Artist Statement: A User Guide

  • Date: Starting August 18th, 2020 classes will be held once a week on Tuesdays for five weeks (August 18 - September 15, 2020)
  • Time: Classes time will be Tuesdays 1~4 PM EST plus optional weekly office hours
  • Teacher: Celine Wong Katzman
  • Application is now open through August 4th, 2020

Description

This workshop offers a combination of practical writing and critical thinking skills. Enrollment is open to anyone including artists, designers, creative technologists, engineers, architects, and others whose practices are difficult to define.

Much like a user guide helps non-technical readers understand a system, an artist statement introduces an unfamiliar audience to the artist’s practice and informs them about the references, questions, and thought processes behind the artist’s work. We will consider the artist statement as a practical communication tool (for grant and residency applications) as well as a more intimate map for guiding the direction and values of one’s practice.

Students will:

  • practice presenting their own work and give feedback to others
  • participate in writing exercises and one-on-one editorial meetings
  • read and discuss texts written by artists
  • engage in group discussions about the challenges of maintaining an honest practice
  • imagine alternatives to capitalist institutions as the context for our creative work

The instructor, Celine Katzman, will offer her guidance as a curator and writer who is committed to supporting artists and creative practitioners engaged with new technologies. By the end of the workshop, students will cultivate clear and compelling artist statements.

This workshop is adapted from the Artist’s Tool Kit, a class offered during the Fall 2018 SFPC ten week session, taught by Taeyoon Choi with teaching assistance from Celine Katzman

Photo of Celine and Taeyoon in class

Requirements

A computer capable of using Zoom (for class) and Google Docs

References

“Celine’s Artist Statement workshop gave me invaluable feedback on crafting an artist’s statement that could ground my work for applications for exhibition, residencies, teaching opportunities, and more. Beyond that, studying with Celine helped me articulate my practice to myself, and I return to that piece of writing often for guidance as I continue to adapt and develop my practice. This class is not only about learning to explain your work to institutions, but also about envisioning your practice for yourself.” Galen MacDonald

“Celine’s artist statement workshop stuck with me because it was less about producing the perfect artist statement, but instead critically reflecting on what you have done and where you want to go with your artistic practice. She was supportive in understanding my non-art background while at the same time, productively challenging my ideas.” Mark Anthony Hernandez

“Celine’s mentoring motivated me to consider professional and personal values in making art. She guided me in writing an artist statement that clarified the ideas that I want to pursue with my work and that also correlates to broader concepts I want to explore within my practice.” Vivienne La

“Celine’s workshops guided us through the daunting, yet rewarding task of articulating the ideas behind our work. Our one-on-one meetings helped me contextualize my practice alongside everything else I learned at SFPC.” Danny Garfield

Instructor Bio

Celine is a Singaporean-American writer, curator, and educator based in New York. Her work is focused on supporting artists and creative practitioners who critically engage with new technologies, emphasizing social, political, and ecological responsibility. She has held positions at the Queens Museum, bitforms gallery, and other arts institutions.

Celine graduated from Brown University in 2015. Her writing appears in publications such as Rhizome, The Nation, and Art in America, as well as in the New Museum’s exhibition catalog, The Art Happens Here: Net Art’s Archival Poetics. She has lectured at Bard College, the School of Visual Arts, and Brown University, and is a regular guest critic at residency programs.

celinekatzman.com

Is this the right class for me?

If this sounds like you, then YES!

  • I am a practicing artist who has not yet dedicated time to writing an artist statement
  • I am a practicing artist who would like to rewrite my artist statement
  • I am not an artist, but I make creative projects in my spare time and I am interested in thinking about why I make them
  • I am interested in engaging with creative practitioners in different fields
  • I want to better articulate and explain “what I do” creatively to friends, family, and peers
  • I am applying for grants and residency programs, or any program where I need to produce a statement of purpose, personal statement, or artist statement
  • I want to figure out how to align my creative practice with my personal values and politics
  • I have an intermediate English language reading and writing capability (ESL students are very welcome!)

How much is tuition?

$550 USD + Eventbrite Processing Fees. Upon payment, your space in the class will be reserved.

We will be offering partial scholarships for those in need and who are typically underrepresented in technology. Priority will be given to students who identify as BIPOC. You can apply for scholarship on the application letting us know how much tuition support you would need.

We are primarly self-funded, which limits our ability to offer scholarships. If you do not qualify for our scholarship, our previous students have received support from cultural foundations, schools, current employers, or crowdfunding. We are happy to provide supporting materials as proof of acceptance. Please check out these resources for financial support in response to the COVID19 pandemic.

We are committed to being fully transparent about how we make and spend money. In the spirit of radical openness and generosity, on which the school was founded, we open-source our finances on Github. There, you can read financial reports and download raw statements.

How do I apply?

Application is now open through August 4th, 2020.

We will be accepting up to 16 students on a rolling basis. We will respond to your application within 5 days of submission. Rolling admissions means there are fewer and fewer slots the longer you wait, so if you’re interested in the program get your application in early!

What if I can’t go, can I get a refund?

  • Yes, we can give you 100% before class starts
  • No refunds can be given after the first day of class

Accessibility

Our classes are conducted in spoken English with audiovisual materials such as slides, code examples and video. All classes will be held over Zoom until further notice. Please contact us if you need a special accessibility requests. In the past, we worked with American Sign Language Interpreters and Visual Interpreters, as well as accessibility and disability rights organizations to make our classes more inclusive. Our programs are rapidly changing due to the COVID-19, we are adjusting to the needs of our community. Please help us become more accessible and inclusive. info@sfpc.io

If you have more questions about the class, please email artiststatement@sfpc.io