Hey, this is Lauren again (a Membership Associate at the ISC).
Woodmobius, are you sure you talked to someone at the International Sculpture Center? We don't currently have a membership level that costs $500. That said, we are in the middle of a membership redesign (you may have read about it in Sculpture
.) If there is confusion about membership categories and benefits, the redesign might be the reason... but I'm trying to make the information on sculpture.org as clear as possible: New Membership information can be found here
Starting in June, we plan to have an "Associate Level" membership for $500, but the benefits of that level are really geared towards galleries and other arts organizations.
The Basic Membership is currently $95, as Landseer said, or the Professional Level is $350. Those are the best choices for a working artist who wants to become a member.
Landseer, there are many collectors, galleries, and arts professionals subscribed to the magazine. And sculpture.org receives over 100,000 hits per day, so I think there are direct benefits to showing your work in these places. I'm actually gathering material for my own Portfolio page on the website.
As for the vendor discounts, we're currently creating a new database of suppliers who wish to give our members a discount. Any supplier can be listed on our website for free. If you have any ideas of a vendor you'd like to see on the site, send you suggestions to me and I'll try to contact them!