For those looking to stay on top of trends in art careers and techniques, art associations are a good way to stay current and network with fellow artists. Art associations facilitate the exchange of ideas and information among those interested in art. They provide members with access to art publications, such as newsletters, magazines, and directories. They provide news about art conferences and exhibitions. They also offer continuing education opportunities such as workshops and seminars. For those looking for employment, art associations allow members to find job opportunities through a search engine. Some associations also provide artists with information about how to submit artwork for entry into art shows and about how to apply for grants and scholarships.
- One example of a popular art association is the College Art Association. Located in New York and founded in 1911, the College Art Association promotes the learning and teaching of the arts. It focuses on career advancement, honoring the accomplishments of artists and maintaining high ethical standards. It has 16,000 members, including 14,000 individuals (artists, educators, scholars, and art collectors) and 2,000 groups (art departments, libraries, and museums). It offers many services to members, including job opportunities, awards, grants, fellowships, workshops, and mentoring. It publishes scholarly journals and newsletters about art history and twentieth century and twenty-first century art culture, reviews of art books, projects, and exhibitions, and information about the association’s activities, conferences, and programs. It offers an annual conference that includes meetings, sessions, roundtables, panel discussions, and award ceremonies. This conference is a gathering of thousands of artists and art lovers, allowing artists to network and discuss current issues and trends in art.
- The National Art Education Association is another art association dedicated to belief in the connection between arts and human potential. Founded in 1947, this association was created especially for educators in the visual arts field. Members include art instructors at all grade levels, plus 45,000 art students who are planning to become art educators. The association strives to promote professional growth and leadership through mentoring, collaborating, networking, and participation in art conferences. It offers lesson plans, online publications, and a resource library. There are scholarship, grant, and award opportunities and information available. There are also job opportunities available and features for job seekers and employers. A unique feature is that teachers can post photos of their students’ artwork on the association’s web site for display.
- Americans for the Arts, initiated in 1960, is a non-profit organization in the United States that focuses on creating opportunities for all Americans to participate in the arts. It serves to build awareness and appreciation for the arts and to generate more resources for art education. It offers a calendar of national art events, plus webinars, scholarships, and a variety of networks, such as the Public Art Network, State Arts Action Network, and peer groups. Services include art and business partnerships, an art services directory, e-news, research, a policy database, and video and audio resources. There are also professional development opportunities for art leaders, such as technical resources, knowledge exchanges, research reports, and advocacy tools.
- Founded in 1974, the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) is a non-profit organization that strives to advance and preserve the arts. It serves the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. It offers many services, including grants, online communities, and employment opportunities. Publications available to members include research papers, economic impact studies, and assessments. It offers information about upcoming events, such as symposiums, and provides artists with access to blogs and newsletters. It also provides links that include information about how artists can submit entries for art shows