Artist Statement

And yet another dreaded artist writing.

When you apply for academic jobs, solo exhibitions, and residencies you are often asked to supply an artist statement.  An artist’s statement is a brief text composed by an artist intended to explain, justify, and contextualize his or her body of work.  While not all important art people read these documents, some do.  The sooner you write something, without a looming deadline, the more likely you are to revise it and make it better.


Try to think about these questions when you start: What are you trying to do in your work and why?  What is it you hope to show, or say, or describe with your art and what it is that makes you interested in doing, or showing, or saying that?  Is process important to you; Why?


Length: 100 to 300 words (never over 1 page)

Here is a writing format suggestion:

1.  Brainstorm – write down all your ideas without worrying about order

2.  Outline – look at those ideas and organize them (this doesn’t have to be a term paper outline, just a way to structure your thoughts)

3.  Draft – flush out that list of ideas with full sentances

4.  Edit – give yourself a break before you edit; this will help you reflect on your intentions and writing better

5.  Proofread – don’t forget that even with spell check, there can still be grammar, punctuation, and awkward phrasing issues


Don’t forget that your artist statement should change as your work evolves.  This meaning, your statement from grad school should not be used for the rest of your art career.  Revisit the text before you attach it to an application.

Some other places for examples and support are:

Molly Gordon

Art Business

Art Study


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