from Criticism to Critical & Creative Thinking
Adapted from a presentation given by Barbra Cox (from the Perpige Center for Arts Education),
I thought this was a really great way of looking at work.Most of the time when we think of “Critiquing
a work of art” – critical comments and lots of writing come to mind, which are
both left brain pursuits – not usually what we associate with the heavily right
brain dominated world of the visual artist.Yet, effective criticism – comments, insights, understanding etc. comes
from both hemispheres of the brain.
In class I ask that all students evaluate work
by telling the person:
A)What’s good about their work?
B)What’s weak about it?(What
C)Where can the artist go from
there – suggestions?
From experience I have seen this to be the most effective in-class
model, but for the purpose and strategy of expanding our brain’s visual vocabulary
I would try this in your own practice.
do you notice?(LEFT-brain)
(Describe what you see – without judgment (no
“good” “bad” flavor) – just what do you see in front of you?
does it remind you of?(Right-brain)
(How do you connect what you are seeing to the
experiences and knowledge you have had in your life?)
emotions (if any?) does it evoke? (Right-brain)
questions does it raise?(Left-brain)
(What does it make you think about?What questions do you have?Do you even think this is art at all?Does this make you ask questions about the
artists, their politics, experiences, values, interests?Can you tell what it is about?Do you want to know / does it matter to
you?What more do you need to know?)
(What do you think this work is about?What do you evaluate from looking at this work?)