Work In Progress or WIP is a year-long program open to artists of all disciplines working actively to develop and maintain a critically engaged practice. Curators, critics, and educators in the field serve as program facilitators to encourage discussion, give feedback, and help connect participants to potential opportunities.

Participants receive monthly studio visits, are introduced to guest critics during monthly group critiques or workshops, produce critical writing centered in their work, participate in a year-end exhibition, and have vital input in determining the direction of future iterations of the program.

By encouraging artists to deepen their respective practices through critical engagement, WIP supports inquiry-driven approaches to art-making, interdisciplinary experimentation, collaboration, and the active exploration of issues and ideas tied to contemporary visual, literary, and performance art-making practices.  


WIP emphasizes two integral components of building critical frameworks: studio visits and group critique or workshops.

Studio Visits:

During monthly studio visits, each participant has one-on-one time with an individual facilitator to discuss ideas, describe their working practice in detail, and illicit valuable feedback. These visits may happen in a formal ‘studio’ setting but may also take place at other mutually agreed upon locations where participants can most effectively describe and discuss their work. Facilitator and participant will work together to set dates and times for visits that accommodate both of their schedules.

Group Critique / Workshops:

Group critique or workshops take place at OCI or an alternate location the last Wednesday of each month. Participants will bring unfinished work or works in progress to present and discuss with fellow artists, program facilitators, and a guest critic. Guest critics will be professionals in the field and artists, writers, or performers either from the region, or living and working in Omaha temporarily as artists-in-residence or fellows.

Monthly group critiques / workshops are designed to expand peer networks, generate critical feedback, cultivate potential collaborations, and encourage participants defend or reassess the aesthetic and conceptual evolution of their work. WIP is intentionally limited to 5 participants to maximize individual attention and build substantive relationships.


WIP is geared toward artists of all disciplines working to expand the parameters of visual, literary, performance, or sound art in their respective practices. Participants who are accepted into the program can expect to be challenged through critical discussions of process and content, cultivate substantive relationships and the potential for collaboration, and develop new bodies of work that expand the boundaries of their existing practice in new and innovative ways.

Each participant will be expected to attend and actively participate in monthly studio visits, group critiques / workshops, and a curated group exhibition to mark the end of the program. Toward the end of the program, participants will also be expected to produce a substantial piece of critical writing centered in their practice ready for review and possibly publication.


WIP is facilitated by curators, critics, and educators actively engaged in critical research within their respective fields. They help steer the program, guide participants, and provide essential feedback to help participants take their practices in new and meaningful directions. They serve as a conduit to industry experience and potential opportunities. One set of facilitators will work with participants during the first half of this year-long program and a second set will facilitate the last half to increase participants’ exposure to professionals in the field and emphasize meaningful relationship building.

Applications for Work In Progress 2020 will open in the fall of 2019




Anne Dovali, Holly Kranker, Tyler Swain, Travis Apel, and Elizabeth Boutin

2019 program facilitators: Alex Cardon, Karin Campbell, Carolina Hotchandani, PhD, and Diana Martinez, PhD.