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How to write about Art

Six-week evening course

AN image of a woman writing

Learn how to write about art from an industry professional. From artistic statements to criticism, proposals to press releases, this course will teach you the practical foundations of art writing.

This six-week in-person evening course will look at art writing from several key professional perspectives. It will give you the foundations and tools to approach art writing for different purposes and by the end of the course you will have written a piece of your own.

The course will take place in-person at Guildhall School of Music and Drama on Tuesday evenings 7 - 9pm from 26 Apr to 31 May.

Class sizes are limited so early booking is recommended.

In the event of government restrictions, the course will move online and be delivered via Zoom. 

Please contact [email protected] if you have any further questions.

Course information


Participants must be aged 18+ and have sufficient English language skills to cope with course demands.

Who is the course for?

•    Anyone with a desire to develop their skills in writing about art
•    Anyone with a willingness to take risks and receive feedback on their work
•    No previous experience is necessary, but an interest in the subject is essential in order to get the most out of the course

What can I expect to learn?

The course will be practical and discussion-led, looking at a range of approaches by professional reviewers, long-form essayists and creative writers. We will focus on both practical aspects of arts journalism, such as composing a pitch and developing an angle, as well as participate in focused workshops on structure, research and honing an independent voice. These exercises will follow the process of writing several pieces from the initial idea through to the editing process.

The course will include: 

•    An overview of major critical approaches and debates in the field of art writing
•    Discussion of different forms and genres of art writing
•    Support with writing techniques and how to overcome barriers to the creative process
•    Optional homework (written and/or practical) of which completion is recommended to gain the most out of the course (about 30 minutes to one hour per week)
•    A 1-to-1 session with the course tutor (approx. 15 minutes) outside of the course times, more information will be sent at the beginning of the course

About the Course Tutor

The course has been developed and is led by Dr Matthew James Holman.

Dr Matthew Holman is an art critic, writer and lecturer from Sheffield. An active exhibition reviewer and essayist, he has been published by Frieze, Burlington Contemporary, The Art Newspaper, The RA Magazine, Apollo, and The White Review.

Matthew has written exhibition catalogue essays on Paul Feeley for Waddington Custot, on the postwar Parisian avant-garde for Lévy Gorvy, and on the Abstract Expressionists for Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Foundation Corboud, Cologne.

Matthew was previously Research Associate at The Perimeter gallery and art collection in Bloomsbury, and received his PhD on the art writing of American poet Frank O'Hara in 2020, where he is now an Associate Lecturer in English.