Crit Group Crew: Central Time Zone

Mentor: ASHLEIGH COLEMAN

Location: Ackerman, MS, USA

Mother to three children ages 9, 7 and 4

Knows these materials well: I am primarily a medium format film photographer— Hasselblad 500c/m.  I also shoot 35mm with a Leica M2, Nikon F, and Canon Rebel. Everything is sent to a lab to be processed and scanned (gotta outsource some things as a mother). I am proficient with a Canon Digital Mark III, PhotoShop, LightRoom, Bridge, as well as printing and framing work.

Website

IG: @ashleighcoleman

Specialties: Gallery representation, submitting work to juried exhibitions, writing artist statements, sequencing work, preparing for an exhibition, pricing work, setting personal goals, community building, and a background in art history.

“I feel like I have a unique perspective having put on 8 solo shows since January of 2017 in a variety of settings– five gallery shows, two shows alongside a photography event, and one show at a University. Through those experiences, I have learned a lot about curating my own work to tell a story through an exhibition, about working with galleries, about pricing work, about selling work, about keeping track of sold work, about networking. Furthermore, I have worked closely with a group of four other photographers in a collective to produce two diverse bodies of work and then exhibit that work in five different locations– museums, pop-ups, and photography center. From being mentored myself, I know that having someone come alongside to ask questions, to gently encourage, to offer the structure of a deadline (when needed) is invaluable. I also make it part of my practice to submit work on a regular basis to juried exhibitions, which has led to me learning a lot from the rejections and the acceptances. While there is always more to learn, I feel like I have a lot to share with not only other photographers, but also artists in other mediums (I worked for five years in a contemporary art gallery that sold the work of artists in South Carolina, Germany, and the Netherlands and I was an art history major in college– good grasp of the history of art through that training and also through continuing to visit art museums whenever feasible).”


Mentor: NIKI HAVEKOST

Location: Rochester, MN, USA

Mother to one 14 year old son

Knows these materials well: “For the last 18 months, I have been making larger than life figurative felt sculptures for an exhibition that is currently on view. I work mainly with fibers but I also draw. I love to make things that ride the beautiful/grotesque edge and bridge the craft/art worlds.”

Website

IG: @nikimade

Specialties: I can offer advice on where to find opportunities, how to organize yourself/materials to be most effective when applying for those opportunities; organizing your records for taxes; creating goals;

“I am comfortable talking with artists who make all sorts of things. I could advise an artist on technique with drawing, some printmaking and some sculpture processes. I am also really expert at what I call “you want to make this thing? What’s the best way to go about it? Materials? Who can help? Do you need a fabricator? How to find one?” It is really the way I work.”

Installation views

Mentor: LAURA WENNSTROM

Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Mother to two daughters under age 5

Knows these materials well: two and three dimensional formats using quilting, found materials, color, and installation techniques

Website

IG: @laurawennstrom

Specialties: sewing, quilting, using found textiles, mining used materials, creative time management, installation and presentation techniques, shipping and packing artwork, teaching at a college and community art level, editing writing, making do with what you have, balancing an art career with young children, making art work for you. Specific 2D and 3D techniques I have expertise in: drawing, acrylic painting, collage, printmaking, sculpture, installation, murals, textile work. 

“My critique style is encouraging and honest. I know that as a mom, all aspects of your life (and chaos!) come with you into the studio, and sometimes talking about an issue you are having with your kids helps you get to a place where you can make better art. I will encourage you to make time for yourself, to get creative with your resources, and know that I am challenging myself to do the same.” 


Mentor: BETH WELCH

Location: Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Mother to one 3 year old son

Knows these materials well: charcoal, pen, ink, specialty papers, painting

Website

IG: @bethwelchstudio

Specialties: Building Community and museum professionalism. Painting, drawing, ceramics, photography and mixed media. Empathizer, gentle feedback, art history and research, problem solving and action plans

“My critique style is highly influenced by the fact that I am an artist and a museum professional. I am the exhibitions coordinator for a museum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I will help my crit group build best practices for presenting themselves as an artist and presenting your art professionally. My critique style is honest, informative, and often is accompanied with lots of thoughtful feedback. I primarily work in 2D, however, I have worked with several 3D artists, installation artists, and photographers in creating their exhibitions.”


Mentor: JODI HAYS

Location: Nashville, TN, USA

Mother to three children under age 10

Jodi can mentor over a multitude of disciplines, both more conventional and expanded.

Website

IG: @jodihayspainter

Specialties: Painting, collage, paper, drawing, mining your own iconography, professional practice (related to 3 kids,/traveling partner time constraints), sharing resources, big reader, believes in writing

Jodi has been teaching on the collegiate level since 2005 but, given her “outsider” background, is somewhat suspicious of that centralized model of education. Though her academic work forms a base, she understands the complexity of a life of art-making and expands the crit model to a non-hierarchical and generous practice. She comes at mentorship with the complete belief that we are better together, learning alongside, sharing missteps, triumphs, tricks and resources.

“Landscape and the material vocabulary of the American South influence my abstraction. Mining a southern povera, I use reclaimed textiles, fabric, and cardboard. These materials serve as stand-ins for expressive marks, and resourceful labor. I paint as a form of note-taking and organizing knowledge. Grid systems serve as a scaffold for repeated patterns. I keep a rude, yet not untidy studio with a few burners going at once. I don’t tend to follow recipes—I am a process-based painter. “


Mentor: MINDY SUE WITTOCK

Location: Iron Mountain, MI, USA

Mother to one 7 year old daughter

Knows these materials well:
fibers/textiles, mixed media sculpture materials, anything to do with a thread and needle

Website

IG: @mindymaker

Specialties: Deep understanding of fibers and textile art, but has a broad understanding across disciplines, community builder, making the crit group feel comfortable and a shared sacred art space, zeroes in on each artist’s strength to encourage growth and confidence

I work out of my home studio and have learned how to manage my studio time and domestic life. My critique style is open, honest, and constructive. My experience teaching in academia has made me a strong objective observer and I love talking about art, process and ideas.  I will be your cheerleader and look forward to talking with you about your concepts and execution in your artwork.