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Associations, groups, fee based groups

Hi All…I am wondering which artist groups you all pay for? Like National Association of Women’s Artists? Oil Painters of America. Association of Women’s Artists? They all want yearly dues…so I am trying to decide which one will give me the most benefit. I can’t subscribe to all of them? Anyone have thoughts on this?

Good question!
I’ve been wondering the same thing myself.
Many of the better known artists seem to be members of Oil painters of America, but they all actually earning a living from what they do. I’ve always wondered what the benefit is?

You join an association for your career. You are not joining as a subscription, like a magazine. When you join you can then participate in shows the organization holds throughout the year. You attend the shows meet the other artists, collectors and people in the art biz. The dues help support and run the organization.

I am not questioning the value of joining a group. I am questioning if any other artists have opinions of which have been better for them. I would join them all if I could afford it😁

Yes Tess, I understand your question. I was replying to Jacqueline’s last sentence, "I’ve always wondered what the benefit is?"
For your question. There are thousands of them from tiny local groups to city and regional ones up to national and international organizations.
Look into as many as you can, look at their yearly membership dues, the cost of entering the shows, what kind of work they show and decide if you are a good fit.
I would suggest joining one smaller regional or local org (to you) and one national org to start.
Larger orgs are harder to get into the shows due to more submissions, the competition is stiffer.
Regional/local easier to make it into the shows but not as many people (buyers) see them.
It’s really a matter of trial and error.

If you are looking to join more for the socializing, paint-outs, events etc then search on that basis.

Thanks David. I do have memberships with local galleries and groups, and these are great. I also belong to a National Women’s Art Group. I recently received a catalog from them…and when flipping thru it, I decided that I wasn’t really sure my traditional oil painting was a Fit with them. I think I will switch to a group more centered around the art I appreciate and connect with.

One note regarding the larger orgs. If you have some you are interested in but are unsure, subscribe to their newsletters or follow them on FB or their websites. These often run shows, most are members only, but some are open to all. Visit them if local, go to the shows & view what they have represented. It’s a great way to find out more about them before you spend money to join or submit. I submitted to an open-call with one in my area - my piece was accepted into the show! Great for networking, great on the resume too (if sales are your goal).

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Any thoughts about OPA? Thanks.

I am a member in OPA which costs about $75 a year, I joined last year and entered a piece into Eastern Regional Exhibit. It was accepted and the painting was in a prestigious gallery on St.Simons Island in GA for a month. Didn’t sell, but at least I got a line for my resume. Since I am self-taught and only paint for 4 years, I need something to tell potential buyers, so that helps. Otherwise besides building up your Bio there is not much use. Going to conferences for networking is expensive for my pocket, I am not doing that.

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Oh boy, I should check back more often Connie.
OPA is one of the major organizations in the US dedicated to representational art. There is a lot you can take advantage of by being a member with shows, paint-outs, workshops etc. and even critiques by top national and regional artists.
It is limited to ONLY oil painting however.
CAC, California Art Club is another although I believe it is limited to California residents only with the exception of nationally known artists well established in their careers already. They too offer shows, paint-outs, workshops and critiques etc.
CAC is not restricted to any specific medium as many organizations are. They accept painting, sculptures and drawing mediums.
I am considering one or both myself to expand my career. I already am a National Watercolor Society member which is a major national organization. The last couple years I have been doing a major local art fair, various open call gallery and invitational/curated shows but it is time to push outward again.
It’s always about cost weighed against time you’ll have to spend. There is no point in joining, paying membership but not entering the shows or taking advantage of what is offered. Three big ones like these would probably max out my time in a year in addition to the local regional stuff I do.