Writing an artist statement

One of the most important components of your success as an artist is going to lie in how effectively you promote your work. These days, simply having an exhibition is not enough; you need to get art collectors and enthusiasts in the door as well. The art market can be quite competitive, and so it’s important that you get the word out to your intended audience. A well-written, engaging artist statement can be one of your most important tools when it comes to promoting your upcoming exhibition.

Essentially, an artist statement gives a verbal explanation of your artistic vision and process, and is a great way to both help your viewers to understand what they are seeing and to entice new viewers to come to the show. The main goal of the statement should be to provide a brief description of your art and to discuss or share your process and ideas. Here are some tips for creating a highly effective artist statement for your show.

  • Target your content. In order to hold the reader’s attention, you will need to keep your statement fairly concise (ideally just a couple of reasonably short paragraphs), so it’s important that you strive to make every word count. Within this framework, there are several key elements that you will need to address: what you make; how you make it; why you make it; and your understanding of the meaning of your work. If it’s relevant, then a sentence of biographical information may be appropriate as well.
  • Keep the language simple. Remember that part of the point of an artist statement is to reach a broad audience. Thus, you want the writing to be accessible, which means that you should avoid academic or flowery language. Language that is too uppity or complex may just end up alienating people rather than attracting them.
  • Make it personal. Your artist statement gives you a unique opportunity to share your artistic vision and voice in a verbal format. Don’t be afraid to go into deep explanations as to your process, goals, or the layers of meaning that you seek to infuse into your work (although you should try to keep the tone as professional as possible at all times). By taking it to a personal level, you make the art more accessible to the reader and may even pique some curiosity as well.

Writing an artist statement can be considered an art in itself and when written well can compel potential collectors and viewers to take a closer look at your work. If you are unsure or your time is limited, then hiring someone to write an engaging artist statement is a good option. Artist’s statements continue to be one of the most effective marketing tools available to artists, and you want to ensure that your statement garners you the exposure and interest you need to make your exhibition a success.

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