The National Institute of American Doll Artists was founded in 1963 with a mission to promote handmade dolls as a fine art form. 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 to selected artists through a 3-Part Application Process whereby they are screened by the NIADA Standards Committee, then elected by the NIADA Artist Members.
The Standards Committee's decisions are based on the following statement:
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.
All those interested in applying for Artist Membership
should give serious thought to these ideals:
Excellence of Execution
The work must be well made and impeccably finished. A mastery of the medium used should be apparent. Sculpting should be flawless and proportions accurate or harmoniously fitting the concept of the piece if exaggerated. 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 or its intended effect.
A NIADA Artist must be trusted to exhibit the highest quality of workmanship in every piece. Each NIADA Artist should reflect and represent the organization with the highest personal standards for their work.
Identity of Design
Every NIADA Artist should have a style of working that is utterly unique and recognizable. This is an essential element of NIADA's standards; each NIADA Artist's having a true signature style elevates the work into the realm of high art.
Standards Committee Operations
The NIADA Standards Committee consists of eight voting NIADA Artist Members, the Standards Committee Chair, and the Global Standards Assistant. At each annual NIADA conference, the committee members review all images submitted for applications for NIADA Artist Membership and award points to each applicant anonymously. Applicants receiving 30 or more points out of a possible 40 are then invited to submit a portfolio the following January. The portfolios are circulated among committee members who again award points. Applicants receiving 30 or more points for their portfolio are invited to exhibit three dolls at the following NIADA Conference for a final vote by the Artist Membership in attendance. Details of scoring and reasons for acceptance or rejection of applicants is solely the business of the Standards Committee and is revealed only at the discretion of the Standards Chair if deemed helpful to applicants.
NIADA Critiques (click here for detailed info about the Critique)
Each year at the annual conference an informal seminar is held where any interested Visiting Artist may bring one or two pieces of their work to be critiqued by NIADA artists. The critique format varies. Some years they are one-on-one conversations, and other years critiques are done by teams of two NIADA artists. Many artists find this program helpful and enjoyable, as participating NIADA artists are willing to share their knowledge and expertise. Critiques are a good way for prospective applicants to further their understanding of NIADA standards and expectations.