Established in 1960, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) supports and advances the state's creative culture through funding, hosting events with notable and acclaimed individuals in the field, and offering opportunities for professional development. Its Visual Arts Program (VAP) celebrates living artists and supports their creativity and imagination. Among the VAP's goals are to interpret contemporary visual artists' work for public consumption, make it easier for artists to create, present, and exhibit new work, and present artwork that reflects New York's ethnic and cultural diversity.
Individual artists receive NYSCA support via nonprofit organizations that are encouraged to sponsor grant requests on artists' behalf. Funding categories that are available to artists include exhibitions and installations, workspace facilities, and general operating support. To learn more about the NYSCA's programs and grants and its criteria for providing funding, visit the New York State Council on the Arts.
Acting on the belief that culture is a necessity for sustainable and inclusive societies and that its enjoyment counts as a fundamental right, Culture Action Europe unites organizations and individuals to help influence European policy-making and promote greater access to art and culture. Its annual flagship event, the Beyond the Obvious conference, pushes the boundaries of conventional thinking about culture and encourages innovation, debate, and cooperation.
Culture Action Europe was established in 1984 as the European Forum for Arts and Heritage. Today, its members represent thousands of organizations in various artistic disciplines all over the European Union and beyond. Individuals and organizations can apply for membership, which comes with the ability to participate in the network's hubs and working groups, attend Beyond the Obvious for free, connect with EU decision-makers, and a whole lot more. Head over to Culture Action Europe for more information.
The International Association of Art (IAA) Europe is composed of national member organizations representing professional visual artists and their interests in Europe. Established in 2012 when IAA Europe West and IAA Europe East were unified, it's one of the IAA's cultural regions, the others being Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
IAA Europe's objectives are manifold. In addition to facilitating exchanges between artists and organizations invested in art and culture in Europe and elsewhere, it acts as a voice for artists in communicating their interests to Europe's political institutions. It also disseminates information on issues such as artists' rights and working conditions, access to artwork, and work opportunities for artists. Cooperation with UNESCO and other institutions in the fields of arts and culture is also a vital part of the network's program of activities. Visit at the International Association of Art (IAA) Europe.
With a reach spanning the five continents, the International Association of Art (IAA), in partnership with UNESCO, aims to encourage cooperation among artists all over the world, advance their economic and social standing, and look after their material and moral rights. It has national committees in Latin America, Europe and North America, Africa, the Arab States, and the Asia-Pacific region. These committees regularly organize exhibitions, conferences, and debates where artists can share their works and exchange ideas. Other IAA programs and initiatives include the Bienale of Drawing Tilsen, which is held in fall every year in the Czech Republic, and World Art Day.
One of the perks of being an IAA member is the professional artist card, which allows free or reduced-rate entrance to a number of museums and galleries worldwide. Members can also learn about residencies, grants, and contemporary art prizes through various networks. You can learn more at the International Association of Art.
An initiative of the Watercolour Institute Belgium led to the establishment of the European Confederation of Watercolour Societies (ECWS) in Belgium in 1998, with the Aquarelinstituut van België and the Associazione Italiana Acquerellisti as the founding members. Apolitical in nature and without any economic objective, the ECWS instead focuses on promoting watercolor painting worldwide and encouraging cooperation among watercolor communities.
There are over a dozen societies comprising the ECWS list of members. These include the Water Colour Society of Ireland, the German Watercolour Association, the Polish Watercolour Society, and the Estonian Watercolour Society. The ECWS promotes the artistic activities of its members through activities such as international exhibitions, meetings, and workshops. Of particular note is the annual ECWS Exhibition and Symposium, which is held in in a different European city each year. Learn more at the European Confederation of Watercolour Societies.
The National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic is an American organization that traces its roots to the early 1950s, when it was formed as the Casein Society to showcase paintings done in an opaque, water-based medium called casein. Artists using acrylic, a synthetic version of casein, were welcomed into the society and its name was changed to reflect this fact.
The society bestows a number of awards, each of which comes with a cash prize plus either a medal, art materials, or plaque. The Robert Sanstrom Prize, the Louise C. Nemeth Memorial Award, and the Judy and Elias Newman Memorial Award are a few examples. The society also hosts its Annual Exhibitions, the winners of which are showcased on the website.
Entry fees to the Exhibition are waived for associate members, and they may also serve on committees. Anyone living in the USA may become an associate member for US$25 per year. Visit the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic to learn more.
Artspace is an American nonprofit arts organization that focuses on providing affordable spaces for artists and creative businesses. Since its establishment in 1979, it has spearheaded projects representing thousands of live/work units for artists and their families and millions of square feet of non-residential space used as arts centers, arts-friendly business facilities, and working artist studios.
Artspace designs and operates arts properties across the USA, including Hawaii. Its live/work units are designed to inspire creativity and include common spaces that encourage engagement among tenants. Artspace prioritizes applicants who participate in and are committed to the arts, but anyone who qualifies for affordable housing may lodge an application for residency in an Artspace project. All applicants are screened by a community-based selection committee. Visit Artspace to learn about the other services it offers, such as property development, asset management, and consulting services.
When it was established in 1971, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) aimed to serve individual artists living throughout the state of New York. Since then it has widened its reach by offering programs and services throughout the country and the international arts community. National artists and arts organizations are aided in their fundraising efforts by the Fiscal Sponsorship program while thousands of artists receive development training and support throuth the Artist as Entrepreneur Boot Camp and Immigrant Artist Mentoring Programs, part of the NYFA's Learning programs.
Sizeable cash grants are awarded annually to New York-based artists in various disciplines in recognition of their pursuit of artistic excellence. These grants include the Murray Reich Distinguished Artist Award, the Canadian Women Artists' Award, and the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships. The NYFA also stages artist fellowship application seminars, online exhibitions, and workshops. For more information, visit the New York Foundation for the Arts.
As an advocate for Australia's visual arts field since 1983, the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) establishes best practice standards for the industry and protects and promotes contemporary artists' professional interests. It has played an instrumental role in influencing legislative changes for the benefit of the industry.
NAVA organizes events around the country to strengthen the arts sector. It holds public forums in partnership with key Australian organizations, stages national symposia to foster creative exchanges, and provides artists with information on arts festivals, residency programs, and artist-run initiatives. Scholarships, awards, and grants are also bestowed by the association to help artists advance professionally. There are several types of memberships available: Free, Premium, and Premium Plus—which includes liability insurance coverage. Groups that want full access to all NAVA website resources can choose the Organization Membership plan. To learn more, visit the National Association for the Visual Arts.
Under the leadership of cultural theorist and academic professor Stuart Hall, the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva) was established in 1994 and has since distinguished itself as a premier arts organization in the UK. Iniva uses the Stuart Hall Library in London as the critical and creative headquarters for its work, which focuses on the role of the arts and globalization's social and political impact.
Iniva works primarily with British-born and British-based visual artists of Asian and African descent, offering residency programs, facilitating their professional development, and commissioning new artwork. Events that Iniva organizes include workshops, seminars, performances, reading groups, and exhibitions. Its education arm, Iniva Creative Learning (ICL), supports art educators, counselors, therapists, and parents in their quest to foster emotion intelligence and creative thinking. For more information on its activities and advocacies, visit Iniva.
The Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) spotlights the city's rich arts and culture scene to promote Houston as an ideal place to visit, live, and work. As the city's designated local arts and culture agency, it works in various ways to reinforce Houston's status as a top-notch arts and culture destination. Its projects are conducted via contracts with the city government and are overseen by the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs.
HAA has a grant program that supplies city funding to individual artists and arts organizations. It also commissions, conserves, and promotes public art, spurs civic partners and neighborhoods to improve access to the arts, and supports cultural tourism initiatives. A partnership with the Peanuts Global Artist Collective has resulted in the Peanuts Mural Project, bright and cheerful street art that features Charles Schulz's beloved comic strip characters. Visit the Houston Arts Alliance website to learn about cultural events and arts opportunities in the city.
The mid-1990s saw the emergence of the National Association of Independent Artists (NAIA), an organization dedicated to maximize the success of artists who participate in art shows. It has a roster of advocacy issues covering topics such as the need for all shows to develop an artist advisory committee, the upholding of artist copyrights, and artist booths that are easily accessible and free from obstruction.
NAIA has three types of members: Artist Members, Contributor Members, and Supporter Members. All members can take advantage of numerous arts-related discount programs, receive access to the NAIA Action Line support hotline, and participate in NAIA's exclusive Facebook community. The NAIA newspaper "The Independent Artist" is also e-mailed to them for free. For information on artist resources and galleries of featured artists, visit the National Association of Independent Artists website.
The South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) traces its roots back to the Cape Fine Arts Society in 1851, making it the oldest nongovernmental association for the visual arts in South Africa. It organizes and hosts various activities aimed at advancing visual artists' development, encouraging international cooperation, and promoting the field of visual arts as a whole.
SANAVA has numerous branches throughout the country, and becoming a member of an existing branch also means becoming a member of SANAVA. This has plenty of benefits, including invitations to national and international competitions and exhibitions and the use of SANAVA's atelier apartments at the world's largest artist residency center—the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. Meanwhile, member branches may tap SANAVA as a parent body when lodging applications for funding for art projects. For more information, check out the South African National Association for the Visual Arts.
The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art or FICA is a nonprofit organization that promotes contemporary Indian art, helps artists find opportunities for professional advancement, and engages communities through education and public art projects. Its collaborations with some of the top arts and educational institutions worldwide have resulted in awards, grants, and residency opportunities that have supported some 45 artists and their projects since 2007.
FICA's slate of programs include lectures and seminars, performances, practice-based workshops and courses, and writing and curation sessions. Many of these events are held at the Reading Room, the first open-access art library in New Delhi. And with the Art for Children program, young children and art educators are encouraged to use the visual arts as tools for learning. For more information, head over to the Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art.
Established in 2009 as the Turning Point Network, the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) is composed of groups of contemporary visual arts professionals representing nine English regions. These are the East Contemporary Visual Arts Network, the East Midlands Contemporary Visual Arts Network, New Art West Midlands, Visual Arts South West, the North West Contemporary Visual Arts Network, the Yorkshire and Humber Visual Arts Network, Visual Arts London, the North East Contemporary Visual Arts Network, and the South East Contemporary Visual Arts Network. Each of CVAN's groups follows programs that benefit its regional constituents and the visual arts field as a whole.
CVAN is a member of Culture Action Europe, Visual Arts UK, the Cultural Campaigns Alliance, and several other arts societies. Its website is chock-full of information on the latest artist opportunities such as residencies and competitions, as well as updated news on arts in the UK and beyond. Visit the Contemporary Visual Arts Network to learn about its programs and events.
The Société des Auteurs dans les Arts graphiques et plastiques (ADAGP) is a society in France that collects and distributes royalties in the graphic and visual arts sector. After it was established in 1953, it signed up famous artists of the time: Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Joan Miró, to name just a few. Today, it represents over 170,000 French and international artists in various visual arts disciplines including painting, photography, sculpture, video art, street art, and many more.
People who are eligible for ADAGP membership are artists who have created graphic or plastic art, or heirs, beneficiaries or assignees of a copyright in visual artworks. With its network of nearly 50 sister companies, ADAGP defends and manages members' rights in France and overseas. In countries where there are no sister companies to represent it, ADAGP collaborates directly with local artists. To learn more about its services, visit the Société des Auteurs dans les Arts graphiques et plastiques.
Formally established in 1997 by nine European collective management societies for the visual arts, European Visual Artists (EVA) counts 28 organizations as members or observers who manage the legal rights of visual artists including painters, sculptors, photographers, photojournalists, illustrators, and so on. Some of EVA's members are the Dutch organization Pictoright, France's Société des Auteurs dans les Arts graphiques et plastiques, and Austria's Bildrecht.
EVA aims to improve European artists' rights by ensuring that they receive fair remuneration and their concerns communicated to relevant institutions of the European Union. Moral and financial recognition for artists is another important focus for EVA. The organization also releases publications that cover topics such as artists' resale rights, the impact of automated image referencing, and the importance of the Article 13B copyright directive. Visit European Visual Artists to learn more about its programs and campaigns.
Almost 300 nonprofit, member-based art associations—or Kunstvereine—collectively representing more than 100,000 active members make up the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Kunstvereine (ADKV), an umbrella association that focuses on the presentation and promotion of contemporary art. ADKV was founded in 1980; today, it advocates on behalf of Kunstvereine before political committees, represents their interests at international art fairs, and advises them about administrative and structural matters.
Kunstvereine having official nonprofit status, able to prove at least three years of quality programming, and dedicated to contemporary art's communication and dissemination are eligible for ADKV membership. Benefits include free admission to other ADKV member institutions, insurance with Artekuranz, discounts on advertisements in the magazine KQ Kunstquartal, and many others. In partnership with Art Cologne, ADKV also awards one prize for outstanding art criticism and another to an art association of distinction. Learn more about Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Kunstvereine at its website.
Based in New York City, the Women in the Arts and Media Coalition represents more than 80,000 women and men in the arts and media through its diverse member organizations. It was formed in 1989 to share information, promote inter-organizational communication, and recognize women's contributions in media and the arts.
The coalition counts full member organizations, affiliate member organizations, and academic affiliate organizations among its membership. Nonprofit organizations and companies that support the group's mission and goals are welcome to be Friends of the Coalition. It hosts the annual Collaboration Award, which encourages professional women in the arts and media to collaborate with women from other sectors of the arts and media to create new work. Another signature event is VintAge, an annual gathering to celebrate the voice and vision of women who are aging as they work in the arts and media. You can learn more at the Women in the Arts and Media Coalition website.
Founded by Tom Elsner, ArtRabbit is an independent digital platform that designed simply to make art as accessible as possible. Elsner leads a small team of editors, producers, and programmers who all believe that anyone can be their own art critic. ArtRabbit can be used by artists, curators, galleries, museums, and anyone else in the art world to promote and share their exhibitions and events with a global audience.
Artists can list their events for free on ArtRabbit, which will be visible to all of the website's users and on the ArtRabbit mobile app. The site also provides information on the latest open calls on its Artist Opportunity pages. Paid memberships include the ArtRabbit for Business Standard, ArtRabbit for Business Associate, and ArtRabbit for Business Premium, all of which make running an art business much easier. For more information, check out ArtRabbit.
The National Art Education Association's dedication to advancing visual arts education is evident in the makeup of its membership. From visual arts educators at all academic levels to art museum educators to students who are members of the National Art Honor Society, the NAEA's members all realize the role of the visual arts in shaping human potential and promoting global understanding. Members are located throughout the USA, American territories, most provinces in Canada, U.S. military bases worldwide, and over two dozen other countries.
Members have a wealth of resources at their fingertips. The 24/7 online community called NAEA Collaborate is only available to members, who also have unlimited access to free monthly webinars via the Virtual Art Educators program. At the NAEA Studio and Gallery in Virginia, outstanding artwork by NAEA members as well as local and national professional and student artists are featured in exhibitions regularly. Learn more at the National Art Education Association.
Based in the UK, The Society for All Artists (SAA) is an online community of more than 43,000 artists from all over the world. Anyone with a passion for painting and drawing, whether a novice or a seasoned artist, is welcome to join. Members can draw inspiration from fellow artists' work, learn from video tutorials and guides, and challenge themselves by joining competitions.
SAA's Standard Membership is recommended for beginners and seasoned leisure painters. Silver Membership offers all the benefits of the standard plan, plus premium video on demand. Professional Membership offers tools and promotional support to help artists have successful careers. All members can take advantage of discounts with various merchants through the SAA Rewards program, receive the free bi-monthly "Paint Magazine," and enjoy exhibition insurance. Plus, there's a welcome pack containing watercolor postcards, a free book, and more. Visit at The Society for All Artists.
Also known as the Korean National Committee of International Association of Arts, the Korean Fine Arts Association was founded in 1962 to advance Korean fine art, protect artists' rights and interests, and promote international fine art exchanges. It's affiliated with the Korean Federation of Cultural and Arts Organizations and the International Association of Arts and has more than 100 branches countrywide. In South Korea, the association hosts the annual Grand Art Exhibition of Korea; it also takes part in international exhibitions such as the 8th Beijing Biennale Korean Contemporary Art Exhibition.
The association has about 40,000 members, representing a variety of fine art disciplines including oil painting, sculpture, calligraphy, animation, and prints. They can post in the site's community forums, have their artworks showcased in the online gallery, and can take advantage of a host of other benefits. Visit the Korean Fine Arts Association for the latest information.
AIGA came into existence in 1914 as the American Institute of Graphic Arts, but today it's simply known as AIGA, the Professional Association for Design. It's made up of more than 70 chapters and well over 25,000 members from all over the world. From design educators and freelance designers to design students and business owners, anyone who is passionate about design is welcome to join AIGA. Membership levels are Contributing, Supporting, Sustaining, Leader, and Trustee, so there's a package to choose from whether one is a novice designer or a seasoned trailblazer in the field. All AIGA members are entitled to benefits such as discounts on products and services, exclusive access to career opportunities, health insurance assistance, and more.
National programs that AIGA produces to support all members include the annual AIGA Design Conference, professional development workshops and certificate programs, and the Design for Good initiative to develop and sustain a design mindset for social change. You can learn more about the organization's platform at AIGA, the Professional Association for Design.
Arts Alliance Illinois was created in 1982 as a response to threats against state funding for the arts in Illinois. Today, with upwards of 46,000 network members, 25,000 active subscribers, and hundreds of Alliance member organizations, it's the biggest statewide arts advocacy network in the United States. The alliance advocates for arts resources and policies that benefit not only its members, but all Illinois residents as a whole. Its arts education programs encourages arts-centered learning while its lobbying expertise has resulted in achievements such as securing funding for arts and culture in the Illinois capital bill.
Becoming a member of the alliance is easy and affordable. It offers the Individual plan for independent artists, arts administrators, and students; the Organizations plan for 501(c)(3) and tax-exempt entities such as visual and performing arts organizations; and Enterprise Partners for corporations and limited liability companies. To learn about membership benefits, visit the Arts Alliance Illinois.
Based in the UK, a-n The Artists Information Company is a nonprofit-distributed limited company that serves more than 24,000 members in the visual arts field. It was established in 1980 and receives funding from the Arts Council England. Working in partnership with entities such as the Artworks Alliance, the Scottish Artists Union, and the Creative Industries Federation, a-n strives to improve artists' livelihood, affirm artists' value in society, and stimulate and support the practice of contemporary visual arts.
There are several options available to joining a-n: annual individual membership, annual group membership, and the day pass option. The benefits of membership include the ability to post blogs, reviews and events on the site, access to the annual program of bursaries, insurance packages, discounts off online advertising and opportunities listings, and more. Head to a-n The Artists Information Company to learn more.
The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), based in Boulder, Colorado, is an organization dedicated to engaging and sustaining a community for the appreciation, teaching, and learning of ceramic art. Established in 1966 after years of affiliation with the Ceramics Education Council of the American Ceramic Society, NCECA hosts a well-attended annual conference, organizes special events such as the Collectors Tour and Cup Sale, and recognizes outstanding individuals with a variety of awards.
NCECA has about 4,000 members from the United States and other countries. They are artists, students and educators, gallery and museum professionals, ceramic art collectors, ceramic arts publication writers, critics, and editors, and more. The types of membership available are Standard, Premium, Student, Corporate, Institutional, and Gallery and come with benefits such as discounts on ceramic supplies, business services, and travel and lodging. To learn more, check out the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.
Canada's media arts community is served by the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA), a nonprofit organization that serves more than 16,000 independent media artists and cultural workers. Its membership is composed of organizations in the fields of independent film, video, audio, and new media production, exhibition, and distribution. Its action plan for 2017-2020 revolves around goals such as establishing international connections to usher in new opportunities, further strengthening the independent media arts sector, and diversifying its funding sources.
To be considered for membership, applicants must be nonprofit organizations, member-driven cooperatives or artist collectives that follow fair and ethical practices. Members can enjoy a wide variety of benefits: they can take advantage of IMAA's comprehensive collection of tools and resources for media arts practitioners and organizations, network at the biennial National Media Arts Conference, and enjoy full voting privileges at meetings. For more information, visit the Independent Media Arts Alliance.
The College Art Association of America (CAA) provides numerous programs and services for the benefit of those who teach, study, write about, create and/or advocate for art and design. It was founded in 1911 and is composed of more than 12,000 individual members in the visual arts plus 2,000 departments of art and art history in various institutions.
CAA's programs support its members and the visual arts community as a whole. These include the CAA Annual Conference and international events such as the CAA-Getty International Program. For members, CAA hosts exclusive international tours to explore other countries' art and art history. Among the other members-only benefits are discounted rates on Annual Conference registration, hotel accommodation, legal services, insurance, free online access to journals, and a whole lot more. The association welcomes individual and institutional members as well as affiliated societies. You can learn more at the College Art Association of America.
The Association for the Circuit of the Young Italian Artists or Giovani Artisti Italiani (GAI) was established in 1989 to provide services, information, and opportunities to young artists and art enthusiasts. It's composed of a network of 33 local administrations that includes municipalities, provinces, and regions in Italy, undertaking national and international initiatives to help young Italian artists gain global mobility.
GAI's national database, which is updated regularly, lists more than 30,000 young artists. Signing up and creating an artist profile on GAI is free and easy. In addition to promoting their artwork on the site, members can also learn about the latest contests and other opportunities for advancement, contribute content, and have the opportunity to be featured as the Artist of the Month on the front page. If you'd like to learn more, visit the Association for the Circuit of the Young Italian Artists.
Co-founded by Karline Moeller and Josie Hines, Art Frankly is an online resource catering specifically to the needs and interests of the international art world. It serves anyone and everyone working in art, from artists and gallerists to curators and art students. Art Frankly's headquarters are in New York City, but the information it presents covers multiple countries. Users can browse the site for job openings, search for opportunities like competitions and residencies, look for exhibition and event spaces, and much more.
Art Frankly's 10,000+ members include art professionals, institutions, and service providers. Creating a profile and using the site's services don't cost anything. Charges are only incurred if users post jobs, spaces, or opportunities. Members can also promote their artwork by uploading high-resolution images to their profiles and linking to websites or galleries where they sell their work. Visit Art Frankly for more information.
A group of artists established the Internationale Gesellschaft der Bildenden Künste (IGBK) in 1957 with the goal of restoring German artists to the international scene. In the same year, it was designated the German national committee of the International Art Association (IAA). The main elements of the IGBK's work include providing services and information to visual artists working internationally, lobbying for artists at the European level, and strengthening international cultural collaboration. The IGBK partners with various organizations to hold events such as international workshops, exhibitions, symposia, and open forums.
By statute, the IGBK has three members: the Deutscher Künstlerbund, GEDOK, and Berufsverband Bildender Künstlerinnen und Künstler/BBK. Individual artists can sign up for membership at one of these groups, through which they can get involved in IGBK's activities. However, organized and non-organized visual artists in Germany can take advantage of IGBK's services and consulting offers. To learn more, visit the Internationale Gesellschaft der Bildenden Künste.
Spain has a rich and diverse arts and culture scene, something that Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) is dedicated to supporting and promoting, both domestically and abroad. From the visual and performing arts to literature and architecture, Spanish arts and culture is a priceless asset that enhances Spain's international image. Various activities are produced by AC/E itself or cooperatively with other organizations. These include exhibitions, concerts, presents, and others. The Programme for the Internationalization of Spanish Culture (PICE) provides Mobility grants and Visitor grants while the residency programs for artists and creators benefit artists working abroad.
AC/E is responsible for organizing Spain's presence and participation at universal and international expos approved by the Bureau International des Expositions. The society also works to increase the number of Spanish projects participating in the European Union's Creative Europe program. Visit Acción Cultural Española to learn more about its activities.
Sculptor and educator Elden Tefft founded the International Sculpture Center (ISC) in 1960, at the National Sculpture Conference held at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. More than 50 years later, Tefft's vision and passion for supporting sculpture and sculptors live on. The ISC upholds his legacy through events and activities designed to deepen public understanding and appreciation of sculpture and its contributions to society. Events that the ISC holds include the annual International Sculpture Conference, International Sculpture Day, residency exhibitions, panel discussions, and more. It also honors sculptors through Lifetime Achievement Awards and the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Awards.
Membership is open to any sculpture enthusiast. Membership types include basic, student, senior, professional, friend, and patron. Some of the benefits of ISC membership are a free subscription to "Sculpture" magazine, access to work opportunities, and discounts on supplies and services from vendor associates. You can learn more at the International Sculpture Center.
Promoting contemporary art practice in South Africa and elswehere in Africa through the development of industry knowledge, networks, projects, and resources has been the main goal of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA) since its establishment in 2003. Forging collaborations with arts organizations and arts enthusiasts is one technique it employs to support independent art practice outside of the main city centers, encouraging urban decentralization. The organization also works with international partners via its ArtsCollaboratory network and hosts research and development meetings monthly with invited members.
More than 6,000 members enjoy benefits such as access to VANSA services and programs and the ability to view opportunities for funding, bursaries, and competitions. Individual membership plans are available for free; paid membership plans for individuals and businesses or organizations are likewise on offer. Find out more at the Visual Arts Network of South Africa.
Americans for the Arts is a community of more than 6,000 individuals who represent upwards of 1,500 organizations all over the United States. It counts artists, students, educators, government agencies, nonprofits and for-profits, consultants, and many others among its diverse body of membership. For over half a century now, it has been uniting people and organizations via the arts.
The organization works with its members to educate political leaders and the public about how the arts enrich communities and its role in solving some of the nation's problems. Being a member comes with a number of perks including access to the ArtsU online professional development platform, participation in listservs, scholarships and discounts for the annual convention and National Marketing Arts Project, and more. Several membership plans are available: Individual, Organizational, and Premium Organizational. To learn more, visit Americans for the Arts.
Established in 1949, the Japan Artists Association (JAA) has roughly 5,400 members who represent the fields of painting, prints, and sculpture. It was designated as the International Association of Art's national committee in Japan in 1953. The association is committed to promoting Japanese art countrywide and globally and to protect artists' professional rights and provide them with any assistance they may need.
Members can avail themselves of the association's domestic art copyright processing service. They are also entitled to discounts on art supplies at a number of art supply stores in various cities including Tokyo, Osaka, and Saitama, plus free or reduced entrance fees at many museums in Japan and a discount on the use of the JAA Gallery in Tokyo. Members can also use the common room in the same building for meetings or just for relaxing. For more information, visit the Japan Artists Association.
The Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece is a self-governing organization composed of approximately 4,600 members grouped into four departments representing the fields of painting, sculpture, printmaking, and decorative arts such as ceramics, icon painting, set design, and so on. It was established in 1944 and operates under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture and the National Committee of the International Association of Art (IAA).
Graduates of fine arts schools are eligible for membership. The organization's Classification and Evaluation Committee also evaluate applicants' artistic creation and activities before deciding whether or not they can be admitted as members. Protecting member artists' interests and welfare is among the organization's main objectives; in fact, members without social security have the right to apply for sickness benefit. For more information on exhibitions and other activities in the arts in Greece and abroad, visit the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece.
Founded as the Union of Artists of Ukraine in 1938, the National Union of Artists of Ukraine was granted the status of a national union in 1998, which was when it adopted its present name. Its members are composed of professional artists and art critics and its organizational structure includes regional and territorial organizations. New members are admitted if their work and credentials meet the union's standards.
The union's main objectives are to consolidate the country's creative forces, shape the artistic environment, maintain freedom of creativity, help its members advance professionally and protect their rights. Members can get their works showcased at the exhibitions that the union holds regularly. Their artworks are also prominently displayed in the gallery of the union's website. To know more about the union's activities as well as news and events in Ukrainian art, visit the National Union of Artists of Ukraine.
Also known as Independent Curators International (ICI), the Curator's Network recognizes and supports curators in their efforts to strengthen art communities through innovative experimentation, international cooperation, and collaborations with artists and the public. ICI holds many events throughout the year—free and open to all—that shed light on curatorial practice. These include professional seminars and conferences, public talks, and exhibition- and publication-related events. At the Curatorial Hub, ICI's flexible project space in Manhattan, events such as film screenings, reading sessions, and performances, some of which are open to the public, are also held.
ICI's partnerships with other organizations and foundations have resulted in fellowships that allow curators to travel and conduct research. It has also produced publications such as the "Perspectives in Curating" series and the "Sourcebook" series. Visit the Curator's Network to sign up for an account.
A long-time collaboration between the Swedish Artists' National Organization and the Association of Swedish Craftsmen and Industrial designers culminated in the formation of a common association in 2016, called the Swedish Artists' Association. With a membership of more than 3,000 professional artists, designers, and craftspeople, the organization aims to promote artistic freedom and protect visual artists' rights.
The organization plays a major role in shaping Sweden's art and cultural policy. Among the issues it targets are better training conditions for artists, government project grants, and increases in the state's visual arts budget. Members enjoy a number of benefits including legal advice, affordable artist/studio insurance, discounts on art supplies at artist stores around Sweden, free training courses and seminars, and more. Individuals with a degree from an art college, students at the Swedish University of Art, members of comparable foreign arts organizations, and professional artists, craftsmen, and industrial designers are all eligible for membership. Learn more at the Swedish Artists' Association.
Founded in 1991 by Shirl Smithson, Oil Painters of America (OPA) is the first national organization in the United States to be created solely for representing traditional oil painters. It organizes and hosts numerous events including the annual National Exhibition, Plein Air Paint Outs, workshops, and demonstrations. The organization also offers oil painting classes and artwork critique services.
More than 3,000 artists comprise OPA's membership. It offers three main levels of membership: Associate, Signature, and Master Signature. New members are designated as associate members and may apply for Signature status once certain criteria are met. Signature members can apply for Master Signature status. Art majors studying at accredited institutions can apply for Student Membership, while galleries that want to be included in OPA's Gallery Locator can take advantage of the Gallery Membership option. For more information, visit Oil Painters of America.
The Union of Bulgarian Artists (UBA), which traces its beginnings back to the Association of the Artists in Bulgaria in 1893, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing and promoting Bulgarian art. It counts more than 3,000 artists and art critics as members, whose creative freedom, rights, and interests it is pledged to protect. UBA owns the country's largest exhibition complex for classical and contemporary Bulgarian art. Located in Sofia, the facilities include the Shipka 6 and Rayko Alexiev galleries as well as the Sofia Press gallery/bookstore.
The UBA's members represent numerous arts fields: painting, print and illustration, textile arts, sculpture, graphic design, ceramics, and many more. Standard membership is free and includes a creative biography plus 5 reproductions. Premium membership allows up to 15 reproductions and features the "Critics" and "From the Author" sections. To learn more, visit the Union of Bulgarian Artists.
The Artists' Association of Finland, or Suomen Taiteilija Seura, represents more than 3,000 artists through its member organizations. Since its establishment a century and a half ago, it has been steadfast in its commitment to protecting the well-being of fine art and artists. It influences cultural policy and legislation concerning the fine arts due to its expertise in lobbying. The association also participates in art research projects and produces the triennial Youth Exhibition in Helsinki.
The association's website is filled with resources for artists. It contains guides covering a wide variety of topics including art competitions, pensions for artists, unemployment security, copyright issues, and entrepreneurship. Legal advice is also provided by the association's lawyer to artists in members organizations. Anyone with a love for art as well as legal entities can join the association as supporting members and enjoy benefits such as discounts on books and invitations to exhibitions and other events. Find out more at the Artists' Association of Finland.
A group of professional working artists established the Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) in 1941 as a registered charity that continues to promote art and culture to all Canadians. It stands as the only Canadian national-level arts organization that manages its own full-time art gallery: the Federation Gallery on Granville Island, where juried exhibitions by members and juried international open shows are held.
There are 12 chapters across Canada that make up the FCA, and artists wanting to participate in chapter activities need to be members with the FCA first. The FCA counts roughly 2,700 members across the country, all receiving exclusive benefits depending on the type of membership they have: Supporting Membership, Active Membership, and Signature Status (AFCA/SFCA). All membership levels come with benefits such as discounts on workshops, classes, and talks, discounted advertising rates, and invitations to events. Visit the Federation of Canadian Artists to learn more.
Its administrative offices are in London, but the Association of Illustrators (AOI) supports illustrators not only in the UK but in 38 other countries as well. Established in 1973, the company is registered in England and Wales and has well over 2,700 members. The AOI organizes and stages various events throughout the year, including members' exhibitions, workshops, masterclasses, panel discussions, and more. It also recognizes outstanding illustrators through the World Illustration Awards and the Prize for Illustration.
Membership in the AOI is available to anyone working as an illustrator, or working in the field of illustration. Membership packages come in several levels: The basic Illustrator, Illustrator + Folio, Industry Member, Affiliate, College, and Student. Memberships are tax-deductible expenses and offer benefits such as discounts to various services and institutions and participation in AOI members' exhibitions. You can learn more at the Association of Illustrators.
The Berufsverband Bildender Künstler*innen Berlin or BBK Berlin is an organization that unites more than 2,000 visual artists in Berlin. Ranking as one of Germany's largest art organizations, its non-partisanship and non-association with the government enables it to maintain its independence in advocating for visual arts interests.
Members of BBK Berlin can take advantage of the myriad services that it offers. These include receiving legal advice on topics such as contractual concerns on commissions, studio rentals, taxation, and insurance. Members are entitled to discounts on art materials and free or reduced admission to exhibitions organized by various institutions. Anyone in Berlin who is a professional artist and artists from other countries who come to live and work in Berlin are eligible for membership. For more information, head over to BBK Berlin.
When it was established in 1909, the California Art Club (CAC) was dedicated to promoting and supporting contemporary-traditional fine art. More than 100 years later, it has stayed true to that goal and continues to uphold it through outreach programs designed to attract both artists and patrons. Its focus is on the fields of painting, drawing, and sculpture, and its calendar of events is filled with workshops, lectures, critiques, and other activities that aim to educate as well as to inspire. The CAC forges partnerships with galleries, museums, historic sites, and arts organization throughout California to hold many stellar exhibitions annually.
There are several types of memberships that the CAC offers. Non-artists can join the Collector's Circle, Benefactor Level, and Patron Member plans. An artist can become an Associate Artist Member, a Student Member, a Mentor Program Member, an Artist/Sculptor Member, a Signature Artist/Sculptor Member, or an Out-of-State Artist/Sculptor Member. To learn more, visit the California Art Club.
Established in Quebec City in 1947, the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) is dedicated to the development and advancement of Canada's museum sector. It meets regularly with key government officials to advocate for the sector and for Canada's cultural heritage. The CAC holds three large annual events: the National Conference, the Museum Enterprises Conference, and a symposium where a specific area of museum practice is addressed. The organization also confers the CMA Awards, partnership awards, and awards for volunteers.
The CMA is composed of almost 2,000 members—individuals and institutions—who enjoy a number of benefits. These include discounts at the CMA Bookstore, member rates on conferences and symposia, discounts at gift shops of participating museums, access to members-only in the CMA member portal, a subscription to the bimonthly "Muse" magazine, and many others. Visit the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) to find out more.
The American Impressionist Society was founded in 1998 by Florida artists Charlotte M. Dickinson, Marjorie I. Bradley, William Schultz, and Pauline S. Ney to promote the appreciation of Impressionism. It holds the Annual Juried Members Exhibition and the Annual AIS Impressions Small Works Showcase, which are coordinated entirely by volunteers. Workshops on painting techniques, subject structures, and other topics are offered to members and non-members alike—though members enjoy lower workshop prices.
Other benefits of membership include access to members-only areas on the society's website and social media pages, opportunities to network with other artists at paint-out, demonstration, and educational seminars during the week of the society's exhibitions, a monthly e-newsletter, and many more. There are three membership levels—Associate Members, Signature Members, and Master Artist—and any American Impressionist artist who is a legal resident of the United States may join. Visit the American Impressionist Society for more information.
The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS), which focuses on studies of all aspects of life from the later 17th century through the early 19th century, is a member of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS). Its members represents a diverse field of disciplines including art and art history, music and musicology, philosophers, political theorists, and so on. The society's primary objective is to encourage the study and teaching of the 18th century, which it does through library fellowships, annual prizes, and interdisciplinary publications. Its annual spring meeting is attended by upwards of 800 delegates, and features activities such as exhibits, theatrical presentations, and professional development workshops.
Individual memberships are available in income-based categories; there are several institutional membership levels available as well. ASECS members are eligible to participate in the ISECS Congress and to lodge applications for the ISECS Seminars for Early Career Scholars. To learn more, visit the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
Founded by Diane Bouchier in 1994, the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) combines recognition of excellent achievement with educational outreach. From 200 members in the beginning, ASBA now boasts more than 1,700 individual members, chapters across the United States, and dozens of institutional members from all over the globe. Membership brings a number of benefits including entering ASBA exhibitions, applying for ASBA grants, showcasing artwork in the online Member Gallery, being listed in the online Teacher Directory, attending the ASBA Annual Meeting and Conference, and more.
ASBA promotes the tradition and contemporary practice of botanical art in several ways. In addition to curating international exhibitions of fine contemporary botanical art, the society also provides educational opportunities in areas such as botanical art technique, purchasing botanical art, and running a botanical art business. More information can be found at the American Society of Botanical Artists.
The Lithuanian Artists' Association (LAA) traces its roots back to 1935, when the Lithuanian Artists' Union was established. Today, there are close to 1,500 members—professional artists and art critics—whose creative works are promoted by the LDS. Examples of their drawings and paintings are showcased on the LDS website. The LDS also offers professional art projects and creative programs, some of which enable its members to exhibit their best pieces in art galleries that have been established by the LDS.
There are conditions to be met in order to be granted LDS membership and the status of artist creator. These include having received Lithuanian and international art awards, experience in teaching art studies at a higher education institution, and being the creator of artwork that has been acquired by national art museums or galleries. LDS branches, creative units, and registered members can nominate individuals for LDS membership. To learn more, visit the Lithuanian Artists' Association.
The Hrvatsko Drustvo Likovnih Umjetnika (HDLU) or the Croatian Association of Visual Artists is dedicated to visual culture's preservation and development by encouraging artistic creativity and excellence in all forms of visual expression. Established in 1868, it organizes an exhibition program of roughly 40 events every year, which also includes lectures, workshops and presentations.
Individuals of different ages and different artistic expressions make up the HDLU's membership. Only Croatian citizens or foreign citizens holding a residence or temporary residence in Croatia are allowed membership. The members also possess a relevant vocational degree and work permanently in arts and multimedia. The HDLU takes care of its members' social and financial status and establishes essential rights for them. Members also have the right to participate in the HDLU Members' Annual Exhibition, receive recommentations for residential programs, and enter competitions that are exclusively intended for HDLU members. Learn more at the Croatian Association of Visual Artists.
The Khoj International Artists' Association, or simply Khoj, began as an annual workshop in 1997 to become a nonprofit, contemporary arts organization that promotes interdisciplinary, experimental, and critical contemporary art practice in India. Its building in south Delhi provides space for experimentation and creative collaboration, with facilities such as artists' studios, exhibition spaces, accommodation for residents, a reference library, and more.
Khoj hosts Indian artists and foreign artists from various countries such as Japan, the USA, France, Turkey, China, and Zimbabwe. Events that Khoj holds or are actively involved in include community art projects, art festivals, exhibitions featuring the works of contemporary Indian artists, and workshops. The organization also collaborates with partners such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the British Council, and the Piramal Foundation on various initiatives. Visit the Khoj International Artists' Association to learn more about its programs and advocacies.
At the 1972 American Library Association annual conference, a group of art librarians realized the need for an organization catering specifically to their profession's needs. And so the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) was born. People invested in visual arts information including artists, curators, publishers, educators, and many others make up the organization's 1,500-strong membership.
Members gain access to networking resources such as chapter and regional meetings and the ARLIS-L moderated online discussion group. Opportunities for professional development are plentiful: the Annual Conference, internship programs, and the annual Summer Educational Institute, to name just a few. Membership also includes conference rate discounts, access to the online mentor directory and the members-only section of the ARLIS/NA website, and free membership in special interest groups, divisions, and sections. Read more at the Art Libraries Society of North America.
The popularity of American pastel art is largely ascribed to the Pastel Society of America (PSA). It was established in 1972 by Flora B. Giffuni, making it the oldest pastel society in the country. There are more than 1,200 pastel artists, in the USA and abroad, who enjoy the benefits that membership in the PSA brings. For one thing, the PSA holds shows for members at prominent art galleries and museums. A pastelist of exceptional skill and accomplishment is also inducted annually into the Pastel Society of America Hall of Fame.
A jurying system is used to evaluate applications for membership. There are three levels of membership—Associate, Signature, and Master Pastelist—and there are four jury deadlines per year. Successful applicants are conferred with either Associate or Signature status while the Master Pastelist status is acquired when three PSA annual exhibition awards are accumulated. You can learn more at the Pastel Society of America.
Professional women in the visual arts have a home at ArtTable, an American nonprofit organization that was established in 1980 to support and advance the careers of women artists. More than 1,200 women—all trailblazers in the visual arts—comprise its membership. Membership is by nomination only; ArtTable members can propose a colleague's admission if she is a leader in the visual arts and has at least five years of experience in the field.
Being an ArtTable member means access to exclusive events that chapters across the country hold annually. These include VIP exhibitions and art fairs, professional development workshops, and networking opportunities with leaders in the art world. Members can also participate in community initiatives such as the Diversity Fellowship in the Visual Arts Professions and the High School Career Day in the Visual Arts. Learn more at ArtTable.
Over 100 years ago, the Art Society of India was created by a group of artists with the goal of uniting fellow artists in a community and promoting Indian art. Famous Indian artists have been part of the organization, including painters Sawlaram Lakshman Haldankar, Kattingeri Krishna Hebbar, and John Hernandes. Today, there are almost 2,000 names in the Art Society of India's membership listing.
Anyone over the age of 18 can submit an application for membership. Basic membership costs RS 1,000 per year while lifetime membership can be purchased for RS 5,000. Members can submit entries to the annual All India Annual Art Exhibition and pay lower entry fees compared to the fees that non-members are charged. Other activities that the society holds regularly are life study sessions, landscape tours, and demonstration sessions hosted by notable artists. For more information, visit the Art Society of India.
Once known as the Southeastern College Art Conference, SECAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and practice of the visual arts in higher education in the USA. It sponsors an annual fall conference where members from the USA and other countries can present their research or creative work and exchange ideas and concerns in forums. Members showing exemplary work are also recognized in an annual awards program, which include the SECAC Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, the SECAC Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the SECAC Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in Graphic Design.
There are several types of SECAC membership: individual, retired, and adjunct/independent. All members can participate in the annual conference, receive SECAC's journal Art Inquiries, join the annual awards program, vote in SECAC elections, and many more. Anyone can apply for membership, which is renewable on an annual basis. Learn more at SECAC.
The Sculpture Network is a community of over 1,000 members in more than 40 countries, united by their love, support, and promotion of three-dimensional art. Established in 2004 by Hartmut Stielow and Ralf Kirberg, it hosts the annual International Celebration of Contemporary Sculpture, which is held at various venues throughout Europe. The Sculpture Network is a nonprofit organization that's largely funded by donations and membership fees.
Membership costs €120 a year; discounts are available for students and partner associations. Being a member comes with a host of benefits, including access to a specialized listing of opportunities in Europe, a discount for all Sculpture Network events, publications, and art trips, and participation in members-only calls for artists. Members can also enjoy enhanced networking possibilities and opportunities to promote their work. Visit the Sculpture Network for more information.
There are more than 1,000 individuals on the membership list of the Belarusian Union of Artists, an organization dedicated to the development of Belarusian fine arts and artists. Established in 1938 as the Union of Soviet Artists of the BSSR, it not only advances fine arts in fields such as painting, sculpture, and graphic design but also creates and preserves national art treasures.
According to the Belarusian Union of Artists' charter, members enjoy numerous rights and benefits. Their artworks are featured in exhibitions, they are provided access to creative materials and legal assistance, and they can participate in other creative organizations' activities. The organization also extends every effort to help young artists advance their careers, often giving them the chance to showcase their creations in exhibition halls and showrooms throughout Belarus. Visit the Belarusian Union of Artists website to learn more and keep yourself updated on news about the Belarusian art world.
Though it traces its beginnings to the late 1930s, it wasn't until 1972 that the Florida Watercolor Society was formally established. There were 26 charter members then; today, the society counts nearly 1,000 members. It's the organizer of the hugely popular Annual Exhibition, Convention and Trade Show, which is held in the fall in a number of locations throughout the state. In addition to juried exhibitions, the event also features workshops, silent auctions, and many other activities.
Florida Watercolor Society members may participate in the Annual Exhibition, take advantage of discounted rates for convention workshops and hotel rooms, and also enjoy discounts with some third-party vendors. Full-time or part-time Florida residents are welcome to join the Society; however, nonresident associate membership is available to those who do not fulfill the residency requirement. To learn more, visit the Florida Watercolor Society.
Known locally as Eesti Kunstnike Liit (EKL), the Estonian Artists Association is one of Estonia's largest creative organizations, boasting roughly 1,000 members and more than a dozen affiliations. It's the owner and developer of Estonia's largest infrastructure, which benefits professional artists by providing excellent production and presentation environments. It also supports Estonia's arts community by mediating grants and scholarships, holding exhibitions in EKL-owned art galleries, and free or inexpensive access to numerous exhibitions and museums.
Membership cards, which are valid for five years, are issued under the International Association of Art's auspices. Annual membership fees are €13 per year for regular members and €3 per year for senior members or those who have reached retirement age. Membership fees are waived for those over 75 years of age. Visit the Estonian Artists Association website to learn more about becoming a member and to read about the latest arts and news events in Estonia.
With assistance from the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, the non-profit organization and website Canartscene.com was established in 1995 as a way to promote visual artists, their work, and their activities online. There are more than 2,000 names in Canartscene's listing of artists, who live across Canada. The types of artwork they specialize in cover a whole range, including abstract art, portraiture, photography, graphic design, digital art, mixed media, paintings, drawings, and a whole lot more.
Creating an account and setting up an online portfolio is free. Artists who upload images of their work to their portfolio are randomly selected to be one of the featured artists on the website's main page—a great way to increase exposure. Artists are also grouped according to their membership in other arts organizations such as the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, the Ontario Society of Artists, and the Society of Canadian Artists. Visit at Canartscene.com.