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Celebrating 50 Years of Supporting the Sculpture Community

Fifty years ago, a young sculptor named Elden Tefft gathered a small group of artists at the University of Kansas, where they exchanged ideas, questions, and resources on sculpture. It was a small step behind a big idea; provide a community for sculptors and sculpture. From that first meeting in 1960 grew the International Sculpture Center. Tefft, now 90 years old, is still an ardent sculptor, and an inspiration as we at the ISC strive to bring that passion to all that we do.


Looking back over the changes to the field in the last 50 years, one thing remains constant – an insatiable desire to maintain and grow the community, from the community itself and from the Board and Staff who work on the logistics of sustaining this community, that has grown to over 8,000 members over the last half century.

Each and every step over the past 50 years has been funded by generous donations from foundations and supporters like you; every new resource indispensible to the emerging sculptor, each networking service that builds the community, every time excellence in the field is honored, and each of the dynamic educational programs that advance the mission, values and vision of the ISC.

Last year, we are proud to have achieved:
  • Our first conference abroad, “What is Sculpture in the 21st Century,” in London
  • The highest participation in the Outstanding Student Awards, and warm reception in New Jersey, Utah, and Texas for the first year of traveling the exhibit
  • A third official ISC Affiliate – to serve as a local voice for the ISC
  • Website improvements – to enhance the way you access our information
  • New and renewed state and national government support
  • Creation of new staff positions to help develop and grow the ISC
  • A 5 year strategic plan – to examine, improve, and expand programs for you, our constituents
Yes, we are still struggling - like so many others during these economic times. But this only fuels the fire to work harder and smarter, use creative approaches and new strategies to provide all the services that you expect from the ISC. At this time we hope that you will join the Board and Staff, who have all contributed to the annual appeal, and give a gift to support this longstanding sculpture community!

Never underestimate the impact that your gift can make, small steps can lead to big things. Every contribution, whatever the size, helps to build a stronger future for the sculpture community.

On this milestone birthday, please share the passion, support the community, and give what you can.

—Johannah Hutchison
Executive Director