The Contemporary Austin's CRIT Group


Deadline for Crit Group 2018 applications: December 1, 2017.

To apply, please send five images, an image list, CV, brief artist statement, and short statement (no longer than one page) describing what you hope to get out of the Crit Group program via WeTransfer to tzal@thecontemporaryaustin.orgwith “Crit Group” in the subject line.

Crit Group is free for participating artists, pending application acceptance. For more information click here. 


The Contemporary Austin’s Crit Group program aims to build a network of critical support for working artists dedicated to growing their artistic practices. Monthly sessions include traditional group art critique to provide peer feedback for a new body of work and current work in progress. Participating artists receive two critiques. Follow-up, one-on-one studio visits with the co-leaders and a gallerist are further opportunities for focused feedback and additional professional growth. Participating artists will also gain relevant knowledge with monthly sessions discussing the work that artists do when not making artwork and opportunities to talk with invited guests. Topics addressed include writing an effective artist’s bio and statement, applying for grants and residencies, public speaking, sustaining a holistic creative life, relevant topics in the larger art world, and more.

The program culminates in a satellite group exhibition at grayDUCK Gallery, Austin, in August 2018. The exhibition will showcase participating artists’ new art made during the program while providing opportunities to apply the professional development skills covered and to interact with curators and gallery professionals. Crit Group comprises six required monthly three-and-a-half-hour evening sessions with the co-leaders and optional informal gatherings organized by the participating artists.

Steered by an artist and curators/museum professionals Sterling Allen, Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, and Andrea Mellard, Crit Group seeks applications for 2018.


  • Open to artists working in all disciplines living and working in Travis County
  • Open to artists with at least 3–5 years of professional activity outside of degree-granting programs (BA, BFA, and/or MFA)
  • Commitment to attending all Crit Group formal and some informal sessions. Participation in exhibition required.
  • Ideal for working artists in active production who are career-oriented as well as conceptually and technically rigorous; artists committed to a studio (or post-studio) practice; artists who have attended (either in the recent or distant past), or soon plan to attend, an MFA program and want to hone their focus; artists new to Austin seeking community and/or a network of engaged peers; artists from varied media practices, including interdisciplinary and those with familiarity with more than one medium; artists exploring a period of artistic transition; artists willing and eager to accept critical feedback and gain insights into how others view their work.


  • Meetings Wednesdays 6:30-10P at the downtown Jones Center on Congress Avenue, with select meetings at Laguna Gloria.
  • Meeting Dates: Meet & Greet January 17 (Laguna Gloria); Meetings January 24, February 21, March 21, April 18, May 16, June 20; wrap-up meeting September 5 (Laguna Gloria)
  • In addition, artists will plan informal off-site gatherings of their choosing, such as a studio crawl, for the other artists.
  • Exhibition Dates: August 4 – September 2, 2018, at grayDUCK Gallery, 2213 E. Cesar Chavez Street; Installation Dates: July 31 – August 2, 2018
    Exhibition Opening: Saturday, August 4, afternoon
    Artist Talk: Saturday, August 25, afternoon


Sterling Allen holds an MFA in Sculpture from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College. He is a co-founder and co-director of Okay Mountain, an artist collective and former gallery based in Austin. As a solo artist and in collaboration with Okay Mountain, he has exhibited, organized, and completed projects at venues throughout the United States and received several residencies, including the Artpace International Artist-in-Residence Program in San Antonio. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Studio Art at Texas State University, where he teaches professional practice, 3D Foundations, and Sculpture.

A champion of local artist communities who stays abreast of international developments, Annette DiMeo Carlozzi has a keen eye for emerging talent and a steadfast commitment to looking beyond labels. Building an expansive practice as a curator of modern and contemporary art—most recently as Curator at Large at the Blanton Museum of Art—Carlozzi has created seminal exhibitions, produced important commissions, and acquired major works by a wide range of artists. She has been a consultant/advisor/board member/panelist for over 50 national and regional organizations including Creative Capital, ArtPace, and UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Named to the Austin Arts Hall of Fame in 2013, Carlozzi is now an independent curator and arts writer producing a volume on the contemporary Texas art scene for UT Press.

Andrea Mellard is Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement for The Contemporary Austin and founder of Crit Group. She curates programming that takes advantage of the museum’s two distinct sites—one urban and the other natural—and provides platforms for audiences to come together, investigate art, and create new experiences. In addition to film series and artist talks, Mellard has curated recent projects with Janine Antoni, Sanford Biggers, Nick Cave, Lucky Dragons, and Mark Mothersbaugh. She has worked with a multitude of emerging Texas artists for the New Art in Austin, Texas Prize and New Works exhibition programs (both at the formerly named Austin Museum of Art and AMOA-Arthouse). As a curator, programmer, and educator, she aims to present cultural opportunities for people of all ages that reflect the eclectic and collaborative spirit of Austin. She has over sixteen years of museum experience, and an MA in American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin inflects her interdisciplinary approach to contemporary culture.