"The Barefoot Designer" at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum / Boston
Fear Not, Alternative Forms of Critique
June 10, 2011, Minneapolis, MN
“My artistic journey began as a child; I loved to make paper dolls and cut out dresses from wallpaper sample books.” From 1990–2006, Anna Carlson showed her clothing collections across the country in prestigious art/craft shows, galleries, and specialty boutiques. Current work with dimensional surfaces combines her interests in merging hand and digital processes. A full-time MFA student and surface design instructor, Carlson also maintains a studio practice, with projects spanning from bedding and rug designs to historic textile reproductions.
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Anna Carlson, a self-described Twin Cities person, presented her ideas about critiques to an audience at the Surface Design conference. Carlson is a studio artist who has maintained a studio in St. Paul for 15 years. She is both a student and a teacher at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design. She teaches surface and apparel design and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree. These roles of practicing studio artist, teacher and student place her in a unique position to tackle the challenging issue of critiquing art works and students` progress.
The critique has become a standard part of the art teaching curriculum. Artists as well often experience critiques of their works either formally, through reviews, or informally by participating in study groups or review groups. Yet the process is often unsatisfactory. Carlson’s methods are aimed at eliminating fear and making the critique formative: to take place before the work is finished. Carlson provided a detailed handout setting out the goals and objectives to be achieved in the critique. These were supported by a comprehensive bibliography. This presentation benefitted both educators and artists.
B.A. (Hons) Middlesex University, London, England
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