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× Sherrill Library will be closed from May 18 - September 2 due to construction. Services by Appointment: Research Consultations, Library Instruction, Pick Up appointments

Moriarty Library will be open May 11 - September 2, Monday - Friday from 10am-6pm. Closed weekends and holidays.

As always, our web resources are available 24/7. Questions? Our Chat and Ask Us! services are available Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm.

Fine Arts

Finding Established Artists

Sometimes you need to find professional, contemporary artists, and it can be difficult to search with a tool like Google that is full of popular/amateur content. Try these tips for searching and browsing!  You can tell the difference between an established professional artist and someone who is only popular on Pinterest by Googling the artist to see if they have:

  • gallery representation (do they have a bio page on a gallery website?)
  • shown pieces in exhibitions (you'll be able to find exhibition websites/catalogs online)
  • published pieces written about them (any exhibition reviews or interviews with the artist?)

Finding Work Similar to Your Own

There are a lot of reasons why you might identify with an artist:

  • Style (abstract expressionism, cubism, realism, etc.)
  • Technique/Process (including equipment and materials)
  • Content (portraits, landscapes, etc.)
  • Visual Elements (symmetry, line, color, etc.)
  • Concepts/Themes (consumerism, identity, etc.)

Try creating a mind map of your work to mine for keywords!


If you're searching for a topic, for example: portrait painters, try adding terms to help the search engine understand what you're looking for. contemporary portrait painters and ________________

  • -pinterest (adding a minus sign to your Google search will exclude any of those results)
  • gallery
  • museum
  • archive
  • exhibition
  • juried exhibition
  • group exhibition
  • exhibition review
  • exhibition catalog

Use "quotation marks" around phrases so the search engine doesn't search for each word individually. In Google, any word in quotation marks must be included in any results.


As an alternative to searching with keywords, you could browse books and magazines!. If you struggle with word choice and keywords when searching, this more visual alternative to discovery could be just what you need!  You can browse based on what draws your eye, but keep an eye out for the language that artists use to describe their work. The more blurbs you read the better you'll get at searching with keywords.