Invitation: The ArtsWatch Arts Writing Workshop at Museum of Contemporary Craft

“Criticism is thought of as if its business were not explication of the content of an object as to substance and form, but a process of acquittal or condemnation on the basis of merits and demerits.” — John Dewey, “Art as Experience”

We are all critics and journalists, of course, but maybe you feel the call to respond to the arts in a more formal way. Maybe you’ve said,  “We need more arts writing, more criticism!”  and have decided that you want to get started. Or maybe you already write (using “write” in the broadest possible sense) about the arts and see the need to find a new way to approach it, one that’s more open-ended and creative than what you’ve been doing. Let’s say you belong to one of those two groups and are wondering, What next?!?”

Well, that’s where the ArtsWatch Arts Writing Workshop comes in. ArtsWatch executive editor Barry Johnson, who wrote and edited arts and culture stories both at The Oregonian and Willamette Week for more than 30 years, will conduct a free, two-day workshop  to help writers develop a pragmatic approach to what Dewey calls the “difficult process” of “learning to see and hear.”

The ArtsWatch Arts Writing Workshop takes place Saturday, December 3, and Saturday, December 10 from 11 AM to 2 PM at Museum of Contemporary Craft (724 NW Davis). The workshop is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP to lradon (at)

“I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.” — Marcel Duchamp


Barry Johnson

Barry Johnson has written about and edited arts and culture stories of various sorts since 1978, when he started writing about dance for the Seattle Sun. He edited the arts section of Willamette Week and wrote a general culture column in the early 1980s. He started at The Oregonian as arts editor in 1983, moving between editing and writing (visual arts, movies, theater, dance) until leaving in 2009. His thinking about arts writing has focused on ways to make it more creative for the writer and more useful to everyone concerned.




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