, Artists and Love

In rooms all over the world, artists gather. They talk about materials and process, they argue about movements and terminology, they share their work in passionate critique. As in any community, they breathe together, eat and drink together, and spend hours sharing common space. The studio is solitary, and the world outside does not always notice or share our concerns. Art making is internal and introverted, while the artwork looks out at the world, forward facing, hungry to be seen.

Each month I write a free-ranging missive with my thoughts on art and life for the month's Crit Lab.

November 2019
On art, life, and the death of a loved one.....

October was a busy and difficult month. Upon arriving home from London, a decades-long dear friend became very ill after a 2-year struggle with leukemia. After nearly a month in the ICU, sadly he passed away November 1. As his health proxy, I was dealing with doctors and decisions and many hours at the hospital wishing for the best outcomes. Now I continue as his executor, to manage his affairs and try my best to honor his wishes.

I just returned from a quick whirlwind art trip to London with 6 artists, exhausted and completely inspired. Traveling to a new place (albeit one I lived in in my "youth") and seeing art is such an enlightening experience. London is a lot like NYC, an international art city, filled with world class museums and galleries. (and not insignificantly, amazing food everywhere, from the lowest to highest end!). I found that I was "looking" in a different way, perusing more openly, discovering objects and works that at home I might not otherwise spend time on. When home I tend to see new exhibitions in arenas I am interested in, look at gallery shows of new works, follow the latest discussions. At home I rarely revisit permanent collections, time periods or cultural movements outside my main interests. This is primarily a time issue, at home there is much to do- so museum and gallery visits on my rare days free are reserved for the "latest" scholarship. Being in a new place meant my mind was free to roam, to look at objects without my usual agendas, outside my usual interests. This was liberating, enthralling, and left me all the more convinced of my love of art, and museums and galleries as institutions, even with all their (many) problematics. I felt full of the same joy as always, to see objects crafted by humans over vast time and place, and the life force, the sheer human presence all these objects represent, combined by the openness of being in a place far from home.....

a presto,

Welcome newcomers and returning Labbers!

I am looking forward to the Crit Lab fall sessions. After busy summer travels and lots of changes, it feels like it's been so long since the last sessions ended. I hope you are all well- and ready to dive in to some hearty discussion.

Visit to Jason Stopa's solo exhibition at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects

The Crit Lab was excited to visit Jason Stopa's exquisite exhibition at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects on the lower east side in Manhattan. Jason was gracious enough to join us and give us some private insights into his work and his process. Thank you Jason! 

Look for more Crit Lab activities this fall!