There is more and more research available that suggests that maybe artists aren’t the only ones that benefit from visual, hands-on learning. There is a push, more and more, to incorporate ARTS into the beloved STEM education focus (Full STEAM ahead!) and more and more schools are working harder than ever, in order to include arts education in their curriculum, despite cut backs:
That being said, there are still other subjects that artists have to learn, that don’t have a focus on the visual, hands-on learning aspect they so enjoy. Even in an art class. One of the struggles that I’ve met with my high school students is writing. Now, anyone can argue that good artwork should stand on its own, and that an artist statement can even cloud or stand in the way of a good piece. Yet, people still ask for them. Galleries, grant applications, and colleges – likely, a high school student’s first experience with artist statements. However, the number one thing I hear from my art students?
“I’m not a good writer – that’s why I draw.”
Yet, artist statements are an integral part of the bridge between visual communicators, and the rest of the world, who may appreciate a few words in order to make the artwork more accessible to them. And, it is a very important part of the college application process, for both public universities and private fine-arts colleges. At some point, if a student is submitting their work for acceptance, scholarship or grants, they will need to slap an artist statement on their portfolio as well.
As a student bridges the gap between visual and non-visual with their artist statement, I created this small flow chart (using the Piktochart Infographic app) to flip that idea. Create a visual reminder of what the writing should be about, in order to keep students on track and focused. An artist statement needs to be clear and concise – yet also broad enough to describe the art itself in the broad context of your purpose as artist.
This can be printed individually, hung at the front of the class, or sitting on their desktop to reference, as they type out their paragraphs. While my previous posts have focused on resources that help students research and prepare for an artist statement, this is a resource they can use during the actual writing. Hopefully, creating visual, small blurbs can make the process less intimidating for self-proclaimed non-writers.