MFA Portfolios TRACK: Lesson 2, MFA Statements


2 min. video

Write 3 artist statements of varying lengths, that provide insight into your art practice and materials.

You can write the statements so they encompass your overall practice, or statements that are focused on one specific project.

Artist Docs, Editing Artist Statements
Keely Wu
1 sentence statement

This is your elevator pitch: what if you have 2 min. with someone at an event? Sum up your art practice in 1 sentence. Hint: this is the hardest of the 2 statements.

Lauryn Welch
Lauryn Welch
1 paragraph statement

This is a statement that would go on your website, when you’re in a group exhibition, and more. You want to get to the point, but there is room for more explanation here.

Artist Docs, Editing Artist Statements
Colleen Blackard
3 paragraph statement

A statement of this length would likely be for a project proposal, for a grant application, or for an exhibition catalog. This statement should provide insight into your work that is in depth and specific.

Lauryn Welch
Lauryn Welch

Sample Statements

Scroll to the bottom of this page to read sample artist statements.

Artist Docs, Editing Artist Statements
Colleen Blackard


  • Determine whether you want to write in 1st person, or 3rd person.
  • Make a list of “key words” that describe your art practice.
  • Try “word vomit,” where you write down everything that comes to your mind, no matter how idiotic it sounds, then sift through that mess and pick out the parts that may be useful.
  • Get an editor, or another person to proofread your statement.
  • Make sure you address both your process and subject matter.
  • Keep your language simple!
MFA Portfolios, Critiques

How to Write an Artist Statement

This video provides concrete, practical tips for how to write an artist statement. Writing an artist statement can be tough; being asked to verbally articulate ideas that we are used to expressing with visual media is challenging.

Topics covered include critical components of an artist statement, how to write succinctly, as well as options for adapting a specific voice.

Different versions of your artist statement are discussed as well: a short version for your artist website, a 1 paragraph version for artist grants, and more detailed, in depth proposals that can be used for artist grant applications. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu.

Does My Art Need Deep Meaning?

Many artists wonder whether their art has to have “deep meaning” to be valid. Does art have to have a meaningful message in order to be art, or can art be a purely visual experience for the artist and viewer?

Who determines what art needs to have, the artist, the audience, both? Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Cat Huang and Lauryn Welch.

Show us what you make!

Mixed Media Acrylic Painting, Lauryn, banner