VA Gallery Review Requirements and Guideline
General Instructions – Pick a piece that has meaning or interest for you. Use the 4-step Critique Process. Use the questions below as a guide only, all questions will not fit all art works. Take extensive notes and get gallery information while you are viewing the artwork or take a picture with permission. Don’t rely on your memory of the piece later.
Include form completely filled out and legible to receive full credit.
Do NOT include Review Instructions
Format: 1.5 pages, typed in 12 pt font, 1.5 spacing
Proof your writing and use spell check
Use appropriate art vocabulary
Late gallery reviews follow department policy
Questions and topics for your review
Use these questions as a guide for your writing.
Step 1: Describe exactly what you see . Start with general statements about the format (horizontal or vertical) and the kind of subject matter you see (landscape, still life, portrait, genre scene, figurative, religious, historical, animal, abstraction, non-objective etc). Describe things generally, then give details. Use concrete, objective describing words, not opinion. Give enough descriptive information so the reader can picture what it looks like. Do not include so much detail that the reader gets confused. Describe where each thing is placed in the piece. If a figure, describe the pose.
Step 2: Analyze How did the artist make this piece? What media is used and what techniques are used with the media? Is it carved, painted, assembled? If painted, describe the paint application and style. Which art elements are important here? Example: If line plays a major role, describe the type of lines used? If texture is a major element, is it implied or real? How is the paint applied—thick/thin, loose/tight? What special techniques are part of this artist’s style? What design elements are used in the piece? How did the artist organize their piece? What is the focal point, where did your eye go first? How has the artist created unity, balance, or harmony in the piece?
Step 3: Interpret All artists have intent in making their work and make conscious choices about how and what they show us. Based on what you see, what is the artist trying to show, say or present to us? What is the artist’s idea or reason for making the piece? Not all pieces have symbolic or psychological meanings, just try to figure out why the artist might have made this. Use what you see to construct and support reasonable interpretations. What does the piece make you think or feel? Is there a mood, or a specific time or story communicated to you through the subject matter and technique? Support your opinions.
Step 4: Evaluate the quality of this piece and explain why you chose it. What exactly caught your eye or interest here? What does this piece make you think or feel? Based on what you have seen before and know about art, is the piece technically good? Be sure to support your opinions with specific things you see in the work of art and specific examples of other work you have seen. Does it relate to you personally, your interests or your art? This is your opinion but you should be able to make a strong argument for it.
Remember, not all Questions listed here apply to all art objects. Use these questions as a guide only.