Our logo is the nautilus shell, a symbol of growth, persistence, beauty and grace 

 Artists working in an experimental manner need a society where they can share ideas and techniques – both old and new and encourage the development of new talents and skills.  There is a need to connect, encourage, inform and promote artists who create art by experimentation and exploration.  We need new ways to make statements through our art and provide a forum to exhibit our work. 

Maxine Masterfield


ISEA was founded in 1991 by Maxine Masterfield and Gracie Hegeman. They felt constrained by the rules that were in place for art exhibits of other leading national and international artists’ groups.  Maxine and Gracie wanted to create an organization that celebrated experimentation and exploration and provided a way to share ideas and information. 


Since 1991, ISEA has had over 500 members in the USA and around the world. 


Members with 3 Exhibition acceptances may use ISEA after their name to signify Signature status; with 6 acceptances a member may use ISEA-NF to designate Nautilus Fellowship.

ISEA enthusiastically embraces creative thinking, imagination and experimentation.

We encourage and support our members’ artistic journeys through educational opportunities, scholarships, exhibitions, social media exposure, awards, and recognition. 


Our annual juried ISEA exhibits have been held in top museums and cultural centers across the USA with an exchange exhibit hosted in Chicago in 2002; and then in Wales, UK in 2003, 2004 and 2013.

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Our Annual Symposium each year includes multi-day workshops, art demonstrations and a chance to network with artists working in open, creative and experimental ways.        


Since 2004 ISEA has held our annual exhibition and symposium in Indiana, Michigan, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington State, Florida, and California, and in 2020, St. Albert, Alberta Canada.  Here are is a listing of upcoming and  recent locations:

2021 Mackinac Island, Michigan

2020 St. Albert, Alberta, Canada

2019 Lowell, Michigan

2018 Newport, Oregon

2017 Sanibel Island, Florida

2016 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

2015 Traverse City, Michigan

2014 San Pedro, California

2013 Sanibel Island, Florida


The ISEA board strives to give our members new and exciting artistic avenues to display their work.

Starting in 2015 ISEA began offering the membership an annual online exhibition.  Viewing these exhibitions on our website is open to the public.

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As an educationally-based non-profit organization, ISEA offers scholarships available to our membership to be used for taking classes or workshops including the supplies needed.


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