Professional Sculpting Organisations & Groups
When you first start out learning to sculpt you will need the support of other sculptors to help you learn
more about sculpting. In addition, sculpting groups and associations can often recommend books, classes, and other materials that can
help you learn more about how to sculpt professionally.
Some also hold meetings or conventions where you can meet with other sculptors and attend workshops and
discussions. So if you have a serious interest in sculpting it’s a good idea to join some sculpting organizations
or guilds in order to network with other sculptors and get access to special resources that can help you learn how
Some professional sculpting groups that have resources for beginning sculptors that you might find useful
The National Sculpture Society (NSS)
NSS is the oldest organization of professional sculptors in the United States. It was founded in 1893 and many
of the most famous sculptors in the US have been members.
This is a group that more for high end professional sculptors and not so much for crafters or hobbyists that
take up sculpting but if you want to join there are great resources available to members. Today, NSS continues to
encourage excellence in sculpture throughout the United States, to which end its programs are directed.
NSS runs many dedicated programs to encourage good sculpture and to
educate young artists in this medium. Scholarships, opportunities and competitions to exhibit works
in New York and elsewhere are a few of the ways NSS reaches out to the next generation of sculptors. NSS is a
not-for profit organization with a membership numbering over 4000, in US and abroad.
With headquarters in the Park Avenue Atrium Building in midtown Manhattan, NSS sponsors a
rotating series of sculpture exhibitions. In addition, NSS exhibitions travel to other locations across the
country. All exhibitions are open to the public free of charge.
The International Sculpture Center (ISC)
ISC is a member-supported, non-profit organization founded in 1960 to advance the creation and
understanding of sculpture and its unique, vital contribution to society. Members include sculptors, collectors,
architects, patrons, historians, developers, journalists, curators, critics, educators, foundries, museums and
galleries—anyone with an interest in and commitment to the field of sculpture.
Sculptors of all different types and disciplines are welcome in this group. They have a magazine that they
publish devoted to the art of sculpting their Web site contains lots of resources for members. Basic membership in
the ISC starts at $100, which is a discounted rate. Student discounts are also available.
The Sculptors Guild
This non-profit group is a very good choice for sculptors in all different disciplines and styles who are avant
garde and like to work outside of the box. High-end professional sculptors as well as hobbyists can belong to the
guild but artists whose work deviates from traditional sculpture seem to get the most out of belonging to this
group. This group is based out of New York City but is open to artists all over the world.
Depending on what variety of sculpting you intend to pursue you might want to join an organization that is
focused specifically on one type of sculpting. If you want to work with wood then you can join a group of wood
carvers. If your focus is wire wrapped jewelry or wire sculpture then there are groups for that too. Once you know
what type of sculpture you are most interested in it’s not that hard to find a professional sculpting group
dedicated to that particular type of sculpting.
Joining a professional group isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a self taught sculptor or if you can’t seem
to find the types of resources that you need to learn more about sculpting then joining a group of other sculptors
is a good way to find the information and the support that you need.