Last week was my first Crit in the Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA program. It was great! It was great not only to present and give feed back but also to see so much interesting work from all of my colleagues.
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I’ve heard horror stories about Crits at other art schools. Jori Finkel’s article in the New York times entitled “Tales from the Crit” tells the story of Lynn Chane who compares the process to a friend’s training in the military:
“My experience was a lot like her boot camp,” she said. “Only in the military they break you down to build you back up into a team player who serves a leader. At Yale they break you down and leave you to put the pieces back together.”
That was not my experience at all. All of the feedback was super helpful and constructive. I knew which areas I needed improvement in, but the faculty was able to help me move in that direction.[flickr id=”8576025443″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
One of the things that impressed me the most was how long the faculty remained engaged. The Crits were like performances by the presenters and the faculty. From 10am to 8 pm, the faculty listened to 10-minute presentations by each 1st- and 2nd-year MFA student and where expected to give 20 minutes of feedback to every student.
My critique was towards the end of the day on Tuesday, and I was amazed at how focused and engaged each faculty member was. I had heard multiple people say that Crits are actually one of the highlights of the program. It’s one of the times you get to have the undivided attention of the faculty and hear them talk about your work. My boss Matt would say that this is where I get my money’s worth for this program. He was right. It was a huge privilege to hear from faculty about my individual work[flickr id=”8577124606″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]