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What is an Artist’s Resume: Crafting Your Artistic Identity on Paper

There are simple tips and strategies that can elevate your resume, making it not just a list of accomplishments, but a compelling narrative of your artistic endeavors.

So, whether you’re looking to land an exhibition spot, or eyeing that coveted residency, knowing how to piece together an effective resume can set you apart in the competitive art world.

The Difference Between Your Artist’s Biography and Résumé

Artist’s Biography:

  • Narrative style
  • Written in paragraphs
  • Tells your story as an artist

Artist’s Résumé (CV):

  • Listing format
  • Includes sections such as:
  • Exhibitions: Places you’ve showcased your work
  • Education: Art-related studies and qualifications
  • Honors & Awards: Recognitions received
  • Public Art Projects/Collections: Public installations or works held in collections
  • Bibliography/Publicity: Articles, reviews, interviews about your work
  • Gallery Affiliations: Your representation in the art world
  • Presentations: Lectures, workshops, panel discussions you’ve been involved with

Sample Artist’s Résumé/CV

For your artist résumé, you’ll want to showcase significant milestones in your career—think of it as a highlight reel of your artistic journey.

Not everything makes the cut; stick to the benchmarks that set you apart.

Exhibitions to Highlight

When you’re listing your art shows, start with the most recent and work backward. This emphasizes your current work and progress in the art scene.

Keep it concise, perhaps under the title “Selective Exhibition History”. Only include the shows that really matter, especially if you’ve been in the game for a long time.

For example:
  • 2023, “The Healing Power of Color”, Online Exhibition, Manhattan Arts International, NYC, NY
  • 2022, “Mixed Media”,, Online Exhibition
  • 2018, “New Work”, Solo Show, Blue Gallery, Phoenix, AZ

Recognitions and Honors

Here, be sure to highlight any awards or special recognitions that have honored your art.

Lead with the most recent to impress upon the reader your continued relevance and prowess.

Like this:
  • 2022, Special Recognition from The Healing Power of ART
  • 2020, Award of Excellence for Cover Art, ABC Magazine

Published Mentions

Your bibliography section will show where your work or you as an artist have been talked about. Have your name crop up in a magazine? That’s where you list it.

Example entries:
  • “Artist’s in Mixed Media”, 2022, by Jim Jones
  • Arts Review magazine feature “John Smith Creates Evocative Assemblages”, Spring 2021

Collections Featuring Your Work

This part is where you have the chance to display where your work has proudly been displayed.

Keep in mind to separate private from public collections, and only list private collections if you have consent.

You could list it neatly:
  • Public: Belmont University, Falls, UT
  • Private: Several undisclosed collectors across the U.S.

Artistic Involvements

Ever held a workshop, curated a gallery, or sat on a panel?

This section demonstrates your active participation in the art community beyond just creating.

For instance:
  • Co-curator at ABC Gallery for “Seven Painters”, 2020
  • Workshop presenter, New York Council of the Arts, 2019

Associations and Memberships

Your professional affiliations tell a story of your network and influence within the art scene. Note any positions you’ve held that elevate your standing.

Consider entries like:
  • Current member of Manhattan Arts International Artist Showcase Gallery
  • President, Contemporary Artists of New York Artists Group, since 2019

Educational Background

Lastly, your formal education and any significant artistic training fall into this category. It establishes your foundational skills and dedication to your craft.

Essential Guidelines for Crafting Your Artist’s Résumé/CV

When creating your résumé or CV as an artist, the smallest of details can make a big impact. Here’s how you can polish your professional document:

  • Make your headings pop by increasing their font size.
  • Bold or capitalized headers are excellent for standing out from the rest of your content.
  • Organize your achievements in each section starting with the most recent first, keeping it all in reverse chronological order.
  • Lead with your most impressive accomplishments.
  • It’s a common practice to start with exhibition listings but tailor it to showcase your strengths.
  • Education doesn’t always have to be the opening act.
  • Let professional milestones gained post-graduation take the lead if they’re more significant.
  • If your experience in certain categories seems sparse, opt for a narrative biography until your list of achievements expands.
  • Regularly update and reorder your résumé to align with your current objectives and to address the interests of your intended audience.
  • As your history grows, edit out the less noteworthy items.
  • Use terms like “Selected Exhibitions” to signify you are presenting the most relevant experiences.
  • Mention the names of jurors in juried exhibitions when you were chosen; their endorsement of your work is a valuable affirmation of your talent.
  • If your résumé is lengthy, let readers know a complete version is available upon request to manage the document’s length and detail.
  • There’s no need to disclose your age or dates related to education if you’re sensitive about it.
  • Focus on your art, not your age.
  • Keep your résumé art-centric; skip including non-art-related jobs that might disrupt the focus.
  • Do your homework and review résumés from successful artists, especially those in your dream galleries. Their paths can serve as a guide for your own.
  • Boost your exhibition history by connecting with art associations and participating in their member exhibitions and juried shows.
  • Above all, focus on honing your craft; a strong portfolio and compelling artistry will naturally lead to more exhibitions and recognition.

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