Building a Community of Artists

Membership at the League

About membership
membership benefits
how to apply
What to know
Board minutes

Becoming a Member

Membership at the Art Students League is an essential part of building your career and connecting to a community of likeminded artists. The Members of the Art Students League fulfill our founders’ mission by meeting the objectives laid out in the Art Students League constitution: the maintenance of an academic school of art, and the cultivation of a spirit of fraternity among art students.

It is this spirit of fraternity among League Members that has enabled the League and its artists to thrive for nearly 150 years. League Members have had an incomparable influence on the trajectory of American and global art. It was through being a part of this community that artists like Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg, or Louise Bourgeois and Louise Nevelson, met and influenced each other. To this day, becoming a League Member is a considered milestone achievement that reflects an artist’s commitment and potential, as well as their acceptance into a network of artists who learn, grow, and succeed together.

Member Benefits

Membership will give you access to fellow artists, special opportunities, and exclusive benefits that can help you develop as a student and an artist, including

Invitations to attend special events and member previews

Discounted tickets to the 
Dream Ball

Free admission to weekday Open Sketch sessions and reduced admission to weekend Open Sketch

Invitations to weekend members-only painting sessions

Eligibility to apply for grants exclusive to League members

Eligibility to list exhibitions and news in the Members Newsletter

Voting rights at League Member Business Meetings—including the election of the Board

Eligibility to serve on the League’s Board of Control

How to apply

The membership of The League is made up of longtime students and instructors at the League. Any student who has completed at least 210 hours of studio classes is eligible for membership. (Workshops do not count towards this requirement.)

Members pay annual dues to maintain their status as active members. After 10 years as a member in good standing, members become life members, and dues are no longer required.

To become a member, a student must be proposed by a current member, seconded by two additional members, and voted in during the Members Business Meeting according to the procedure outlined below.


Required hours of enrollment

A student who wishes to apply for membership must have attended the League a minimum of 210 studio class hours. Workshops do not count towards this requirement. 210 studio class hours is approximately:

  • Three months full-time classes
  • Six months part-time (2 days/wk) classes
  • One year part-time (1 day/wk) classes


Application procedure

  • Students apply for membership by first entering their information into the CANDIDATE FOR MEMBERSHIP book in the main office. Next, a current member must propose the student for membership by signing and dating the entry in the Candidate for Membership book. Finally, two additional members’ signatures (for a total of three) are needed to complete the candidate’s entry.
  • The Art Students League is not responsible for errors due to illegible entries or changes of address during the candidacy period. When applying for membership, it is therefore extremely important to provide clear and accurate name and address information, and to inform the office of any subsequent change of name and/or address.



  • The student’s entry, with all three signatures, must be completed in the CANDIDATE FOR MEMBERSHIP book in the main office no later than 30 days prior to the date of a forthcoming League Members Business meeting, which takes place three times during the regular session – January, April, October & December.
  • At 30 days prior to a meeting:
  • Candidates are checked for eligibility
  • All names are compiled into a Candidate List
  • The list of eligible candidates is posted in the main lobby of The League’s building
  • At the Members Business Meeting the list of candidates for membership is put to a vote. Following the meeting approved candidates are notified. Within 30 days from the date of notification, new members must come to The League’s registration office to sign the Constitution Book and pay membership dues. Failure to complete this process within the 30 days results in an expiration of candidacy. In this event the application process must be repeated from the beginning.

What to know

Membership Status: Renewals, Reinstatements, Voting Status


The membership year runs from September 1 through August 31. Annual membership dues are due August 31 of each year, regardless of the date of your initial payment.

In fall of 2023, a Board-approved membership rate increase will go into effect, and annual renewal fees will be raised to $100.

All current members can renew for the 2023/2024 membership year at the current rate of $40, as long as they renew by this year’s deadline of August 31, 2023. Life Members are not effected and will continue to not pay annual fees.

Please note, the payment of the annual dues is the responsibility of the Member. Notification that renewals are due will be done via email. Please note that Membership dues are not the same as the annual Student Registration fee.

Life Membership

After 10 years of active membership (and upon the 11th payment of dues) a member will be considered a Life Member of the Art Students League, entitling the member to all the privileges of membership without annual dues.

Membership Standing

Good Standing: Members who keep current with annual dues are considered to be in Good Standing.

Lapsed: Members who do not renew by August 31 become Lapsed Members.

Dropped: Failure to renew within 12 months of becoming a Lapsed Member results in a member being Dropped.

  • A Dropped Member is ineligible for membership benefits and must apply to the Board of Control for reinstatement.
  • A Reinstatement Request Letter (generated by the Registrars) and signed by the member, must be submitted to the Membership Department by the Thursday prior to the monthly Board of Control Meeting. The reinstatement fee is $80.
  • The Board of Control meets on the second Wednesday of each month, except in July and August.

Member Voting Status

A fundamental right of members is to decide who sits on the Board of Control through the annual election. Members also participate in key decisions by voting on important issues during regular members business meetings.

Active voting status is a Member designation for those who vote or attend Member Business Meetings on a regular basis by either returning (completed) the yearly Ballot, OR by attending  one of the four (4) yearly Member Business Meetings— January, April, October, and December. Not doing one of the above will result in your status becoming inactive. To restore your active voting status you will need to request a status change from the Board of Control. However, this request must be submitted no later than 30 days prior to a vote.

Voting status is distinct from, and does not affect, Membership standing.

Serving on the Board of Control

The Art Students League of New York is governed by the Board of Control, which is annually elected by the membership. If you are a member in good standing of the League and are interested in serving on the League’s Board of Control, please fill out this form.

When your form is received, a member of the Board of Control Search Committee will contact you to arrange for an opportunity for you to discuss your interests with a current Board member.

We thank you for your interest in serving The League through Board membership.

Meeting Minutes