Lots of people with differing agendas ask for artist statements.
Though the general idea of an artist statement is to give
you do need to ask yourself who the is
If the is for a jury who will judge the work you should
give that will help clarify what they are seeing in the
slides. If the is for the general public, the
should be tailored to them. If the is to
be included in a publication that is displaying photos of your
work, the should convey ideas that will clarify what
viewers see and contextualize the images with the concepts of the
If the statement is to be placed in a store near your work, you
should give pertinent to potential buyers and perhaps
less educated staff members. If you want to call this marketing I
can see the argument for that, but I think more informed collectors
and staff will see attempts to substitute for fluff and
discount it for what it is. Most important is conveying why your
work is different and what makes it special.
Craft is personal. The more closely the buyer feels kinship with
the producer, the more likely they are to maintain their attention
long enough to make a buying decision. So, if you feel it’s boring
to list technical details of process, keep that to a minimum and
include more personal, but relevant
Here are some examples of 3 of my own “statements of artistic
priorities” as I call my artist statements.
20 word artist statement:
A contemporary design vision made of precious materials and
niello, using the least number of electrically powered tools
50 word statement:
I desire to create work that mixes goldsmithing virtuosity
with minimalist design using precious materials and niello.
Every step is performed by hand using as few electrical
devices as possible. I make my own niello and gold alloys.
The goal is to create, in metal, a natural, graphic paper-like
artist statement used at shows:
Each piece of jewelry in my collection is created solely by me
at my studio in North Carolina. Every step from creating my
own special alloys to design and final finishing is performed
with the goal of creating the next generation of American
No molds are used in the creation of my work. I use traditional
goldsmithing hand tools as well as self-made, nontraditional tools
to give my work its distinctive look. Attention to quality is
important enough to require a microscope for many of the more
detailed techniques. The work that calls for mechanisms uses custom
designed, intricately made catches and hinges. This is a hallmark of
I use platinum, high karat gold in many colors and also niello, a
traditional alloy prized for its unique properties by generations of
metalsmiths across the globe. My work has been influenced by 4 master
jewelers I’ve apprenticed with, both American and European who have
handed down and taught me traditional and contemporary techniques.
Gemstones sprinkled throughout accent the preciousness of the work.
My desire is to create work that mixes goldsmithing virtuosity,
minimalist design and practical comfort in a way that has never
before been executed or exhibited. Therefore, inherent in my work is
that every aspect of every piece, front to back, should be
interesting and integrated. Nothing should be overlooked or
Questions are welcomed and encouraged.
My experience is that judges and men make up 99 percent of the
people who take the time to read the artist at a show,
so the statement above is geared more toward them. I’ve written
many artist statements. These are the only ones I’ve saved on my
computer. I usually write a new one for each request … unless I
have a headache.
Lastly, an interesting and helpful link for about artist
statements at shows can be found at: