Critique Guidelines

Prof. Towery



Critiques will be conducted as open, informal forums where we will discuss and comment upon other students' work in a constructive, critical, and intelligent manner. I expect you to openly question your fellow students on their decisions in regard to content, aesthetic, composition, and technical matters. Be prepared to answer for your own work - no decision is made arbitrarily, and I want to know why you did what you did, and to explain why you believe your image(s) are effective and appropriate to your concept.



Begin by stating what you see; this is an important part of the critique process. Not everyone sees the same thing in an image.



Ask yourself what the image is about.

What does it represent or express?

What problems does it address?

What does it mean to me?



Ask yourself, is this a successful or unsuccessful images based on the criterion?

Am I judging by this criterion, or by a different criterion, what is that?

What elements in the image support your judgment?



Being Critical and being kind are not mutually exclusive activities.

Critiques provide an opportunity to learn to be articulate about images.

Critiques can offer alternate ways to think about the images.

Critiques require participation: Speak thoughtfully and listen actively.

Describing what you see is a vital part of the process.

Everything counts in an image.

When you interpret an image, the artistÍs intent is not necessarily relevant.

Images may carry multiple meanings and interpretations.

Judging an image must be dependent on an interpretation of the image.

Judgments without reasons are irresponsive and irresponsible.

Preferences are personal, Judgments must be defended.

Critique does not necessarily mean being judgmental.


Attendance during critiques is crucial. I expect everyone to have their work finished and ready for show promptly at the beginning of class on critique days. If you miss a critique, your grade for that project will be lowered one letter for each class day until you turn it in to me. In other words, if your work is not ready for the critique, you cannot possible make higher than a B. If you attend the critique anyway, I will allow an extra class day before I lower the B to a C.