Wisconsin Visual Artists (WVA) is a not-for-profit membership-based organization that represents Wisconsin artists while promoting and encouraging the visual arts. The organization was originally founded in 1900, making it the oldest art organization in the state. Membership includes three chapters – Southeast in the Milwaukee area, South Central in the Madison area and Northeast in the Appleton/Green Bay area.
Statewide, the organization boasts 489 members representing all forms of the visual arts, from contemporary and experimental to traditional. “This diversity is WVA’s strongest feature,” says Executive Director Terry Stanley.
The role WVA plays in fostering Wisconsin’s creative economy is vital. Stanley says art has been undervalued in the state which has made it difficult for art venues to become and remain viable businesses.
“Wisconsin is not as engaged with art as other states, especially in the Northeast chapter which is so sports driven,” Stanley says.
To foster more art appreciation in Wisconsin, WVA offers public art education for all ages in the form of demonstrations, presentations and discussions.
“These discussions are so valuable as it gives us a chance to start kids early in terms of thinking about form, composition, color and movement,” Stanley says.
In addition to outreach, WVA provides opportunities for their members to gain skills and experience the professional art world. Member artists have the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work, receive education on best business practices and participate in networking opportunities.
WVA has helped create more art recognition in the Fox Cities and throughout Wisconsin through education, community work and exhibitions. WVA helps inspire artists and fosters a deeper public appreciation for the arts community.
For more information on WVA and upcoming events including the WVA and Museum of Wisconsin Art 2020 Biennial, visit wisconsinvisualartists.org.