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How to Write an Art Exhibition Paper

by Lucy Clarke, Demand Media

    Art exhibitions are the ultimate display for one artist or a collective group's creative work. Art students at all levels often visit these shows, as a way of viewing art first hand. They are typically assigned by their educators to collect their thoughts in the form of a paper. The paper contains the original point of view and perspectives that the student takes on the piece, woven amongst knowledge of artistic eras and techniques learned in class. An art exhibition paper can be written by following a basic format.

    Step 1

    Write an introductory paragraph. Open by stating which artists the exhibition features, and where it is located. Discuss the artist or group's history, including background, previous work and training information. This can be anywhere from four to eight sentences long.

    Step 2

    Write a paragraph about the specific work that is featured. Comment on individual pieces, discussing those that stood out to you, specifying their positive and negative elements. Compare the pieces to previous work done by the artist or group, and comment on the techniques that appear to have been used. State any eras or other artists that the pieces are reminiscent of or perhaps influenced by.

    Step 3

    Write a paragraph about how the gallery or space supports the work. Talk about what you feel was done well in terms of the display and set up, and what could have been done better.

    Step 4

    Write a concluding paragraph. Discuss what you find to be the overall feeling of the exhibition. State whether or not you liked it as a whole, and finish off with some insight as to what the impact of the show and the artist's work will be on the art world. You may even choose to include a quote in this section that you feel sums up the exhibition's feeling and/or content.

    Step 5

    Cite any references that you used for quotations or information in the manner required by your class or school.

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    About the Author

    Lucy Clarke has been a freelance writer since 2007, generating creative content for the publications of each college she has attended. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in visual art from the University of Ottawa, a Bachelor of Fine Art in illustration and fashion design from the Ontario College of Art and Design and a creative writing diploma from George Brown College.

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