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Hopefully I selected the correct discussion. Feel free to move if this is the wrong discussion. Thanks!

We have decided to try some of the "better" art fairs. We've been doing local craft shows. Looking thought the applications we are undecided which category to select. Wood or Mixed Media 3D.

The main medium is wood. We apply an electrical treatment to the wood to create the designs then the piece is stained and finished. We have multiple sizes and various types of wood.

I've attached a couple of photos. Thoughts?

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It comes across as the wood category. Anything else might confuse the jurors. Be clear in your artist statement. I can help with that if you want.

Larry Berman

Thank you! Are there guidelines somewhere on the site for writing the artist statement? Major newbie lol.

No but you need at least two artist statements to describe your work to the jurors. One not more than 100 characters and one a little longer, maybe not more than 300 characters. Really important for the shows that project the images because those statements have to be limited and are read to the jurors during a projection jury.

Larry Berman

I had to put my writers cap on for this. That's my husbands job lol. Here's what I've come up with.

We capture the elements of wood and fire to create striking abstract art that invokes the earth’s spirit.


We utilize high voltage electricity to “shock” raw wood which simulates the effects of lightening to create striking works of art that metaphorically represent the possibility for positive, significant transformation. There is no “right” way to view our art; every viewer sees a different image.

A few things I don't understand. What is earth's spirit. what is positive significant transformation. None of those terms mean anything in describing to a jury how you create your art. Tell me more about how the work is created.

Larry Berman

This is precisely what I have been arguing with you and others about for so long, Larry. You asked for an "artist statement" and that's what she provided. Zapplication asks for a "description of material and technique." I bet if you had asked her for that, she wouldn't have mentioned "earth's spirit" and the other art speak hullabaloo.


Write pertinent information and nothing superfluous. Nothing philosophical, unless it is pertinent.

Hugs from Wyoming,


Ok,they're looking for a technical description. That I can do.

We apply high voltage electricity to wood to create deep fissures, finished with a stain/wax app.

OR (Not sure about using the 1st person?)

High voltage electricity is applied to wood to create deep fissures, finished with a stain/wax app.

We utilize high voltage electricity to shock unfinished wood, creating a detailed array of lightening-like branching in the wood. No two pieces are alike.  Each piece is cleaned of burn char, sanded, and finished with non-toxic wood stain and preserved with furniture grade beeswax.


You might lose the abbreviation "app" since those three letters used together mean something completely different these days. And having "app" at the end there doesn't seem necessary to me.

I think first person is fine. Using "we" means you are working with a partner and are applying to the show as a collaborative team, right?

Another point is it isn't necessary to use all the characters a show limits us to use. If it asks for 200 character, we just get a little more room to add a little more pertinent information. Sometimes that gets us into trouble because we might try to come up with more words to make us sound better or more knowledgeable. Just realize that you can say just enough in fewer words/characters and too much in more words/characters. Having a 100 character limit forces us to say it better in fewer words.

exactly 100 characters

high voltage applied to wood creating a lightning like branching then stained -  each is an original

Larry Berman

When I write an artist statement for Zapp shows, it is strictly explaining technique. 

However-  I have applied to other shows that seem to want something else.

Sorry to hijack thread- but here are artists at the future Smithsonian Show's statements- just pull up an artist and read- you will see that they are so varied.

Judy, you're using the same confusing words. "When I write an artist statement for Zapp shows..." These aren't supposed to be bona-fide artist statements. Those are a different animal altogether. Google it and read about writing artist statements. Read what Alan Bamberger writes about it at Learn how to do it effectively without using confusing philosophical references that we can't understand. That's what got Larry upthread.

So you just happen to pick Smithsonian as an example, one show that asks artists to submit a bona-fide Artist Statement limited to 1000 characters (again, heaven forbid.) It's also not a zapp listing show, but rather a Juried Art Services listing. 99% of zapp shows, if not %100, ask for Description of materials and technique. Not an artist statement.


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