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Monday, September 26, 2011

More Art 101 Advice: Captions

Whether you are entering juried shows, submitting your work for consideration for a book, or for any other art opportunities, you will be expected to understand basic captions for your art work. Most captions include the title of art work, your name, the medium, materials, size/dimensions and year.

I come across way too many artists who seem unclear on what a caption is. The title of the art work is what you name your painting, the name of your glass sculpture, etc. For example, you may title your painting of flowers "My Summer Garden" or your ceramic vessel may be called "Blue Horizons." The title is your personal choice. If you do not have a name for your art work, then call it "untitled." Name refers to your full name only. The medium refers to the type of art you create such as a photography, an oil painting, glass, ceramics, etc. When you are asked for the materials for your work, no one is seeking information on your "secret process." However, it is important to list the major materials such as steel, glass, and wood (for a sculpture for example) so the juror and/or audience can understand your work. While you may identify a piece of glass as recycled glass, it would be better to identify the type of glass used such as recycled window glass, recycled bottle glass, etc.

Size or dimensions refer to the size of the art work. For sculpture you should include height, width and depth (in the order specified) and in the unit of measurement requested in the rules (inches or in centimeters). Two dimensional work should include height and length/width. I come across a lot of photographers who become confused here and submit all types of odd numbers such as pixels, shutter speed, etc. A photographer should submit the size of the photograph he may print and sell the jpeg file in such as 8" x 10", etc.

Finally, the year does not mean the year and month and day that you submitted your work to the call for submissions. It refers to the date you created the work such as 2011, 2009, etc.

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