Writing an Artist Statement

For my Life of the Honors College assignment, I went to an event titled “Writing an Artist Statement”, led by Dr. Kevin Hsieh. The program was to inform students about the Georgia State Undergraduate Research Conference. Students nominated to participate in the conference are at the top of their field, being chosen out of their entire class to present their work. Dr. Hsieh first talked about the importance of acknowledging art as research. He also expressed his frustration that some of his colleagues question if art pieces should be included in the conference, because “it’s not research.” I would have to say that I agree with Dr. Hsieh on this point. Art has an aspect of research to produce it.
He then went on to discuss the space and resources available to artists. The conference will be held in the Student Center East Ballroom. Tables for photographs, pedestals for sculptures, and easels for canvases need to be requested by him. There are some restrictions to the space like no nails or tape can be put on walls.
Lastly, he went talked about how to structure your artist statement and submit it. The artist statement should be between 200 and 250 words- 2 to 3 paragraphs. Include the process, inspiration, and motivation. What challenges did you face? What experiments/tests did you have to conduct? Next, visualize your idea (sketches, etc.) Then should be your research question. What motivated you in your work? Then describe your process and experiments. In other words, what did you do to try to find the answer to your research question? You should include who or what inspired you throughout your process. Of course, give your research result, which is your work of art. Lastly, what would you do differently or what would you do to make it better? Students should use first person tone (I researched… I found…). Dr. Hsieh suggested that students type up their abstract- it can be one page. Leave it alone throughout the holidays, and then come back to it to make any necessary eliminations/\ and revisions. The deadline to submit will most likely be mid-January, through the GSURC page.
Although I am not a visual or digital art student, I found the program very insightful. I am a performing arts student and so, I could see the correlation between the two. And he had free pizza so that’s a big plus plus!

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