The Contemporary Austin Announces Artists Selected for the 2019 Crit Group

Louis Grachos, the Ernest & Sarah Butler Executive Director and CEO of The Contemporary Austin, is pleased to announce the newest class of its Crit Group, an annual program that aims to build a network of critical support for working artists dedicated to growing their artistic practices. The 2019 class includes artists working in diverse two-and three-dimensional media, including painting, sculpture, installation, printmaking, video, and experimental media. More information about the program can be found at

Selected artists for the 2019 Crit Group are:

Veronica Ceci
Madeline Irvine
Paloma Mayorga
Virginia Lee Montgomery
Michael Muelhaupt
Manik Raj Nakra
Matthew Steinke
Jenn Wilson

These eight local artists were selected by Crit Group co-leaders Sterling Allen, Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, and Andrea Mellard from more than eighty applicants who submitted portfolios and written statements about their work. Crit Group 2019 will meet monthly beginning in January 2019, for sessions that include traditional group art critique to provide peer feedback for a new body of work and current work in progress. Participating artists participate in two group critiques, receive one-on-one studio visits with Crit Group co-leaders and a gallerist for further professional feedback, and attend monthly sessions with invited guests, discussing the work that artists do when they are not making art. 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 2019 Crit Group will culminate in a group exhibition at Austin’s grayDUCK Gallery opening on July 27 and on view through August 25, 2019.

“I am incredibly proud of all of the ways in which The Contemporary Austin supports our community of local artists, from the more than seventy-five working artists we employ at the Art School to the numerous musicians, dancers, visual artists and more who participate in specific works of art, exhibitions, public programs, and performances,” Louis Grachos said. “Crit Group enriches these opportunities for local artists, as a celebrated peer mentorship program that brings artists together in support of the creative process. I congratulate the 2019 Crit Group class and look forward to getting to know them and their work in the coming months.”

In its five-year history, The Contemporary Austin’s Crit Group has served more than forty local artists.

Read the full press release here.

IMAGE: Madeline Irvine, Roots, 2019. Sea salt crystals on paper. 110 x 120 inches. Artwork © Madeline Irvine. Image courtesy the artist. Photograph by Colin Doyle.