I need guidance writing an artist statement for a gallery. Specifically, what's good practice, and what should be avoided?

I'm a visual artist appearing in a gallery soon. I've written thesis statements in college. I don't want to sound like a professor, and I'm afraid to say the wrong thing and offend the academic crowd. Exposing some of my weaknesses as an artist is an other concern.

The gallery owner want to "build me up." I don't know what to think of that. It seems like the public, critics, and gallery all have their place in growing the reputation of an artist.

I can't tell the difference between good art journalism and BS
Every one has seen the Blue Dog Artist, George Rodrigue. I liked his book and how he builds his own legend, but it doesn't sound credible.

I wish I had a like to share. Imagine ghost stories and Cajun superstitions etc. My work has similar lore.

Any Resources
If you know of any books on PR or writing that would help, please share.

1 Answer 1


I am not personally an artist, but I know many artists.

In my experience reading their statements the intention seems to be a combination of explaining why you love art, what your credentials are (degrees, famous artists in your medium studied under, what galleries you have exhibited in, any students you have taught, positive press, etc.), and what you seek to do with your art. You also want to provide information on where someone might go to purchase or view your work.

There are many resources online that purport to tell you how to write a good artist's statement. For example:

  • One - a "recipe" for an artist's statement that if strictly followed will give you a rather canned result, but has some good tips
  • Two - an attempt to persuade you that an artist's statement is valuable, with interesting considerations like whether or not to include your influences
  • Three - suggests interviewing yourself, listing some sample questions to get you started
  • Four - provides information on what should and shouldn't be in a statement as well as some tips to deal with writer's block and more sample questions

The consensus among them seems to be that an artist statement should represent why you do what you do and what you think is important about your work, but beyond that there is not much of a consensus. All agree that an artist's statement is valuable.

There are also examples, such as this one from an art program. My suggestion would be to look for the websites of artists you admire and look at their statements. Find a format or some common tactics among them that fits you as a person. Fill in your own details.


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