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Performance Art Melds With Art Criticism

University Galleries exterior

Local visual artists have a unique opportunity to circumvent the usual distance between artist and critic in a unique piece of performance art at the University Galleries in Uptown Normal.  Acclaimed art critic Lori Waxman is offering central Illinois artists the chance to have their work reviewed as part of 60 WRD/MIN Art Critic.

"Lori Waxman is a Chicago-based art historian and critic," said Kendra Paitz, head curator for Illinois State's University Galleries. "She's the author of several books and is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.  In 2005, she started this project called 60 WRD/MIN Art Critic where she goes into communities where the artists have little to no access to written critical reviews of their work, and she offers this service. She does it as a performance"

Paitz said Waxman guarantees the artists will get a serious, brief review of their work.  "She doesn't guarantee that they'll be positive, but they will be constructive and informative."

The reviews will be staged in the small window gallery, which looks out on Beaufort  Street in Normal.  There will be an office set up and Waxman will meet with ten artists per day,spending about twenty minutes with each artist before writing a brief review.

"It's important that this is open to all visual artists, "said Paitz during an appearance on WGLT's Sound Ideas. "This is not just for professional artists.  Students and hobbyists can be a part of this, as well.  It's a way for people to get really informed feedback on their work and to also reach a larger audience, through Lori Waxman's website, which will host the published reviews, along with the University Galleries, which will post the reviews physically.  And we're every excited about partnering with WGLT as our publication partner.  The radio station is going to publish the reviews, as well.

Reservations for participation must be made in advance and will be on a first-come-first-serve basis.  Artists can request a reservation by emailing critic@60wrdmin.org. 

Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.