Crit Group Mentors

Mentor: SARAH IRVIN

Sarah can best provide support for research and/or conceptually driven practices. She has expertise and can offer encouragement or guidance for strengthening your studio management and supporting your professional practices.

Sarah’s website

Rocking Chair Drawings, 2014-2015

Sarah Irvin earned a Master of Fine of Arts in Painting from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Georgia. Irvin’s interdisciplinary work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, contributing to more than fifty group exhibitions and featured in more than twenty solo shows. Irvin is represented by Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, VA and Kathryn Markel Fine Arts and Massey Klein Gallery, both in New York. Sarah’s teaching experience includes adjunct faculty roles at Virginia Union University and Virginia Commonwealth University in art history and art appreciation. Her research and experience continues through panel talks and forums, guest curatorial roles, visiting artist lectures, and through published writing and contributions to peer-reviewed publications. Sarah is the founder of the Artist Parent Index, a database of artists making work about their experience with reproduction and child-rearing. She lives and works in Richmond, Virginia(Eastern Standard Time) and is the mother to one child.


Mentor: MEGAN WYNNE

Megan has experience and eduction in various media including dance, performance, painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video, and installation, as well as collaborative and other experimental approaches to art making. 

Megan’s website

Megan Wynne is a multimedia conceptual artist based in Chesapeake, Virginia. She is the mother to three children and often works collaboratively with them. Her artwork addresses issues of emotional interdependence and intimacy, with a focus on the subject of motherhood. Megan holds a BFA in Sculpture from Pratt Institute, and a MFA in New Genres from San Francisco Art Institute. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally at institutions such as Root Division, in San Francisco, CA, MF Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, and The Brood International Film Festival in Exeter, UK. Her work has been featured in multiple publications including M.A.M.A Magazine, the Mom EGG Review, Elephant Magazine, and the London-based Procreate Project’s international traveling photo zine archive. In 2014, Megan founded CritSpace Collective, a online critique group for SFAI alumni. She has experience teaching and leading group activities as an Adjunct professor of photography at Old Dominion University, and has given lectures about her work in multiple conference and university settings.


Mentor: ISADORA STOWE

“I enjoy empowering artists to negotiate multiple responsibilities, revenue streams and artistic interests including but not limited to Museum and University Exhibitions, Gallery Representation, Online sales, Arts/Grants Writing, and creating a sustainable and thriving studio practice. My forthcoming Artist Workbook for the Graduating BFA/MFA will be published in Spring of 2020.”

Isadora’s website

“Anamnesis” solo exhibition, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, 2019

Isadora Stowe is a multimedia artist working in painting, printmaking, installation, and video whose artwork focuses on the narrative of environment translated and coded into complex psychological landscapes. She is an Assistant Professor of Art, contributing freelance arts writer, and single mother based in the southwest borderlands of Las Cruces, NM and El Paso, TX (MST).


Mentor: ADRIENNE BROWN DAVID
 
“I am a huge proponent of doing all of things that bring joy, which is why I work in so many different media.  I think it’s important to go where your spirit takes you artistically and sometimes that means playing around with many different things.  I’ve never had the inclination to draw or paint anything other that people, so I have 25 years experience in portraiture in various forms.”

Adrienne’s website

Adrienne Brown-David is figurative artist who works in a variety of media.  Her work focuses mainly on black girlhood.  She is the mother of four daughters and creates full time.  Adrienne currently lives in Water Valley, MS


Mentor: JODI HAYS

Jodi understands the complexity of a life of art-making, including works across mediums, conceptual and social practices. Her range of experience includes running galleries, curating, and teaching on the graduate level, but she will also geek out with fellow painters.

Jodi’s website

Jodi Hays is a Tennessee-based painter.  Her iconography carries a thread of “southern” vernacular and is partly influenced by having been raised in rural Arkansas. Her practice is akin to note-taking or a method of organizing knowledge. Grided systems become a scaffold for pictorial inclinations, be they abstract or related to landscape. Her work has been positively reviewed in Two Coats of Paint, Number Inc magazine, N Focus and the Nashville Scene. She is the recipient of the Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission, an Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation grant and her works are included in collections of the J. Crew Company (NY), Nashville International Airport, Gordon College (MA) and the Tennessee State Museum. Residencies include The National Parks of America, The Cooper Union School of Art and Vermont Studio Center. She earned her BFA (magna cum laude) at The University of Tennessee (Knoxville) and studied Foundations at School of Visual Arts (SVA). She lived and worked in Boston for a number of years where she was Assistant Director at the Cambridge Art Association and earned an MFA at Vermont College. She moved to East Nashville in late 2005, Curating and Teaching on the university level at Tennessee State, Lipscomb and Lesley University. She maintains a studio and pop-up gallery (Dadu) in her backyard. She is a founding member of Coop Gallery, a Nashville-based curatorial collective and cites curating and teaching as tangential parts of her practice. Her work is represented by the Red Arrow Gallery, East Nashville, TN where she lives with her three children and husband.


Mentor: KAREN DANA

Karen will facilitate space for exploration, risk taking and research. We will build strategies that might work for each individual artist. I think it is important to promote the group as a professional network where synergy and collaboration occurs. Keeping a pertinent space that fosters interaction, dialogue and impact on each other, showing community and society as an evolving organism itself.

Karen is fluent in Spanish, for any members wanting to communicate with her in that language!

Karen’s website

“The border between us is made out of thread”, 156” X 60”, Oil on Canvas , 2018 

Karen Dana was born in 1982 in Mexico DF. She received a BFA from The National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City (2005) and earned her MFA degree at Hunter College, New York (2011), where she based her art studio up until 2017. Her early work consists of scenes where family dynamics evoked visual tension in a composition. By experiencing her own family from abroad and beginning to grow into a family of her own she began exploring her painting practice as a more process-based research. The paintings of her recent work are often part of a specific arrangement based in gestures that she discovered inherited from women in her past as a mandate of femininity. The paintings offer an intimate narrative of the role immigrant women need to reinvent their whole self in order to survive, while at the same time defend their own identity through generations. She has participated in national and international art exhibitions in México, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, California, she’s been awarded several honors including the CAC Field/Work Residency, FONCA Young Creators Grant, Honorable Mention at the XVI Mexican Painting Biennial, XVI Bienal de Pintura Rufino Tamayo, INBA, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo & MACO Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca, Mexico. Honors at the XV National Biennale of Painting from Rufino Tamayo Contemporary art Museum in México and Oaxaca. She currently lives in Chicago, IL with her husband Adam and three kids, Martin 7, Ilana 4 and Alan 2.


Mentor: LAURA WENNSTROM

“I am perceptive, authentic, and honest in my critique approach. I’ve worked with a HUGE range of 2D and 3D materials and have specific experience installing large scale sculptures and installations. I have been teaching art to people of all ages and backgrounds over the past 10-15 years and love creative problem solving and nontraditional approaches to material. I am looking forward to adult conversation that does not revolve around potty training or sleep schedules.”

Laura’s website

mass, [fabric, foam, thread, bells, rope, trim, other found materials]  Installation at Krannert Art Museum 2015 https://laurawennstrom.com/mass

Laura is a multimedia artist, most recently making large scale sculptural installations. Drawing from painting, collage, and quilt-making traditions, she creates heavily saturated color compositions. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Bethel University in addition to teaching classes to children and adults through the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Laura lives in Minneapolis with her husband and is the primary caregiver of their two daughters, ages 1 and 3.


Mentor: LAUREN MCLAUGHLIN

“Over the years I have worked closely with women artists at various stages of their careers from emerging to established artists living in different parts of the world. Throughout all my roles, my main area of interest is visibility and I can advise and guide artists on how to achieve more visibility, how to ‘put yourself out there’ and what sort of things galleries and curators might be looking for when sourcing artists. I can also advise on funding applications, branding, websites, and marketing your work. I will guide you in stepping back, reflecting on your practice in its entirety to gain a subjective view of where you are now, and where you want to move forward to.”

Lauren’s website

Lauren McLaughlin is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist working in neon, collage, sculpture and installation. Her work explores themes of feminism, equality and maternal subjectivity. Lauren is also a curator with several years of experience of managing and curating for both commercial and non-profit galleries. In 2018, Lauren founded Spilt Milk; a social enterprise dedicated to promoting gender equity in the arts by representing and supporting artists who are mothers. Lauren lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her teenage son.


Mentor: LAUREN FRANCES EVANS


“I am a sculptor at heart, a sucker for material, and am adamant about the value of seeing things from every possible angle. I’m convinced that we do our best work when we bring our whole selves, allowing our various roles/interests/inclinations to guide the work that we do. I will encourage you to follow your impulses and reflect on why it is you are inclined to do what you do. We can learn so much about ourselves when we work in this way.”

Lauren’s website

Lauren Frances Evans currently lives and works in Birmingham, AL (CST), where she is an Assistant Professor of Art at Samford University and mother to one lively three-year-old, Agnes Prairie. Evans holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Maryland and is the founder/facilitator of the Artist/Parent/Academic Network. Her work addresses the body as a site of irresistible paradox. Prompted by urges and the allure of origins, her work is primarily sculptural, ranging from meticulously layered collage to large mixed media structures.


Mentor: LEE NOWELL-WILSON

“My critiques will be very classical, straight forward and revolve around the conceptual and technical strength of your work. We will work together as a group to provide each other with strong, constructive criticism. No fluffy pillow talk, but also not cutting each other down. I have a lot of experience – both through school and within professional environments with critique and am very passionate about it!”

Lee is fluent in Spanish and can crit in that language if desired!

Lee’s website

Charcoal and graphite on paper / 14” x 11” / 2019

Lee Nowell-Wilson, is a representational figurative artist, living and working in Baltimore, MD. Through drawing, painting and installation, her work primarily explores movement, weight, metaphors of anxiety and physicality within the maternal subject. Lee has 2 kids, an almost 3 year old daughter and 10 month old son.


Mentor: EMILIA WHITE

In addition to teaching for five years at the Stamps School of Art & Design, Emilia also has experience in community arts programming and curation. She brings a sense of humor and inclusive philosophy to her teaching approach, and values vulnerability and risk taking in creative work.

Emilia is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, for any members wanting to communicate in that language!

Emilia’s website

Emilia White is an interdisciplinary writer, performer and video artist residing in Southeast Michigan. Her work integrates elements of humor and participation with topics of motherhood, loss, childhood and body image. Emilia holds degrees in Theater & Original Works and Studio Art and currently teaches full time as a Lecturer at the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design. She has two living children at home and a third who will always be in her heart.


Mentor: A’DRIANE NIEVES

A’Driane’s website

A’Driane Nieves is a self-taught multidisciplinary abstract artist creating paintings that question and examine our identities, our behaviors, and the experiences that shape both throughout the course of our lives. She is also the founder & executive director of Tessera Arts Collective, a nonprofit that supports & elevates the work of womxn & non-binary abstract artists of color. She started painting for therapeutic purposes in 2012, and pursued it as a second career in 2015. A’Driane a mother of 3 neurodivergent boys and live with her family just outside of Philadelphia in southern New Jersey. 


Mentor: NATALIE BAXTER

“I am able to share my experiences in building a network and community, creating space (mental and physical) for a studio practice, and navigating exhibition opportunities in diverse venues throughout the world.”

Natalie’s website

Natalie’s work at Affordable Art Fair, NYC, 2017

Natalie Baxter (b. 1985, Kentucky) explores concepts of place-identity, nostalgic americana, and gender stereotypes, predominantly through soft sculpture. Baxter’s work playfully pushes controversial issues, creating an accessible entry point for unpacking matters of tension in today’s political and social landscape. Baxter received an MFA from the University of Kentucky in 2012 and a BA in Fine Art from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN in 2007. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. Press for Baxter’s work includes, The New York Times, Hyperallergic, The Guardian, Vogue Italia and Bomb Magazine. She currently lives and works in New York, NY with her husband and 5 month old daughter, Petra.


Mentor: JILLIAN SOKSO

“As a visual arts educator and arts administrator, I draw immense satisfaction from helping others mine for their gifts and set up a creative practice that is satisfying and sustainable.”
Jillian has over fifteen years of teaching experience at the university and community arts levels. She has expertise in professional practice for visual artists, studio media, and executive leadership. 

Jillian’s website

Jillian Sokso is a visual artist working and living in Northwest Oregon. A Philadelphia native, she studied printmaking at Moore College of Art and Design and the University of Delaware. She has exhibited nationally and internationally since 2004, and her work is included in many collections public and private. Recent exhibitions include In the Shadow of the Mountain; As if the Sea Were Nothing, Reynold Gallery, Stockton California, Grafting Ammunition, Painted Bride Arts Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and The Other: Nurturing a New Ecology in Printmaking, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, Florida. She is a former recipient of the NYFA strategic opportunity stipend grant, and has been an artist in residence at The Virginia Center for Creative Arts, The Women’s Studio Workshop and the Contemporary Arts Center at Woodside.
Jillian has over fifteen years of teaching experience at the university and community arts levels. She has expertise in professional practice for visual artists, studio media, and executive leadership. 


Mentor: BETH WINTERBURN

Beth brings her years of experience in critiques, having been on both sides of the table. She enjoys the analytical aspect of creating work and is especially interested in discussing process, intent and purpose. She hopes to bring a sincere, honest approach to the group, creating an atmosphere of mutual respect while laying a foundation for openness and growth. Her goal is to build a shared confidence and ease in talking about the work, translating constructive criticism into tangible steps forward. 

Beth’s website

Beth Winterburn (b. 1980) is an abstract painter working primarily with inks and acrylics. Her work is an exploration of contrast, tension and resolve; nature vs. nurture, control vs. freedom. Methodical by nature, she challenges her own ideas of control by experimenting with materials, allowing them to behave as they naturally would, with subtle direction. Each piece represents an attempt to translate interpersonal dynamics into a legible story – one that invites the viewer to see his or her own story in it. Beth received her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art in 2002. She began her collegiate career as part of the architecture program, still drawing on spatial concepts and ideas gleaned during those early years. Her work has been sold nationally and internationally and is currently available through various galleries,  shops and locations throughout the U.S. as well as in Zeuxis Gallery in Paris, France. Her work has been featured in several magazines and media outlets including: The Koronette, Fanique Magazine, Hommemaker.com, Anthropologie, HGTV and Crate and Barrel. Beth is currently living and working out of her home-based studio in Memphis, TN. She and her husband have three children, ages 13, 11 and 7. 


Mentor: JANET DECKER YANEZ

Founder/Director of Ground Floor Gallery + Studios
“Besides creating multi-media artworks, curating exhibitions and hosting events, I love to look at other artists’ work and offer insight, ask questions and get to the heart of the matter. Let’s gather and figure out the how, what, and why of art making together!”

Janet’s website

Back to Faces, food coloring on pee pad, 14″


Janet Decker Yanez is a process-oriented, socially engaged artist. She works with materials that she has in excess and on hand. She visually documents shared space, time, memories and experiences with media from fabrics to found objects. In her studio she cycles through different series, and for the last 7 years has been using food coloring and unconventional spray-painting methods on a variety of surfaces. In 2012, she founded Ground Floor Gallery + Studios, in the Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood, which operates as a non-commercial gallery and studio collective that curates varied contemporary exhibitions, hosts open studios/tours, and participates in the Nashville Art Crawl Scene.


Mentor: KAYLAN BUTEYN

Kaylan brings a well-rounded approach to critique, inviting conversation that pushes alternative modes of thinking or seeing artwork, attempting a fresh perspective. She believes art making should combine aesthetics and meaning; understanding the “why” we make art can strengthen the “how” we make it.

Kaylan’s website

Kaylan is an artist living and working in rural Tennessee, USA. She enjoys life in the country with her spouse and 3 children (ages 7, 3, and 1). Kaylan received her MFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in in 2017 and a B.A. in Studio Art and B.S. in Communications from Houghton College in 2009. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and community spaces across the United States. As a social extension of her art practice, in 2019 Kaylan created the Artist/Mother podcast, which interviews incredible working artists who are also mothers about their work and life. The Artist/Mother podcast has expanded to become a community that features events, exhibitions, crit groups, retreats and more.