2022 Art Writing Incubator Jun 25 - Aug 04, 2022 Online

2022 Mentors

Jen Delos Reyes is a ‘farmer of sorts and an artist of sorts’, educator, writer, and radical community arts organizer. She is defiantly optimistic, a friend to all birds, and proponent that our institutions can become tender and vulnerable. Her practice is as much about working with institutions as it is about creating and supporting sustainable artist-led culture.

Becca Rothfeld is an essayist and critic, a contributing editor at The Point, and a PhD candidate in philosophy at Harvard. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, Bookforum, The Baffler, The Nation, and more. She has been a finalist for a National Magazine Award, and she is the recipient of the 2021 Robert B. Silvers Prize for Literary Criticism. She is currently at work on a collection of essays to be published by Metropolitan (US) and Virago (UK). ⁠

Catherine Quan Damman is an art historian and critic currently finishing a monograph on performance and affective labor in the 1970s. She writes regularly for Artforum, as well as BookforumBOMB, 4Columns, Frieze, Art in America, and elsewhere.

Nora N. Khan is a writer, editor, curator and executive director of X-TRA. She writes criticism on emerging issues within digital visual culture, experimental art and music practices, and philosophy of emerging technology.

Keynote Speaker: Maaza Mengiste

Maaza Mengiste is the 2022 AWrI Keynote Speaker. Maaza is a novelist, essayist, and photographer. She is the author of the novel, The Shadow King, which was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, and was a 2020 LA Times Book Prize Fiction finalist.

Kelly Taylor Mitchell: Kin, Spirit, Seed on view at Westobou Gallery, Augusta

This lecture is open to the public and free with registration, though a $5 minimum contribution is encouraged for those who are not yet members or donors of Burnaway. At the author’s request, this lecture will not be recorded.

Criticism is often misunderstood as a form of combat – the writer against their subject. The 2022 Art Writing Incubator will focus on how considered, measured criticism can be an act of communion between artists and critics. In this seventh year of the Art Writing Incubator, Burnaway has invited mentors ranging from poets, philosophers, artists and educators to talk about how the work of a critic can be cooperative, even generative, in service of artistic development.  

For the last seven years, under the guidance of leading writers, critics and artists, Burnaway’s Arts Writing Incubator program has equipped participants with tools for pitching, writing artist statements and producing considered criticism. The five-week program begins with a session hosted by Burnaway’s editorial masthead and subsequent weeks are led by guest mentors. In addition, Burnaway has invited a renowned cultural figure to give a keynote public talk addressing the yearly theme. Over the course of the program, students will formally propose, develop, and complete a short-form writing project with one-on-one feedback from Burnaway’s editors. Following the completion of the program, these works will be compiled into a small chapbook circulated on Burnaway’s platform.

The 2022 Art Writing Incubator will be held virtually to provide more accessible and region-inclusive programming. Applications open April 5 and are open to anyone over the age of 18 in any state in our coverage area – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico.

Kelly Taylor Mitchell: Kin, Spirit, Seed on view at Westobou Gallery, Augusta

Tuition for the 2022 cycle is $250. Thanks to generous funding from Critical Minded, all BIPOC applicants will be accepted at a reduced fee. Additional needs-based support will be considered by Burnaway for non-BIPOC applicants. 

Download the AWrI Application Toolkit

AWrI 2022 Dates: June 25 – August 4
Applications are due Monday, May 17 by 11:59 PM EST.

For all other inquiries, please email [email protected].


The 2022 edition of the Art Writing Incubator project is supported by Critical Minded, an initiative to invest in cultural critics of color cofounded by The Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Ford Foundation.