Friday, August 21, 2009

Artistic Proposal Sample: Betsy Barnum, Art 365 exhibition

With so many opportunities available to Oklahoma artists (see for OVAC’s alone), I am going to spend a few posts focused on the nuts and bolts of artistic proposals. What better way than to show some actual proposals!? Thankfully some artists were willing to share. Below find an actual “winning” proposal and some comments.

Prompt: Title and Description of proposed project (no more than 350 words)

Betsy Barnum

Title: Leaves a Trail to Fall

Description: I intend to create twelve 18 x 12” prints, combining media such as etching, linocut and chine collé. These prints will comprise the main part of the project. I also intend to keep a sketchbook journal (about 6 x 9”) to record my thoughts and ideas as they come. I will use the pages as a jumping-off point for larger prints and paintings. Since paintings also allow me some freedom to experiment with layering and composition, I intend to create about ten medium-scale (about 2 x 3’) paintings in acrylic on paper.

In life, through the experience of time I am evolving, growing and changing on a personal relationship scale. With my husband, my sister, my friends and myself, I am adapting day to day, unearthing things about myself and growing from them. I use journals because ideas and writings can have free reign, sinking onto the page and immediately recording thoughts, feelings and experiences. Time is shown in a more linear way, tracing a pattern of evolution through the recording of life.

Using the human figure and symbolic imagery, such as birds, fish, plants and typewriters as metaphors, I can illustrate growth, change and adaptation. Patterns are important to me in conveying repetition in the everyday. The irregularities of a hand-drawn pattern parallel the small changes in life accounting for the sadness and frustration, anxiety and excitement. With flat, two-dimensional patterns under deep-layered, drawn etchings, images float together and meld with and over each other. Different elements grow into one composition. The medium of etching allows for continuous reworking, layering and transparency. With this layering, ideas and images build up on the picture plane leading the viewer through my history.

Julia’s comments: I like how Betsy combines practical information with her artistic vision. In only 281 words she’s explained her creative process, some about her artistic media, the scale she’s hoping to reach, and her expected content. Although the language is descriptive, she’s not adding many unnecessary words. For some projects, more specificity about the final product might be required. For Art 365, she answered the prompt well of proposing an approach.

If you want to learn more about artistic proposal writing, attend OVAC’s Artist Survival Kit workshops on the topic coming up September 10 & 15.

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