Who We Are
The International Society of Scratchboard Artists (ISSA) was launched in 2011. ISSA is dedicated to the promotion of scratchboard as fine art, providing support to artists, and education to the public about this amazing medium! The organization offers membership levels for all artists from supporters, to beginners, to professionals. It hosts an annual juried Exhibition, and demonstrations, and creates friendships that last a lifetime.
What is Scratchboard?
Scratchboard is a fine art form that employs a surface covered with white clay and then a layer of black India ink. Artists use abrasive tools to remove the black ink to create an image. Artists may choose to keep their boards black and white or proceed to color them with a variety of mediums. Any area that is white will accept color. White boards are also used, in this case, the artists adds ink or color and then uses various tools remove the ink/color. Please visit this page for more information and a demonstration of the process on black scratchboard.
For many years, an international group of artists has been pushing the boundaries of scratchboard, working toward honing their own skills and spreading the word about this unique medium. Even now, a large portion of the general public and art communities has little knowledge of this medium. Entering scratchboard into art shows is often a challenge, since many show organizers are not familiar with this medium.
As a group, our goal is to spread the word and show the world the level of quality that can be achieved with scratchboard in the hands of fine artists.
Initially the group was brought together through the WetCanvas art community. Soon after, the first Scratchboard Exhibition was held in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2009. A second Exhibition was held in Alamosa, Colorado in 2010. While these shows were very well received, they were not inclusive to all scratchboard artists worldwide.
With other mediums being represented by their own societies, it was determined that a society dedicated to scratchboard was necessary. Meetings took place to develop the Society, installing a board of directors and bylaws, and the International Society of Scratchboard Artists was formally launched in late 2011. In 2012, scratchboard artists worldwide were invited to submit their work to the first ISSA Exhibition, held in Sebastopol, California.
As a society, we are proud to bring scratchboard and scratchboard artists into the spotlight. With our Exhibitions, we are excited to showcase art from around the world and present workshops to inspire and help push the limits of our ever-growing organization.
The Founding ISSA Board Members are Lorna Hannett and Sue Rhodes from Canada, Patrick Hedges from Australia, Diana Lee, Ken MacFarlane, Cathy Sheeter, and Sandra Willard from the US.