How to Write an Artist Resume
The intent of your artist resume is to present a short summary of your professional history and accomplishments. A resume is commonly needed for submissions to exhibition opportunities, grant applications and residency programs. It is also an essential element on artist and gallery websites. An artist resume is usually one to three pages in length.
STEP 1 - Start a Spreadsheet Document
Working on a spreadsheet will facilitate document formatting. Download this template (Excel .xlsx file). Insert your name, contact info and website (if applicable). Add the category headings relevant to your experience and practice (suggestions below). Only list non-art-related education and professional experiences if they are relevant to your submission. Any of the headings may be combined or listed separately, depending on how best to highlight them.
Sample Category Headings
- Education / Self-Directed Education & Training
- Professional Development / Certifications
- Exhibitions (Solo, Selected Solo, Two-person, Group or Collective)
- Collaborative Projects
- Curatorial Projects
- Residencies / Apprenticeships / Mentorships
- Presentations / Artist Talks / Public Speaking
- Professional Experience
- Teaching Experience / Instruction
- Volunteer Experience / Community Services
- Awards / Honours / Grants / Scholarships
- Collections (public and private)
- Publications (written by you)
- Media (radio and television interviews)
- Bibliography (written about you/your work)
- Membership to Professional Associations
STEP 2 - Format
Place more important, relevant and recent categories near the beginning of your resume. For example, if you are applying for a video production grant, your screenings should be placed before your gallery exhibitions.
STEP 3 - Proofread
Make sure there are no misspelled words. Avoid acronyms and abbreviations. Have a friend or colleague proofread your resume.
STEP 4 - Update and Save
You will need various versions of your artist resume tailored to specific purposes. A spreadsheet allows for the categories to be easily reordered. Save each version as a PDF file, ready for submission or posting.
Save your resumes by date and by purpose in a designated folder. Consistency in the way you save documents will make for easy retrieval.
For example :
0000 Resume Master Copy.xlx
2018 Resume (Gallery Call to Artists).xlx
2020 Resume (Workshop facilitation).pdf
2020 Resume (Workshop facilitation).xlx
2020 Resume (Creation Grant).pdf
2020 Resume (Creation Grant).xlx
Adapted from The Practical Art World: How to Write an Artist's CV in 10 Steps, College Art: Artist Resume Recommended Conventions and notes from Shawna Dempsey and Yvette Cenerini.