WVA offers a community and a support system to artists at any stage in their career. Because the organization is run by artists for artists, we are dedicated to the well-being and fair treatment of Wisconsin artists. This includes:

  • Exhibition opportunities with galleries and museums
  • Networking and resources
  • Promotion through publications and social media, including a catalog sent out to galleries, collectors, consultants, and agents
  • Monthly meetings and programming
  • Monthly e-newsletters outlining art events and opportunities
  • Studio visits and critiques
  • Mentorship
  • Connections to well-established arts organizations in the state
Helen Klebesadel
By Helen Klebesadel


WVA not only offers support and education to its artist members, but also acts as a resource for galleries, museums, and artist organizations throughout the midwest. When we advertise a member as a professional artist, we are collectively vouching for that artist – to the public – as a responsible, experienced creative. We are extending a recommendation to work with these artists on future projects and exhibitions.

Due to this, it is extremely important that we are thoughtful about granting professional status to our members. Beyond being a resource – WVA also aims to educate artists on criteria that professional organizations look for in an application/portfolio, as well as coach them to be the best that they can be. If a professional membership application is not accepted, a letter outlining areas of potential progress and improvement will be crafted by the WVA Professional Member Jury. 

A professional membership does not have an additional fee attached to it. It exists as inspiration for artistic and professional growth and improvement. 


Jurying will be done the 3rd week of Sept, Dec, March, June and you will be notified of the jury’s decision within 10 business days thereafter. For those awarded the Professional Membership designation, it will be reflected in WVA records and on the website within 10 business days from jurying.


WVA defines Professional Artists as those individuals who have shown achievement in their chosen media. Professional Members will submit images of their work, which will be assessed by a jury of Professional and/or Life Members for consistently high quality. The Professional Member must also have any combination of three of the following qualifications:

  • Has participated in at least 4 juried exhibitions
  • Has made Commissioned art sales and/or is represented by one or more commercial art gallery
  • Publication of work two or more times
  • 20% or more of gross income generated by sales of artwork and/or art instruction
  • Two or more Regional/National/WVA Awards received
  • Maintains a professional level website of artwork
  • Has a relevant degree and/or record of professional-level training

Please note that WVA membership is a prerequisite for Professional Membership. Not a member? Join here


By Mark Weller