Elie's interest in forming Crit piqued when she began to recognize and practice the role of artist-as-host. She has always enjoyed the parts of her creative process that engage with problems IRL, that use the world as a creative stage, that fill rooms with interesting strangers, and that explore areas of social and emotional open water.
Ingrid is a photographer and writer who spent the semester honing two (sometimes three) very different works that emerged from the same investigation: finding life in unexpected places. Ingrid sought to posit “life” as an inherently human theory, one intertwined with and defined by our bodily senses and imaginations. Meditating on vitality — both ubiquitous and unique, natural and supernatural — Ingrid created a photo series entitled Human Ikebana, as well as a chapbook of haikus, Minuets to the Minute.
Lauren is a painter and a poet. Influenced by mysticism and the mundane, by anthropomorphism and conjuring sentiment through sound, Lauren explored a new medium this spring at Crit by creating a series of foam sculptures. She accompanied it with a chapbook of poetry, Lasso Tool. She produces under spooky snakes, a poetics project and will be the first to tell you she's a Libra.
Lily explores feelings, experience, and thoughts through video, performance, and other media. She is fascinated by multiple realities, the construction of one's identity, the intersection of space x time and what cannot be known. Her videos and performances interrogate and unpack social norms to poke at the messy humanity within. People, community, and accessibility are all pillars of her practice as an artist, educator, and founder of Crit.
If experiences, feelings, and ideas are puddles of water, Michelle likes to think of poetry as the cup that contains the water. A good poem is a fine crystal cup. But a great poem is a singing cup played with a wet finger tracing the rim. Michelle's puddles emerge from a desire to play with the materiality of meaning and out of a drive to voice the contradictory chorus of identity. She founded Crit to explore the possibilities for thematic resonances within collective pursuits.
Vera (née Veronica Gutierrez) creates paper using natural materials found throughout her daily life and travels. By making art out of a medium usually intended as a surface for other art, her practice looks at the impulse to preserve and the new and layered artifacts that emerge from that impulse. An excerpt from the book of haikus entitled My Flowers Said, created during this semester's Crit:
As a writer and poet, Cornell focused this past spring on adapting the Ilocano Filipino tradition of “atang” — or offerings — into literature. The ritual — as elaborate as a display of sweet delicacies during a funerary wake or as simple as setting an extra place for a family meal — spoke to personal experiences with loss as well as the process of re-identifying with his cultural beginnings now as an American writer.
Playing off the tension between nature and the human impulse to clarify, master, and measure phenomena, Jocelyn created a series of photographs which took delight in moments where fissures appear and muddle our understanding of the world around us.
Katie's work exists at the intersection of offering and action. A student of indigenous philosopher Martín Prechtel's school, Bolad's Kitchen, Katie came to Crit as an urban extension of her studies in the wild, seeking to reconcile the often contradictory imperatives of the living world. As a writer, her work occupies the role of protector / destroyer of that world, interweaving her fascination with mythologies of “the fall” and the apocalypse. A central theme to her work, and to her involvement in Crit, is the practice of relationships as a mode of existence and identity.
Natasha is a Dominican and Ecuadorean New Yorker whose multiculturalism influences her writing. She writes short essays accompanied by pen, watercolor and gouache drawings. Her work relates to themes of identity, matriarchy, distance, memory and the Latin diaspora, and the role of storytelling in passing knowledge between generations.