Types and Variety of Studio Critique Formats

Critique Evaluation Form
Jed Morfit
Download Critique Evaluation Form (pdf)

Ten Ideas for More Effective Critiquing by Mario Estioko, John P. Forrest, Jr., Gwen Amos

Four Steps to Art Criticism
Janice Mason Art Museum

Common Teaching Situations: Critiquing Student Projects

How does teaching in a studio differ from traditional teaching?

Click to access 3.6_The_Studio_Classes.pdf

University of Illinois Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning Strategies for Questions Promoting Critical Thinking

Blooms Taxonomy Worksheet

Knowledge Dimension Categories

Scaffolding University of Toronto Learning Center

Guidelines for Group Critique
Danny Goodwin

How to run a design critique
Scott Berkun

The Critique Handbook
Kendall Buster and Paula Crawford

How do we see, think about, and evaluate works of art?

At once a theoretical investigation of the underlying nature of the studio critique as well as a practical manual for participation in this fundamental studio practice, The Critique Handbook is an invaluable resource for examining the uses and mis-uses of artistic analysis. Presenting hundreds of examples drawn from every genre of artmaking, noted artists Kendall Buster and Paula Crawford address the complexity of what actually occurs in critiques. Their book fills a serious gap in the art studio, as they scrutinize a practice that has been largely unquestioned and provide models for more informed and effective ways of conducting and taking part in critiques. Their observations, which can be applied to beginning through advanced studio courses, bring to light the underlying social and power dynamics of critiques and offer illuminating advice on how to make critiques more cogent and evenhanded. They also offer advice for participants on how to prepare for critiques and benefit more fully from them.

Simultaneously thoughtful and witty, this book is written in a style that is elegant and eminently readable. The Critique Handbook promises to become an indispensable and timeless text on this subject, doing for the art studio what The Elements of Style has done for the writer’s workshop.

Kendall Buster, whose extensive exhibition record spans national and international venues, is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters award. Buster is Associate Professor of Sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Paula Crawford has had exhibitions in the United States, Canada, and Latin America, and directs the painting program at George Mason University, where she is Associate Professor.

From Eberly Centr, Carnegie University

Studio classes teach procedural skills (the use of specific techniques, approaches, tools, and media) in relation to concepts and ideas (schools of art/design, architectural movements, dramatic styles, intellectual, social, and political trends, etc.) while setting the conditions, examples, and inspirations to spark creativity and exploration.
Rosenberg, along with others, argues that “teaching people to be artists is impossible” (p.136). Nevertheless, creative imagination can be fostered when students have the opportunity to observe artists (or architects, actors, directors, etc.) working, talking, and interacting. Part of the task of the instructor, therefore, is to allow students glimpses into her own and other artists’ creative processes and the artistic community that sustains them. Students, therefore, should not just be taught technical skills — though these are important — but exposed as extensively as possible to art and the people who create it. Guest artists/lecturers, master classes, field trips, demonstrations, etc. can thus be a valuable dimension of studio courses.
One of the challenges in studio courses is to balance the development of technical proficiency with conceptual understanding. As Walker writes: “Materials, techniques, subject matter and formal qualities deserve attention in planning studio instruction, not at the expense of interpretive meaning, but in relation to it” (1996, p.14). Instructors should ask questions and design exercises that require students to reflect deeply on what they and other artists are trying to express.

Depending on the discipline – art, architecture, design, music, drama – there are significant differences in how studio classes are conceived, making generalizations about teaching strategies difficult.
A general model for teaching procedural skills that can be adapted for different studio contexts:
The instructor situates the particular exercise or task within the context of the course and discipline, so that students can see its relationship to other core concepts, practices, etc. The student listens, thinks, answers questions.
The instructor models expert practice while describing and explaining each step of the process from planning (selecting materials/tools, organizing work space, conceptualizing the task) through execution; answers student questions. The student observes, listens, asks questions.
The instructor provides guidelines, steps, and parameters to structure student exploration. The student conceptualizes the task and begins planning.
The instructor provides coaching and feedback while students engage in the exercise themselves. The student engages in the practice, asks questions, reflects on own practice in relation to expert practice.
The instructor gradually decreases coaching and scaffolding, allowing students greater independence. The student operates with increasing independence in more and more complex situations (less structure, more choices/complications, etc.)
Self-Directed Learning
The instructor assists only when requested. The student practices the real thing alone or in groups.
The instructor guides students from their own process to larger insights and useful generalizations. The student generalizes from own practice to larger principles, concepts, or interpretations
Collins, A., Brown, J.S., & Newman, S.E. (1989) “Cognitive Apprenticeship: Teaching the Crafts of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics”. In Knowing, Learning, and Instruction: Essays in Honor of Robert Glaser. Lauren B. Resnick, Ed. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Levy, A. (1980) “Total Studio”. Journal of Architectural Education, 34 (2).
Rosenberg, H. (1964-1965) “Problems in the Teaching of Artists”. Art Journal, 24 (2).
Walker, S. R. (1996) “Designing Studio Instruction: Why Have Students Make Artwork?” Art Education, September.