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Critical Ground

Critical Ground is comprised of four mid-career artists who gather bi-monthly to critique and support the development of one another’s artwork. A strong commitment to the conceptual underpinnings of our art practice helps shape our discussion and propels the work forward. In addition, our generous collective brain trust freely shares diverse expertise of materials, resources, and techniques. The nexus of Critical Ground is Open Ground Studios, in Seaside.

Dora Rosenbaum

Dora Lisa Rosenbaum is a print, installation, and textile artist. She currently lives in Pacific Grove, California and works both out of her home studio and Open Ground Studios in Seaside.  She received her BA from Wesleyan University and holds an MFA in printmaking from Indiana University as well as a Masters in Printmaking from the Libera Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, Italy. Rosenbaum has received several awards and grants in support of her work and has attended various residencies, including the Women’s Studio Workshop, Vermont Studio Center, and the Kimmel Nelson Harding Center for the Arts. Her work centers the everyday, individuals’ un-theorized, taken for granted experiences and understandings of their worlds. Dora’s work has been exhibited across the United States and Italy in both solo and group shows. Visit Dora's Website

Amanda Salm

Amanda Salm is a textile artist working and living in Pacific Grove whose primary medium is horsehair.  Salm’s education began in graphic design and concluded with a BFA in weaving and textile design from the School for American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  She ran a fabric printing studio in Hawaii and has volunteered for several arts organizations. Her sculptural work draws on networks found in nature and those in the built environment and is exhibited internationally. Visit Mandy's Website

Denese Sanders is a visual artist and the founder of Open Ground Studios in Seaside --an artist’s collective and fine art school. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and exhibits in the Midwest and Northern California. Her life-long career in the arts includes teaching, community building, leadership, arts education, professional development, and program design. Sanders’ artwork uses various media with a concentration in printmaking, painting and drawing. Her work is representational and explores various ways in which we connect to each other, our natural world and ourselves. Visit Denese's Website

Melissa Smedley is an artist and writer who resides in the unincorporated area of Salinas.  Since moving to the state in 1989, Smedley has worked in a variety of media ranging from public sculpture commissions, to installation and performance, inventing art to suit the situation or site.  Melissa grew up in Colorado and received her education at Brown University, The Skowhegan School and UCSD. Alongside her art practice, Smedley has been a college educator, small business owner, blogger and mother. She is now an art consultant specializing in public art for public housing.  Art, for her, is a way of being in the world.  Visit Melissa's Website and Blog

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