The first page I check on an artist’s website is the one with the résumé. This isn’t snobbery: I’m not judging the artists based on who represents them or where they’ve been invited to speak. I’m looking in order to discover new professional directions.
By raiding résumés, I find:
- Potential venues. Many art spaces still don’t list calls-to-artists very widely, which makes it difficult for me to find venues outside of my immediate area without the help of other artists’ CVs.
- Awards to apply for. Though foundations offering grants tend to be a little better than venues about getting the word out about what they offer, I’ve discovered a few by looking at résumés.
- Possible press contacts. If a journalist has written about one artist, it’s likely that she-he will write about another. What’s more, as the face of media changes in our digital age, it’s getting harder to keep track of all the outlets. Sifting through other artist’s résumés is an easy way of keeping track of new online publications and blogs.
- Entirely new directions. Sometimes, a résumé suggests a lead I had never even thought of. I was inspired to start looking for speaking and workshopping gigs by résumé raiding when I first got out of school.
Of course, not everyone with a long and useful résumé has a website yet. That’s why I also look at exhibition catalogs (like this one of an artist whose work I like) which often feature the artist’s complete exhibition history in the back.