Q-Art Crits at our Islington Flagship

by Cass Art

Q-Art needs to be on your radar. Be you a practicing artist, a budding student or a hobbyist, Q-Art is the group that can answer your questions on art and design. They host discussion panels, crits, exhibitions and publish their ideas all to complete their mission to support learning in the arts, and empower young creatives.

We spoke to director Sarah Knowles for more information on the importance of Q-Art:

When did it occur to you that there was a need for crits in the post-graduate world? Was there a particular moment of epiphany?

The crits were set up in 2008 when I was a first year fine art student from a desire to bring together students from across colleges as well as graduates and self-taught artists. It was important that graduates had a place to continue developing their practice, that students could expand their peer network beyond their course, and that self-trained artists or those with an interest in art could engage in a format that is familiar to art schools - the art crit. 

Q-Art crits are typically 2-3 hours with between 3-5 presenters. Slots to present are allocated on a first come first served basis in advance of each event. Each presenter has about 20-25 minutes and we do everything we can to foster a constructive and supportive peer led environment. Our facilitation of crits is packed up by our research into art education, in particular our book and video 'Art Crits: 20 Questions"

Have you seen those who get involved progress as artists?

All of those that come into crits are early career artists. Many have gone on to develop strong established practices.

Cass Art warmly welcomed Q-Art back to the Islington Flagship on 20th January for their first crit of 2014 where three artists presented their work for feedback from the group. Lee Knott kicked off the crit presenting his painting entitled ‘Neon Divide’, a work of acrylic on canvas. Once a free line of communication between the audience and the artist had been established the commentary began to flow – advice on process, perspective and peripheral influence was shared, giving Lee lots of feedback to think about.

Second up was JK, Mixed Media Fine Art student at Westminster University, who presented a collection of text-covered sheets that asked questions and made personal statements. JK said she wasn’t confident in showing off her work and came to Q-Art in order to develop that skill.

Finally, John Clair – MFA student at Wimbledon College of Art (whose website is coming soon) – showed his film, in contrast to the bolder voice of Lee and JK’s work; John’s piece was almost painterly, much more gentle and intimate. All in all, a very impressive array of art and constructive feedback from the perceptive and gracious audience.

Fancy coming along next time? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with our in store events. Don’t forget that Cass Art offer a 10% off for all event ticket holders in store on the night, and online for the following week.

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