by Lee Down

Have you ever wondered how artists create their masterpieces? It is possible to imagine how an experienced and respectable master teaches the younger one to draw and use different colors in their studio. Everything is calm, old-fashioned, and noble there. But how do modern creators build their craziest installations and performances? Do they count on the support of art galleries or third parties? 

Have you ever considered placing a chair in the room and naming it art? Joseph Kossuth did it in 1965 with his One and Three Chairs. It was an example of conceptual art. The chair with its photo and description of the word from a dictionary was on the wall. The author stated that gallery workers would replace the chair and the image from season to season, yet the copy of the dictionary entry “chair” and a guide for installing the artwork will remain the same.

The gallery owners should somehow have breath-taking and innovative ideas. It might be the merit of the completed art proposals to a great extent. Do you want to know the way to write such art proposals? Keep reading!

What is the art proposal?

It is writing aimed at explaining the content of an artwork. Usually, it matches the interests of creators when applying their works to galleries, exhibitions, events, and projects. Whether they possess a completed work or an idea, they rely on the help of gallery owners and investors. So, the influencers may positively affect one’s career, recognizability, and income. Likewise, people might need the proposal as a source and reference to the author’s words regarding his intentions and worldview. Students, journalists, and researchers may add them to art reviews, bibliographies, and other volumes. The sample may gain more value as time passes by. 

Thus, it is an essential skill for an artist to write and express thoughts clearly. Communicate ideas, realization, arranging details, and your suggestions. Below you will find the basic art proposal structure for you to ensure it includes all the essential points. Regarding the length, the optimal sample consists of one or two pages plus images. 


  • Artist statement. Reveal your intentions and ideas.
  • Project statement. Describe what the project is about.
  • Portfolio and work sample. Add images and let your artworks speak for themselves.
  • Budget. Indicate what materials, space, manufacture, and cost are for you to create, transport, and keep the artwork.

Do your research, consider who you are and what you want to express, and be honest. Your proposal has to make the first impression of you as a reliable person who stands for their beliefs. You will accomplish a successful application if you convince readers with your words that you will both win from the cooperation. 

Start writing ahead of time

The earlier you begin preparation, the better. If you are an artist and create the sample for your artwork, you might already have thoughts. You might catch highlights when working on your installation or canvas, so you should track your feelings. But do not rely only on your knowledge because revealing what you know on paper differs significantly. If you are helping another agent, you may collect all the facts and start your draft.

Check rules on how to write, find the requirements, and train. Do not hesitate if you can not succeed the first time. Writing is a painstaking process that requires time and effort. Keep practicing, yet contact Rated by Students service if you need help writing a review or writing. The specialists may do the research and complete the blog posts and reviews. So, you will be sure of the excellence of your papers.

Do not wait for the deadline without any preparation. You may write something on the last evening, but you will not be able to check it and see what impression you make. It is because of the lack of time.

Collect the information

Do your research

When applying to a project or art gallery, it is worth doing good research. You should know the essential information you can find on their website. Look for the previous shows and artists they hosted. Check what artworks they usually exhibit and if there is any philosophy behind the latter. Think of your values and if the gallery shares them or, on the contrary, diminishes them. For example, a place devoted to the latest modern art may barely accept sculptures of people that are realistic. There may be exceptions, of course, so consider all the options and try to find the partner or gallery that matches better. You will both win then!

Select the gallery

Be attentive when choosing your partners and galleries. Learn as much as possible about them and apply to those that are spiritually aligned with you. Like-minders go further.

Building a relationship with the gallery before application time is an excellent idea. If you are local and have the opportunity to visit and imagine your exhibition, do not miss it. Make new acquaintances. Look at existing hosted artworks. You may even talk to artists and enrich your knowledge. Thus, you will not go into the unknown but to a friendly place. 

Follow the application procedure

When researching the extra tips, it is obligatory to learn the requirements of the official application procedure. Read them thoroughly! Every gallery may have some specific conditions that you need to apply. For example, they may require expressions of interest (EOIs) in a particular period annually and do not check the received queries outside of those dates. 

Pay attention to the required number of pages or word limit and give precise answers to clarify all the aspects. Double-check what formats they ask you to send or add and how they would like to receive the portfolio. Following the rules, you increase your chances of being accepted for the deal. Look for people who help you to be precise with your proposal. You will receive back more than you pay them.

Some organizations may ask you to send proposals via email and suggest using the most appropriate format. In general, artists choose the best way to write the art proposal.

Ask questions

The worst thing you can do when you need to clarify anything is to be silent. So do not forget to look for the information with the official source first. However, if you do not find the answers, do not hesitate to contact the gallery’s representatives for clarification. It is better to provide them with relevant information than to lose time. 

Be precise in details

Complete artist bio

Write what is relevant about you, but do not include the story of your entire life. You may admit how you decided to become an artist, what you like, and where you learned. Indicate if you follow some genre or school. The first few sentences of the proposal should draw your readers’ attention to you and make them want to go on with your communication. For tips, read 7 tips for writing the best bio.

Review your art

Although every exhibition aims to represent great samples and open up new artists, it supports some worldview and ideas. For example, the intention is to reveal new names and popularize their art, or it admits artists who work in traditional or abstract techniques. They may also be devoted to some particular culture, Ukrainian or Polish. In addition, it may work for some social groups with the same interests. Therefore, it would help if you think about your samples and who would like them. When creating anything, you put a piece of your soul into it. Please find the best way to explain most of it to potential hosts.

You should not expect to complete the paper at once, but create drafts until you find the best words for your works. Research to go deeper with insight and knowledge about your artwork. Get acquainted with it as if it were the first time you have seen it. What philosophical notions, religious, social judgments, ideas of beauty and world stay behind the curtain.

If you find it challenging to start, keep asking yourself the following questions: 

  • What are the physical properties of my artwork? Write down its measures, weights, material, obligatory conditions for storage and exhibition to keep it safe, and additional requirements for installation and transportation. 
  • Who and what influenced my decision to create it the way it is? 
  • What do I want to express with the sample?
  • How did the inspiration come to you? 
  • Does it have any devotions?
  • What made me develop that exact idea at the time? 
  • Why do I consider the artwork important in my career or life? 
  • How does the gallery benefit from taking and hosting the artwork? What vision do we have in common?
  • How does the work correlate to the location where I wish to display it? Consider the environment that will observe the outcome.

Be honest and straightforward. By answering the questions, you will get a bunch of information from your mind to turn it into valuable and understandable text about your work and experience. Moreover, you will speak about the factors and benefits that will allow the second party to thrive if you make the deal. 

Explain how you see the exhibition

If you have more than one sample and want to share the entire line, it would be great if you added your ideas and requirements for the samples. The gallery would like to receive your thoughts on what the exhibition will look like. You can not know the specifics without dealing with the location and other details.

You should get information about these peculiarities to be precise. If it is not possible, describe the kind of art you will be showing. Do the samples have a specific sequence or conditions to apply, so the visitors get the best impression? For example, should they switch off the light or create shades? Do you want visitors to attend it barefoot?

You do not have to use sophisticated terminology when describing your art. You may try to simplify things as much as possible. It will be great to talk to someone who does not know you and your work. When you represent your art pieces to an absolute stranger, you may check if you are clear and the person understands you. 

Images of the highest quality

It would help if you dealt with an experienced photographer to take photos of all the relevant samples. The skilled master will find the best perspective and know how to highlight what is essential. The latter refers to the texture, material, and comparison. You may ask them to make the front, top, and side views and fill the portfolio with creative photos. Do not hesitate if you need to devote your time to it. The answer is the ultimate yes! Professional-looking photos are a huge bonus!  

Double check the format as well. Does the gallery require a neutral background to get all the attention on the subject? Do they need a particular format, size, or orientation? Pay attention to that. Write your name to the meta tags and image file name. If required, add a clear and short description of what is represented in the photo. 

Writing tips

Write the plot outline

Write down all the obligatory bullet points to indicate on blank paper. It will help you avoid not knowing what to write about and how to start. Your head may be full of ideas and thoughts to mention, but do not spend your time writing and deleting them. It helps when you see the required fields.

Create the draft

We all know there are moments of inspiration or inspired moments that make everything possible. But how often do they happen? In rare cases, you complete an excellent text for the first time. Thus create the draft. It is your second step when you write down all the known facts and look for the missing points. Finally, you may fulfill the spaces. Double-check everything. At that stage, you should ensure you possess all the relevant information. 

Is it logically arranged?

It is the next question you should answer when checking the draft. Do not hurry with editing yet. It is a waste of time when you are unsure about the essence you’re trying to bring. All you need to do is check if the sequence is correct, straightforward, and logical. Also, if you want something to be added or see something missing. Here, you can delete and add until the proposal’s content seems alright to you. The latter means the feeling when you say all the necessary information, reveal your personality and make the gallery representatives understand you. See if you replied to all of their questions.

Check the grammar

Now you can check spelling and punctuation! Banal spelling mistakes or commas can seriously ruin your impression. It is unpleasant to send the document and note some errors afterward. Devote some time to reread the text correctly. You can use different online checking services or ask an expert to check them. Get some friends to read it thoroughly.

Don’t plagiarize

We will remind you. If it was technical or specific information, it is pretty hard to avoid repeating notions, statistics, and facts, but this is not the case. We speak about the unique artist who creates lovely artworks and wants to promote them. One may think that there is nothing wrong with borrowing someone’s introduction or conclusion, but it is wrong! The person who can search for senses and their expression will be able to find the words to describe them in the art proposal!

Do not send it at once

If you have enough time to refresh your view, leave the proposal and rest. It is strongly recommended after hard work. Writing and diving into your and your artwork’s essence may be challenging, so take a walk, go to bed, or listen to some music. Then, read the document for the last time. If everything is polished and precise, then send it to the recipient. 

Extra tips for your convenience

Collect all your proposals 

Keep and file all your proposals and materials in a specific file or folder to keep yourself organized. Then, when you feel the need, you can use them to self-improve. You will notice how you develop and how your ideas grow. It is a great approach to do your psychological analysis and check if you are moving in the right or wrong direction. You will realize the path you are going and the one you should go through. You can use some paragraphs and ideas when writing new samples as a side effect.

Make you a brand

With the development of social media, you may promote your art there. You can go further and build your brand. It will give you many advantages. Even if you post images and write your thoughts without any content strategy, it increases your recognisability among followers. It will provide you with higher self-esteem, and you will not be afraid to exhibit your works. Think of it. 

Be patient

Galleries have different terms and may receive numerous proposals. The agents must check them and choose the best matched samples and artists. Do not expect to obtain a fast reply. You may learn instead or look for some other options during the waiting period. After all, the more proposals you send off, the more likely you will succeed.

Never give up

It may happen that the answer does not please you. If you can discuss, ask for feedback on why your proposal was rejected. Check the reason and see if you can change anything. You will see if it relates to the proposal, art, or philosophy. Keep working and improving. Do not give up your dream, but look for the opportunity to become a better version of yourself. Make your worldview broader, search for new heights, and try out new experiences. 

We completed the list of valuable tips for you to complete the promising and convincing art proposal. So, take a deep breath and start your writing process. Remember? Do not leave your tasks to the last minute!

About the Writer

Lillie Jenkins is a creative copywriter and content writer. She has worked as a copywriter since graduating school, so her writing skills are well-honed. She writes publications in such fields as marketing, business, education, and personal life. More than writing Lillie loves to travel and read professional literature.

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