Critiqued for Media Criticism Class
Written Assignment #1 Gray and Gold critiqued Our first writing assignment requires that you observe John Rogers Cox’s painting Gray and Gold. It resides in Gallery 226 (on the second floor) in the Cleveland Museum of Art at 11150 East Blvd. which, at the time of this writing, is open for socially distanced visitation by appointment. The painting can also be accessed online: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1943.60 Part III. Writing a 1st draft essay due Friday, Sept. 18 Now that you have written a brief, enticing, well-crafted first ¶ lede that offers your key reaction to this painting (Part II), you need to write a critical essay that serves to describe and explain what is was about this painting that created that reaction. This 1st draft asks you to write without restriction – that is, write an essay in your voice and which unfolds in a style and order that comes naturally. Although this 1st draft essay is required and will receive feedback, it will not be assigned a grade so there is no risk experimenting with your writing and critical voice. With that said, your essay must be in 12pt font, 750-1000 words and come with a word count. And be reminded that this is not a book report about the painting Gray and Gold. It is an opinion piece that contains description of the art – the story and the storytelling – and an explanation of your reaction to it. There are several things that need to be done before writing: a. Write in the third person narrative rather than the first person narrative. In other words, no “I” or “me.” This places the emphasis on the work being criticized rather than on the individual critic and gives the necessary impression that the critic is speaking on behalf of everyone in the audience rather than merely him/herself. b. It is also preferred that reviews be written in the present tense. Even if the event you are writing about has passed, present tense creates a sense of immediacy and energy. c. Unless you are an expert in painting in general and John Rogers Cox in particular, go online and learn as much as you can about this painting and this artist. No one is an expert on everything but, for these assignments, you need to get as close as possible. Find information that will help inform how you describe the painting and explain why you liked or didn’t like it. d. The research you do will eventually be incorporated into your essay in your own words and without in-text reference to the source. Make this information your own. e. The style of writing for all our essays do not require you to quote or cite your sources for information in the text. 2. Describe the story and the storytelling. Because you cannot assume that your reader has seen this painting, there needs to be a ¶ or two that describes the painting in terms of the story being told in it and the storytelling methods (the art style, the materials used, the colors, the technique employed). This ¶ should be merely descriptive. Let the reader see this painting through your eyes. Do not attempt to explain or analyze anything at this point in your essay. 3. Critically explain and analyze Once you’ve written your lede that identifies your key reaction to this painting and a descriptive ¶ or two, spend the rest of your essay explaining what it is about the story and the storytelling that made you react the way you did. Use your research to bolster the points you are making. Use your creative writing to describe as well as explain.
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