OCAD University alumna Sky Goodden (MFA, Criticism & Curatorial Practice, 2010) is a rising-star art writer and publisher. She is the founding editor of Momus, an online art publication that “promotes integrity and clarity in its reflection on the complexities, challenges, and potential emerging from an artworld in flux.” I sat down with Goodden to discuss her accomplishments, lessons and vision for the years ahead.
RB: We both started at OCAD University in 2008, the first year of the MFA program. What were your most important take-aways from the program?
SG: I had great writing mentors in Andy Patton and Charles Reeve. Andy’s adage that you should try, on your best day, to be “equal to your object,” had a big impact on me. Another valuable thing I walked away with was a sense of determination to change the field of art criticism. That sounds quite ambitious, but I was confident that the field needed renovation.
RB: What did you set out to accomplish as BLOUIN ARTINFO Canada’s inaugural editor? What surprising things did you learn about online publishing?
SG: I was able to shape that site with a voice that I felt was lacking in the Canadian art world. For the most part in Canada, opinions perceived as negative are shied away from, which I think is actually a disservice. I focused on evaluative writing, not with an academic voice, but one that nevertheless expected an intelligent audience.
RB: When did you decide you wanted to start something new and independent in Momus?
SG: The Canadian ARTINFO site was downsized, and I couldn’t keep operating it the way I wanted to. I realized that a similar job wasn’t waiting for me, and that I would probably have to invent it. I was hopeful I could hold onto my audience, and also take on a wider field, approaching Canadian art as part of an international conversation.
RB: What does the next year hold?
SG: There’s an adrenaline that carries you through your first year. You don’t look over your shoulder too much! I’m waking up from that dream right now. I have to work on growing our readership, and running the business in a sustainable way, without sacrificing our ethos, integrity and mandate.
RB: Do you have a mantra?
SG: Have a stake. Put some skin in the game.
Read the full interview with Sky Goodden in the Fall 2015 issue of Sketch.