Behind the Scenes: Creating an “Artist Statement” for Your Photography Exhibition
You’ve booked your photography exhibit, now what? You are ready to show the world your fine art photography. The behind the scenes punch list for your show is a mile long: create images, edit images, printing, framing, publicity, hanging your work, food, beverages….but WAIT! What are you going to say with your images? How will you convey all the meaning to your potential collectors. You must draft an “Artist Statement” for your exhibit.
Does your photography need an explanation?
Yes, I’ve heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Ideally, your individual images will convey meaning and intention on their own. Still, your exhibit will need a cohesive theme or themes that make your work accessible to fine art collectors and galleries. This is the place to explain what makes your images special. Did you travel to a unique place; did you use a special process to capture your images, what makes your work unique? After all, putting on an exhibit is expensive. You want your work to be understood, and you want to sell it.
Using Social Media to Promote Your Photography Exhibit
My next solo photography exhibit is on Mother’s Day weekend, May 13th, 5-10 p.m., and May 14th, 11-5 p.m. in Hermosa Beach at the South Bay Art Department. Portions of your artist statement can be posted on social media and distributed to the press to announce your photography exhibit. I will exhibit 25 images, covering several themes relating to current events as well as beautiful images from the South Bay region of Los Angeles. You can follow me @photosbykag on Instagram, Twitter and facebook.
An Artist's Statement Helps Explain Your Collection of Images and Thought-Process
The point and challenge of my artist statement is to help my audience and collectors understand my viewpoint and to give a cohesive view to the exhibition. Yes, my images should speak for themselves and stand on their own, but the artist statement goes deeper and suggests to the viewer additional points for contemplation. When visiting museums and galleries I always enjoy reading about the thought-process of the artist.
Combine the Artist Statement with Sponsors and Images to Create A Catalog
In my last solo exhibit in 2015 in Redondo Beach, CA, I created an exhibit catalog, which combined my artist statement with thumbnails of the images, my prices and information about my sponsors for the show, Tamron Lenses, Pelican Professional, King Harbor Brewing Company and Marsatta Chocolate. This showed my appreciation to my sponsors, and provided an opportunity for mutual promotion. The catalog was something tangible that visitors could take home with them. I was surprised by the large number of images I sold after the show, and I’m certain the catalog was part of the reason.
Invest the Time in Your Artist Statement
Creating an artist statement takes time, and it's worth it. If you don’t enjoy writing, or even if you do, consider hiring an experienced writer to help you convey your ideas. If I have been posting a little less to social media as I prepare for my exhibit, now you know why! See you on May 13th-14th! Thx for reading! You can join my newsletter by texting "photosbykag" to 2282.