Critical MASS returns for 9th year in Shreveport

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Critical MASS is back for a ninth year in Shreveport, celebrating local artists while giving them a broader platform and a chance for their work to be featured in an exhibition.

Every year, Shreveport Regional Arts Council puts out a call for all artists in Northwest Louisiana to submit one work, whether it is performance, literary, or visual. This year’s Critical MASS performance showcase featured work from more than 125 local artists.

In addition to mask and social distancing requirements, the performances were live-streamed and made available online.

The artists compete for a $2,000 Critics Choice award and the chance to create a new body of work to be exhibited and performed at artspace for Critical Review.

“Looking at a lot of art, but this is a really cool show,” said Critical MASS critic and New Orleans artist, curator, and writer Gabriel Schaffer. “It’s a good mix of stuff. There’s clearly a lot of talented folks here in Shreveport.”

Portrait artist Eric Francis won the Critic’s Choice award in a critique session and award ceremony Friday night. His work, along with one winner in each category, will be featured in an exhibit that will be open to the public until mid-May.

Watch the Critical MASS 9 awards ceremony here.

Last year’s Critical MASS exhibition had to be shut down the same day it opened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s exhibition will be made available for viewing online.

Local artists interested in participating next year can go to nwlaartists.org and sign up for the Northwest Louisiana Artists Directory for updates.

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