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Artist Statement Workshop: Q&A with Julia Kwon and Fanna Gebreyesus

The League is pleased to welcome Julia Kwon, Artist in Residence at the NARS Foundation in Brooklyn, NY and Fanna Gebreyesus of the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, MD TONIGHT, June 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at our Artist Statement Writing Workshop (see the Eventbrite below to RSVP)!

Both Kwon and Gebreyesus are upcoming Art League jurors, and have participated in jurying for our Solo Show program. Not able to attend? We caught up withKwon and Gebreyesus and asked them to share a few quick and easy updates to your artist statements:

What is one thing that you wish artists would remove from their artist’s statement? What is one thing you wish they’d include?

FG: “Repetition; strengthening a point or thought is vastly different from simply repeating it in different ways. One thing I personally love reading in an artist’s statement is how the artist feels their work operates in the world at this specific time.”

JK: “I wish artists would remove generic statements that could be applied to most artists and artworks. Artists can instead focus on discussing what specifically makes their work interesting.”

In your time in the art world, what is one artist statement that really sticks out to you? What was it about this statement that made it stand out in particular?

FG: “I recall reading a statement where the artist spent virtually no time talking about themselves but instead about their community and the various people who helped inform the work. At the time, I wasn’t sure if that made for a successful statement per se—but it has certainly stayed with me even after all this time.”

JK: “Successful artist statements discuss the visual, technical, and conceptual aspects of the work in a straightforward and concise manner that illuminate the artist’s intent and intensify the impact of the artwork.”

What is a good resource you’d point a newer artist to for creating an artist’s statement for the first time?

FG: “A second pair of eyes! Never underestimate the power of a peer review.”

JK: “Writing an artist statement can be daunting, but it will start to become easier with some study and practice. Newer artists can get familiar with how to write about art by studying how others discuss and construct meaning through art: they can attend artist talks and read artist statements, interviews, exhibition labels, press releases, and reviews. Artists will especially benefit from writing about their own work while they are still planning for a project and developing the reasoning behind their work so that both the work and the artist statement are well-considered.”

About Fanna and Julia:

Fanna Gebreyesus is a Curatorial Associate at Glenstone Museum, where she collaborates on artist publications, exhibition planning, and public programming. She holds an MA in art history from American University, and a dual-BA in English and Art History. She has worked on projects for The Phillips Collection, the Freer | Sackler Museum, and National Geographic Magazine.

Julia Kwon is an interdisciplinary artist currently based in NY and the DC area. She was born in the U.S. and has earned her M.F.A. at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University and B.A. in Studio Art at Georgetown University. She has had numerous solo exhibitions and won various awards such as the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University’s Traveling Fellowship as well as the artist residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Vermont Studio Center, Montgomery College, Gallery 263, and Textile Arts Center. ​Kwon is currently an Artist in Residence at NARS Foundation in Brooklyn, NY and will have a solo exhibition at Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Target Gallery in Alexandria, VA.

 

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