ArtNow Essays is an online venue where writing’s imaginative potential meets editorial rigour. In its commitment to the essay, a form that can draw readily from journalism, criticism, and memoir, this site seeks to cultivate a culture of independent, critical and original commentary on contemporary art. Its aim is to deliver serious, well-researched, and intellectually stimulating writing to engage readers and build an informed audience for the visual arts.
Each fortnight readers can expect an essay of 1,500 to 2,000 words, each offering a distinctively critical point of view on artists, art works, exhibitions, publications, issues or themes within the world of contemporary visual art.
ArtNow Essays is led by an independent commissioning editor who is invested in the craft and convinced of the value of writing as a device to connect artists and their practices with audiences and their contexts. They are in turn supported by an editorial advisory whose members are drawn from across Aotearoa New Zealand’s public gallery sector and with representation from freelance and emerging writers with diverse interests and backgrounds. This structure is designed to ensure independence but also secure a responsibility to the needs and aspirations of the culture.
ArtNow Essays is aimed at an audience of art experts, non-specialist but art-literate readers, and uninitiated but intellectually curious readers with interest in the visual arts. ArtNow Essays acknowledges the hybrid nature of the arts and seeks to cultivate audiences from adjacent fields including the performing arts, film, theatre, and music by covering points of common interest and convergence. Essays are free to download as PDFs and sharing is encouraged.
While based in, and committed to, the arts in Aotearoa New Zealand, ArtNow Essays understands there is a wider international context within which artists in and from Aotearoa New Zealand live and work. It seeks to keep doors and minds open and does not discriminate on the basis of age, class, race, gender, colour, belief, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation or geographic location.