Past mentors:

Cycle 5 Mentors


Ben Davis

Ben Davis is national art critic for artnet News. He is the author of 9.5 Theses on Art and Class  and the editor of The Elements of Architecture, the catalogue for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.


Chuck Reece

Chuck Reece is co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Bitter Southerner, an online magazine featuring engaging stories about the South.


Katie Geha

Katie Geha is Director of Galleries at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens. She received her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and her MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Rebecca Dimling-Cochran

Rebecca Dimling-Cochran is a freelance art critic, a corresponding editor for Art in America, and curator of the Wieland Collection in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Lauren Haynes

Lauren Haynes is curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. She was previously associate curator of the permanent collection at the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she also oversaw the museum’s esteemed artists-in-residence program.

Cycle 5 Participants


Shannon Morris

Shannon Morris is Gallery Director of Augusta University’s Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art, and serves as curator for the Westobou Festival Gallery. She has served as curator at Georgia College in Milledgeville and on the staffs of other museums within the region including Alabama Contemporary Art Center in Mobile, Alabama; the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia; and the Birmingham Museum of Art. She holds an MA in Art History from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Nitzanah Griffin

Nitzanah Griffin

Nitzanah Griffin is a graduate of Georgia State University, where she received her BA in art with a concentration in art history. Her research interests include contemporary American art and contemporary art of the African diaspora, where transnationalism, identity politics and power converge. She has worked as a gallery assistant at Georgia State University’s Welch School Galleries, volunteered at the Art Papers art auction, and recently completed a multiyear appointment at the High Museum of Art as an Andrew Mellon Curatorial Fellow. She is actively pursuing admittance into a Ph.D. program in art history.

Shady Patterson

Shady Patterson

Shady is a PhD candidate in the Moving Image Studies Program at Georgia State University. She teaches Film History and Analysis at GSU and is an instructor for IATSE 479, Atlanta’s Film, Theatre and Television labor union. In 2012, shady graduated from NYU’s Visual Culture program and moved to Atlanta. Shady has worked as a curatorial assistant at Atlanta Contemporary, an independent curator with LiFT Art Salon, and as a costumer at Tyler Perry Studios. Writing has become an exciting portal to her audiovisual experiences and a way to critically engage with and reflect upon Atlanta’s rich art community.

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Liz Constable 
(repeat participant!)

Liz Constable is an educator, artist and writer living in Northern California where she teaches in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and the University Writing Program at UC Davis. She has published articles in queer feminist film studies, contemporary European cinema and 19th- and 20th-century French and Francophone literature. Passionate about arts education and the power of the arts to raise critical issues about social justice, she brings her practice as a fiber artist into dialogue with art education to write about contemporary intersections of art and cultural activism.

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Maggie Davis 
(repeat participant!)

Maggie Davis is a painter represented by Sandler Hudson Gallery. She began writing art reviews in 2011. Davis was co-moderator for the conversation series for Tanz Farm, Season III: FEED “The Artist Who Never Lies” and moderated the panel discussion “Who’s Suburbia” with photographer Sheila Pree Bright for the Roswell Roots Festival of Black History and Culture. She maintains a studio practice at the Goat Farm Arts Center where she explores painting as a means of thinking.

Carl Rojas

Carl Rojas

Carl Rojas married into art writing. A philosopher and punk rocker first, he is now a finance leader in the tech industry and is married to BURNAWAY's Executive Editor. In the last seven years, Rojas has viewed and evaluated hundreds of art shows in galleries and museums. He realized that he had an opinion about these shows and ultimately succumbed to wanting to share his “voice” on art. He is in this class to continue to find that “voice.” Carl likes to write. Art writing is fun.

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