Sometime in the 1990’s, when the art world decided that up-and-coming artists needed a way to explain their work to prospective viewers and buyers, the Artist Statement was born. You can learn how to create a modern and meaningful one at a class offered by BSB Gallery (143 East State Street, Trenton) this coming Saturday, February 1, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The class is open to the public and free, but you must register at www.bsbgallery.com.

The workshop will outline the components of crafting a compelling and effective artist statement for a variety of purposes such as inclusion on your website or in press releases and exhibition proposals. It aims to demystify the writing process, clarify the purpose of a statement and what it should (and should not) include.

Don’t forget to bring some of your work for inspiration

From a modest start some two decades ago, artist statements have become an essential tool in every artist’s workbox. According to Wikipedia, the artist’s text intends to explain, justify, extend, and/or contextualize their body of work. It places, or attempts to place, the work in relationship to art history and theory, the art world and the times. Further, the statement serves to show that the artist is conscious of their intentions, aware of their practice and its position within art parameters and of the discourse surrounding it. Therefore not only does it describe and place, but it indicates the level of the artist’s own comprehension of their field and making. The artist statement serves as a vital link of communication between you (the artist) and the rest of the world.

In these ways, artist statements are important when presenting your work to galleries for potential exhibition. Also, if you can’t be present, it can stand in your place, say, at a gallery reception, conveying who you are as an artist and connecting with your audience. BSB Gallery adds, “You’ll learn additional strategies and tips that are also relevant to constructing grant applications, fellowships and residencies, artist websites, and marketing materials that can benefit artists and creatives across disciplines.”

Artists and Viewers at an Art-All-Day 2018 event at BSB Gallery

By the end of this workshop, you will have an informative and interesting statement of current work, as well as a process for creating individualized statements for exhibits of your artwork. ​Be sure to bring samples of your current work to this workshop in order to aid in constructing your Artist Statement. If you are looking to update your current artist statement, be sure to bring that as well!

BSB Gallery is a 501(c)(3) non-profit contemporary art space, located in downtown Trenton, established in early 2018. Their mission is to cultivate creativity and community by offering exhibition, education, and networking opportunities for artists and curators. They strive to strengthen the local community by making the arts accessible and welcoming for all of Trenton’s residents. This is achieved through art exhibitions, community events, and various workshops offered throughout the year.