Visual and Digital Arts

Specialized Resources to Search for Opportunities

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In addition to Handshake and other general career sites listed on the main page, here are specific resources to help you identify opportunities in the visual and digital arts.

Resumes and Cover Letters

Artist Resume

For an artist, one’s work is one’s resume. Portfolios are the most common vehicle for an artist to showcase their work. A resume complements the portfolio by noting where the artist’s work has been exhibited and reviewed. Unlike a resume designed to connect an applicant’s experiences and skills to a particular job, a studio art resume helps market an artist’s work and recognition.

A studio art resume may differ in format and length from a standard resume, offering the writer more creative flexibility. Use of color, shapes, and design can reflect an artist’s tone and imagination.

What to Include

A studio art resume focuses primarily on the work itself. It can include teaching experience as well, in particular when that experience is in a studio situation. Categories after the personal/contact information and Education will vary by person but may include the following:

  • Heading with personal and contact information: name, address, email, phone number, portfolio website
  • Education and training: School, degree, major, year of graduation
  • Solo Exhibitions
  • Juried Exhibitions
  • Honors and Awards from juried exhibitions
  • Media reviews (if applicable)
  • Studio teaching experience (if applicable)

Sample Arts Resume

This resume sample is intended to provide a basic idea of what a Studio Art  resume can look like. Your resume may look different. Further, other roles within or adjacent to the visual arts may have unique modifications as well. One of the best ways to figure out how your resume should look is to explore the resumes of other professionals who are working in similar ways to what you intend to do. Many visual artists have webpages with their resumes included. An internet search is an excellent tool to discover resume version in the professional world.

Resume for a “Day Job”

Artists may use a standard resume format when applying for standard positions, and possibly unrelated to your art discipline (administrative positions or other office jobs). Using a standard resume in such cases will give potential employers relevant information about your transferable and administrative skills. Keep in mind the following strategies and tips for writing this version of your resume:

For tips on writing a standard resume, see our Resume How-To Guide.

Cover Letters

It’s a good idea to include a cover letter whenever you send a grant, project proposal, or a portfolio. A cover letter is a general letter of introduction that identifies what you are asking for and what is included in the packet you are sending. Be clear about what you are asking or applying for.  A cover letter can be short, only describing what materials are enclosed and why. A cover letter should never be more than a single page, anymore would inconvenience your reader. A cover letter should set a pleasant tone and introduce the reader to your project and/or practice and your reason for contacting them. Generally a cover letter has three parts: the opening, the middle, and the closing.

Portfolios

Opportunities for visual artists typically require that you have a portfolio to showcase your work in order to help an employer or client understand your creative approach.  It’s most common to present your portfolio in a digital format online but it is still recommended to have a physical portfolio as well, particularly if you are meeting with an employer or client in-person.  Portfolios should express your unique personality and style.

Your portfolio may include:

  • Cover Letter (specific to the reader and not a generic open letter)
  • Artist Statement
  • Résumé/CV
  • Work Samples
  • Work Samples Description Sheet (unless descriptions are listed directly on the samples)
  • Written Project Proposal (when pertinent)
  • Hand-out materials such as business cards, exhibition announcements, or extra copies of your Artists Statement, Resume/CV

Developing your Artistic and Creative Skills

While the Piper Center is many things, we are not experts in creative talents!  Pursuing a career as an artist means developing your artistic talents.  For students exploring careers in the visual arts and design, it is critical that you talk with arts faculty – your teachers – about your career goals and discuss how your artistic talents are evolving towards those goals.  Faculty are critical to teaching, strengthening, and evaluating the artistic and creative skills needed to succeed as a practicing artist.

Together, faculty and the Piper Center work together to support your career journey.

Faculty can help you answer the questions:

  • What is it like – and what does it take – to be a professional performer?
  • How do my talents and strengths connect to the world of the performing arts?
  • What type of performance career is the best fit for me?
  • How will a career in performance fit into my broader vocation and career goals?
  • Is performance something I want to pursue as a primary career goal or is it something that will augment another area of interest?

Professional Associations and Publications - Visual and Digital Arts

Professional organizations are a fantastic way to explore careers, gain insight into specific industries, and keep up-to-date on relevant news.  Engaging with professional associations and participating in events can help you connect with relevant creative professionals and build your credibility in your area of interest.  Consider using professional associations to develop and enhance your career journey:

  • Search for information related to entering the specific career field.
  • Many associations have job and internship databases.
  • Access current information and news related to your industry.
  • Follow the association on LinkedIn to receive relevant content in your feed and demonstrate your credibility in the professional community.
  • Join as a student member – often for free or at a greatly reduced rate – and indicate your membership on your resume to demonstrate credibility with potential employers.
  • Learn about and participate in networking or industry events to meet and engage with arts professionals.

Select the arts area for a full list of relevant professional associations in the arts.  Looking for a specific association that isn’t listed?  The Professional Association Finder is a great resource for national and international organization related to career industries.

Fellowships, Residences, or Apprenticeships

Artist Residency (Letterpress, Printmaking, & Book Arts) at The Grand Center for Arts & Culture, New Ulm, MN

2022 Fellowship Artist at Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, MN

Residencies and Fellowships  at Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, MN

Gallery Project Space Grant Fellowship at Kolman & Pryor Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

McKnight Artist Fellowships at multiples fellowship program partners, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

20/20 Artist Fellowship at Springboard for the Arts, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

Know of a fellowship, residency, or apprenticeship and wish to suggest it for this page?  Please email Bryan Shealer (shealer) in the Piper Center for Vocation and Career.