NIADA Artist

Become an Artist Member

By requiring the highest artistic standards, NIADA encourages gifted artists who create entirely original art dolls to strive for the finest realization of their talents. NIADA Artist Membership is awarded through a Three-Part Application Process. When NIADA was first founded, artists were advised to elect new artists whose work was “as good or better” than their own. This has continued to be the guiding intention of the Standards Committee, which initially views applications, and of the NIADA Artist body, which votes on the final applicants.

Whether produced as a one-of-a-kind piece or part of an edition, the ideal work reflects excellence; all work must be consistently well conceived, expertly executed without technical faults, and should show an individual identity of design.

Artists  pay annual dues of $50. Newly elected members also pay a one-time fee of $100 for a table at the Annual Show and Sale, which helps pay for the table skirts, pedestals and other things required for set-up.

Artist member responsibilities include: attending business meetings at conferences; performing critiques; volunteering on committees; serving as officers and board members; participating in online discussions and generally helping to keep the organization running throughout the year. All NIADA Artists should also promote dolls as art, as well as the organization and its good will and missions. Artist members are urged to attend at least one Conference every three years.

Benefits of NIADA Artist Membership include

  • member discounts on conference fees and merchandise sold by NIADA
  • use of the “NIADA Artist” designation in the promotion of their own work and related career activities, such as teaching and publishing
  • the opportunity to show and sell their work (with no commissions charged) at their own sales table at the NIADA Artists Show and Sale at the annual conference
  • participation without further jurying in other special NIADA exhibitions or NIADA-sponsored shows
  • the opportunity to teach one—three-day classes, for compensation, at the NIADA Dollmaking School held during the annual conference
  • representation on the NIADA website
  • promotion of their events, classes, workshops and merchandise on the NIADA website
  • Inclusion of images of their work in the NIADA Archives, which are sourced for various books, publications, programs, posters, ads and other NIADA promotions and events
  • promotion via NIADA on Facebook and the NIADA blog
  • the opportunity to meet and network with artists, collectors, writers and publishers in the doll field

How to Join

Conference Attendance /Critique /Initial Image Review

A prospective applicant must first contact the standards chair to register their intent to apply for Artist membership.

Standards Chair:

They will then need to attend the next annual NIADA Conference and participate in an Artist Membership Critique. Following a successful critique, the applicant will be invited to submit an application for membership by the deadline.

The application fee is $50.
The Artist membership Critique fee is $25.

The Deadline for the 2016 membership application has closed. Please email the standards chair to apply in 2017.

Email Standards Chair
Portfolio Review

Applicants who have passed PART 1 will be invited to submit a digital portfolio.

Deadline: January 15, 2017

Final Vote

Applicants receiving a passing score on PART 1 and PART 2 will be asked to attend the next NIADA Conference with their work to exhibit for the Artist Membership’s vote.

Deadline: Annual NIADA Conference 2017

Once the Applicant has been elected as a NIADA Artist he or she is entitled to full Artist status with all benefits.

Artist member critiques

A prospective applicant must first attend the 2017 Conference in Nashville, Tennessee and sign up for an Artist Membership Critique. If applicants cannot attend the Conference, they may apply for a waiver by contacting the Standards Chair. Applicants seeking NIADA Artist membership must participate in a critique of their work by NIADA Artists prior to applying for Artist membership. This is an opportunity to learn about the organization and Artist membership responsibilities, and to ascertain whether their work is at the appropriate level of excellence for application. Many artists find the critique helpful and enjoyable, as participating NIADA artists share their knowledge and expertise and provide a further understanding of NIADA standards and expectations. The Artist Membership Critique fee is $25.

For more information

For further information contact

Standards Committee Chair: Marlaine Verhelst
Burg.Suysstraat 61, 5037 MC, Tilburg, Netherlands

Standards Assistant: Neva Waldt
4531 Palmetto, Bellaire, TX 77401

Artist Membership Frequently asked Questions

Application standards – What we look for

Excellence of Execution
  • The work must be well made and impeccably finished.
  • A mastery of the medium should be apparent.
  • Sculpting should be flawless, with accurate proportions or, if exaggerated, should harmoniously fit the concept of the piece.
  • Hair should be of a material appropriate to the piece and flawlessly applied.
  • Costuming should be well conceived and expertly sewn, using fabric appropriate to the figure’s scale and/or its intended effect.
  • Every applicant should hold the highest personal standards for their work.
  • Every piece submitted must exhibit the highest quality of workmanship.
Identity of Design

Every applicant should have a style of working that is unique and recognizable. Having a true signature style elevates the work into the realm of high art, which is an essential element of NIADA’s standards.


Portfolio review by the standards committee

The NIADA Standards Committee consists of ten voting NIADA Artists, the Standards Committee Chair and the Standards Assistant. The Standards Committee members review all applications and award points to each applicant anonymously. Applicants who receive 38 or more points out of a possible 50 are invited to submit a portfolio the following January.

The portfolios are circulated among all Artist members, who again award points.

Applicants who receive ¾ of the vote for their portfolio are invited to exhibit three dolls at the following NIADA Conference for a final vote by all the NIADA Artists in attendance.

The details of the scoring and reasons for acceptance or rejection of applicants are solely the business of the Standards Committee and are kept confidential. This information may be revealed only at the discretion of the Standards Chair, if doing so is deemed helpful to applicants.