Art Bar

Calling all critics — In any given newspaper in the United States and Europe a century ago, a reader could find more than a few articles devoted to art reviews on a daily basis. This is no longer the case, at least in this country.

That’s why it’s surprising that Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y., and the School of Visual Arts in New York City have decided to take writing more seriously, possibly signaling a trend. As of July, Syracuse University will offer a master’s program in arts journalism with guest faculty from Artforum, the New Yorker and The New York Times. Degree-seeking students have the option to specialize in one of several different areas of criticism: music, theater, film, architecture and fine arts. The School of Visual Arts will launch a master of fine arts program in art criticism this fall. It too will include a faculty of well-known professionals, such as Arthur Danto and David Lee Strauss, and focus on the roots of art criticism in philosophy. Maybe the fresh young thinkers from the academies will generate some excitement in the real world.

I am the law — Summer is usually a time to relax and refresh, but it’s also a good time to set personal and professional affairs in order. The Michigan chapter of ArtServe, a national organization dedicated to helping artists, has begun its summer series of workshops that focus on spreading and strengthening individuals’ knowledge about legal, financial and administrative issues. This week, the two-hour seminar “The Dotted Line” sheds light on basic legal issues, such as contract negotiations. Janet Ramsey, of the law firm Warner, Norcross & Judd, also discusses “red flags” for artists that would signal legal aid may be necessary. Later in the summer, ArtServe presents “Artists Online,” a seminar about online marketing and self-promotion. For more information on the helpful workshops, check out

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