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I am for an Art… Creative Strategies for Artists’ Professional Writing

Photo by Jessica Pierotti
Photo by Jessica Pierotti
Learn how to avoid common writing pitfalls, tools for improving your skills, and exercises to imbue the writing process with creativity.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm

Once reserved for journal and manifestos, artists are now asked to define their creative practice in myriad contexts with increasing frequency. Developing strong writing skills for conveying the narrative of one’s life, art, and creative career are imperative in creating effective artist statements, project descriptions, grant applications, and other common application materials.

This program includes:

  • An hour-long panel with writers and editors.
  • Following panel discussion, registrants can sign up for one-on-one consultation sessions to solicit feedback on writing samples submitted in advance. Please note: One-on-one sessions are filled on a first come, first served basis. Registrants will receive assigned consultation time slot and consultant upon check in at the door. A limited number of slots are available.
  • An experimental writing exercise designed to encourage radical creativity with artist statements.


Bryce Dwyer is a writer, editor, and organizer from Chicago. He is the Assistant Director of Contemporary Art Group the organization that produces, among other projects, the website Contemporary Art Daily.

Gretchen Kalwinski is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Reader, Stop Smiling, Time Out Chicago, Make Literary Magazine, and Featherproof Books. Her clients have ranged from Crate and Barrel, Orbitz, Imagination Publishing, University of Chicago, and the American Library Association. Kalwinski has appeared as a panelist on WGN radio and Chicago Tonight, and was awarded a Ragdale artist residency in 2009. Currently, she’s editing novels for Curbside Press, ghostwriting an e-book for a startup, and writing travel stories. In 2014, she earned a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Northwestern University.

Jesse Malmed is an artist and curator, working in video, performance, text, occasional objects and their gaps and overlaps. He has performed, screened and exhibited at museums, microcinemas, film festivals, galleries, bars and barns, including solo presentations at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, University of Chicago’s Film Studies Center, and Chicago Cultural Center. Additionally, Jesse directed the Live to Tape Artist Television Festival last month at Links Hall, programs at the Nightingale Cinema, co-directs the mobile exhibition space Trunk Show, programs through ACRE TV and spends part of each summer as a Visiting Artist Liaison with ACRE. His writing has appeared in Incite Journal, YA5, OMNI Reboot, Big Big Wednesday, Temporary Art Review, Bad at Sports and Cine-File. A native of Santa Fe, Jesse earned his BA at Bard College and his MFA at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was named a “2014 Breakout Artist” by Newcity and is presently a DCASE In The Works resident, having his own cultural affair.

Samantha Topol is a writer, editor, and artist based in Chicago. She is co-founder of Original Features, an occasional, project-driven collaboration to encourage formal inventiveness in presentation, connection between wide-ranging discourses, and the development of the work of peers and contemporaries. Her interest in supporting the release of new work has led to a growing commitment, and critical investment, in arts organizing. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The BelieverArt LiesThe Architect's Newspaper, and the essay collection Theorizing Visual Studies, released by Routledge. She earned dual MA/MFA degrees from The School of the Art Institute, and a BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Samantha is currently the Manager of Grants and Donor Engagement at Northwestern University's Block Museum.


Click here to register!

  • $15 | General Public
  • $10 | CAC Artist Member
  • FREE | Current BOLT / HATCH / LAUNCH Residents (registration required)