The RVA Critical Art Writing Program is for aspiring writers who want to improve and expand their thinking and writing about contemporary art.

In an intimately-sized workshop setting, participants work with a series of distinguished mentors—critics, editors, and journalists—and receive individualized feedback through a combination of group critiques and one-on-one conversations. The program enhances writing skills in various formats, such as long-form, short-form, articles, essays, reviews, and blog posts. Additionally, it prepares writers to address a wide range of readerships across a multitude of publications, including books, catalogs, periodicals, newspapers, web-based platforms, and social media. Participants network with peers and potential colleagues, and build confidence to write, pitch to editors, self-publish, and self-promote.

In addition to nurturing individual writers, the RVA Critical Art Writing Program’s broader goals involve fostering communities that care about and engage with contemporary art. By cultivating a greater number of art writers and encouraging the establishment of new platforms for publishing, the program nourishes the entire art scene in Richmond, Virginia and the region; elevating the profiles of local artists and arts organizations, as well as enriching the quality and depth of the arts discourse.



There are two program cycles per year, in spring and fall.

Each program cycle consists of six in-person sessions, spread over five months. Additional work in the form of reading and writing assignments take place between in-person gatherings. All sessions take place on Saturdays, from 11 am to 5 pm.

Participants must be able to attend all six sessions to receive the full benefit of the program. Absences are strongly discouraged.

Continue reading “About”


The RVA Critical Art Writing Program was founded in 2017 by Lauren Ross, a curator, writer, teacher, and administrator with over twenty years of experience in contemporary art. Lauren has served as a curator at such institutions as the Institute for Contemporary Art in Richmond, VA; Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, OK; the High Line, New York, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; and White Columns, New York, NY. As a writer, she has contributed to exhibition catalogs published by The Dallas Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as to periodicals such as The Art Newspaper, Art in America, and The Brooklyn Rail. Lauren has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, the School of Visual Arts, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Whitney Museum. She holds a Master’s Degree from Hunter College and a Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell University, both in the History of Art.

Continue reading “People”





The RVA Critical Art Writing Program is made possible by the following generous supporters:

Wesley Chenault and John J. Ryan

Patrick Kelly and Karen Hansen

Drs. Paul and Sara Monroe

Harry and Marcia Thalhimer

Anonymous (2), Danielle Adler Witchel, Christina Burke, Ken Busby, Hope Ginsburg, Christopher K. Ho, Sarah Irvin, Marty Johnson, Michael Jones McKean, Ashley Kistler, Frank Konhaus and Ellen Cassilly, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, Anna Mecugni, Kerry Mills, John Ravenal and Virginia Pye, Phyllis and Herb Ross, Alyssa Salomon and Bill Lupoletti, Elizabeth Schlatter, David Snyder, Beth Venn

Fundraising is ongoing! Tax-deductible donations can be made to the program’s via its fiscal sponsor, 1708 Gallery. Please contact us with any questions.


For the kind use of their spaces, thanks are due to 1708 Gallery, Studio Two Three, and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.


Special thanks also to:

Adele Ball, Stephanie Cash, Shannon Castleman, Stefanie Fedor, Ashley Hawkins, Michael Ramey, Emily Smith, Erin Willette


Logo design by Darrin Higgins with Storefront for Community Design