Upon entering our Tuesday evening class, I observed the students sitting in two groups — in correspondence to the class they were in — and immediately a thought crossed my mind, “I wish I could be at both tables.” The reason for this thought comes from the fact that I myself am also an artist. With this in mind, curiosity and excitement filled me up and I was anxious to see how the workshop would play out.
Erina and Sterling structured the class so well, in my opinion, because their explanation(s) of what an artist statement should entail were thorough and simple to understand. It should reflect, attract and expand on your work while being concise and straightforward. Yes, saying it that way makes it sound simple to do, however many artists struggle with using words to explain themselves because art is their medium of choice. Coming into the class I was not entirely sure how I would be able to critique someone’s statement about their work(s). Mostly in part because I did not feel my opinions would be helpful considering the difficulty that lies in writing about your art. I understood this because I was able to put myself in the artist’s shoes, and think about trying to explain my own art. Although, once we began the first round of critiquing I felt more comfortable because it felt nice to be able to help someone improve on their statement.
I met with some incredibly interesting and passionate artists during this class, and it was very refreshing to give constructive criticism and it not be received offensively. Sterling’s students are a great group to work and grow with as writers and artists.