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Preparing an Artist Statement and CV: Guidance on Writing Compelling Artist Statements and Curating a Professional CV

An artist's statement and curriculum vitae (CV) are essential tools for communicating an artist's vision and professional journey. These documents play a crucial role in introducing the artist to galleries, curators, and potential buyers. Here is an in-depth guide to crafting these important professional materials.

An artist statement and CV serve as the narrative and factual backbone of an artist's professional presentation. While the artist statement offers insight into the conceptual framework of their work, the CV outlines their professional credentials and achievements. Together, these documents provide a comprehensive portrait of the artist's career and artistic philosophy.

Crafting a Compelling Artist Statement

An artist statement should be a clear and thoughtful description of your current work and its intentions. It should articulate the concepts, themes, and influences that drive your artistic practice. Art educator and author Gilda Williams, in her book How to Write About Contemporary Art, suggests that an effective artist statement should "communicate the 'why' and 'how' of your art, in your own words, to an unfamiliar reader" (Williams, 2014).

Key Components of an Effective Artist Statement:

1. Introduction to Your Art: Briefly introduce the themes and techniques that define your work.

2. Influence and Inspiration: Discuss what influences your art, whether historical movements, personal experiences, or philosophical ideas.

3. Process and Technique: Describe your creative process and the techniques you employ, providing insight into how your artwork is created.

4. Personal Connection: Explain why you create what you do, conveying your personal connection to your work.

Curating a Professional CV

A CV for an artist is different from a typical employment resume as it focuses on artistic achievements rather than traditional job roles. According to Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market by Mary Burzlaff Bostic, an artist's CV should include exhibitions, awards, residencies, education, and any relevant art-related employment (Bostic, 2021).

Sections to Include in an Artist CV:

1. Contact Information: Full name, address, phone number, email, and website.

2. Education: Formal and informal art education, including degrees, certificates, and significant workshops.

3. Exhibitions: List solo and group exhibitions separately, with recent activities first.

4. Bibliography: Include articles, books, and other publications that have featured your work.

5. Awards and Grants: List any recognitions or financial grants you have received.

6. Collections: Mention public and private collections that hold your work.

7. Professional Experience: Relevant positions such as teaching roles, artist talks, and curatorial projects.

Tips for Writing and Formatting

Both the artist statement and CV should be clearly written and professionally formatted. Art career coach Alyson Stanfield emphasizes the importance of clarity and conciseness in these documents, advising artists to avoid jargon and keep their statements and CVs precise and to the point (Stanfield, 2019).

Writing and Formatting Tips:

- Keep it Concise: Limit your artist statement to one page and your CV to no more than two to three pages.

- Use Professional Language: Maintain a professional tone while still expressing your personal voice.

- Regular Updates: Regularly update your CV and revisit your artist statement to ensure they reflect your current work and achievements.

A well-crafted artist statement and a meticulously curated CV are invaluable in the art world. They not only introduce the artist and their work to the industry but also reflect the professionalism and dedication of the artist to their craft.


- Williams, Gilda. (2014). How to Write About Contemporary Art. Phaidon Press.

- Bostic, Mary Burzlaff. (2021). Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market. North Light Books.

- Stanfield, Alyson. (2019). I'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. Art Biz Success.


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