The Artist Statement: Issue

I am re-vamping my portfolio to get ready and apply for some residencies. I am having trouble with it. What really should an artist statement say? I figure it is always good to see what others have to say. This is what I’ve found: there are no rules. Some artists stick within a minimalist mindset and let the art speak for itself, others preach their entire philosophy.

Here are some artist statements I have looked at:

Julia Galloway

Tara Wilson

Kalika Bolwby

Thaddeus Powers

Martina Lantin

Matt Long

I suppose anything we say in regards to our profession could be quoted (as in case of Matt Long) and become our statement to an on listener. Having it written in a clear format for all to hear makes the game more professional. Still, stating certain things however definitely can be intimidating. They wording matters and the onslaught of interpretations of others is vital to consider. What is the artist trying to say? Take Julia Galloway stating “ I make Pottery” as opposed to Thaddeus stating “I am a Potter”. The two things mean the same but can be interpreted differently- does Julia not want to be labelled a potter as such? If so, why? Is Thaddeus disclaiming the associating of potter to artist by narrowing his field so acutely?

Then there are the statements such as Martina’s that explains her choices of making to the ear of a consumer. Kalika and Tara inform us why the are making what they make.  A good artist statement I think is a jumble of it all but, being concise is best. Thus, here are the outlining points for the new artist statement:

What I am/ what I make
Why I am am a potter
Tidbit of process/influence/inspiration
What my intentions for my pots are/ the bigger picture

have also noticed a trend that the older generation of potters who do have websites neglect to have artist statements at all. I am wondering if the artist statement is a new construct- or one that is simply drilled into us at school?


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