Artists Equity was founded in 1949 as part of a national non-profit organization for professional fine artists. Governed by an all-volunteer board of working artists, our purpose is to work collectively with individual visual artists, as well as with other organizations, throughout the greater Philadelphia area to address the concerns of the profession. In 1997, the Philadelphia Chapter voted to become an independent organization to better serve the needs of its members and community.
Historically, Artists Equity championed improved economic and working conditions for artists, as well as the protection and expansion of artists' rights. Our accomplishments include the successful establishment of a 1% for art ordinance in Philadelphia (the first of its kind in the country), the organization of a Symposium for Health Hazards in the Visual Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the sponsorship of many celebrations of the visual arts throughout the Delaware Valley.
Artists who founded AE knew that the profession needed a trade association improve economic and working conditions for fine artists. Distinguished artists, past and present who have been members of AE include Benton Spruance, Sam Maitin, Ethel Lunenfeld, and many others.
Current Goals and Programs
Philadelphia/Tri-State Artists Equity continues to work for these important historic goals. Our current advocacy projects include efforts to establish fair guidelines for juried exhibitions and to require clear documentation for original prints and reproductions.
Artists Equity benefits individual artists and the community in many other ways. Past community outreach projects include free art workshops for children and studio tours open to the public. In addition, we sponsor at least two exhibition opportunities each year.
Other services include newsletters, and informative programs with topics that range from copyright law to good framing and conservation techniques to marketing. Networking opportunities and critiques are additional benefits to artists who often work in solitude.
Working together, we can accomplish far more than we can as individuals.