independent research

Writing a Fine Art CV

As a part of my course we’re required to submit a CV. As I’ve already got a standard working CV I thought it would be useful for me to have a fine art CV as well that relates to my practice and creative projects. It was around this point that I realised I had no idea how to actually write an art CV, especially considering that I’m only a student and have relatively little experience.

So I decided that some research was in order.

What should be in a fine art CV:

  • Your personal details. ie/ name, date of birth (optional), your country and/or county and contact details (professional contact details – so your official website, professional email address and work phone number if you have one). Include a short bio/statement about your practice
  • Education. ie/ Education relating specifically to art that occurs after high school so A-Levels, BTECs and degrees go here. Include the institution, year that you graduated/achieved the award. Don’t include qualifications that aren’t related to art here. You could include classes and courses you’ve attended and the names of tutors/artists you’ve studied under
  • Exhibitions. List them with the most recent first (you can also put your upcoming exhibitions on). Put the year, title of the show (in italics), the institution and where it is if it is not included in the institution title. If appropriate, split them into categories of solo or group exhibitions. Often artists who both happen to have a very large number of exhibitions have them under the title of ‘selected exhibitions’ (so that the list isn’t too long and not that relevant) and artists, like me, who haven’t had a large number of exhibitions also do this to give the impression that list is a selection and not simply all you have. You can be opportunistic and list some not 100% official exhibitions if you include things like site-specific installations in this section.
  • Collections. Here you include institutions that own your artwork like museums, city councils, galleries, agencies corporate collections… If you’re listing private collections don’t write the name of the owner unless they’re either a very well known collector or have agreed to be on your CV – just write ‘private collection’ and the city.  Don’t put the same city twice.  You can be opportunistic and include friends/family you’ve given your artwork to as long as you don’t make it obvious and don’t include their names. If you have loads then don’t list them all, just put a small selection of them on.
  • Commissions. They show someone has trusted you with their money to create artwork that adheres to a brief.
  • Other headings eg/:
  1. Teaching eg/ guest lecturer, instructor, workshop leader, technician…
  2. Curation. List the date, title and where it was at.
  3. Awards/grants/competitions (if placed)
  4. Residencies. Include the year and name of residency, maybe a short outlining sentence about it
  5. Related work experience/volunteering/arts projects
  6. Professional groups. If you’re a member of any related professional groups they can go here, including social networks
  7. Freelance work/self-employment
  8. Texts. This is where your published writing about your practice/art goes if you have any.
  9. Publications. Any articles/books/media where you/your art has been written about.

It should all be black with a sensible font. It should consist of headings and bullet point style information – try to keep the layout simple yet aesthetically pleasing. The length should be between 1-2 pages but for those of us who have less experience and are just graduating a full two page length fine art CV may be expecting a little ambitious at this stage.

This information has been complied from thepracticalartworld as well as pages here, here and here.

An example of a fine art CV is here.


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