What is CV?
An artist CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a record of his/her professional experiences and artistic achievements used to apply for juried exhibitions, grants, awards, gallery shows, commissions, and residency programs. As such, an artist CV is much more detailed and way longer than a typical resume. Artist CV is not a resume.
An artistic resume is much like a resume for other jobs. It is brief and often angled towards expertise to help a candidate to land a job in the commercial world. This also means it should be shorter—2-page resumes are standard for most candidates.
Artist CV format should be simple and readable, an artist has to make sure it’s easy to follow and understandable.
TIP: CV formatting. Use white space to improve readability and highlight each section of the CV. CV font should be simple sans serif like Calibri or Arial. It is modern, readable, and renders on most systems.
ARTIST CV TEMPLATE (CV Example below after each section is discussed in detail)
CV sections for artists:
- Contact Information
- CV profile (Optional)
- Professional appointments
- Grants and awards
- Publications as author
- Additional sections (including non-academic experience, professional service, and professional organizations)
Less experienced artists might not need all these sections. Also, it is ok to skip any section that is not relevant.
TIP: The order can be changed around to highlighted achievements. The most impressive artistic achievements can be mentioned first. For example: if an artist has an amazing and prestigious bibliography but limited awards, it is ok to swap them around.
How to write each section to highlight artistic achievements and skills:
1. CONTACT INFORMATION
An artist CV contact information section should include:
- Full name
- Professional title and affiliation
- Institutional address (if writing for academic purposes and you already hold a post)
- Your home address
- Telephone number
- LinkedIn profile (optional)
2. CV PROFILE (OPTIONAL)
For an artist’s resume, absolutely include a profile. For a CV, a profile is not always 100% in line with academic standards. Some Art Associations’ guidelines do not specify to include a profile but neither do they advise against using one.
TIP: Artist CV profile should be a summary of the CV that follows to be used to catch the reader’s eye and keep them reading. The profile needs to be edited to the particular institution, gallery, or job an artist applying for. No copy-paste!
Start with the list of degrees and arrange them in reverse chronological order (most recent first, followed by the one previous to it and so on.)
- Year of completion or expected completion if still pursuing (no starting dates)
- Degree type
- Major and minors (if applicable)
- Department and institution
- Cum Laude and other honors
- Dissertation/Thesis title and advisor
4. PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS
In this section of your artist CV list teaching, academic, and related work experience, following the reverse-chronological format as in the education section. This section in an artist CV is a simple list of academic positions that have been held. Start with dates, followed by position, and finish with institution and location.
TIP: The academic title must be precise. There are important differences between associate professor, assistant professor, lecturer, etc. If the school does not use ranks and distinctions, you can use ‘faculty’ instead.
5. GRANTS and AWARDS
Whatever the purpose of the artist CV (academia, juried exhibitions, gallery shows, commissions, or residency programs) it is important to list all the accolades received, including short listings as well as prizes won. A shortlisting is still a prestigious acknowledgment of artistic talents.
TIP: Take time and list your grants and awards. Keep a master list and add to it every time a new accolade received.
This section of artist CV is of paramount importance.
- Start with the year, no month or date required.
- List type of exhibition, name of exhibition, venue, and location.
- add and any other relevant info if necessary.
It is important to keep this section simple and readable. Artists earlier on in their career may wish to use one heading— ‘exhibitions.’ Those with more extensive experience may wish to divide this section of their artist CV into subheadings ( ‘solo exhibitions,’ ‘group exhibitions’, etc.)
TIP: If the record of exhibitions is more impressive than awards list, then put Exhibition section first.
If applicable, this section should include commissions that an artist completed. A commission from a government body, large corporation, or notable individual will add more advantage artistic career. For very accomplished artists it may be useful to divide these into sub-categories: public, private, and corporate.
If the artwork is part of a collection, then it should be included in a separate section of the artist CV
The formatting here is slightly different. No need to use the reverse chronological format as with the previous sections, instead, list the collector, city, and state, and arrange these in alphabetical order.
A bibliography is a list of mentions of the artist and his/her artwork published in print or the media. This includes publications in traditional academic journals, newspapers, magazines, television, internet, and radio, as well as published photos of the artwork. It is best to stick to reverse chronological order here as well. Place the first name of the author before the last name.
TIP: When citing online sources make sure to insert the link into the text. Always make sure it’s clickable and the page is still live.
10. PUBLICATIONS AS AUTHOR
This section is for published material that an artist has authored. Include reviews, essays, journals, and blogs in reverse chronological order. Links should be inserted where appropriate.
This section of the CV is relevant to the most experienced artists. If an artist has a gallery representation, also known as gallery affiliation. A gallery’s name and location need to be included in this section.
Between three and five people can be included in this section of the CV. People who can serve as professional references if needed. A mix of supervisors, instructors, and mentors from the artist’s studies and employers.
References information to include:
- Full name
- Work address
- Telephone number
- Email address
13. ADDITIONAL SECTIONS
There are other sections an artist can add to transform his/her VC, but they are not necessary.
This section is useful for recent graduates with limited artistic experience. If an artist has work or art-related experience, then it should be listed in this section. For example, art internships or volunteer work.
For some schools, evidence of community service is a must. If an artist served on a board, sit on a committee, consult for projects, or volunteer for events this is the section to list those services.
The art bodies that an artist is a member of should be listed in this section in alphabetical order.
For example college art association, the national association for the visual arts, national watercolor society, women’s club for art, etc…
Here are some suggestions for additional sections to have on the CV. The sections will vary depending on an artist’s unique skill set and experiences:
- Technical abilities
- Exhibitions juried and/or curated
- Foreign languages
Below is an artist CV example filling out all the section discussed above:
Art Lecturer with 10+ years of experience in facilitating learning in the fine arts focusing on contemporary artists who use digital media as a tool for photographic practice. Specialist in the communication of visual ideas through a computer, digital camera, and hybrid practice with a basis in photography as a medium for creating art. Active, exhibiting artist with a portfolio of work available upon request. Contributed to 20% increase in BFA students taking up post-graduate studies and a 15% increase in average test scores. Winner of Fine Art Photography Award 2017 in the seascape category. Seeking to leverage my passion and expertise in the role of Photography Lecturer at Central Michigan University.
2008 MFA in Visual Art, Major in Expanded Media
Department of Visual Art
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Thesis Exhibition: “Shadows of Automation: Landscape with Metaphysical St George”
Faculty Mentor Professor Maria Velasco
2005 BFA in Visual Art, Major in Expanded Media
Department of Visual Art
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Graduated summa cum laude
2001 BA in French
Department of French, Francophone & Italian Studies
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Graduated with Honors in French
Sep 2014–Present Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Sep 2011–Aug 2014 Lecturer, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
Sep 2008–Aug 2011 Research Associate, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV
Grants and Awards
2019 Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship for Juxtaposed Manifesto of Superficial Matter
2018 Shortlisted: San Francisco Foundation Visual Arts Award for Eroded Sunset on Geopoliticus Component
2017 Winner: San Francisco Foundation Visual Arts Award for Melancholic Response with Dimensionality
2016 Shortlisted: Winter Solstice Juried Art Exhibition, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA for The Electronic Venu s
2015 American Express Cultural Heritage Grant for Work and Soul a Matter of Death
2014 Winner: Sunniest Place on Earth All Media Juried Show, Yuma, AZ for Still Life with Undefined Contrast
2012 Artist Grant, California Arts Council for The Repulsive Metamorphosis - Kafka Rebooted
2010 Shortlisted: Fish and Wildlife Conservation Art Contest, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for Wild at Heart
2009 Winner: SD Arts Prize for Muse Ecstasy Reconsidered
2019 Two-Person Exhibition, Forthright Dualities in Didactic Discourse , Cumberbatch Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (with mixed media artist Tarquin St Clair)
2018 Solo Exhibition, Craven Poet in the Distance , Venn Exhibition Space, San Francisco, CA
2017 Solo Exhibition, Ode to Aesthetic Knowledge , KC Gallery, San Diego, CA
2016 Manifesto of Metaphysical Hope , Shortland Gallery, San Diego, CA (curated by Maria Makunjuola)
2015 Solo Exhibition, The Modern Alteration , Green Grove Gallery, Valencia, CA
2014 Solo Exhibition, Theme from Enslaved Disgust , Althorp Gallery, San Jose, CA
2013 An Echo of Melancholy , Hemsworth Gallery, San Bernadino, CA (curated by Stanislava Janáková)
2012 Two-Person Exhibition, Summation and Summation , Dry Gulch Gallery, Bakersfield, CA (with sculptor Luiza Souza)
2011 Landscape with Linear Exclusion , Silverado Gallery, Reno, NV (curated by Corey Masterson)
2010 Solo Exhibition, Apropos in Biscuit , Silverado Gallery, Reno, NV
2009 Solo Exhibition, Embarrassed Ego Fractionated , New Masters Gallery, Hawthorne, NV
2008 MFA Thesis Exhibition , Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
2017 Public Art Commission, Velut arbor aevo , hybrid photographic mural, Bakersfield Nature Center, Bakersfield, CA
2014 Corporate Art Commission, Diente Blanco Grande , mixed media mural, Access Dental Corporation Headquarters, Sacramento, CA
2012 Public Art Commission, Sentiment Life Fractionated , photographic mural, San Bernadino Town Hall, San Bernardino, CA
Ashmore Collection, Long Beach, CA
Clifton Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Dennis Amenaza Collection, Las Vegas, NV
C. Siete, “Grayscale grandeur: Winter Photo Fair Success,” San BernardinoPost,
San Bernardino, CA, Feb 13, 2016. 76.
Brick Tamlyn, “Wilderness Photography Prize,” KNK-TV, Palm Springs, CA, July 7, 2014.
Dennis Chang, “Jury Prizes,” Art Attack, May 16, 2013. http://artattack.com/archived/art-77092
“Faulkner Envisioned: Depictions of Southern Gothic,” The Tennessee Fine Art Digest, Tyrone Banks and Irma Watson, eds. (Knoxville, TN: Northern Tennessee University Press, 2014): 107–135.
“Mixed Media as Literary Critique,” New Visions, April 2013,. 86–97.
“Vade Retro Satana - The Art of Exorcism,” Ars Heretica, March 2012. www.arsheretica.com/contributor/kecharm/
Lovetts Gallery, Tulsa, OK
Ani Art Academies co-founder, Curriculum designer
1100 Pittston Blvd.
Bear Creek Twp, PA 18702
Board of Trustees, Long Beach Painters Guild, Long Beach, CA
College Art Association
National Association for the Visual Arts
Photographic Society of America