For the first time in a year, Missouri State’s art and design department welcomes a visiting artist to speak with students, faculty and staff, and Springfield community members.

Terry Barrett, American art critic and emeritus at Ohio State University, is scheduled to visit Missouri State University — virtually — for his “Art: Taking it Personally” webinar Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 11:15 a.m.

Originally, Barrett was to visit the university in March 2020 with artist Marie Watt for a week-long series of events, said photography professor and co-chair of the visiting artists committee Gwen Walstrand. However, plans were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be the department’s first public visiting artist webinar. Zoom calls with artists have been conducted for individual classes throughout the last year though. 

“All (Barrett’s) work is very student-centered and makes complex ideas accessible in ways most critics and writers about art do not,” Walstrand said. “His work is genuine, direct, never overwhelming with ‘art speak’ but illuminates ideas and artworks with possibilities for deeper understandings.”

In 2019, Barrett published “CRITS: A Student Manual,” a guide to successful student critiques, which will be discussed during the webinar.

According to Jodi McCoy, Brick City Gallery director of exhibitions and co-chair of the visiting artists committee, Barrett will speak for about an hour, followed by a 15-30 minute Q&A session.

Following the webinar, Barrett will visit individual art and design classes throughout the afternoon.

Art and design department head Vonda Yarberry encourages all art and design students to attend, as Barrett’s critique process is refined.

“For our students, at all levels — graduates in the MFA program who are learning to teach, undergrads in the beginning through advanced levels — this is a really extraordinary opportunity to unpack and demystify interpretation and how the critique process works,” Yarberry said. 

The webinar, however, is free for all Missouri State students, faculty and staff, and community members across the nation. 

McCoy said there is a capacity limit of 500 seats for the webinar, but plenty of space is still available.

For those unable to attend the webinar, McCoy will record the event, which will be posted on the Missouri State Art and Design website, accessible 24 hours after the webinar. 

Register for “Art: Taking it Personally” with Dr. Terry Barrett until Jan. 25. here

Learn more about Barrett, along with his work, books and more on his website here

The art and design department has at least three more visiting artist webinars scheduled for the spring semester, according to McCoy. Follow the art and design department on Instagram @msuartdesign for updates.


Follow Greta Cross on Twitter, @gretacrossphoto

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