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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

Artists' Writings: Writing an artist statement

A resource guide to artists' writings and writing an artist statement

Artist statements

To locate books which include artist statements,

  • search using the keyword phrase, artist* statement* 
  • sort keyword lists by relevance, date or title, then browse
  • include an artist's name in the search to locate statements by a specific artist
  • include "exhibition catalog*" in your search, many include artist's statements
  • browse titles under the subject, artists writings
  • search the catalog for your artist using the author search (last name, first name)

Use the same tips described above when searching the online article databases.

Or use Fleet SEARCH to discover sources across multiple databases.

The Center for Arts & Language provides free peer tutoring in writing in a supportive environment of mutual respect to RISD undergraduate and graduate students.

Writing guides

Mapping the intelligence of artistic work:
an explorative guide to making, thinking and writing

This book introduces multiple skill sets to stimulate creative thinking, raising connections to the surface by creating visual maps of interconnecting links. It is a book supportive of the making process, an invaluable tool for anyone interested in articulating the layers of meaning embedded in the process of making.

A short guide to writing about art
This guide offers several approaches to organizing one's ideas when writing about art.

Visual literacy: writing about art
Visual Literacy acquaints the reader with the critical issues that shape the discipline of art and teaches them to write about art from a variety of scholarly and rhetorical perspectives. It includes tips on how to approach assignments by the formal analysis of a work of art, a contextual analysis, and an analysis of an exhibition.

Words fail me: what everyone who writes should know about writing
Words Fail Me is a very readable guide to the process of writing. Topics include: defining one's subject & audience, getting organized, making revisions, and finishing.

Writing for the visual arts
From the book's preface:"As beginning artists, you probably don't realize the amount of writing you will have to produce: grant proposals, resumes, letters of application, descriptions of your work, and so on. Your art, in itself, will not always speak for you. Our purpose in this handbook is to help you the evolving artist, learn to articulate your concepts and ideas, and also to argue for and earn your place in the world of art."

Writing with sources: a guide for students
Developed for Harvard University's Expository Writing Program, Writing with Sources describes the main principles and methods of integrating and citing sources in scholarly work, and provides cogent guidance on avoiding the misuse of sources.