The NAIA version of an Artist Information Statement was developed after having shows ask us for some idea of what would be helpful. We hoped that this would be a version that could be applicable to most shows that want to include a statement but would like it understood that the NAIA version is a suggestion. We ask shows to not see this version as gospel! Not all artists are members of NAIA – please don’t refer to your version as “The NAIA Artists Statement”.
The intent of the Artist Information Statement is positive and educational. In the words of one show director, “This is a philosophical tenet that we all should embrace as an opportunity to educate.” In addition, it helps curb misrepresentation when information is put in writing for the public and peers to read. A review of the example statements that follow illustrate how informative and complete the statements can be. The completion of one statement should satisfy the needs of all shows.
The objectives of the Artist Information Statement are to identify, inform, and educate. It should describe succinctly and clearly information about the artist’s work that might be important to consumers, judges, show committees, or other artists. As an educational tool and conversation starter, it should insure that the viewer understands what is being seen, who made it, and how it was produced.
The following criteria should be satisfied in all statements:
- A photograph of the artist and contact information. The photograph may be a portrait but it is preferable to show the artist at work. It is important that the artist is identifiable. In the case of collaborative work, photo should include both artists.
- Identification of medium and processes/techniques used. This should be simple – certainly not a disclosure of trade secrets or proprietary processes, i.e “painted wood” is probably enough rather than disclosing the special kind of paint you developed over the years and what kind of wood.
- Specific explanation of how the work is produced.
- If paid employees, assistants or apprentices are used, a concise and complete description of their involvement should be included. If you don’t use assistants or apprentices, state that none are used.
- Where appropriate, identify materials and methods of handling those materials. Again, this should not entail disclosure of proprietary processes.
- It should be stated if an outside source such as a foundry or printing lab is used.
- Resume-type information such as awards, exhibitions, collections, etc. should NOT be included in this statement. Assuming that the show allows it, this type of information can be posted separately.
- Any other educational information could be included, but the overall statements should not exceed one page.
An 8 1/2″ X 11″ format has been suggested for uniformity in handling and ease of reproduction. Some shows have indicated a future desire to have the statement accompany their application. It has also been suggested that the content fall within an 8″ X 10″ space on the page if you would like to use a standard frame size for posting in your booth.