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How to write an Artist Statement: A Guide for Boston Artists

How to write an Artist Statement

Creating an artist statement can be a daunting task. It's your chance to introduce yourself and your work to the world, bridging the gap between your inner vision and the audience's understanding. Boston, with its rich history and vibrant contemporary art scene, offers a backdrop that can inspire deeply personal and powerful statements.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for Boston artists on how to write an Artist Statement:

1. Start With Your Why

Begin by exploring the motivations behind your work. What drives you to create? Whether it’s a personal experience, a cultural heritage, or a response to the social climate of Boston, identifying your 'why' can provide a solid foundation for your statement.

2. Describe Your How

Detail the techniques, materials, and methods you use. Are there particular methodologies that are unique to your practice or have a deep-rooted connection to Boston’s art heritage, such as traditional New England craftsmanship or cutting-edge digital art influenced by the city’s tech innovation?

3. Explain Your What

Clearly articulate what your art represents. Try to avoid overly technical language; instead, focus on the themes, subjects, and emotions that permeate your work. How does your art reflect, contrast, or capture elements of Boston’s culture, architecture, or landscape?

4. Connect to a Broader Context

Link your work to larger movements or themes within the art world or relate it to societal issues. This might include connections to movements such as Abstract Expressionism, which has historical roots in the area, or contemporary issues that resonate within the community.

5. Keep It Concise

An artist statement should be brief—typically no more than 250 words. It needs to be long enough to give a sense of your work, but short enough to maintain interest. Aim for clarity and specificity; every sentence should serve a purpose.

6. Write in the First Person

Your artist statement should be personal and in your own voice. This makes your statement more relatable and authentic, giving readers a personal connection to you as an artist.

How to write an Artist Statement

7. Edit and Feedback

After drafting your statement, step away from it for a few days, then return with fresh eyes to revise. It's also crucial to seek feedback from fellow artists, mentors, or trusted friends within the Boston art community. They can provide invaluable insights that might not be apparent from your perspective.

8. Use It Wisely

Once perfected, your artist statement can serve multiple purposes. It can be used on your website, in exhibition proposals, grant applications, and press releases. Make sure it aligns with your public persona and artistic brand.

Final Thought

An artist statement is more than a summary of your work; it's a declaration of your artistic identity. For artists in Boston, it's an opportunity to showcase how your work contributes to and is influenced by one of America's most historic and dynamic cultural landscapes.


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