Kyle MacMillan discusses the changing world of arts criticism and journalism from employing full-time staffers to relying on freelancers. He addresses what this means for writers and artists alike and considers ethical issues that arise when writing about art.
“If you look at the Chicago art scene, what’s missing here is not so much criticism, because we have that in various publications. There’s national publications that cover the Chicago art scene. So if you just want people to go out and cover art shows and write a review of one kind or another, we’ve got that... What you don’t have in Chicago is what a critic brings to the table, which are ongoing, critical assessments of the scene at large... the whole ecosystem of the art scene. What’s missing? What’s happening? What’s working? What’s not working? Those are all things that art critics do on an ongoing basis.”
Kyle MacMillan has been an art critic and journalist in the Midwest for over twenty-five years. Currently, he freelances for such publications as the Chicago Sun-Times. Prior to moving to Chicago in early 2012, he had been a staff writer for The Denver Post and, previously, the Omaha World-Herald. He has also written catalog essays for such artists as Nick Cave. MacMillan studied art history as an undergraduate and completed a graduate degree in journalism at Columbia University in New York City.