What’s an Emerging Artist? on Bmore Art

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In this post a B.More Blogspot writer describes how artists and others define and mis-define art careers… An excerpt:

“Nobody likes to be labeled, right? Especially not artists who tend to be contrary, rebellious types. However, artist ‘categories’ are bandied about by artists, gallerists, jurors, and critics and most of the people using these terms seem to be clueless, when questioned, about what they actually mean.

Applications for exhibitions include titles like “Emerging Artist Exhibition,” while some contemporary gallery websites report that they only exhibit “mid-career” and “established” artists. What exactly do these categories mean and how do you place yourself within them, when necessary?

First of all, the most common mistake is for artists to label themselves “mid-career” based on age. In actuality, an artist who is middle-aged or older has no more claim to this label than a 23-year old MFA graduate. Similarly, young artists are labeled as “emerging” artists, but, depending on experience and career, this is not necessarily the case. I am consistently surprised at artists and art professionals who don’t understand this. Here are a few definitions to clear up some of the misconceptions.

Disclaimer for you sensitive folks: Of course, as with any type of label or category, there is confusion and overlap, but the goal in this post is to clear up downright misinformation. When possible, BmoreArt suggests avoiding labels all-together, but, just like saturated fat and lines at the dmv, somtimes labels must be endured, so let’s aim to do it all factual-like.

The Emerging Artist
An emerging artist is someone who’s in the early stage of their career, someone who’s caught the eye of an art critic and/or gallery, but hasn’t yet established a solid reputation as an artist amongst art critics, art buyers, and art galleries.

An artist who has specialized training in his or her field (not necessarily gained in an academic institution), who is at the beginning of his or her career, and who has created a modest independent body of work.

The term emerging artist is often used for young and recently graduated from a prestigious art college, but can also apply to someone who’s made a career change or recently decided to prioritize their art above everything else. You could say it’s a label art galleries use because it sounds better than “new artist” or “unknown artist….””

To view the complete post click here.

Image in the post is a print by John Waters.

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