Schedule change

In light of the current global health concern, the Creative Life Conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning art critic Jerry Saltz at the University at Albany will be rescheduled from Tuesday, March 24, 2020 to Wednesday, September 23, 2020.  


Free and open to the public, the conversation with WAMC’s Joe Donahue will take place at 7pm at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s main campus located at 1400 Washington Avenue. Before the conversation, there will be a book signing and reception at the University Art Museum starting at 6pm.

"I don't look for skill in art... Skill has nothing to do with technical proficiency... I'm interested in people who rethink skill, who redefine or re-imagine it: an engineer, say, who builds rockets from rocks." 

-- Jerry Saltz

Jerry Saltz

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020
6 p.m. - Book signing and reception, University Art Museum
7 p.m. - Conversation with WAMC’s Joe Donahue, UAlbany Performing Arts Center.
Both events free and open to the public at the University at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave., Albany. See map

Jerry Saltz is one of the most influential and popular culture writers working today. Since 2006, he has been senior art critic and columnist for New York Magazine.


Formerly the senior art critic for The Village Voice, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2018, and was nominated for that award in both 2001 and 2006.  For two seasons, he was a judge on Bravo's “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.”


His new book, How to Be An Artist (2020), is full of practical inspiration for creative people - brimming with dozens of brand new rules, prompts, exercises and tips designed to break through creative blocks, ignite motivation, conquer bad habits and help artists of all kinds to realize their dreams. Comedian and artist Steve Martin says, “Inspiration leaps off the pages from Jerry Saltz’s new book on creativity. This book is for the artist or non-artist, for the person who gets plain English, for the person who understands that practical talk can coax out the mystical messages that lie underneath.”

Photo by Celeste Sloman  

From the first sparks of inspiration–and how to pursue them without giving in to self-doubt– How to Be An Artist offers invaluable insight into what really matters to emerging artists: originality, persistence, a balance between knowledge and intuition, and that most precious of qualities, self-belief. Brimming with rules, prompts, and practical tips, Saltz gives artists new ways to break through creative blocks, get the most from materials, navigate career challenges, and above all find joy in the work.

His other books include Beyond Boundaries: New York's New Art (1986), Seeing Out Loud: The Village Voice Art Columns, 1998–2003, (2003), Seeing Out Louder (2009). 

Saltz uses Facebook more actively than many other art critics, posting daily questions and diatribes to his audience of friends, which numbered more than 92,000. He has stated that he wants to demystify the art critic to artists and a general art audience. 

About "The Creative Life"

Created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio, The Creative Life features leading figures from a variety of artistic disciplines in conversation with WAMC host Joe Donahue about creative inspiration, craft, and career.

Major support for The Creative Life is provided by The University at Albany Foundation, The John D. Picotte Family Foundation and Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family. Additional support is provided from the College of Arts and Sciences,  Office of Intercultural Student Engagement and University Auxiliary Services. 

More information on the Creative Life Series.

NYS Writers Institute

Science Library 320

University at Albany

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222

(518) 442-5620

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