Studio art programs at graduate schools of art may require a statement of purpose to understand the passion and motives that drives the student as an artist. It also exhibits the prospective student's mental acuity and unique life experience that informs their work. Because graduate schools often specialize in the artistic foci of their professors, studio art programs also want applicants to explain what makes their school a perfect fit for their work. A poor fit neither benefits the student nor honors the reputation of its resident artists.
Review the statement of support guidelines outlined by the studio art programs you are applying to. Each graduate school may have a specific format to which your statement of support must adhere. Look for any common denominators between multiple school selections so that you can create a statement of support that is easily modified to suit each application.
Reflect on what drives you as an artist. Whether you are driven by the beauty of nature or rebelling against government oppression, search your past for any defining moments that may have shaped your perspective. Write these memories down on scrap paper as a reference source while writing your statement of purpose.
Research the artistic benefits of study in each studio art program you wish to apply to. Review the artwork of the instructors and read their personal biographies. This information should be available on the program website. Be certain to note how each program has the potential to enhance your artwork. Identify anything about your art or your personal character that may be an asset to these programs.
Open your statement of purpose with a compelling statement in three sentences that sums up your passion, your direction and your motivation for being an artist.
Explain your artwork and your experience as an artist in one to two paragraphs. Discuss any important courses taken in college that helped to shape your art, including any professors who influenced you.
Outline how the school to which you are applying will benefit you as an artist. Highlight the work and specialty of specific professors that you hope to work with. Give explicit reasons for applying to the school.
- Craft the language that you use in your statement of purpose rather than using pat statements. Try writing your statement of purpose as a work of art in itself.
- Provide a level of intimacy for the reader of your statement of purpose. Let them feel like they really know you by providing them with the intimate details about your passion for art.
- Avoid cliches.
- Avoid sounding bland, bored or uninspired.
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