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ARTICLE ARCHIVE


April/May 2005

WEB EXCLUSIVE:

The Creative Critique: Helen Davis

Stimulating Discussion in a Critique

Helen B. Davis led a community critique monthly in her home in Boulder, Colorado, for twenty-four years. She is an artist, art educator, and art activist who retired as chair and professor of art at Colorado Women’s College (now part of the University of Denver). Her critique group began in 1979 with eight women; the core group today is about sixty. Although she gave up leading the group two years ago, it still continues in another location and slightly different format.

Dr. Davis compiled this list of words as a handout to spur discussion of works during the critiques.

STRUCTURE/FORM
Line Rhythm
Shape Repetition
Color Balance
Texture Proportion
Dimension Contrast
Space Variety
Unity
Harmony
Emphasis
Subordination
Opposition
Transition

MATERIALS/TECHNIQUES (Dr. Davis uses these words for her mixed-media critiques; for a fibers-only group, the list could be made more fibers-specific)
Painting Paint
Drawing Crayons/chalk
Sculpture Ink/pencil
Printmaking Clay
Ceramics Metal
Design Fiber
Craft Paper
Photography Synthetics
Conceptual Wood
Performance Miscellaneous
Digital
Other

CONTENT/EXPRESSION/CONCEPT
Subject matter Aesthetics
Theme Psychological
Style Philosophical
Communication Historical
Sociological
Cultural
Environmental
Entertainment
Therapy
Religious
Commercial

Dr. Helen B. Davis--an artist, art educator, and art activist--retired as chair and professor of art at Colorado Women’s College (now part of the University of Denver).

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Susan Brandeis offers suggestions on how to start and maintain a critique group.

Steve Aimone
describes the artist contract he uses with workshop participants.

Helen Davis
shares a handout of trigger words she uses for stimulating discussion in her critiques.

Tom Lundberg
offers a suggested reading list related to evaluating art.



This article first appeared
online in:

April/May 2005

 

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