THE BLOG
07/11/2011 02:39 pm ET | Updated Sep 10, 2011

Artists: Know the Difference Between a Resume and a C.V.

Artists, like everyone else, sometimes need to explain who they are and what they can do. Artists, however, have careers on two tracks: The first track, for most, is some job that puts food in their stomachs, clothes on their back, a roof over their heads and pays for health insurance; the second track is developing a presence in the art world, through exhibitions, commissions and other activities that reflect their artistic achievements. It is ideal when the two tracks come together -- the art sells, providing a full livelihood -- and that is the goal, but that may not happen soon or even ever. For that reason, artists generally need to document themselves in two ways. The first is through a resume, and the second is through a C.V. (curriculum vitae).

The two documents may overlap here and there but tend to be quite separate, and here's the reason: why would a dealer want to know that the artist worked as a waitress? How useful is it to describe all one's one-person shows to the personnel director at a corporation? Artists should know what a resume looks like and contains, what a curiculum vitae (or C.V.) describes, and when to submit one or the other.

A resume is an employment history, detailing the jobs the individual has had, what he or she did at those positions and any particular skills that would make the person desirable to another employer.

A standard, job-oriented, reverse-chronology resume would look like this:

Melissa Painter

P.O. Box 252

Salt Lake City, UT 84002

(801) 555-5555 (home)

(801) 555-4444 (office)

[e-mail address, if applicable]

Summary

I am skilled in Windows, Quark, PhotoShop and other Apple and PC-based computer software that has applicability to business. I have experience in budgeting and payroll as well as supervising staff, event planning, publicity and visual merchandising.

Employment

2007 to the Present

Office manager, Arcadian Art Supply, Salt Lake City. Selected and purchased products from wholesalers, developed the annual budget, managed payroll, hired and supervised the full- and part-time sales staff

  • Computerized product inventory
  • Originated and coordinated the monthly "Artist Talk" series
  • Installed annual regional juried art exhibitions

2006 to 2007 (part-time)

Curatorial staff assistant, University Gallery, University of Utah at Ogden. Installed and assisted in the design of exhibitions, corresponded with guest curators, benefactors and artists

2005 and 2006 (May-August)

Sales clerk, Books & Things, Salt Lake City, Utah. Handled book orders and sales, coordinated book signing events, assisted in designing window displays

Related Experience

Foundations course instructor, University of Utah at Ogden (2006 and 2007)

Painting instructor at Hopkins Retirement Home, Salt Lake City, Utah (summer 2004)

Education

Master of Fine Arts, University of Utah at Ogden, 2007

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Spokane College of Art & Design, Spokane, Washington, 1995

References

Available upon request

Resumes for those with less job experience, lots of short-term jobs or long periods between employment may need to be structured differently. Certainly, companies understand that summer is the time when students are able to work full-time; the brevity of employment is not held against a job-seeker. When the applicant's history of employment consists of a number of jobs that lasted only a few weeks or months, an itemization of every position with start and end dates as well as responsibilities would look odd and raise questions about the individual. Instead, one may create a category like this:

Jobs Held Between 2006 and 2008

Sales clerk, Books & Things, Salt Lake City, Utah

Library aide, University of Utah at Ogden

Secretary, Howards & McCann Law Offices, Ogden, Utah

Cashier, Pick & Save, Ogden, Utah

Life guard, Ogden Parks and Recreation Department, Ogden, Utah

Nanny, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Atlee, Salt Lake City, Utah

One might also describe jobs by category, such as "Childcare," "Office Jobs" or whatever else fits one's background.

A C.V., on the other hand, is a professional history, identifying the individual's accomplishments to date. An artist's C.V., concentrating on artistic achievements, might resemble the following:

Melissa Painter

P.O. Box 252

Salt Lake City, UT 84002

(801) 555-5555

[e-mail address, if applicable]

Education

Master of Fine Arts, University of Utah at Ogden, 2007

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Spokane College of Art & Design, Spokane, Washington, 2005

One-Person Exhibitions

2009

Green River Center for the Arts, Green River, Utah

2008

Lawrence Hazelit Gallery, Monroe, Utah

Eugene Venman Gallery of the Solomon Jones Library, Salt Lake City, Utah

2007

Lawrence Hazelit Gallery, Monroe, Utah

Selected Group Exhibitions

2009

"The Landscape Today," Kingsman-Marcum Gallery, Salt Lake City, Utah

"Northwest Artists Invitational," Sprague Art Museum, Sprague, Washington (curated by Clint McConnell)

"Spring Annual," Lawrence Hazelit Gallery, Monroe, Utah

2008

"The Realist Tradition," Millcreek Center for the Arts, Milcreek, Utah (curated by Wallace Everly)

Place and Time Cooperative Gallery, Spokane, Washington

Prairie Artisans and Artists Gallery, Midland, South Dakota

"Spring Annual," Lawrence Hazelit Gallery, Monroe, Utah

"A Woman's Place," Glenrose Cultural Center, Glenrose, Washington (organized by Western Women in the Arts)

2007

"The Next Wave," University Gallery, University of Utah at Ogden

2006

"The Art of the Matter," Kingsman-Marcum Gallery, Salt Lake City, Utah

"Walla Walla Invitational," Northwestern Exposition Grounds, Walla Walla, Washington (curated by Elinor Herter-Johnson)

2005

"Annual Spring Show," College Gallery, Spokane College of Art & Design, Spokane, Washington

"New Voices/New Songs," Seattle Visitors Center, Seattle, Washington

Teaching

2006 to 2007

Foundations course instructor, University of Utah at Ogden

2004

Painting instructor at Hopkins Retirement Home, Salt Lake City, Utah

Articles and Reviews

"Soft Focus on the Landscape," by Karen Wentworth, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2009

"Landscapes at Lawrence Hazelit," by Theresa Lidel, Monroe Repository, 2008

"Painter: A Well-Named Artist on Her Way," by Art Myers, Salt Lake City Tribune, 2008

"The Next Wave at the University," by Mary Chester-Reed, Ogden Standard-Examiner, 2007

Awards

Purchase Award, Glenrose Cultural Center, Glenrose, Washington, 2008

Carl Dalton Outstanding Graduate Scholarship, 2006

Millicent E. Wensdale Merit Scholarship, University of Utah at Ogden, 2005

Collections

University of Utah at Ogden

Spokane College of Art & Design

Sprague Art Museum

Mr. and Mrs. John Hathaway

Berryman Tree Farm

Ronda Tuttle

Carolyn Nevelson

Mr. and Mrs. Roger Zion