Hilary Doyle and Catherine Haggarty
Co-Directors of NYC Crit Club
For the past three years, NYC Crit Club has provided collaborative group critique classes to both amateur and professional artists looking to strengthen and hone their creative voices in novel ways. Until recently, the critique meetups were held in person at various artist’s studios, galleries and other similar venues, but the coronavirus pandemic has compelled co-directors and instructors Hilary Doyle and Catherine Haggarty to fundamentally re-envision the structure and function of their classes. Now, all classes are conducted over Zoom, but this seemingly restrictive shift has led to unexpected benefits. They even created a new course this year called the Visiting Critic Program, wherein visiting artists and professional critics give brief talks and weigh in on student work.
“If anything, it’s been a way for people to share art that was much larger than they could bring in person,” Doyle told Observer. “Before, people were bringing art by hand or in their backpack rolled up to other people’s studios an hour away from wherever their studio was. So, in a way, this was really exciting for people. They could show several more pieces, or a slideshow.”
“The other really amazing addition, too, is that obviously now we can Zoom with people all around the country,” Haggarty added. “That’s been such a treat for us, to be able to work with people that were either displaced from the pandemic or just living in Montreal or Toronto or L.A. and knew about us but didn’t know how to be a part of it because it’s the New York City CRIT Club.”