Feedback from Past “Questions of Curating” Workshops

“I was able to connect my project to much stronger and deeper conceptual foundations. I was also inspired by other projects and shared resources to think about other ways of bringing my project to an audience, to make it sustainable, to connect it with a wider community, and to communicate it to stakeholders.”

“This workshop has been so much more than I could have imagined. The level of creativity and generosity that everyone has displayed is truly awesome!”

This helped me think through my project in a really deep and meaningful way. And I plan to apply this process of inquiry into my own art practice in the future. It also helped me see art and exhibitions from a different perspective.

“I joined the workshop to understand the curatorial process. By the end of the workshop I understand the process and have a solid plan to share a new idea”

“This workshop helped me immensely in viewing my project from a birds-eye view, rather than getting trapped in the details. It helped me dream big and vision for what is possible, who my project may impact, and the steps I will have to take to get there.

Excited to apply Questions framework to use for future projects, and expand it further in my current projects …… This will apply in subtle ways to my future projects as I seek to occupy a space between cultural organizing and curation.

The support from the workshop hosts was so valuable. And to be able to see other artists and their thought process was super important for me too.

“Extremely high quality projects, people, and experience. While the information and workshop were highly professional, a tone of openness and safety for the free exploration of ideas and feelings was created, and I think all the projects benefited from the depth of the personal sharing by individual members of the shared space.

” I would highly recommend Questions of Curating to anyone that is even slightly interested in the curatorial process. “

“The interactions with the other participants and learning about their diverse range of projects was amazing. I also appreciated the suggestions for readings and developing ideas in my project that deepened the scope of the project I planned for the workshop and my practice as a whole.”

“The two workshops I’ve taken part in developed in their own way from the same framework, and both were rich and productive in different ways that I’m sure will be a true of any future workshops (that I would still attend even though I’ve done two!).”

“I want to thank you for putting together such a wonderful workshop. You created a space that was safe, respectful, and focused. The workshop itself was composed of a great balance of small group work and direct instruction, and Slack worked as a great platform for between-session sharing. It’s a great model for online instruction and I plan to incorporate elements of it into my own work. :)”

“I’ve enjoyed these workshops so much this past month ….. I’ve been looking for a way to make the Seed Library more impactful and community-based, and to give it meaning beyond “free stuff” that many other librarie are promoting. The questions and feedback from these workshops have given me just that, plus so much more.”

“This workshop really helped me to articulate a project that’s been simmering within me for quite some time. I’m feeling much less overwhelmed and scared than I was initially. Now I’m feeling excited to actually make it happen! ”

“I can see my project as doable now. I have a clearer idea of what and how to get there because of the feedback from everyone.”

” The 8 questions are super useful! The quality of the conversation was great. This was such a good sandbox to play in with some of the pressures I see in other professional spaces (like traditional schooling) removed.”

” In short, this workshop is the seed of my curatorial practice, and the weeks of discussion and learning about the projects of the workshop members have grown it into a hearty tap root for what is to develop from this experience. “

” Prior to this, I used the web primarily as a supporting medium to publicize physical shows and build “buzz”. Working with the 3D gallery and considering the other class projects caused me to reassess that usage and see the virtual gallery world as equal, but different, from the brick and mortar exhibitions with which I am more familiar. “

” I am incredibly appreciative to have been steeped in so much experience at the very start of exploring a curatorial practice.”

“The workshop exposed me to numerous online tools that I had never used (Slack, Kunstmatrix) and an amazing wealth of resources on current exemplary online projects. I learned so much and appreciate the knowledge and skills that Pat, Steve, and everyone in the workshop passed on.”

“The chance to work with younger artists and the newest generations of software was such a unique opportunity. I found it challenging and exhilarating. The directed approach of how to think about structuring an exhibition was accessible, helpful and applicable to both on-line and physical exhibitions and environments. “

” Thank you so much! I’ll definitely recommend future workshops to friends 🙂

” I can’t imagine how you could have been more supportive. (the) feedback on Slack was constant and well-considered.

“I found (the reviewer’s) critique of my project very helpful. Her focus on intimacy and viewer engagement brought to the fore an aspect of the exhibition that I had underestimated.”

The review session with Laura was super helpful and motivated us a lot to continue and look to finish our projects.

“I enrolled in “The Questions of Curating” workshop because organizing exhibitions was something I have always wanted to do however did not have the group support or feedback to feel confident in the process. Other major cities offer workshops in curatorial studies and there has not been much by way of that in Detroit, which is why the workshop was so vital.

Through working with Steve, I was given the opportunity to guest curate the Wirecar Auto Workers installation at the Anton Art Center and complete a published piece on artist William Marcellus Armstrong, for Essay’d. These experiences have gotten me back on the track I felt like I was on when I was living in Brooklyn, NY. After moving to Detroit in 2014, I felt the community and momentum I had gained in New York was difficult to replicate or find here. I am feeling more confident in moving forward with my interests in Detroit.”


“The Essay’d workshop, Questions of Curating, opened the door into arts curating and inspired an expanded inquiry into the art, artists and art processes of Detroit. Returning to Michigan after nearly two decades away, I was eager to get involved with the Detroit art community but unsure how to do it. Through the workshop, I met a mix of artists, emerging curators, and established arts professionals. A group of us, Olivia Gilmore, Scott McCabe, and Nikki Roach started meeting after the workshop to discuss our curating ideas, share artists, potential space information, and brainstorm ideas. As a result of the processes introduced during the workshop and our continued meetings, we threw a small food fight – revisiting a performance art/social experiment I’d originally conceived of in Brooklyn, New York. We submitted a grant application to the Knight Foundation to potentially expand on the food fights as a community art project touching upon ideas of food scarcity, food access, consumption, societal constructs surrounding food and interpersonal boundaries. Olivia Gilmore, Scott McCabe and I have also tentatively formed an art collaborative, Super Liminal, through which we’ve pursued potential studio/exhibition space. The way the workshop established a base to form connections while providing a framework for the curation process is invaluable to nourishing the Detroit art community.”


“After attending the first round of The Questions of Curating workshops earlier this year, I had the opportunity to connect with local curators, artists, and educators. Through the process of creating our exhibition proposals as a group and watching them develop over the course of a few weeks, we became increasingly invested in each other’s work. Many of us have stayed in close contact since, attending each other’s exhibitions, and sharing information on relevant artists and opportunities. I have benefited greatly from the feedback of this newly formed community and from the exposure to more experienced curators who co-facilitated workshops along with Steve Panton. I feel confident now that my proposal writing is more concise, structured and compelling. Ultimately these workshops help demystify the art world for people without curatorial experience, making galleries and museums more accessible for anyone to navigate.”


“The Essay’d art curation workshop provided me with valuable insights into the creation of persuasive exhibition proposals as well as what it takes to create gallery exhibits that are both interesting and feasible on a small budget. The down-to-earth, collaborative nature of the workshop was a great environment for developing my initial concepts and left me feeling confident that creating my own exhibitions was a truly achievable goal. Its format also allowed me to get to know the other participants, several of whom I continue to work with to this day. If not for Essay’d it’s extremely unlikely that I would have met any of them.

If and when I curate my first art exhibition it will be due entirely to my participation in the Essay’d art curation workshop.”


“The curatorial workshop sponsored by Essay’d has provided me a much deeper understanding of what it takes to curate an exhibition for a gallery space.

I then had the opportunity to put into practice some of what I learned in the workshop when I curated the gallery space at the Anton Art Center for Elizabeth Youngblood. Working closely with the artist we made a preliminary selection of work which was the edited even further so that her work could be advantageously shown.”


“The Essay’d curatorial workshop has broadened my network of like-minded cultural producers within the City of Detroit. I have strengthened social and professional bonds by working with other participants in a collaborative fashion. From the initial conception of my exhibition to exploring supporting programming, my efforts have been aided by the creative ideas of other workshop participants. In addition, the development of my exhibition idea has been guided by our workshop facilitator, Steve Panton. Steve encourages us to explore not only the philosophical and aesthetic considerations of exhibition making, but also the financial and practical aspects of bringing an exhibition to life.

Based on the suggestions of fellow workshop participants and Steve Panton, I have been introduced to a number of new artists’ work. Likewise, I have suggested artists I know to other workshop participants. This exchange of knowledge has been the most rewarding aspect of the workshop and I intend to build upon the relationships made during this educational experience.”