Creative Practice Membership

Creative Practice Membership offers freedom and experimentation for artist interaction, combining working together in critique and collaborative practices, while also supporting our organization. Exclusive to SoLA, Creative Practice was developed by executive director Peggy Sivert who was inspired to offer artists more opportunities to meet up with fellow artists to receive honest and constructive feedback while also building meaningful relationships with them.

The participating artists meet in the beginning of the year, bring in their art, get to know each other and organically break off into groups of varying size, art practice, age, race, depth of experience, background, etc. Each self-driven group organizes a plan and are encouraged to be creative in how they will collaborate and inspire each other’s progress over the next twelve months. At the end of the year, an art critic is hired to review everyone’s work and a group show at SoLA wraps up the experience.


Participants in our Creative Exchange will work in small groups under the mentorship of a professional practicing artist.  This exchange will help artists build the fundamental skills necessary to a successful career, including statement writing, critical analysis, and curatorial experience.  Participants will explore the intersections of art, culture, society, and politics, and gain experience that can be applied to a multitude of careers in the arts.

This year-long program will culminate in the collective conceptualization, execution, and promotion of a formal exhibition at SoLA Contemporary, selected from among recent curatorial proposals submitted to the gallery.

Creative Exchange is $100 / 5 mo session, with two sessions each calendar year.
  • Session 1, January – May: Focus on art production / analysis
  • Session 2, June – November: Focus on curatorial / promotional

We are continuing this popular critique method based on the the Critical Response Process, developed by Liz Lerman, that puts artists at the center. Instead of simply receiving feedback, they ask specific questions of the critique group in four core steps. Aiming for positive meanings, neutral questioning, and yes, opinions accompanied by a little patience, the dialogue revolves around the power of the art rather than individual psychology.

Throughout the steps, the artist will experience a variety of aesthetic responses and social values that responders (people in the group) bring to their role. By learning to ask astute questions, the artist develops critical thinking skills and comes to understand deeper meanings in their own work.

The Critical Response Critique Group has been meeting via Zoom throughout the Pandemic year into 2021.  Artwork accomplished by the fourteen members during this Critique Season will be exhibited at SoLA from November 13 – 27, 2021.   Kristina Newhouse, Curator at the Carolyn Compangna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum at CSU Long Beach, will visit the exhibition as an outside critic, remarking on the works positives, strengths, connections, directions and if / how the work fits into the context of contemporary art.

Criteria for participation in the Critical Response Process at SoLA
Potential members will:
  • Pay a membership fee of $100 to SoLA.
  • Have developed a cohesive body of work.
  • Be required to participate in critiques. Members risk elimination from group upon three “no -Shows.”
  • Give back to SoLA four hours of face-to face participation- attend openings, gallery sit, etc.
Benefits: Professional Development will consist of:
  • Clear, artist centered critique of artwork by members based on the Critical Response Process (Lerman).
  • Assistance with writing an art statement about one’s work.
  • Exhibition of artwork at SoLA gallery at end of season.
  • Professional critique at end of season from outside the group.
  • Development of “community” and support of artists through encouragement and connection.


Send the following by email to: solacontemporary@gmail.com
(subject line: Creative Practice groups)

    • Submit 4 jpgs of your art work:
      • Art work must show development of a series with unified concept or idea
      • All media considered
      • jpg size no larger than 1mb.
    • Include in body of email:                                                          
      • your name, address, email, cell phone, web address
      • brief description of your artwork
    • Become a SoLA Participating Member