The sun rises on Barcelona but students have been awake since before dawn this brisk 15th of December. It’s Final Critique day which means it’s time for all of our students to SHOW US WHAT THEY’VE GOT! Final touches are added, nerves are settled, and game faces meet war paint this morning.

For their part, faculty have been gearing up for the day, offering advice, helping out wherever they get a chance. Each student will, throughout the day, be reviewed by their mentors and teachers while surrounded by the art they’ve created this trimester.

This is a key moment of each term. To be seated surrounded by your own creations while your improvements and weaknesses are discussed creates an atmosphere that promotes discussion over debate. Contrary to popular belief, a Critique is not when people put you down. True critique is an exchange, a discussion between people who share a common goal – Improvement. In the case of a Final Critique, the faculty of Barcelona Academy of Art are impressing upon their charges not just where they can improve, but how they can achieve a new level of expression and mastery.

At the same time, the student’s achievements will also be on display. Their work is a testament to how far they’ve come since last term. It is but a milestone on the journey that lies ahead of them.

At the end of each Final Critique, a student is graded on a series of scales – Proportion, Edges, Values, Form, Technique, Progress made, and their general attitude to name a few. Obviously, attendance factors in at some point.

By evening, the Final Critiques are done, and the students and faculty call it a day – one very well spent, at that. Another trimester ends and another chapter along with it.

Here is some honorable mentions from this term.

Ayuesh Agarwal

Photos: Mira Karouta and Ayuesh Agarwal