Photogram by Mary Gow

In my last blog post artist Ines Kramer mentioned the importance of having a critique group. Nancy Mizuno Elliott, who is in a critiquing group with Kramer, says it helps to have some guidelines in the first meeting. Here’s a few of her suggestions:

1. Clarify what the group is and is not. It is for critiquing each other’s work. It is not a therapy group and it is not a business group.

2. Use a timer for critiquing sessions so each person gets equal time.

3. Make group participation a requirement. Bring food if everyone is supposed to bring food, help with hanging the group’s shows, etc.

4. The group decides how many absences within a given time period is unacceptable. For example, 4 absences in six months means you will receive a “bye-bye” email.

5. At the first meeting have all agree that each is ok with receiving a “bye-bye” email.

“You have to make sacrifices for community and support – and for any kind of relationship,” said Elliott.