I am an art writer and critic. I believe that art criticism is alive and well and more important than ever in this age of cultural information overload. I am not an academic and do not espouse to one theory or school of thought. Art theory has very little bearing on the creative process. Philosophers such as Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and Foucault have all postulated and tried to understand and define our connection to art. Yet, since Clement Greenberg and Hal Rosenberg, the academic machine has focused on art theory as criticism and criticism as defining art theory. This is evident in the work of Michael Fried, Rosalind Krauss and Linda Nochlin. ArtForum magazine is primarily an academic fueled machine written by MA and Ph.D. students.  All of the reviews are done by academics. This has turned art writing into something droll, boring and esoteric. It’s no wonder nobody is reading. I strive to write about art in a way that is accessible, with a strong voice and purpose. Below are a few things I believe about art and writing.

  • The role of art is to report the visible, but to reveal and communicate the unknown.
  • The art of the art writer is to find words and phrases that describe their experience and reaction to an artist’s work and begin a dialogue with others.
  • Artists are valuable and important members of society who transform individual lives through their aesthetic expression.
  • Painting is not dead. Art is not dead. It all lives.
  • I believe curating is more than picking, choosing or voting for favorites–it is facilitating, presenting, designing and collaborating something that adds up to more than the sum of its parts.
  • I will speak my truth with honesty and integrity
  • The response a person has to a work of art is the art.
  • Art provides the viewer an opportunity to jump into the work and become a part of the work
  • I value the spiritual and transformative qualities of art and believe that creating art can heal and change lives.
  • An artist, writer or creative person must go to the deep, dark places.
  • Shock value in art is overrated. It also has to have substance.
  • Art is more than a symbol of culture
  • Art is more than something you can get away with because you call yourself an artist or are affiliated with an arts organization.
  • Everyone is creative and has creative ability
  • It takes dedication and practice to achieve greatness. A professional has mastered their craft. A professional artist understands that in the end, their creation is a product for a market.
  • Process happens in the studio. Art is not process. Art is the result of process.
  • The ephemeral notion of Art is disingenuous.
  • Art that conveys a message, political, feminist, etc. must be more than just a message.


2 responses to “Manifesto”

  1. janina ciezadlo Avatar

    Leanne: I love this manifesto! So many of your points are right on target! “Painting is not dead” is a good one, as well as your comments about professionalism (craft) and accessibility. Nice work! I am (kind of) planning to be in Albuquerque at X-mas. I’ll let you know. And, of course, let me know if you make it to Chicago.


  2. mindmarrow Avatar

    Wonderful manifesto Leanne. I look forward to reading more of your work, thank you for supporting arts and artists with your intention and words!


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