01 December 2016

Announcing the 2016 Art Writing Workshop recipients

AICA-USA is pleased to announce the recipients and mentors for the 2016/2017 Art Writing Workshop, a partnership between AICA/USA and The Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program.The Art Writing Workshop gives practicing writers the opportunity to strengthen their work through one-on-one email and phone consultations with leading art critics. Every year, each of ten senior art critics makes a personal choice from the finalists among scores of applicants. Together, writer and mentor set goals, initiate an in-depth dialogue, and establish a practice through which to address such issues as prose style, organizational structure, and argument. The workshop’s goal is to aid writers who are intent on honing their skills and developing a compelling prose that can describe and question, render complex ideas clearly, and situate art works within their broader contexts.


2016/2017 Writing Workshop Recipients

Margot Bouman (Mentor Carol Diehl)
Claire Breukel (Mentor Edward J. Sullivan)
Sarah Hamill (Mentor Peter Plagens)
Colony Little (Mentor Holland Cotter)
Melissa Mednicov (Mentor Nancy Princenthal)
Zlatan Pobric (Mentor Judith E. Stein)
Sheila Regan (Mentor Rachel Corbett)
Seph Rodney (Mentor Robin Cembalest)
Kristine Ronan (Mentor Stephanie Barron)
Iona Whittaker (Mentor Lilly Wei)


2016/2017 Art Writing Workshop Mentors

Stephanie Barron is Senior Curator and Modern Art Department Head at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Among her groundbreaking exhibitions are Exiles + Émigrés: The Flight of European Artists from Hitler, Made in California 1900-2000, and retrospectives of such artists as artists David Hockney, Ken Price, Maria Nordman, and Sharon Lockhart. Her exhibitions have five times been voted best in the U.S. by AICA/USA and three times by the Art Museum Curators Association. She has twice received the College Art Association’s distinguished award for best museum catalogue.


Robin Cembalest is a journalist and consultant who advises art-world clients on editorial and digital strategy. Previously she was Executive Editor of ARTnews, where she launched the magazine’s web content and social-media feeds. A prolific Instagrammer, she also directs the Niboristas, a mentoring and networking group for young professionals in the art world.


Rachel Corbett is executive editor of Modern Painters and the author of You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin (September 2016, W.W. Norton). Her writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, The Art NewspaperNew York Magazine, and others. She lives in Brooklyn.

Holland Cotter is a chief art critic for the New York Times, and winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for Art Writing from the College Art Association. He was contributing editor at New York Arts Journal and Art in America. He is a poet, studied Sanskrit, taught South Asian and Islamic art, and writes frequently on the art of disparate histories, and cultures. The California College of Art and the Maryland Institute College of Art have awarded him honorary doctorates.


Carol Diehl is a contributing editor for Art in America and has written for ARTnews, New York, Art & Auction, Art & Antiques, Metropolis, and the New Art Examiner (founding Managing Editor). In 2011 she received a The Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation/Arts Writers Grant for her blog, Art Vent. A former slam poet, Diehl’s work is included in the 1994 National Book Award anthology, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. She currently teaches a core seminar at SUNY/Albany and is writing a book about Banksy.

Peter Plagens is a painter whose work was the subject of a 2004 traveling retrospective. He was art critic for Newsweek (1989-2003) and currently writes for The Wall Street Journal. Plagens, who has received numerous fellowships, is the author of two books of art criticism, a print novel, an online novel, and the 2014 monograph, Bruce Nauman: The True Artist. He is married to the painter Laurie Fendrich, and their two-person exhibition opens at Sonoma State University in California in February, 2017.

Nancy Princenthal is a former senior writer for Art in America whose book Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art (Thames and Hudson, 2015) received the 2016 PEN America award for biography. She has also contributed to Artforum, Parkett, the Village Voice, and the New York Times. She is the author of Hannah Wilke (Prestel, 2010), a co-author of two recent books on women artists and contributed essays to monographs on Shirin Neshat, Doris Salcedo, Robert Mangold and Alfredo Jaar. She is currently on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts.


Judith E. Stein is author of  Eye of the Sixties, Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art (Farrar, Straus, 2016). For the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts she curated the award-winning I Tell My Heart, The Art of Horace Pippin, which traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A former arts reviewer for NPR’s Fresh Air and Morning Edition, she has written for such publications as Art in America and The New York Times Book Review. She is the recipient of awards from the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and The Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program.


Edward J. Sullivan is the Helen Gould Sheppard Professor of the History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts & the Department of Art History at New York University He is an independent curator and the author of some thirty books and exhibition catalogues on subjects related to the arts of the Iberian Peninsula, the Caribbean and South America. He has written numerous articles and reviews for journals ranging from Art in America to Art Nexus and has organized exhibitions in museums in Latin America, Europe and the U.S.

Lilly Wei writes frequently on international exhibitions and biennials. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications world-wide and she is a longtime contributor to Art in America and a contributing editor at ARTnews. The author of numerous catalogues and monographs, she has curated exhibitions in the United States, Europe and Asia. Wei lectures frequently and sits on the boards of several not-for-profit art institutions and organizations. She was born in Chengdu, China. 

Art Writing Workshop Program Director Amei Wallach is an art critic and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in the New York TimesArt in AmericaARTnews, the Nation, and Smithsonian. She was on-air arts essayist for the PBS Newshour and chief art critic for Newsday. Her films include Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine (co-directed with Marion Cajori) and Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here. She is in production on Americans In Venice, about an explosive moment in the art of the 1960s. She was guest editor for the Brooklyn Rail, has contributed to a dozen books, served two terms as president of AICA/USA, and sits on the board of CEC ArtsLink, fostering international artistic dialogue.

For more information, see the Arts Writers Grant Program.

Headquartered in New York, AICA-USA's membership comprises over 400 critics, curators, scholars, and art historians working throughout the United States.

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