Organized in 1980 by ten equine artists, the goal of the AAEA is to maintain standards of excellence within the subject matter and “to promote the academic representation of the equine form in drawing, painting and sculpture.”
Patterned somewhat after the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the organization has the purpose of educating the public and creating a broad awareness and appreciation of contemporary equine art as fine art.
Full membership is awarded to artists who meet certain standards in their artwork and also teach others through workshops, classrooms, seminars, etc. In addition, the must show skill not only in equine anatomy but with other subjects that may combine with equine depiction such as the human figure, landscape and backgrounds.
Membership is open to persons of all nationalities. An annual exhibition is held with submissions by guest artists as well as members. At the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, a workshop is held each year each year for drawing, sculpting and painting equine subjects.
The Horse Park is also the site of an Academy Artist in Residence program. Members include Anthony Alonzo, Don Prechtel, Veryl Goodnight, Cammie Lundeen and Carol Peek.