Samuel Jernigan discussing work with a crowd of students

Artist Essay Template – 17 Summer

Banner for Art 110, Summer 2017.

In the F2F class, we go to the School of Art (SOA) galleries each week, have a conversation with an artist, and then write about their work. Since we can’t do this in our Summer Online class, we’ll simulate the experience with some Internet research about the artist and discussion on Slack by Thursday night. Hopefully, that adds up to something like the experience of having had a conversation with the artist, and then you have until Sunday night to write your ArtistOTW essay. This 4 Paragraph Artist Essay template should make that job easier:

Post Title: use the form:

Wk 9 – Artist Essay – Maccabee Shelley

Your Blog Post/essay:

Maccabee Shelley

About the Artist

In this paragraph, you can provide a little background information on the artist. Where are they from? What media do they work in? Is this a living artist?

Formal Analysis

Describe the work. The “formal” qualities. The media or materials. The nature of the line, shape, color, rhythm, scale, texture, cadence, and so on. Is it straight? Jagged? Undulating? Sinuous? Staccato? Is it black-and-white? Muted pastel colors? Vivid primary colors? Is it so tiny that you must come in really close to see it? Is it so massive and so much larger than you that you get a visceral, gut reaction when standing near it?

Content Analysis

What is the work about? Relate the ideas you get from your research & Slack discussions with your classmates here. What’s on this artist’s mind? What are they thinking about? What ideas are they trying to explore?

Separate Paragraphs
Please do not combine your Formal Analysis and Content Analysis into a single “Formal Analysis / Content Analysis” section. Each of these areas is worthy of one thoughtful paragraph from you. Please take the time to write an honest and compelling piece.

Synthesis / My Experience

What does this artist’s work mean? In this last section, it’s about you! Synthesize the gestalt of this artist’s work and how it resonates with you. How do the formal nature of the work and the artist’s ideas resonate with your own ideas, perceptions, and perspectives? Do things from your life experience, your academic experience, and other sources resonate here?


Almost everyone makes small typos, awkward phrases, and other simple but distracting mistakes. Proofread!

Samuel Jernigan discussing work with a crowd of students
CSU Long Beach, College of the Arts (COTA) School of Art (SOA) Ceramics student Samuel Jernigan discussing his work with my Introduction to the Visual Arts students in the School of Art’s Gatov Gallery


Comments? Questions? What great art did you see, make, or experience today?

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