Introduction to running online crits and peer mentoring

The recent Covid-19 /Coronavirus pandemic has made it harder for artists to meet face to face and access the vital practical, critical and pastoral support that practitioners need from their peers.

These resources are intended to support artists during this time of increased isolation providing guidance on building online peer networks and running peer mentoring and crit sessions online. They have been developed as a result of 30works30days, a project devised and run by 12ø collective (funded by Artquest is 2020) and Z-Crits, an online crit model created in conversation with artists Chloe CooperElizabeth Murton and Sarah Rowles of Q-Art. You can read more from an artist’s perspective in this article by 12ø on online crits, and this case study by Chloe Cooper.

Online crits require a specific approach to respond to the particularities of communicating remotely. Reading body language is more difficult, conversation might not flow as easily with time lag due to slow internet connection and with so much time currently spent online, the ability to maintain attention and focus is much reduced. To mitigate this online crits need to

  • Be shorter – so participants can maintain focus
  • Be more structured – so time can be managed effectively
  • Involve more planning and preparation – so time online is spent as efficiently as possible
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