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Artist's Statement/ Artist's Bio

Hi All! My question goes to those of you who deal with galleries
which require Artists Statements and/or Artist’s Biography (for
some reason the spelling doesn’t look quite right and I’m not
wearing my glasses so I can see to look it up!) Anyway, One of the
Students in my class asked about the difference between the two and
how to write both (either?) and what to include. Since I’ve never
encountered a gallery which required either, even I would like to
know where to start. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

Generally, an artists’ statement is a couple of paragraphs that
explain your rationale and driving force behind your work. It’s
a personal statement about your work and why you do it…the
biography is a factual rundown of experience, education, awards,
exhibitions and press.

Good luck,
Cindy Edelstein
Jeweler’s Resource

   Anyway, One of the Students in my class asked about the
difference between the two and how to write both (either?) and
what to include.

Hi Fishbre, Dealing with things like student contests and
scholarship applications along with portfolio requirements, I’ve
run into both of these things. Basically, (correct me if I’m
wrong, please:) an Artist’s Bio is a simple resume like paragraph
or two of where the artist is from and what sort of
training/educational background. I’ve seen these be very
brief/simple or long/creative. A good one to look at is on the
orchid page for Brain press. Charles has a bio there before the
book descriptions. An artist’s statement, however, is more
related to the inspiration and methods of the work itself. It
really depends on the body of work. An artist like Rembrandt,
whose work is very self explanatory, would prolly focus on the
inspirations of portraiture and the effects of light and darks
(chiaroscuro). An artist like Mark Rothko, (color fields!) would
need to present an intellectual discourse outlining his rationale
for his work. An artist’s statement would most likely look like,
“My name is…etc and my work is based on and focused on the
concept of …etc… and the processes I use embody that idea
by…etc.” Gosh, I hope this helps, this was very clear in my
mind, but now that I see it written down, seems to ramble :slight_smile: Hope
this helps :slight_smile: Terry Swift Midwest (trying to decide wether it’s
winter or not) US


I can at least tell you what I do, and this came after asking
several profs of mine for copies of theirs and their opinions so
I could get an idea of what was “right”. I have three "sheets"
that I keep on hand and update regularly.

1-Artists Statement…a one page or less statement about my
goals as an artist and how this is relevant to my current
materials and methods. i.e. what you are trying to accomplish. I
am sure most of us have seen some pretty weighty diatribe like

2-Show resume…try to keep it to the highlights, mention my
degrees, a class or two I have taught, the better shows and
galleries I am associated with and the awards I have won.

3-The full resume…a one paragraph artists statement, the full
list of education, the teaching and demonstrations I have done,
all my galleries, formal shows, but I still only give the
highlights of my summer shows and awards as so many of them are
so small time.

I always make sure I include a pretty quote or two in case they
need one for something. I usually send the full resume and the
full statement including some nice quotes and photos when
interviewed for newspaper articles. I find this the best way to
avoid hideous misquotes, which has happened to me any number of

I am interested in hearing what others have to say on this.

Hope this helps…


Artist’s Statement:
Where is your inspiration from…
What do you feel about art…
How does your jewelry reflect art…
Does an incident in life reflect on how you started jewelry…
A statement reflects more of a feeling usually written in a paragraph,
(although I have seen artist’s that ramble endlessly and make no sense
after the first sentence)

Artist’s Bio:
Who are you… When did you start…
Where did you get educated…
A Bio is more factual information

Hope this helps.
Joy from Illinois

An artists biography would talk about the artist as a person.
Where and how they do their work. Often a gallery is looking for
some unusual or intersting aspect that they can use in their
public relations.

A statement talks about the work, what the artist’s intent is,
what the content of the work is about. Sometimes the statement
is about a particular series of work that is being shown and
sometimes it is about the artists work as a whole. I think all
students should write statements because it is a great way to
focus on your own work, what you are doing and where you are
headed with it.

Hope this is helpful,

A biography is exactly what you would expect: biographical
details of the artist. Include place of birth, age, contact
address, relevant education, exhibitions to date and any other
items of interest to the gallery. Oddly enough - in the UK
anyway - galleries like a photo of the artist as well, but I
think that this is optional.

A statement is a piece of writing which outlines the artist’s
raison d’etre, aesthetics, principles etc. The opening section
of my own statement is written as follows:

“Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit” - Henry Adams

Some time ago, I read a book entitled Metamagical Themas:
Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern by Douglas R.
Hofstadter (full bibliographic references are given at the end of
this text). Below the cover illustration is a short description
of the book, “An interlocked collection of literary, scientific
and artistic studies”. One chapter of this book completely - if
indirectly - changed the way that I view ‘art’ and ‘nature’ and
introduced me to the realms of mathematical chaos as a means of
generating artworks. Chapter sixteen - Mathematical Chaos and
Strange Attractors - is an introduction to the fashionably quoted
and much misunderstood subject of Chaos Theory, the study of
chaotic systems: systems such as weather and population growth
which behave in non-linear and unpredictable ways. Chaotic
systems are everywhere around us. Further reading around the
subject - Complexity and Complexification op. cit. - brought me
to the realisation that in the same way as chaotic systems shape
our lives, systems which bear no apparent relation to any living
thing could generate strangely life-like patterns, from ‘cellular
automata’ emulating biofeedback systems to the organic shapes
generated by mapping simple (and not so simple) mathematical

This is part of a longer text - about 1500 words - which was
requested by a gallery seeking exhibits, but I would not expect
to make a speculative submission of more than about 300 words.

Hope that this helps,
Dauvit Alexander,
Glasgow, Scotland.

Students in my class asked about the difference between
the two and
how to write both (either?) and what to include. Since I’ve never
encountered a gallery which required either, even I would like to
know where to start. Any suggestions?

My husband, Murray Schiff, is an artist (a painter), so I’ve typed a few of these
in my time.

The Artist’s Statement is a one page (or paragraph) statement by
the artist about their work in general or the specific body of
work. It’s an encapsulation of philosophy, approach and mission,
or to put it another way, who you are as an artist and/or why you
do art in a nutshell :>

The Bio is simply a factual resume’ of shows, awards, art/other
education, and an optional amount of personal history. Usually
starts with the artist’s name, then the basic category headings
with info listed underneath.

Biography (dates are optional here!)
Born: (city, state or country)
Education: (College or major art schools)

Solo Exhibitions (for this and each of the following categories,
show Year Location name, city, (state or country)

Group Exhibitions
Juried Exhibitions
Permanent Collections
Articles (cite date, title, publication & reference)
Honors & Awards

Recommend to your students that they drop into a few gallery
shows in town and take a look at actual statements and bios. And
tell them, neatness and spelling do count. :> HTH, Carol

| Carol J. Bova @Carol_J_Bova |
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Karen, I love your idea of including a quote with your PR packet.
Great idea. Deb