Let’s talk turkey, Christina Rees.

Our guest speaker on Tuesday, Christina Rees, shone a very insightful and honest light on life as editor for the Texas’s art website Glasstire. Rees didn’t throw any punches when she talked openly and in depth about her personal and professional experiences within the art writing realm. Being a true Texan at heart, she’s had a career in journalism spanning from the 90s living in art meccas such as NYC and London. She later returned home to Dallas in 2014 to take on Glasstire.
Rees is one of four editors at Glasstire that give art criticism the respect and full candor that tends to get glossed over by other websites. In her lecture, she stated more than once that she isn’t afraid to be blunt with artists and their work in order to be fair to the artist. I agree with her in that constructive criticism is essential for anyone who takes art seriously. When one deletes argument, one deletes dialogue, discussion, and the exchanging of ideas. That’s not to say all of her reviews are negative. Quite the contrary. Only 1 in 5 articles on the actual website are negative. Sadly, however, she stated those tend to be more memorable than the positive ones.
I truly enjoyed how genuine and informative she was throughout her discussion. I also share her weariness of what lies ahead for the art critic world as well as for the artists themselves. What I took away above everything else from her talk was to continue collaborating and discussing ideas with people and not feel the need to censor ourselves for anyone. By being critical with art and not being censored, we in fact might just save it.

-Kellye

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5 comments

  1. I particularly was attracted to her weariness of what lies ahead for Art Critics as well as Artist and the art scene itself. That is because she was not sugar coating or hiding the fact that “making it” as an Artist is a long, rigorous road filled with rejection and struggle. While being an Art Critic is just as daunting of a task, because though the popular direction to go for a critic is to be positive about a show or work, and to avoid the harsh, even though it is beneficial to the artist. Which further causes me to see this emphasis on the Art Market within the art world and less emphasis on the Artists work, by simply judging it based on a price-tag as opposed to ones personal opinions.

    -Krista Kelly

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  2. It sounds like we all loved Christina’s brutal honesty. Like Krista said, she didn’t sugar coat anything. Her harsh truths were incredibly insightful and very necessary. The crisis in art criticism that we have been discussing has never felt more real until meeting someone that struggles with it daily. I could feel Christina’s anxiety as she spoke. She is concerned and worried for the future of art, especially because of the recent election results. Christina’s visit acted as both an inspiring role model sharing knowledge as well as a call to arms for the art world to fight back and make art and the art criticism world to fight just as hard to hold those artists accountable for their art.

    -Chris

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  3. I loved having Christina Rees talk with us and I gained so much insight from her. I was particularly interested in her discussion with us as a class of what lies ahead for the art world after this presidential election and the uncertainties within it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt a heaviness and a wariness after November 8th, and I find discourse incredibly helpful in these times. You would think hearing a veteran in the art world openly say she doesn’t know what the future holds would be unsettling, and to some extent it was, but it was also encouraging having her tell us that we hold power to bring about change; a tangible thing we could grasp onto. Her lecture and class discussion with us really caused me to pause, and has provoked got me thinking critically about the future.

    -Hannah Jones

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  4. I also thought it was great opportunity to have Rees speak at TX ST and offer a critic’s perspective. To play devil’s advocate, one thing I didn’t understand that Christina Rees talked about was how she said she would never write about a new artist’s show. I’m a studio major preparing to enter the gallery scene, so this was a little difficult to swallow. As someone who doesn’t read Glasstire, I would be way more interested if they featured up-and-coming artists, some even fresh out of school that I may recognize, rather than always writing about artists who have already been written about before. I would argue that a critic should look closely at young artists to find the next trends in style and methods, and it’s also a great opportunity to represent local, Texas artists who have pursued their fine arts education here.

    Lauren Lerwick

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  5. Her visit was just an eye opener to me. Reading some of her blogs before hand helped a lot to understand they way she writes and criticize — she is blunt, and fearless. She honestly motivated me to do more and do an actual change in the art world. I mean we, the community, are all struggling the same obstacles we should be here for one another. She proved a great point that this generation is facing a weird phase with technology. There will be a movement and honestly I’m eager to see what it is.

    – Marlene

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