29 May 2016

Every Printmaker Needs An Artists Biography

An artist biography is often the first piece of information available to your audience, 
either in a gallery or catalogue, or somewhere on your website. 
All artists should have one, and it should be reviewed yearly for early- or mid-career artists.

The biography frames your whole art-making practice.
It can be written by you, or get help from someone with a particular skill in writing.
You can summarize your practice, including medium(s), themes, techniques, and influences.
It is about the current direction of your work, not a history of how you got to this point.

Audience engagement researchers found that visitors lose interest in wall labels after 150 words,
so try to write a profile between 80 and 140 words, the ideal is around 120 words.
A tightly written 80-word biography is preferable to a longer bio that includes unnecessary 'fluff'. 
Leave your reader informed, but wanting to know more.... 
 A good rule of thumb is to impart one idea per sentence,
with the viewer taking away one or two key points from your biography.

A biography is different from an artist statement, which is about your artwork(s) or series.
Your artist statement is written in the 1st person, using "My work..."
whereas your biography is written in 3rd person, about you, eg "[Name]'s practice focusses on..."

The biography should open with a first line that encapsulates what is most significant 
about the artist and his or her work, rather than opening with biographical information.
Here are some questions for you to consider when writing about your artist’s practice,
pick out just the most important about you:
  • What medium does the artist work in?
  • What is his or her style?
  • What are common or characteristic subjects or themes depicted in the artist’s work?
  • What subjects drive the works or provide underlying themes?
  • What impact has this artist made, or what precedent is he or she setting? 
  • Who are the artist’s peers or teachers who have impacted on the artist’s practice?
  • In what political or technological climate is the artist working in?
  • What areas of the arts or popular culture does this artist incorporate into his or her work?
  • What other areas of the arts or popular culture does this artist engage with?
  • Can their work be summed up in an engaging quotation from the artist (1–2 sentences)? 

Six Common Mistakes in Artist Biographies:
  • The List of AccomplishmentsKeep accolades to a minimum. Readers who are interested in all the details of exhibitions and awards can refer to your artist CV. 
  • Artspeak: Viewers dislike misplaced academic jargon and pseudo-theoretical writing. Remember your audience may be completely unfamiliar with your ideas.
  • Hyperbolic Praise: Readers respond negatively to unsubstantiated claims and exaggeration. 
  • Spelling and Punctuation: Incorrect spelling and grammar mistakes undermines the credibility of your ideas. Use spell-check and get a friend or colleague to proof-read for you.
  • Repeating or omitting essential information: Understand where your bio will appear and ensure information is appropriate to it's purpose, don't repeat artist statement or.
  • Stale Information: Artists with rapidly evolving careers should check back every year, or before new exhibitions, to re-assess what the most important aspects of your practice are.
If you don't already have one, I'd highly recommend you think about tackling this soon.
If you want to share or get feedback, post a link to your artist bio in the comments below,
or email me at help@nzprintmakers.com 

This post was based on an article published recently on Artsy.net

21 May 2016

Call for Entries: Print Awards 2016, UK, by 20 June

The 2016 Print Awards are open to all international artists working with print, 
 from traditional to contemporary print processes, in its widest interpretation,
including 2D, 3D, video, installation and site-specific work.

The Print Awards are the centrepiece of the International Print Biennale
 showcases the broad spectrum of contemporary printmaking across the globe,
through an extensive programme of exhibitions, events, activities and an international symposium, 
held across the North East of England. 

At the first stage, artists are required to submit the following by 20 June:
The completed online entry form
Images of a max of 10 recent works in digital format (jpg, tiff or png - max 500kb)
An up to date supporting CV (maximum of one side of A4)
A supporting statement (max 200 words)
A non-refundable £25 application fee per artist

20 May 2016

Sister Corita’s Summer of Love, 23July-6Nov, Wellington

Sister Corita’s Summer of Love is an exhibition of the prints of Sister Corita Kent (1918 - 1986),
who was an unsung figure in pop art.
It will be exhibited at City Gallery Wellington, from 23 July to 6 November.

Sister Corita was a Roman Catholic nun who she lived, studied,
and taught at the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in Los Angeles from 1936-1968;
heading their art department from 1964-1968. 
In the 1960s, she became widely known for her distinctive screenprints, 
with their graphic treatments of words, in bold, often fluoro, colours. 
A magpie, Corita drew on the language of advertising and packaging, signs and slogans, 
poetry and lyrics, to develop her own messages of joy, faith, love, and protest.

Corita’s approach was informed by Vatican II, 
a movement to make the Catholic Church relevant to contemporary society. 
Through it, the Church advocated changes to traditional liturgy,
this adoption of common English underpinned Corita’s playful use of colloquial language.

In addition to her screenprints, the show includes documentary films
that offer a rich context for Corita’s work.

 In Wellington, Sister Corita’s Summer of Love will be supplemented with works by
McCahon, Ruscha, Michael Parekowhai, Jim Speers, Scott Redford, and Michael Stevenson,
plus a presentation of recent videos featuring kinetic-typography.
A book will be published, in association with Wellington’s Awa Press.
Thanks to Sister Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.

Click here to see City Gallery's website for more information.
I know I'm telling you about this fairly early, but I'm super-keen to see this show,
so will be booking some flights to Wellington asap!!!

05 May 2016

Altered Impressions Portfolio, SGCI 2016, Portland, Oregon, USA

Elle Anderson recently curated a themed portfolio called Altered Impressions
which was one of only 22 submissions selected to be exhibited 
at the Southern Graphics Conference International, in Portland, Oregon, USA.
The exhibition of this themed portfolio opened on 31 March
in the Dorothy Lemelson Innovation Studio at Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Invited artists included: Kim Lowe, Prue Mac Dougall, John Pusateri, Toni Hartill, 
Esther Hansen, Deborah Crowe, Toni Mosley, Gabrielle Belz, Sheyne Tuffery, 
Nicola Ov, Michel Tuffery, Struan Hamilton, Elle Anderson, and Delwyn Holder.

The collective print created by all portfolio participants together

"As the mix of its citizens living in Aotearoa New Zealand continues to evolve, 
so to is the way they interact with each other and the wider spaces they occupy. 
This evolution influences changes in the urban environment 
and it is with this inspiration that works will be generated, 
exploring how we, in Aotearoa, engage with a state of Flux. 

Alterations to a landscape creates a state of ebb and flow, a now and then, an unrest. 
Spaces where past and present can often clash, but also need to blend or live alongside each other, 
not just peacefully but also with tolerance. 
This constant adjustment creates a rich milieu in which many artistic conversations take place, 
providing each artist interpretive space to deal with such urban instability: 
Presenting areas for explorations from a personal, local and/or global perspective. 
One print within the portfolio will embrace this state of instability through exchange and evolution. 
This collaborative work, created by all printmakers in this group, will pass from artist to artist, 
each adding their voice to the print in response to what was done before. 
This print will further aim to reflect on a state of urban instability."

Detail images from each of the 14 artists in the Altered Impressions portfolio
(L-R, from top: Kim Lowe, Prue Mac Dougall, John Pusateri, Toni Hartill, Esther Hansen
Deborah Crowe, Toni Mosley, Gabrielle Belz, Sheyne Tuffery, Nicola Ov,
Michel Tuffery, Struan Hamilton, Elle Anderson, and Delwyn Holder.

More information about the Southern Graphics conference here: www.sgciportland.com

04 May 2016

Emma McLellan, 6 May-5 June, Kerikeri

Emma McLellan's current exhibition, Artificially Translated,
opens on 6 May at Art at Wharepuke gallery in Kerikeri, through to 5 June.

Emma McLellan, The Devil is in the Detail, 2016
Screenprint and paint on panel

"My work explores genetic engineering through a blending of science fiction and reality; 
combining and juxtaposing literary fantasies with scientific possibilities.

Searching the internet, images of cloned animals and human medical stem cell research 
sit alongside photo shopped imaginings of hybridised dysfunctional animals. 
This melting pot of truth and lies reminds me of medieval printed bestiaries 
of imagined and real animals presented for examination and fascination.

This body of work explores an imagined representation 
of human organ cultivation and stem cell experiments."

Emma McLellan, Plans and Spares, 2016
Screenprint and paint on panel

Emma lectures at the Faculty of Creative Arts, Manukau Institute of Technology.

03 May 2016

Green Door Print Exchange 2016, by 31 August

Green Door Printmaking Studio in UK invite national and international printmakers 
to participate in our 8th annual exchange (IPE 2016)!
The International Print Exchange is an unjuried print exchange with no assigned theme,
open to all, that celebrates fine art printmaking.

Paper Size: 14cm x 14cm
Maximum Print Size: 10cm x 10cm
Edition Size: Ten (10)
Submission Deadline: Wednesday 31 August 2016, 12 Noon (GMT)
Administration Cost: £15 GBP
 Click here to go to Green Door's website for more information 

02 May 2016

Red Press for Sale, Wellington

Also, Fiona is selling her red Manuka etching press, currently located in Wellington.
The press bed will print A2, and comes with 2 felt blankets the same size size as the bed.
The stand is on castors so easily moved around, and locks secure in place when in use.

It is listed with a price of $4500
If you are interested in buying it, click here for the listing on TradeMe
Auction ends Thursday 5 May.

Red Press For Sale, Dunedin

Kathryn from Dunedin asked me to tell you about her press for sale:
It is a Manuka Etching Press, approximately 7 years old 

The press bed is 750x1220mm, and comes with 2 felt blankets the same size
It is on castors so easily moved around and then locks in place.

It is listed with a price of $6500
If you are interested in buying it, click here for the listing on TradeMe
Auction ends Thursday 12 May.

Intro To Screenprint Workshop, 14 May, Auckland

Do you want to learn the basics of screenprinting in one day?
I'm offering an Introduction To Screenprinting course that gives you all the basics;
 the essential pieces of equipment, the processes and techniques, 
as well as plenty of hands-on printing time to play with the technique.

Whether you're an absolute beginners, or to refresh your memory. 
With only 3-4 students per class, information can be tailored to your own project ideas.

An example of a screen made using light-sensitive coating 

With the guidance of a very experienced tutor, 
you will learn a variety of skills, including hand-cut stencils, masking, hand-drawn images, 
as well as the basics of photo emulsion for more detailed designs.
Techniques and inks for printing on both paper and fabric will be taught.

$135 per person includes inks, paper, screens and equipment used during workshop.
Located near Eden Park in Auckland. Please email to confirm availability.