Critique the Collection vol. 1

The Art Gallery of Windsor’s Critique the Collection is an initiative to get new points of view! We sent out a call to our members and community for anyone who wanted to learn how to look at art through a critical lens and learn alongside other artists, writers, and creatives in the Windsor and Essex County region.

In our first edition of Critique the Collection, selected writers participated in an online workshop on how to look, interpret and respond to a work of art, facilitated by Catherine Heard. Our critics selected a work from the AGW permanent collection that they wanted to respond to, critique, explore, or reimagine.

Catherine Heard’s work interrogates the histories of the science, medicine and the museum. Frequently, she uses traditional craft and historical techniques as foils for abject subject matter. In the past five years she has developed a technique for creating sculptures with internal structures that are revealed using CT scanning technology, then transformed into animated videos. Her work has been exhibited in France, Denmark, Mexico, Canada and the USA. It is in the permanent collection of the Canada Council Art Bank, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, and The Art Gallery of Kamloops. Catherine is a graduate of the Master of Visual Studies program at the University of Toronto (2005) and holds an undergraduate degree from the Ontario College of Art (1990). Catherine Heard is a professor of Visual Art at the School of Creative Arts, University of Windsor. She is represented by Birch Contemporary Gallery in Toronto.​


Meet our Critics

Dina Riach

My name is Dina Riach, and I am a happily married mother of two wonderful daughters. I am very fortunate to be a high school English teacher. Teaching allows me to do what I love every day by sharing my passion for literature with my students. When I am not reading a good book while curled up with my children or trying out a new vegetarian recipe, I can be found exploring the natural beauty of Southern Ontario. I love showing my children all that Windsor-Essex has to offer each blessed day we spend together. Click here to read the critique

Alyssa Sweeney

Alyssa Sweeney is currently attending the University of Windsor, for her Bachelor of Fine Arts. Her primary focus is photography of wreckages and industrial spaces. She is the student lab manager for both the digital and analog photo lab and has photographed multiple events around the University. Click here to read the critique

Giulia Vilardi

My name is Giulia Vilardi, I’m 17 years old and heading to the University of Windsor to study Behaviour, Cognition and Neuroscience in the fall. I have been in love with art for as long as I can remember, my appreciation growing when I began taking art classes in high school. I spend most of my free time painting and drawing and always appreciate a good art museum. Clicking here to read the critique. 

Irina Teske

Irina Teske, a graduate of the University of Windsor is a painter, printmaker and auto assembler (FCA) currently residing in Tecumseh, Ontario. Click here to read the critique

Jennifer Desaulniers

Jennifer Desaulniers is an artistic jack of all trades master of fun, doer of whatever needs to be done. She has worked as a singer, musician, stage manager, carpenter, seamstress, actor, and writer. As an actor, some of her favourite roles have been the quirky candy addict Annie in “The Bolt House,” the ambitious ghost Mary in “Goulfriends,” and the adorable villain Prince John in “Robin Hood: The Panto.” Her writing experience includes campy songwriting, ghostwriting a chapter of an autobiography, and reviewing screenplays for a competition before writing her own. Currently, she is building a stage and artist residence for upcoming Windsor Feminist Theatre livestreams. Check out their Facebook page for updates. Click here to read the critique. 

Maria Belenkova-Buford

Maria immigrated to Canada from Russia in 1999. She holds engineering degree from Moscow State Mining University and Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Windsor. Although Maria is a professional accountant, she enjoys art in many forms. In her spare time Maria likes to write screenplays and short stories, create films, cook exotic dishes, and hang out with her toddler daughter. Click here to read the critique

Melissa Arditti

My exciting 30+ year journey as a muse for others on a personal and professional level continues to bring immense joy and satisfaction in my life.  I'm also an eclectic writer and passionate community advocate in the mental health sector. I enjoy taking in theatrical performances, live music, or watching a good movie - especially from the 80's era. I thrive on de-cluttering and organizing spaces. I strive towards an active and healthy lifestyle and make time to stop and smell the roses. I also have a soft spot for lemurs, mannequins, karaoke and gargoyles.  I'm always a work in progress. Click here to read the critique

Rachel Pieters

I am a self-taught artist, working mainly in oils, charcoal, and graphite, and in the Contemporary Realist or Contemporary Figurative styles. I chased the elusive mastery of my artistic abilities from the time I was a young child until I completed high school, putting it aside for twenty years after deciding to pursue Graphic Design, write novels, and pursue an editing certificate with UC Berkeley. I was gifted my grandfather’s paints and brushes in 2018 and began creating art again. I have been learning the craft on my own through practice and reading ever since. I sold the first oil painting I created to an international collector, through an open-call group show, and was invited to become one of the gallery's regular artists. I'm highly influenced by historical masters like Rembrandt, Degas, Gericault, Klimt, and The Wyatts, and contemporary masters like Bo Bartlett, Kehinde Wiley, and Margaret Bowland. Click here to read the critique

Rebecca Goldstein

Rebecca Goldstein, BMT, MTA, FAMI, is an aspiring author who currently works as a music therapist and music instructor.  Rebecca has partnered with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra to conduct research in music therapy, and also had one of her musical compositions performed in a series of concerts by the WSO across Southern Ontario. She has had the opportunity to perform music for national and foreign dignitaries such as the Governor General, Prime Minister, Queen of England and the Emperor of Japan while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces as a reservist. 

As a travel enthusiast and nature-lover, Rebecca hopes to capture wonder and a sense of adventure in her writing, combining craft with the ability to transport the reader to a fantastical experience. As an amateur artist and aesthete, Rebecca is thrilled to be a part of the Art Gallery of Windsor's Art Critic initiative and is proud that the Windsor-Essex community has a thriving gallery that is creating such vibrant ways of connecting with the community. Click here to read the critique

Sheryl Clark Best

I’m an Air Force brat.  The second daughter of four girls, I grew up with never knowing when we would be moving or where we would be going.  The only constant was reading so my imagination grew as my adventures in life grew.  I have a wonderful daughter who lives a plane ride away.  I am approaching retirement age and that means another adventure.  A long career in Quality has given me travel and the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people and places.  For right now, its me and my two cats and an appreciation of talented artists! Click here to read the critique

Spencer Montcalm

Spencer Montcalm is a local art conservator that likes to get his fill of art. Due to COVID-19, this usually consists of visiting the Windsor Sculpture Park; outdoors and two meters away from runners. This is where his obsession of Etrog’s hinges began. He’s looking forward to spending some time at the AGW when the new normal comes. Click here to read the critique