Artist Statement


Although writing is not the primary mode of communication in the fine arts, artists are expected to be able to discuss their own work and engage in conversations that go beyond the particulars of the piece under consideration. The Artist Statement is a student’s chance to define the important conversations s/he wants to engage in through their art. This does not necessarily involve theoretical or historical discussions, though it can do either or both. The Artist Statement may instead focus on aspects of practice, artistic processes, influences and ideas, or discuss the significance of particular creative process or material choices. Much of contemporary art practice is not about replicating what we see in the world (such as a life-like painting), but rather about asking questions. Pieces published by Mānoa Horizons contribute to larger conversations that are thought-provoking and interesting to people beyond the artist himself or herself.

The Artist Statement is a required accompaniment to any creative submission. It should help your audience see the connection between the questions you asked or the problems you addressed on the one hand, and the music you produced, glass object you created, photograph you composed, or poem you wrote on the other hand. It should clearly articulate the significance of your work beyond yourself. Most will typically be one to two pages long, but you have up to 6000 words for your Artist Statement apart from the creative submission itself. For more help on composing an Artist Statement, please visit this webpage. You may also visit journal archives for artist statements from previous submissions.

Follow these formatting guidelines when submitting your artist statement:

  • Electronic submission via Microsoft Word and PDF.
  • File name: LastnameFirstinitial.ArtistStatement (eg. WuS.ArtistStatement.docx)
    Project title centered at top, following proper title case. Do not make bold or italicized.
  • 6,000 words maximum (name and title are not included in word count)
  • Calibri font, 12-point size
  • Single-spaced, justified alignment (even on both left and right sides)
  • One line space between paragraphs, no indentation for new paragraphs
  • Abbreviations/acronyms: at first mention of them in the abstract, spell out fully followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis. Example: University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM). Use the abbreviation/acronym in your text thereafter.
  • Hawaiian/foreign words: include proper diacriticals (Mac or PC)
  • Don’t forget to proofread to make sure your artist statement is free of spelling or grammatical errors!