Last month we announced we would be partnering with the Walker Art Center to create a Blog Mentorship Program for emerging writers at the upcoming Superscript conference. Our mentees will cover the event in real time, writing blog posts and live responses that will appear on the Superscript Reader and Mn Artists, plus longer reflections to be published on Hyperallergic. The hope is to bring members of a new generation into the conversation at an event devoted to examining possible futures of arts journalism and criticism.
We were blown away by the number and quality of applications we received, and today we’re very excited to introduce you to the three writers who will be joining us at Superscript.
Merray Gerges hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia — “an Atlantic vacuum,” in her words — where she received her BA in art history from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) as well as minored in journalism at the University of King’s College. At NSCAD, Gerges and some of her fellow students founded a quarterly newsprint publication called CRITpaper. “We envisioned it as an antidote to the lack of publishing opportunities for emerging Halifax-based writers and toiled to make it a site for apt critical reviews, essays, and interviews,” she wrote in her application. Gerges still works (volunteers) as the editor-in-chief there, in addition to being both a founding member of “a nascent online forum” for reviews called Critical Super Beast and the publishing flow editor at Weird Canada. We’re glad she has time for us!
Ryohei Ozaki is a graduate of Princeton University, where he wrote his thesis on the filmmaker Chris Marker (major: French Language and Literature with Art and Archaeology) and also redesigned and edited the Princeton Buffer, a film and TV review site. In his application for the mentorship, Ozaki mused about the increasingly hazy distinctions between the blogging and social media posting that everyone does all the time today and what makes a proper writer: “Sure we write all the time, but is it quality writing? In other words, is it engaging, thoughtful, is it merely an opinion, or is it criticism?” Now working at Artsy, he says he’s found likeminded people but lost a lot of his time (and energy) to write. We’re pleased to be able to give him some space at Superscript to work on his writing and seek out answers to some of his questions.
Sam Wisneski lives in St. Paul, Minnesota — which we love, because what good would an arts journalism conference in the Midwest be without some participants who also live there? She is currently pursuing a master’s in art history at the University of St. Thomas, where she also went for undergrad, double majoring in art history and communication and journalism. Wisneski, a first-generation college graduate, embraced her passion for art history tentatively at first, but has since gone into overdrive, interning and working variously at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Walker Art Center (where she served as a guard, among other roles). She “love[s] writing seminar papers,” she says (without a trace of sarcasm), but “want[s] to write for a broader audience of art appreciators” and is “unsure of how to realize this goal in the Twin Cities.” We hope Superscript will help show her the way.
Superscript takes place May 28 through 30 at the Walker Art Center. The Walker has already begun publishing essays and blog posts on the Superscript Reader. You can follow along there and on Facebook, and look out for our coverage on Hyperallergic as well.