Every artist across the world is familiar with the feeling of a critique. Whether formal or informal, it is an exchange of ideas and feedback on one's work.
As a current Bachelors in Fine Arts, or BFA, student I am in the midst of preparing my graduation thesis show and therefore experiencing an influx of formal reviews. At Clemson University our reviews include inviting three professors from the Fine Arts Department to come and discuss your work after it is displayed in a small gallery space. During this time I present my artist statement, they inform me of their reactions, and then we discuss between ourselves various approaches from this point. But this is just one form of critique.
The keynote speaker of NCECA 2016 spoke of the process of critiques. They are a space for the artist to request honest information in a respectful way. For many people critiques may seem like a process of attack and defense, but I don't believe that to be necessary. They can so easily be places of true introspection and an opportunity to hear not only what is working, but also what processes shouldn't continue. Finding out what you dislike is just as important and finding out what you enjoy. Therefore, as nerve-wracking as reviews may be, they are imperative and this week I gained some useful knowledge that will undoubtedly assist me in my work in the future.