Reviewing museums, exhibitions and galleries
Time: 14:00 - 16:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HJ106
Duration: 2 sessions
What is the course about?
Writing about the arts requires a grasp of philosophical principles, aesthetic theory, and historical background, as well as an eye for detail and the ability to engage creatively with a range of different approaches. This class offer an introduction to all of these principles. The course will have both a theoretical and practical focus, offering students guidance on how to get to grips effectively and quickly with a new artistic or historical field.
We will look at different approaches by professional reviewers and creative writers, as well as practical writing tasks, such as composing a pitch, writing an effective opening, and structuring your piece. The aim will be for everyone to come away at the end of the session with an idea for a review, a structure, an angle, and how to go about developing it into a full article.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- The elements of a good review: style and substance.
- Theory and historical background: What is art criticism? How should we go about criticising or reviewing a work of art or an exhibition?
- Tips on building a portfolio.
- The review: structure, language, and the angle.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand some of the key principles of art criticism.
- Reflect upon your own approach to review writing and your idea of what makes a good review.
- Have the kernel of a topic which you can develop into a full review.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course suited to learners with a range of experience wishing to learn more about writing critically about art and heritage. Students should be fluent in written and spoken English. No other experience is necessary.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through a mixture of presentations, individual and group work, with practical exercises. You should be prepared to share your ideas and your writing with the rest of the class. During the course, students will be encouraged to visit a nearby museum or gallery, and will be provided with online access to a current exhibition for group discussion.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Writing materials: pen, paper, tablet or laptop as appropriate to your learning needs. Your creative ideas!
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
City Lit offers a range of non-fiction writing courses including Writing reviews, Writing local history and Travel writing. For more information, please browse the writing section of our website.
Writer and visual artist Claire Collison was awarded the Women Poets’ Prize, 2018. Her first novel was a finalist in the Dundee Book Prize, 2005. Her poetry appears in magazines and anthologies, and has been placed in Winchester, Resurgence, and Hippocrates prizes. She has worked as subeditor for MAKE, the magazine of Women’s Art, and Arts Editor for Disability Arts Magazine. Claire was the first MaxLiteracy writer at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, and designs engagement resources, including for the Government Art Collection, National Maritime Museum, and Photographers’ Gallery. She has led creative projects within hospitals and schools, and with refugees and asylum seekers, vulnerable adults, elders, and young children. Her recent cross-disciplinary project, Truth Is Beauty was performed in venues across the UK. She is a founder member of Poets for the Planet.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.