Have you always wanted to write about art, but haven’t known where or how to begin? This course explores art writing as a hands-on practice and specialized craft, with an intense focus on the key writing formats of today’s art world. Students will begin with the foundations and mechanics of art writing (description, structure, tone), followed by an overview of specialized techniques (visual analysis, image research), and audience considerations (accessibility, vocabulary, detail). Students will delve deeply into specific forms of art writing and analyze the key attributes of compelling press releases, catalog essays, exhibition reviews, interviews, and artist statements. Throughout the course, students will write short-form, publishable text through step-by-step assignments including several rounds of instructor feedback. The course experience will be complemented by an innovative series of weekly readings, writing exercises, discussions, feedback, and guest speakers. In the final week of instruction, students will discuss professional practices, such as approaching publications and platforms, pitching ideas, and working with editors.
The goal of the course is to expand both new and experienced writers’ vocabulary and ideas around visual art, while also encouraging them to explore their strengths, define their potential contributions, and imagine their ideal audiences. Participants have the chance to clarify their ideas through discussions and individualized feedback and will leave the course with a complete and polished piece of writing in the form of an exhibition review.
Students will learn:
- To gain first-hand experience in writing about visual art.
- To recognize the key formats used by museums, galleries, and art publications today.
- To practice the writing and editing techniques required to create a publishable text.
- To explore their strengths and potential contributions as art writers.
- Create a polished exhibition review that displays their professional skills.