Write a Response 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 response letter to an artist in the Annual Exhibition, please follow the instructions below. If you have any questions about the response letter process, please contact pcapinfo@umich.edu.

Guidelines for Response Letter Submission:


Responding to the Artwork: 

When you are writing the letters, keep in mind that this might be the only feedback the artists are getting. Prison is often a place of judgment & criticism, please be sensitive to the context in which they will be reading your response. Try to focus on your connection to the piece and what makes it strong & successful. Please prioritize being as specific as possible and not overusing generic phrases such as “Your work is great”. Think of someone responding to your work; what kind of feedback would you want?

Be aware that any suggestions that come from someone from outside prison carries a lot of weight. Don’t tell the artist what to do or what direction to take, but ask questions that may provoke artistic experimentation and development. If, for example, the drawing is all in a very light value, you could say “Standing in front of your piece, I picked up on all the lighter, more subtitle details. Did you intentionally want to create a light effect? Do you experiment with a range of lights and darks in other pieces?”

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

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