Art Writers Mentorship Program

AMWP Rainey Knudson

 The Art Writers Mentorship Program cultivates new voices for the arts through writing workshops, instruction in professional practices, and exposure to top practitioners in the field. The program gives participants the time and support to develop and hone their writing skills over six months. It is structured around monthly assignments and workshops that provide critical engagement and feedback in a small group setting.

Huge thanks to our wonderful sponsor for Cycle 6:


Mentors for CYCLE 6: March 3 – July 14, 2018

Session #1 March 3Stephanie Cash, Executive Editor of BURNAWAY

Stephanie Cash has been the Editor of BURNAWAY since November 2013. She was an editor at Art in America magazine in New York from 1993 to 2012. At BURNAWAY, she is responsible for all editorial content for the website and print editions, and for producing the Atlanta Art Guide, a free guide and map of current exhibitions and venues in the city. She also manages the Art Writers Mentorship Program, now in its fourth year.

Session #2 March 24: Felicia Feaster, art reviewer for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and Managing Editor at

Felicia_Feaster_courtesy-Jason-Travis-e1505764153214Felicia Feaster is a managing editor at and and an award-winning art, garden, lifestyle and film writer whose work has also appeared in Travel + Leisure, The Economist, Art in America and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she is the art critic, and BURNAWAY, where she writes about her first love, film.

Session #3 April 21: Kirsten Pai Buick, Professor of Art History at University of New Mexico and 2015 Driskell Prize Winner


Kirsten Pai Buick has taught at the University of New Mexico since 2000, where she specializes in art of the U.S.; African American art; gender and race as they impact the historiography of art; representations of the American landscape; and the history of women as patrons and collectors of the arts. Her book, Child of the Fire: Mary Edmonia Lewis and the Problem of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject, is published by Duke University Press. Her second book, White Skins, White Mask: The Performance of Race in British Colonial Portraits, is in progress.

Session #4 May 19: Susan SnodgrassChicago-based critic and editor of ARTMargins Online and a Senior Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Susan Snodgrass is a Senior Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her blog, In/Site: Reflections on the Art of Place, explores art and urbanism. She has written for both print and online publications, most notably for Art in America, for which she served as a Corresponding Editor (1994–2013), and ARTMargins Online, for which she is co-editor. She has contributed articles to numerous other periodicals, and is the editor of several books and catalogs. Since 2010, she has served as a mentor for the AICA-Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writing Workshop.

Session #5 June 16: Jordan Amirkhani, Assistant Professor of Art History at UT-Chattanooga

jordan amirkani

Prior to joining UTC, Professor Amirkhani held teaching posts at Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent, as well as curatorial positions at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and the Royal Academy in London, England. Jordan’s emphasis on the intersection of art and politics in the twentieth century informs much of her academic research, and she is currently working on a book that places the aesthetic and political conflicts of Picabia’s era in dialogue with more contemporary political debates.

Session #6 July 14: Cinqúe Hicks, art critic


A graduate of Harvard University’s comparative literature program, Hicks is currently visual art critic for Atlanta, arts writer and arts columnist for Creative Loafing and BURNAWAY.  He founded Code Z: Black Visual Culture Now and currently serves on the steering committee for Idea Capital.

 Cycle 6 Participants

Grace Gardner

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Grace Gardner is a Curator at TILA Studios. She received a BA in African American Studies from Emory University in 2017. She believes that writing is a powerful tool that, when used properly, has the ability to excavate meaning. She is interested in utilizing writing to interrogate mainstream understandings of history as they relate to our current understanding of art, while simultaneously exploring the intersections and theories of Blackness, womanhood, and objecthood within art institutions.

Rachel BallardRachel Ballard

Rachel Ballard is an Atlanta-based artist, whose work investigates themes of trauma, femininity, and craft. She earned an MFA from Georgia State University in 2017 and currently serves as the Project Coordinator of the Chastain Arts Center. Her experience as predominately a ceramic artist has cultivated her interest in craft writing, theory, and criticism. Writing has become another expressive avenue for engaging, connecting, and contributing to a greater arts community.

Alison LechnerAlison Lechner

Alison is an editorial intern at BURNAWAY and an aspiring art writer. She holds an M.A. in Art History from the Savannah College of Art & Design and a B.A. in Environmental History from Hope College. She was most recently the Artist Liaison & Art Resources Associate for a prominent art consulting firm based in Atlanta. Alison’s research regarding artist Carrie Mae Weems is featured in The Jepson Center for Contemporary Art’s current exhibition on Weems’s “Sea Island Series,” in Savannah, GA. Her specialty areas of interest are contemporary feminist artists, institutional critique, film, and public art.

Sydney Burrows23659290_10213185712090362_4991171574624490024_n

Sydney Burrows is currently a Publications Manager for Core Dance in Atlanta. She holds a BA in English & Dance from Goucher College. Sydney has a passion for creative writing and dance, and has brought these skills together in her current role at Core Dance.

Sophie Whittemore

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Sophie Whittemore was born and raised in Atlanta. She left to study sculpture at the University of Southern California and has remained involved in the art world ever since, working in art conservation, galleries and artists’ studios in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Atlanta. Sophie is one part of the writing duo Plain Site. Her work includes Chronicles of the Deposed and On Hospital.

Theo Tyson

theo tyson by frances neyra claudioTheo is an aspiring curator and lecturer interested in feminism, gender, identity, and the sociocultural implications of clothing and dress in fashion and art. For her MA thesis at Savannah College of Art & Design, she curated a fashion photography exhibition on performativity that was selected for an international symposium. She currently works at SCADFASH Museum of Fashion & Film and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and will soon pursue a Ph.D. in gender studies.

Lisa Hueneke


Lisa Hueneke has a BFA and a degree in International Studies from Iowa State University. As an artist and arts administrator, her exploration of art and culture has taken her throughout the US and far beyond often with a notebook or sketchbook in hand. Lisa currently lives in Savannah where she works as an artist, freelance writer, and a gallery consultant for the Grand Bohemian Gallery.

Cynthia Farnell


Visual artist and curator Cynthia Farnell earned her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, her BF. from Auburn University and a Certificate from the International Center of Photography. Her work is represented by {Poem 88} Gallery in Atlanta. Farnell serves as Gallery Director and faculty of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University. She is currently enrolled in the graduate art history program, focusing on contemporary art.

Kelly Crosby

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Kelly Crosby is a freelance writer and fine artist. She holds a BA in Fine Arts and an MA in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans. She runs her own online art business, Kelly Crosby She is also a gallery assistant for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. As an avid reader and published writer, she claims writing as her “second love,” after the love of creating art.

Anna Dobbins

anna dobbins

Anna Elizabeth received her undergraduate degrees in Art History and French from Auburn University and she is currently enrolled in the MA Art History Program at Georgia State University. By focusing her research on images of the female other in the nineteenth century, she seeks to give a voice to women often neglected from history. Her master’s thesis examines images of prostitution by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the unique identity he created for them.

Jess Bernhart

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Jess Bernhart is a writer and artist working in Atlanta, GA. Jess is a writer and editor for Southern Projects, a Teaching Artist at the High Museum of Art, editor of the Atlanta-based arts journal fLoromancy, and a steering committee member for Idea Capital. Jess has published poetry and non-fiction, and has created poetry installations for ArtFields 2017, Sibyl, Performance KUNST, ART Decatur Book Festival, and The Imaginary Million. She holds a BA in philosophy and an MSc in Human Rights.

Testimonials from our participants


The Emerging Art Writers Mentorship Program has given me the professional and practical skills necessary to succeed in the world of art writing. I came into the program with a BFA and MFA in writing, along with extensive writing and editing experience; however, I have learned so much from this incredible workshop series. The quality of my prose, my understanding of the art world, and my ability to communicate about creativity have flourished because of EAWMP. Burnaway is training the next generation of art writers, and I’m thankful to take part in this program. Matthew Terrell

My time as a mentee in the EAWMP has not only improved my ability to write about art but also taught me how to think more critically and encouraged me to write more prolifically. Hearing varied perspectives on arts writing, from Stephanie Cash to Chuck Reece, has made me realize that there’s not just one way to write about art. The program has helped me tune into my originality and personality in my writing and has put me on a great path to go from emerging to established arts writer.  —Yves Jeffcoat

Art writing is a niche area, and there are few opportunities to gather not only with leading professionals in the field but colleagues with similar interests. I found Burnaway’s Emerging Art Writers Mentorship Program a unique and rewarding program in which to think through broad issues and hone specific writing skills. It was stimulating to have discussions with a diverse, interesting group of art writers.  —Linnea West

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