What does the Crit Lab have to Offer? 
Founded by artist Patricia Miranda, the Crit Lab offers rigorous, critical, supportive feedback in small ongoing artist groups. If you are a serious working artist at any level in your practice, just starting out or working and exhibiting for many years, and you are ready for critical feedback that will push the work in a focused intense manner, The Crit Lab is for you. If you have been to art school, whether in a BFA or MFA program or both, and miss the intense feedback and dialogue that an academic environment offers, The Crit Lab is for you. If you would love to go back to school for an art degree, but your home life or the high cost make it prohibitive, if you don’t need the piece of paper yet you crave a more academic critical discourse, The Crit Lab is for you. Art-making is a solitary pursuit, if you are looking for a community of artists seriously engaged in discussion around their work, The Crit Lab is for you.

Does The Crit Lab have a preference for certain kinds of art? 
We love all art forms equally! We are rigorous about quality. Our commitment is to work with artists to direct and hone their own vision- to work to be the artist you are and not the artist someone else (including the ubiquitous internal critic) thinks you should be. Regardless of whether you make observational landscape paintings, conceptual sculpture, or outwardly political work, (we love all) The Crit Lab pedagogy acknowledges the rhizomatic ways that all art, no matter the genre, speaks to its place in the world.
I am generally shy and uncomfortable giving critique, will joining the Crit Lab still be beneficial? 
Creating an open welcoming space for all is crucial to this process. The structured guidelines in the Lab focus conversation on the artwork rather than the artist. We build skills in critical analysis, allowing difficult issues to be raised, examined, and discussed, without becoming personal. This keeps focus on the vitality of the object, its dialogue with the world as an autonomous being, and how, as artist and viewer, we collaborate with it to create meaning. We articulate complex abstract ideas around all aspects of art, including materials, voice, subject matter, context, using empathetic approaches to dialogue. This makes visible the social and political aspects of an artwork, encouraging work that is more self-aware and situated in its time. Artists come away with sophisticated strategies for looking, thinking, and talking about ideas aesthetically, formally, socially and politically. This helps all, including the introvert artist, feel comfortable speaking confidently about their own work, the work of others’, and to hear feedback on their own.

What if I have never attended Art School? 
No Problem! We respect the intelligence of all people. The Crit Lab is an egalitarian space for open dialogue, all are welcome and encouraged. We assume everyone can engage in rigorous discussion no matter their background- that’s our politics. The Lab pedagogy is for anyone with enthusiasm, openness, seriousness about their work, and a willingness to tackle big ideas in a supportive space. All groups start with an introduction to the framework and some short background readings.

What if I don’t live in The NYC / Boston Area? Are there still services available to me through The Crit Lab?
Patricia is available to set up groups around the country. Groups can be formed in a local artist studio or home, or community spaces such as galleries, art centers, etc., and are designed for your community. Patricia is also available for one-time or ongoing private studio visits in person or via Skype. Contact us for info.

Can’t I set up my own critique group? Why should I pay for a critique group? 
Yes, you can always set up crit groups with artists in your community! I recommend this to all of my graduating BFA and MFA students. Artists need different types of feedback and support at different points in their work- all of these can be good. The Crit Lab is a more formal, structured, intense program, with rigorous guidelines designed to push the dialogue around the work in a focused manner. The Lab is graduate level critique, requiring serious focus and commitment to produce work within the time frame, and often propels the work in dynamic new ways. We also create intentional communities around our work. If you are at a point where you want a push, and are not in a place to go back to school, the Crit Lab is for you. Feel free to contact participants about their experience, to determine if the Lab is right for you at this moment.

How much does The Crit Lab Cost? Why does it cost that much? 
The sessions cost $500 for 5 meetings, with additional costs for travel when not located at the Crit Lab in Port Chester, NY. We take this process seriously, and ask that participants do as well. Paying an equitable and considered amount assures commitment on the part of the artists. While keeping costs reasonable is a priority, we are committed to artists being paid for their work- and this includes teaching. We are working on developing future scholarships, at this time costs cover expenses. See our professional practice workshops for info on empowering artists, artist-run culture, understanding economics for artists, and creating alternative economies.

Are there trial sessions available before I commit to joining The Crit Lab to see if I enjoy it? 
Yes- this is possible with approval from existing groups. Contact us to setup a visit.

What If I miss a critique meeting? Do I get my money back? 
The Lab can prorate for one meeting when this is confirmed in advance only. Once the session starts, there are no refunds for missed meetings. This assures commitment to the process, builds continuity, confidence, and integrity between members, and protects the nature of the relationships built in meetings. While we understand that life happens, we ask that everyone do their best to clear their schedules for all dates.