Crit Group Mentors

Mentor: THENJIWE NIKI NKOSI

I believe in building strong practises through lateral thinking, diving deep to find the source of our intentions and remembering the power of process in artistic practise. Central to my way of working with others is a commitment to interactions based in kindness. 

Thenjiwe’s website

I am curious about the politics in all of our work. I imagine conversations about histories, race, class, gender and sexuality – all the elements that inform our processes of making and also of how we read works of art. I also have a particular interest in meditation and how that informs the creative process. I look forward to listening closely to those I work with and helping them find new ways of thinking about their work.


Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi was born in 1980 in New York, and raised between Harare and Johannesburg where she now lives. She obtained her BA from Harvard University (2004) and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York (2008). Nkosi divides her time between studio work, performance and navigating the field of art as social practice. 


Mentor: Deeann Rieves

I sell my paintings directly to collectors for their homes. Our focus will be your artwork first- digging deeper conceptually, encouraging you through areas of struggle, establishing your style with bodies of work, but also storytelling, connecting with your audience, and marketing your work beautifully and organically.

Deeann’s website

Deeann has a BFA from Memphis College of Art with a painting emphasis and has always been drawn to mixed media and collage. She took many fiber arts classes in college where she learned machine embroidery and sewing techniques. When she began working abstract a few years after school, she combined these two techniques and found her own creative voice. She uses a sewing technique called free-motion machine embroidery on top of painted papers and incorporates those papers as collage in her works inspired by variegated leaves and nature. The stitched lines sit on top of fluid ink washes, colliding with bold paint scrapes and embellishing each piece with texture and delicate line, like veins running through the painting. “I am drawn to the tactility that the embroidery adds to the work both aesthetically and conceptually. The nature of thread is strong but intricate; it has a sort of permanence with the appearance of fragility.” Deeann lives in Nashville, TN and paints full time in her home studio with her two young daughters nearby.


Mentor: MADELINE DONAHUE

I am a positive person and this goes into my own work and critique style. I view the work as a whole and then respond with my immediate reactions to a certain piece or to the work in general. I relate my reactions by asking questions and connecting the work to relevant contemporary and historical artworks.

Madeline’s website

Body Builders, ceramic, 2020

Madeline Donahue, born in Houston, TX, lives in Brooklyn. She is currently the ceramic resident at Artshack Brooklyn. Exhibitions include Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, Public Swim Gallery, The Every Woman Biennial, and Field Projects, in Manhattan; Paradice Palase, Underdonk, and Greenpoint Terminal Gallery in Brooklyn and TJ Boulting Gallery in London. Her paintings were included in Making (It) Work at California College of the Arts, an “exhibition of artworks made by artists during their first few years of parenthood.” She recently opened her first solo exhibition in Manhattan, Attachments, at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects. Madeline was an artist-in-residence at The Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY; at Byrdcliffe Artist Colony in Woodstock, NY and will be an artist-in-residence at Interlude Residency in October 2020. Her work has been reviewed by the Guardian, Hyperallegic and Elephant Magazine where she also contributes drawings for the quarterly printed column, Post Partum Document. She is interviewed on Sound & Vision podcast, Atomic Moms Podcast and an upcoming episode of Artist Mother podcast.


Mentor: BARBARA CAMPBELL THOMAS

Barbara Campbell Thomas is a painter who has been teaching and critiquing for over twenty years. She firmly believes every artist has a unique visual voice that is informed by the particularity of their life experience, and she also believes that our world desperately NEEDS
every one of these unique voices. This belief informs her strengths as a teacher/critique-er; Barbara Campbell Thomas is adept at finding what is wholly idiosyncratic in every student/mentee she works with, and she works very hard to support and cultivate that specificity of vision.

Barbara’s website

Barbara Campbell Thomas is a painter and teacher who lives and works in Climax, North Carolina. She is also the mother of two sons, ages 15 and 8. Her studio work combines painting with quilting, overlaying their visual vocabularies to create complex formal dialogues within each piece that resonate with the details of her own life and history of each media. She came relatively late to quilting, which she learned from her own mother, but quickly realized its power as an art form traditionally practiced by women to inform and expand the range of her painting.
Barbara Campbell Thomas’s paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States, including the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, NC, NYC’s The Painting Center, The Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta and the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, MI. She received her BFA from Penn State, her MFA from the University of California, Berkeley, and she attended Yale Norfolk and Skowhegan. She recently received a 2018-2019 North Carolina Artists Fellowship. Barbara Campbell Thomas is an Associate Professor of Art at UNC Greensboro, and she has over 20 years of teaching (and critiquing!) experience.

Manner of Infinite Forms, 2019

Mentor: PAM MARLENE TAYLOR

My goal is to make your goals happen. My first step in mentoring is to learn as much as I can about your dreams and then provide a path towards making it happen. Every artist has a unique voice, I specialize in helping you find it, or honing it in. This season is a unique time in the history of being an artist, and we as artists must adapt. Virtual galleries and exhibitions will need different things from you then traditional ones, and traditional ones will need artists who are willing to think outside the box. Let’s get creative together, we’ve never needed each other more.

Pam’s website

On Women’s Work
4 feet wide x 8 feet tall, raffia, roving, vintage fibers, cotton thread, dowel, 2017

Pam Marlene Taylor is a feminist curator focusing on shows which converse with current social issues as well as a fiber artist living and working in Nashville, Tennessee.  She is a graduate from Tusculum University where she double majored in Studio Art and Graphic Design, with a concentration in Sculptural Welding. As an artist, she weaves on hand-built looms and is represented in Tennessee by The Red Arrow Gallery.  By day, she proudly wears the title of Museum Manager for 21c Museum Hotel Nashville.


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: 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: 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.