The word “critical” today–with regard to talking about art forms–often carries the implication that somebody will be scrutinizing a piece, extracting its various elements to define as either “positive” or “negative,” and using this “evidence” to make a declaration as to the ultimate value of that piece. The goal of this blog, however, is not to tell you whether or not that new album or that ticket stub or that canvas and frame are worth a portion of your paycheck, but rather to discuss the work of local and regional performers in light of its relevance to the community at large.

As such, the means and ends of this critical Inquiry–the Critical “I,” as it holds–are not simply criticism, important to the development of refined taste. They are the multi-lateral analysis of performative works and the articulation of What-Exactly-It-Is that makes those works Important to the development of local culture. Call it “pseudo-scholarship,” call it “amateur journalism” if you like–the Critical “I” seeks to carve out what is arguably the most important facet of everything we call Art: it’s place in the larger community.

As this blog is based out of ARTS/West, it will focus primarily on arts-related events that take place there, and secondarily on events that take place elsewhere in the community.

ARTS/West is a community arts center located at 132 West State St. in the beautiful town of Athens, Ohio; check the blog roll for a link to the center’s homepage.

Blog author: Aaron Smith


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