Write a Critique Letter

PCAP artists greatly appreciate and benefit from critical feedback from viewers of the exhibition. The Prison Creative Arts Project solicits critique letters for our artist community from practicing artists, art teachers, art students, and others with a strong background in the visual arts. If you would like to provide a critique letter to an artist in the Annual Exhibition, please follow the instructions below. If you have any questions about the critique letter process, please contact pcapinfo@umich.edu.

Guidelines for Critique Letter Submission: 

Writing the Critique:

When you are writing the letters, keep in mind that this might be the only feedback the artists are getting. Give positive and constructive feedback. Try to address both the technique and the content of the piece. Please prioritize being as specific as possible and not overusing generic phrases such as “Your work is great.” Think of having your work critiqued. What kind of feedback do you want?

Be aware that any suggestions that come from someone from outside prisons carry a lot of weight. Don’t tell the artist what to do or what direction to take, but make suggestions that they may want to follow. If for example, the drawing is all in a very light value, you could say “I wonder if you intentionally wanted to create a light effect, or if you were afraid to use darks in the drawing. If you want to create drama with light and dark, don’t be afraid to try that. You could experiment with seeing how the effect is different when you have a wide or a narrow range of lights and darks.”

Your letter could address:

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