About Us 2017-12-05T15:57:32+00:00


Edith Mitchill Preilwitz

Edith Mitchill Preilwitz (1864-1944).
One of the five founding members of NAWA.

The National Association of Women Artists (NAWA), the oldest women’s fine art organization in the country, is a vibrant community of professional women artists that strives to support its members and women artists at large through exhibitions, programs and education.

Open to all women artists 18 years of age and older and U.S. citizens or permanent residents NAWA has three membership categories for artists – Regular juried Membership, Associate Membership and Student Membership. Through a juried process (twice each year – in March and September), applicants are juried into Regular Membership.  This category is comprised of professional visual artists from across the country.  NAWA also invites emerging artists (non-juried) or Associate Members into the organization until they decide to try for the jury process.  The third category is open to Students (BFA/MFA) who are presently enrolled in an accredited art school, college and/or university.  NAWA also has a non-artist category for Friends and Supporters of N.A.W.A. This membership category enables non-artists to join this historical organization and be notified of all NAWA events, programs, events and exhibitions and yearly luncheon.

The history of NAWA is a testament to the strength and resilience of a group of strong women who would not accept being shut out of the art salons, galleries and art exhibitions open to male artists during the 19th century. In 1889 their founding of the organization that subsequently became the National Association of Women Artists, Inc. proves that, despite adversity and discrimination – which many feel extends to this day — women are an integral and valuable part of the arts community.

Rhoda Holmes Nicholls

RHODA HOLMES NICHOLLS, A Visitor, ca. 1895, watercolor on paper, 15.5 x 22.5 in. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Roland Penault

NAWA members represent all areas of the visual arts including painting, sculpture, photography, print-making, encaustic, video art, installations and mixed media. The benefits of membership are many, including a substantial Awards program, the opportunity to display artwork throughout the U.S. in our Exhibitions program, and inclusion in NAWA’s Annual Catalog. The NAWA Permanent Collection, established in 1991 under the direction of Liana Moonie, is housed at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University. The collection contains the work of NAWA artists dating from the organization’s earliest days to the present and some of the collection is always on view at the museum.

Applications for Regular Membership and Student Membership NAWA membership are accepted twice a year, spring and fall, and interested women artists are welcome to explore How to Join.  Associate Members may join without being juried in October of each year.

NAWA members also have the opportunity to join the Florida Chapter and participate in exhibitions and activities in Florida during November through March.

NAWA keeps in touch with its members and the wider community through its Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn presence. Please join us in supporting women artists, either through a donation, attendance at an upcoming exhibition or by simply staying in touch.