For each piece, we commission a professional critique. We look for a piece in the range of 500-1300 words that gives an educated perspective on the work, the artist, or the artist's practice. We look for a casual, insightful tone with a minimum of jargon. Our subscribers are an inquisitive, educated bunch, but are not always "art world" people.
You will receive one of the edition you review, one backissue of your choice, and $75 OR a one year subscription to The Present Group.
If you're interested, E-Mail us with your contact info, resume, and some writing samples
Past Present Group Critics
is an artist and writer. Her exhibition reviews and interviews have been included in print and online publications such as Textile: the Journal of Cloth and Culture, Fiberarts Magazine (2007-2011), Daily Serving and Art Practical. For Daily Serving, she also writes the weekly arts-advice column HELP DESK, co-sponsored by KQED.org and reprinted at HuffingtonPost.com. Gilsdorf is a 2011-2012 MFA Fellowship Resident at the Headlands Center for the Arts. She lives in San Francisco.
Tess Thackara is Senior Reviews Editor at Art Practical, an online arts journal to which she also contributes writing. She holds a BA degree in English Literature from Trinity College, Dublin, and has completed internships at Phaidon Press, and McSweeney’s—where she contributed research to Dave Eggers’s creative nonfiction work, Zeitoun. Her photography has been exhibited in London, and she recently produced a short documentary film about artists Richard and Judith Lang.
Sam Gould is co-founder of Red76, a collaborative art practice which originated in Portland, Oregon in 2000. Along with his work as the instigator and core-facilitator of many of the groups initiatives, Gould is the acting editor of its publication, The Journal of Radical Shimming. He is a senior lecturer at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, Ca. within the Graduate Fine Arts Dept. for Social Practice and is frequently a guest lecturer at schools around the United States and abroad.
Gould’s work has been activated through projects and lectures on street corners, in laundromats, bars, and kitchen tables, as well as through collaborations with museums and institutions such as SF MoMA; the Walker Arts Center; the Drawing Center; the Bureau for Open Culture; Institute for Art, Religion, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary; ArtSpeak; Printed Matter; the Cooper Union; the New Museum/Rhizome; Manifesta8; and many other institutions and spaces worldwide. He was one of nine nominees for the de Menil Collection’s 2006 Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement, is a founding “keyholder” of MessHall, and was the 2008 Bridge Resident at the Headlands Center for the Arts.
Sarah Fontaine lives in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco, California. She co-directs the studios and project space at the Carville Annex, a site for investigating people and place. She seeks higher stakes. Her writing and other experiments can be found in Plaid Review, Reading Conventions and factorycompany.
Jennifer McCabe is currently Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco, where she has been working for three years to develop new programs and expand the image of the 26-year old institution. She is also an adjunct professor in contemporary art, most recently at Mills College.
Mike Bianco is an independent curator and artist based out of Marfa, Texas, and is the recently appointed associate curator at Ballroom Marfa. Prior to moving to Marfa, Bianco was the co-founder of Queen’s Nails Projects, an offshoot of Queen’s Nails Annex in San Francisco. In addition, Bianco is also the founder of the alternative arts space The Waypoint, in Marfa, Texas. More recently, Bianco has been focused on developing his projects The California Arts Cemetery in Lone Pine, CA., and a contemporary ceramics residency in Marfa, Texas. For more information about Bianco and his work you can visit www.biancoprojects.com
Madeleine Zinn is a writer and erstwhile artist based in Oakland. Her main interests include non-fiction, community arts, pop culture, and queer theory and identity politics. She is currently pursuing a dual MFA/MA in Writing and Visual & Critical Studies at California College of the Arts.
Heidi De Vries works as a manager at an advertising company by day and freelances as a writer and a music consultant. She is also a volunteer DJ at KALX Berkeley 90.7fm, and though her show is currently on hiatus she would be happy to recommend some awesome tunes for you anytime. You can find her at her blog, Engineer's Daughter.
Matthew David Rana is an artist and writer based in Oakland. He is a featured contributor to Art Practical and his writing has appeared in the books, There is No Two Without Three and I’m a Park and You’re a Deer. Matthew is also co-director, with Michelle Blade, of The Living Room, a storefront project in Oakland. He is currently pursuing a dual MFA/MA in Social Practice and Visual & Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts.
Brian Andrews is an artist who works with photography, video, and emerging media. Not content to just make things, he records as the west coast producer for Bad at Sports Contemporary Art Podcast. His critical writings can be found on Artnet and in Beautiful/Decay Magazine, as well as in numerous catalogs. Currently, he is the Course Director for the compositing program in animation and visual effects at Expression College for Digital Art in Emeryville, California.
Genevieve Quick received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and has shown her work in galleries in the Bay Area. She has done residencies at Yaddo and Djerassi and included in exhibitions at the Headland’s Center for the Arts. Quick is co-curator of the traveling exhibition “Gold Rush: Artist as Prospector”,
Andrew Venell is a designer, hypertext author and multimedia artist whose works explore issues of urbanism, surveillance, commerce and mass communication.
Victoria Gannon is an Oakland-based freelance writer who recently earned her masters degree in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. She enjoys writing about art, cultural and personal geographies, and the frequent intersections between the two. She recently collaborated with Oakland filmmaker and fellow CCA alum Michael Goodier on "Love Lafayette." The 11-minute film is based on her essay about the East Bay suburb in which she grew up. Gannon's master's thesis investigated informal day laborer hiring sites within the context of their surrounding landscapes. email@example.com
DeWitt Cheng is a San Francisco artist and freelance art writer for Artweek, Art Ltd., SanFranciscoArtMagazine.com and Shotgun-Review-com. He curated "Hybrids" at the Peninsula Museum of Art in 2006 and is co-curator the Meridian Gallery's 2008 "The Art of Democracy" show. He will be teaching Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism at UC Berkeley Extension, San Francisco, in the spring of 2008.
Anuradha Vikram, a curator and writer based in San Francisco's East Bay, is Program Director at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California, where she curates public programs, studio work-in-progress and temporary exhibitions, and supervises the residency and commissions programs. In the summer of 2006, she was Associate Producer of the ISEA2006 Symposium and concurrent Zero One San Jose: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge, August 7-13, 2006, in San Jose, CA, where she co-curated C4F3: The CafÃ© for the Interactive City at the San Jose Museum of Art and produced 50 installations and performances by international artists. Prior to the festival, Anuradha was Exhibitions Director at the Richmond Art Center from 2005-2006, where she curated the group exhibition Dress: Clothing as Art and solo exhibitions by Ala Ebtekar, Mads Lynnerup and Beth Cook, and organized numerous others. Anuradha was awarded an M.A. in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, in 2005, and holds a B.S. in Studio Art from New York University, completed 1997.
Anuradha is currently Programs Co-Chair for Northern California ArtTable, and a Curatorial Advisor for Pro Arts, Oakland, CA. She served on the jury for the San Francisco Foundation Murphy and Cadogan Fellowships in June 2006. Anuradha was studio and collections manager for sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen from 1998-2002; project manager for commissions for San Francisco glass artist Nikolas Weinstein from 2002-2004; and an intern in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2004. Recent independent projects include Beyond Explanation: Automatic Abstraction, a group exhibition at the National Institute for Art and Disabilities (NIAD), Richmond, CA, September 5-October 13, 2006; Winter Dreams, Transmissions Gallery, Berkeley, CA, November 1-December 23, 2006; and several reviews published in online and print publications.
Emily Kuenstler is an artist and writer living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her writings have appeared in AfterImage and Stretcher.org.
Michael Betancourt is a curator, avant-garde theorist, and multi-disciplinary artist. He has been making movies, site-specific installations, and non-traditional art forms (and exhibiting his work in unseen, unusual, or public spaces) since 1992. Journals such as Leonardo, Semiotica and CTheory have published his essays. His blog is located at cinegraphic.net and his portfolio can be seen at www.michaelbetancourt.com.