The Art of the Application | Representing Your Artwork Online

The Art of the Application | Representing Your Artwork Online

Let your work speak for itself clearly and successfully.

Work Samples are an integral part of every NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship application. Read on for tips to consider when putting together your portfolio for submission.

Documenting Your Work:

  • Before documenting your work, think about what aspects you want to highlight for the review panel. Perhaps it’s your use of materials or the fine details within your work. Make sure you have documentation that captures these elements clearly. 
  • Before photographing your artwork, review the environment surrounding the object. Remove any unwanted items that may be surrounding your artwork as this will distract the panel from your art.
  • For Literary works that are excerpts from a larger body of work, choose the sections you feel can stand on their own with limited context needed (though you can provide some context through your Excerpt Explanation).
  • If you are submitting documentation of an interactive piece, take the time to capture it in a way that shows how you would expect the viewer to interact with your work.
  • Make sure that your artworks are in the correct file format listed in the Visual Arts, Literary, or Media Guidelines or else they will not successfully upload to your application. 
Image: Depicted is a sculpture of six distinct mountain peaks of the Himalayan Mountains installed in precarious and dangerous angles.

Curating Your Work Samples:

  • Before uploading your work, consider the order that you want each work to be viewed, remembering that the panel will review work in the order in which they are submitted.
  • If you are uploading more than one body of work, make sure that the corresponding works are grouped together.
  • Literary works should include a title page with a table of contents indicating any breaks in your document.
  • Upload only your strongest works. You are not required to submit the maximum number of files or page for your application if you feel that your work can be better represented through fewer works.

Key Questions to Consider:

  • How would I want the panel to experience my body of work in person and how can I best capture this?
  • Are there any details of my work that I want to bring to the panel’s attention?
  • Which format (video or still images) will best showcase my work?

-Eleysha Sajous, Program Associate, NYFA Grants

The current NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship application cycle closes on January 22, 2020. For more information about the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, visit our website and view our Fellowships FAQ. NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships are administered with leadership support from New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Find out about additional awards and grants here. Sign up for our free bi-weekly newsletter NYFA News to receive announcements about future NYFA events and programs.

Images from top: Donna Uchizono (Fellow in Choreography ’19), State of Heads, 1999; Blane De St. Croix (Fellow in Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design ’19), High Peaks, 2017

Amy Aronoff
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