If you’re an artist trying to land a teaching position, you need an artist CV (or curriculum vitae) highlighting both your artistic accomplishments and teaching abilities. You may already have an artist resume that you’ve used to submit to galleries, but your artist CV should be formatted differently, specifically for academic positions in art.
Putting together a compelling artist CV can be intimidating, especially when it comes to deciding what to include and figuring out how to format it. In this guide, we’ll show you what to include and provide tips to help you create a concise and visually appealing artist CV that captures the attention of hiring committees.
Showcase your Teaching Experience
Start with a section that highlights your teaching experience. If you’ve had any professional appointments, you can list them in the “Professional Appointments” section. You can also include a “Teaching Experience” section that includes any courses you taught, TA positions, or adjunct positions. If you haven’t had any professional appointments yet, this section is an important way to demonstrate your teaching skills. You should also include any work you’ve done with a lecturer, instructor, or research associate.
List each of your experiences in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent experience. Make sure to include the duration of time the experience lasted, professional title, institution name, and location.
Here’s an example:
Spring 2023 Instructor, Introduction to Sculptural Practices, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Fall 2022 Instructor, Mold Making and Casting, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL.
Summer 2022 Instructor, Pattern Making for Sculpture, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL.
If you have extensive experience, you can keep the details to a minimum. If you only have one or two positions, then it may be helpful to expand on them with a bullet point or two detailing your key accomplishments.
Spotlight your Academic Achievements
When applying for a teaching position, remember to include details in the artist CV of your academic degrees and any art training programs you’ve completed in your education section. This encompasses your bachelor’s degree and any higher education degrees attained in art or art history.
Include the degree name, the institution or university that granted it, and the year you graduated (or anticipate graduating). If you’ve done post-graduate work, be sure to include your thesis or dissertation. Here’s what that might look like:
MFA in Painting and Drawing
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Thesis: Unveiling the Sublime: Examining the Intersection of Nature and Spirituality in Landscape Painting
Include Additional Relevant Sections
Once you’ve got your teaching experience and education down, it’s time to figure out what other sections to include on your artist CV. Here are some more common sections for an artist CV, along with examples of how to format them.
Awards, Grants, and Fellowships
Awards, grants, and fellowships are forms of recognition and support that can be given to artists. While most have the category in their name, here is a quick explanation in case you need to differentiate.
- Awards can come in the form of a certificate or a trophy.
- Grants usually include a financial reward to help an artist as they pursue goals.
- Fellowships are given to an artist for the specific purpose of focusing on work or research.
Here is how to format each:
Year Award Name, Awarding Institution, Location
Year Grant Name, Awarding Institution, Location
Year Fellowship Title, Awarding Institution, Location
Lectures, Presentations, and Workshops
If you’ve participated in any lectures, presentations, and workshops during which you shared your skill or insight, include those in a section on your artist CV. Here’s how you can format each type of experience:
Year Lecture Title, Institution, Location, Date
Year “Presentation Title”, Panel Name, Your Role, Conference Title, Location, Date
Year Workshop Title, Institution, Location, Date
List any relevant conferences you’ve attended. These are specifically conferences that you did not speak at. Conferences in which you were a presenter can go in your presentations section. Here’s how to list a conference on your CV:
Year Conference Name, Organization Name, City, State
Listing exhibitions your work has been featured in is a great way to highlight your skills and experience as an artist. If you have a variety of exhibitions under your belt, you can include multiple categories. If you only have a few, list them all together. Here’s an example:
Year Solo Exhibition/Group Exhibition, Name of Exhibition, Gallery/Museum Name (Curator/Juror Name), Location
If you’ve been commissioned for work as an artist, you should highlight this experience on your artist CV. If you’ve done numerous commissions, limit your section to the most recent or most noteworthy.
Year Type of Commissioned Work, Name of Piece, Commissioning Body, Location
Bibliography & Publications
Being included in the bibliography of another work is a good way to validate your academic expertise. When formatting this information, choose a citation style (MLA or APA, for example) and stick with it. Order your entries from most recent to least.
Any academic articles you’ve gotten published should definitely be included, in their own section if possible. Use the same formatting guidelines as you would for a bibliography. Here’s a sample MLA citation format for a journal article:
Last Name, First Name. “Journal Article Title.” Name of Journal, vol. [number], Year, pp. [page range].
Having your work included in an art collection can be fantastic for recognition as well as your work’s value. It also looks great on your CV. If your work is in a private collection, ensure that you have permission from the collector before including them. Here’s how you can list a collection on your artist CV:
Year Collector Name, Location
It’s common to include references on an academic CV. Make sure to list your reference’s name and contact information. Here’s an example:
You can also include a mailing address, but make sure to use the institution’s address rather than a personal one. Once you’ve done the work of organizing this information for your artist CV, you can also feature it in an online portfolio.
Highlight your Artistic Accomplishments
There can be a lot of material to include in your artist CV. Your strongest accomplishments can get lost in the barrage of dates and details, so it’s important to find ways to highlight them. Here are a few tips:
- Feature the accomplishments you’re most proud of and that make you most qualified at the top of your artist CV, where they’re likely to get more attention.
- Remove any extraneous information, any accomplishments that are outdated or from fields irrelevant to the teaching positions you are applying for, and put your most recent accomplishments first.
- If there are sections that would showcase your achievements better with a bullet point or two, feel free to add them – just be conscious of your CV length and try to keep it as concise as possible.
This kind of preparation can also help you be ready to answer questions about your artistic and career highlights during your artist interview.
Keep your Format and Design Simple
When you’re creating an artist CV, keep the format and design simple. Adding a little color is fine, but don’t go overboard with artistic designs. Since it’s for an academic position, it’s best to stick to a more formal and traditional style.
Keeping your design minimal will ensure that your CV is easy to read and the hiring committee can pull out the important information quickly. Here are some additional tips for clean formatting:
- Choose fonts like Arial and Georgia that are easy to read.
- Use a font size that is 10–12pts.
- Use the same formatting and font throughout every section.
- Keep an eye on your spacing. Each section should be spaced out adequately.
If you need some inspiration, it can help to look through some CV examples before choosing a template or building your own.
Final Thoughts on Building an Effective Artist CV
Academic positions in artistic fields require you to present a unique mixture of your teaching skills and your experience as an artist. To land the job you want, you need to paint yourself as the best candidate for the position by cleanly and concisely presenting your key qualifications. Following the CV-building tips discussed in this article can give you the guidance you need to start applying.