Resume Bio Statement Writing Cover Letter Presentation Contracts Documentation Exhibition Website Selling Work
(Resources Complied from CAA Career Page)
1. Keep it Simple Avoid making the résumé complicated; it is meant to be short and simple to review. Normally the artist
résumé is succinct limited to a page or two. Some industries like animation, require one page resumes so you need to get a lot
of information in an easy to see and understand format. Showcase your best accomplishments.
*Unless you are applying to a degree seeking program or an academic position where resumes should be multi pages
and include all your accomplishments.
2. Tailor the Resume to the Opportunity. All artists should have a standard up-to-date résumé available; all résumés ideally shouldbe tailored to specific purposes. Therefore, artists are advised to follow a venue’s stated guidelines for submitting
résumés, including the number of pages specified.
3. The Kitchen Sink Resume Rule: Always keep a comprehensive master copy of your artist résumé that includes all relevant
information about your career and education. The master copy can be adapted to a targeted audience by adding items in
categories that are pertinent and subtracting others in categories less relevant. Also, the significance of an entry is not always
evident when it occurs and could become more important later. If you take the time to document all relevant accomplishments
in a master résumé, you can retain important information that may otherwise be forgotten or lost.
4. Make it Easy!!! Easy-to-read fonts and type sizes (never below 10 point) help facilitate reading. Remember older people may not be able to read that font size. Use white space well and do not submit your résumé on colored paper or add photos of you
and your dog. Do not use headshots, images, or colored fonts. A poorly designed résumé could cost you opportunities.
5. Work on a Doc but send a PDF. A current good practice is to save your résumé as both PDF and Word files. Maintain an
up-to-date copy of your résumé as a Word document because it is the easiest format to edit and update. A PDF file is the ideal f
format to submit with applications or for display because spacing, margins, and formatting are retained across computer
platforms. If no submission directions are given, or if an institution gives you the option of sending a Word document or a PDF,
you should always choose to send a PDF.
6. Use reverse chronological order (placing the most recent entry first and so on, with the least recent entry being the last
entry in each category). Exceptions to this convention are entries without dates under categories such as Collections or Gallery
Affiliation. In these cases entries should be listed in alphabetical order. Another exception to using reverse chronology is found
under Education, where you should list institutions attended without earning a degree after listing schools (in reverse
chronology) where degrees were earned.
7. Always Customize! One Size Does Not Fit All.
Depending on your individual strengths as an artist, you may choose to rearrange the recommended order of some of
categories found below. For example, you may choose to put your exhibitions first, before any awards or honors. As a general
rule, you should “play to your strengths” by placing more important, relevant, and recent information near the beginning of your
résumé. Otherwise, the order recommended below is a good one to follow. (For obvious reasons, do not list category headings that are not relevant to you.) Another example is if you are applying for a curators job, list curations first and exhibitions later.
SAMPLE ARTIST RÉSUMÉ (WITH COMMENTARY)
List your most recent entries first, under each heading. Pagination is recommended beginning with page two. Use 10–12-point type in a standard, legible typeface. Using exotic typefaces that may detract from the content of the résumé.
1. Contact Information:
Name (and Contact Information) You should include your website and email.
Name: Your name can appear in uppercase, bold, or large type—or a combination of these.
Preferred mailing address: Providing a mailing address is optional. Some artists may prefer not to include this, for security reason.
Phone Number(s): List any numbers (work, studio, home, or fax) where you are comfortable being contacted. Some artists prefer to list their cell number as a studio number. Other artists may choose to remove their cell number and other personal address information from their résumé—especially from a website résumé or CV. Consider listing at least one phone number, so you can be easily reached.)
Email: An email address (a must!) on the artist résumé is typically a personal, non-institutional email address. When you use a personal email address, use one that looks professional.
Personal Website: Personal websites are becoming more and more essential. Providing a URL to a personal website is highly recommended.
Comments: Much of the above information is commonly included as part of an artist’s personal letterhead. If you chose to design a letterhead for your documents that includes contact information, keep it clean, simple, and easy to read. You don’t want to distract readers from content with too many flourishes. Letterheads can convey personality without overwhelming the reader.
If a gallery gives you an exhibition or accepts you for representation, they may eliminate much of the personal information in this category. They will probably remove your address, phone numbers, etc., and provide your date and/or place of birth. This is a common practice for galleries so that a potential buyer is directed to the gallery for inquiries about your work.
Comments: Dates should appear on the far left for all relevant categories following the personal information listed above (with exceptions such as Collections, Bibliography, and Publications by Author, which follow their own particular formats. See below under these categories.). List dates of academic degrees by year in reverse chronology, noting honors and/or distinctions. It is informative and may be useful to list the major or area of studio concentration, but this is optional.
2013 MFA (candidate) in Sculpture, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
2010 BFA in Studio Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
2005 BA cum laude, French, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
2006 Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN
2004 Pont-Aven School of Art, Pont-Aven, France (summer session)
For currently enrolled students, clearly state that the degree is pending by using the words “(pending)” or “(candidate)” in parentheses following the degree being sought. List the expected graduation date at the end.
It is not uncommon to have studied at a university or college without completing the degree. You should list these periods of study after the list of degrees earned. (See above example.)
Avoid using abbreviations when listing the names of universities, colleges, and art schools. Put in Name of School, City and Town.
It is perfectly acceptable to abbreviate the names of states or not, at your discretion, but it is more important to format consistently throughout. Two-letter postal codes should be used for states, and “US”. When needed, however, names of foreign countries should always be spelled out.
For those artists who have attended schools outside the United States, the country should be listed at the end. Likewise, artists who attended institutions in the United States, and who are submitting résumés to recipients in other countries, should list US at the end of each entry.
2012 MFA in Studio Art, Burren College of Art, Newtown Castle, Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland
2009 BA with Honors and Distinction in Art, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, USA
3. GRANTS AWARDS
Following categories will use the same consistency and order or Year, Accomplishment, Place, Including City + State always in reverse chronological order.
1998 New York State Council on the Arts Fellowship, New York, NY
1991 Artist-in-Residency Fellowship, Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, NM
Comments: Any of the headings (Grants, Fellowships, Scholarships, Awards, Honors, and/or Residencies) may be listed together or separately, depending on your own record of accomplishments and how best to highlight them. (For example, if you do not have any residencies, leave the category unlisted. If you have only one residency, you might decide to list it together with other awards and fellowships you have received. If you have a number of residencies, you might choose to list it as a separate category.)
4. Exhibition Record
Following categories will use the same consistency and order or Year, Accomplishment, Place, Including City + State always in reverse chronological order.
Comments: The exhibition record may be the most important category in your résumé and should be near the beginning if you applying for an arts job or want to apply to graduate school. If you have a more impressive exhibition record than list of awards, then list exhibitions before awards.
There are many ways to present an exhibition record. For less experienced artists, such as artists who have just completed graduate school, it is probably more useful to list all exhibitions under one heading, and indicate any that are solo exhibitions, by including “Solo Exhibition” or “Two-Person Exhibition” at the beginning of the entry, just after the date.
In listing exhibitions, include the title of the exhibition (if applicable) in italics, then the name of venue, city, and state (and country, if needed). If an exhibition catalogue accompanies the exhibition, this may also be noted with “(catalogue)” placed at the end of the entry. (See below.)
Example for Artists Who don't Have a lot of Exhibitions and want to list them together.
2012 Name of Exhibition, Solo Exhibition, MFA Thesis Exhibition, Katherine Nash Gallery, Regis Center for Art, University of
Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
2011 The Light of Day, Group Exhibition. Lee Hansley Gallery, Raleigh, NC
2007 Next Name of Exhibition. Two-Person Exhibition, Reeves Contemporary, New York, NY (with sculptor, Johnny Swing)
2006 Name of Exhbition. Solo Exhibition, Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC
2005 Name of Exhibition, White Columns, New York, NY (curated by Micaela Giovannotti)
2000 Name of Exhibition. Solo Exhibition, Dream Life of Babies, Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GA (catalogue)
Example for Artists Have a lot more exhibitions and can separate them into categories. As you exhibit more, you may want to separate the categories and use both Solo Exhibitions and Group Exhibitions as headings. As your career progresses, it is likely that you will use the heading Selected Solo Exhibitions. (When you have a separate heading for solo exhibitions it is no longer necessary to include the words “solo exhibition” at the beginning of the entry as they are all solo.) For artists in certain time-based media, an exhibition might be referred to as a Screening. In that case, the category heading might read Exhibitions/Screenings or Exhibitions/Screenings/ Performances instead of Exhibitions or Exhibition Record. For performance artists, the heading Performances may be adequate. Depending upon the nature of the work, an artist may use any one or any combination of headings, such as Exhibitions, Screenings, Performances, Curatorial Projects, or Collaborative Projects.
Group exhibition entries should begin with the italicized title of the exhibition, name of gallery or venue, city, state, and country (if needed). If the exhibition included an exhibition catalogue, this may also be noted with “(catalogue)” placed at the end of the entry. If it is a juried or curated exhibition, you can list the name of the juror or curator, his or her title, institution (if applicable), and the city and state of their residence or work. In the case of prominent jurors or curators, this can be important information. Last Note, When a juror or curator has a title, it should also appear (along with their institution, city, and state) at the end of the entry. You should separate the venue, city, and state from the curator or juror listing by using parentheses (See example below.), but most importantly, be consistent!
2007 Hot Air Sincerely, Barrow & Juarez Contemporary Art, Milwaukee, WI
2005 Ad Infinitum, Art in General, New York, NY
2004 Snow Never Melts, Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis, MN
2012 The Ungovernables: 2012 New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York, NY (curated by EungieJoo, [catalogue])
It’s a Small, Small World, Family Business Gallery, New York, NY (curated by Hennessy Youngman, artist)
Neu!, Ebersmoore Gallery, Chicago, IL (catalogue)
2011 The Age of Aquarius, The Renaissance Society, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2005 100% Acid Free, White Columns, New York, NY (curated by Micaela Giovannotti, Curator, Museum of Des Moines, Des
2008 Some Things We Do Together, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY (performance in collaboration with Clifford Owens)
2003 RN: The Past, Present and Future of the Nurse Uniform, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA, (in
collaboration with artist J. Morgan Puett)
5. Commissions (if applicable)
Commissions, if numerous, may be divided into separate subcategories: Public, Corporate, and Private Commissions. Generally as students you can put them all under the one category.
2020 Public Art Commission, Diversity and Hope, large-scale painting (8 x 16 ft.), acrylic and oil on canvas on panel, Charlotte
Convention Center, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Arts &Science Council, Charlotte, NC
2018 Private Commission, The Baker Family, Auburn, AL
7. Bibliography (Selected Bibliography)
Bibliographical entries are entries of reviews, articles, books, catalogues, etc., published about you and your artwork. Critical reviews of your art and the inclusion of your work in books, magazines, newspapers, exhibition catalogues, online magazines, and in other media is important for documenting your accomplishments. After a number of publications are accumulated, consider editing the list down to the most important and relevant, and title the category Selected Bibliography.
Author’s first and last name, "title of article," journal title in italics, volume, issue number (if available), date published, or accessed. DOI: or the URL
Daniel Mendelsohn, “But Enough about Me,” New Yorker, January 25, 2010. 68.
Willard W. Wilson, “Sculpture Exhibition: Clinton Shows Region’s Best,” Syracuse Gazette Syracuse, NY, December 11, 1998. 42
Diane Terrel, “New Work in Central New York,” Sculpture 17, no. 1 (January 1998): 63.
You should document interviews and/or features about your work on radio or television and enter the following information on your CV or résumé.
Jane Williams, Interview, WUWJ Radio, Utica, NY, December 9, 1998.
John Doe, “Commissioned Artwork Arrives in Charlotte,” WSOC-TV, Charlotte, NC, March 12, 1995.
8. Related Experience
It is not necessary to list your entire employment history in an artist résumé; however, in the case of an individual who has taught at several art institutions, it may be useful. It may also be helpful to list related work experience. List only work experience related to art; unrelated employment does not belong on a professional artist’s résumé.
10. Lectures/Workshops (Presentations, Artist Talks, etc.)
2010–12 Curator, Flood Gallery, Asheville, NC
2012 Lecture/Presentation, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, November 8.
2012 “Workshop: Visual Artist Focus: Working with Galleries 101,” Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY,
2011 Artist Talk, School of the Visual Arts, New York, NY, February 15–18.
9. Curatorial Projects
2009 5th Annual Rites of Passage, Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center, Cincinnati, OH
2003 Make it Real, co-curated with Alison Gerber, No Name Exhibitions at The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, MN
References are not always required in an artist résumé and would typically be included only if requested. A list of references should appear either at the end of the résumé or on a separate sheet behind a cover letter. Listing three references is typical; the number is sometimes specified in submission guidelines.List only references that know you well, can speak to your strengths as an artist and the quality of your artwork, and have agreed to serve as a reference for you. List the name, title, and institution (if applicable), address, phone (office or referee’s preferred phone number), and the email address of each reference.
Jane Doe, Chair and Professor of Art, Department of Art, XXX College, City, ST ZIP
Phone: 555.555.1212 Email: email@example.com
John Doe, Director, Printworks Gallery, 311 W. Superior St., Suite 105, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312.555.1212 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Morgan Doe, artist, 1234 East Broadway, Seattle, WA, 98102
Phone: 206.555.1212 Email: email@example.com