Momus launches Emerging Critics Residency at Concordia University
Conversations around the future of art criticism are exploding these days.
As the New York Times recently framed it, publishers, writers, and critics in the art world are finally addressing the fact that the field is dominated by an old guard, with certain ‘blind spots’ to the contextual depth of contemporary artistic and political discourse.
Momus, Canada’s leading online art publication, is acutely aware of its responsibility to nurture new voices in the field of art criticism. Sky Goodden (BFA 07), founding publisher and editor of Momus, in collaboration with the Faculty of Fine Arts, will launch its first intensive residency at Concordia University that is designed to train the next generation of emerging art critics.
“We’re not only to seeking out and encouraging emerging critics, but also willing forward a diversification of the field. We need more voices, manifold voices, especially as we see our galleries and institutions increasingly programming culturally complex and political work,” says Goodden.
‘how to strike at the heart of a critical position, right out the gate’
From August 26 – 30, students and recent graduates will participate in workshops aimed at developing the necessary professional skills required to navigate the field of art publishing and writing.
Workshops will touch on the most relevant discourses affecting contemporary art and how to address those in writing for both print and online platform, Goodden explains. “Most importantly, we’ll discuss how to strike at the heart of a critical position, right out the gate.”
Goodden will lead the workshops and be joined by Momus Contributing Editors Mark Mann and Saelen Twerdy, as well as Senior Editor Casey Beal. Merray Gerges, the Editorial Fellow for C Magazine, will join the team of workshop leaders, as well.
“Our instructors will tackle their own strengths, and, as the case may be, a weakness in their experience and the trajectory of their career that they’ve had to navigate,” says Goodden.
Momus Residency leaders will speak on topics ranging from how to write a pitch to how to budget life as a freelance writer. Goodden believes that sharing these kinds of tools and knowledge with emerging critics is an essential part of attending to the lack of diverse voices in the field.
'I’m thrilled that this is happening at Concordia’
The concept for the collaboration began last year after a discussion with the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Rebecca Duclos. Goodden was an Artist-in-Residence at Concordia from 2018-19.
“Rebecca’s energy really has traction,” says Goodden. “She makes things happen in a way that you don’t see very often. Her ideas are powerful and she enacts a reciprocity, and allows for spontaneity. She really ran with it.”
“I’m thrilled that this is happening at Concordia, where I had my art history education as an undergrad. It’s a full circle for me to be in this position, now, where I’m shaping emerging critics. I was shaped there, too.”
For this year’s residency, Concordia University will offer scholarships to cover the tuition for its students and recent grads. Goodden hopes that Concordia can continue to hold the Momus residency in the future, but she also has plans to expand.
Her goal is to establish residencies at art schools in the United States, Europe, and Mexico, where Momus also has a strong readership.
“As much as we’re keen to have people travel to us, we also want to travel to these communities ourselves, to make sure this does not become economically inaccessibly for potential students in financial need.”
Working online as a writer or publisher can be isolating in so many ways, Goodden says. Gathering to meet in person allows participants to bridge gaps, lessen that sense of distance, and dive into long, deep conversations about art criticism and publishing.
“The part that I’m most excited for is the ability to draw out some of these issues in a really thoughtful, exploratory, and unpressured kind of way.”
Visit the residence webpage for details on how to apply. Update: Please note that we are no longer accepting applications for the 2019 residency.
Read the full interview with Sky Goodden by Amelia Wong-Mersereau on the Momus website.