Show Preview | National Watercolor Society

San Pedro, CA
National Watercolor Society Gallery, through December 18

Matthew Bird, Heritage Still Life, watercolor, 22 x 28.

Matthew Bird, Heritage Still Life, watercolor, 22 x 28.

This story was featured in the December 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  December 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

With an eye toward sharing the splendors of watercolor with the world, the National Watercolor Society Gallery in San Pedro, CA, has opened its doors once again for its 96th annual International Exhibition. This juried fine-art show and sale, which runs through December 18, presents an assortment of watercolors and other watermedia works by nearly 100 artistic talents from the United States, Canada, India, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Scotland, Romania, and Germany. As in years past, the competition was open to NWS members and nonmembers.

“This is a fairly large show,” says Valli McDougle, NWS First Vice President. While previous exhibits have featured works by about 80 artists, she notes, this year the selection jury accepted 95 artworks from among nearly 900 entries. The result is a wide-ranging mix of subject matter and styles that parallels the geographic diversity of the society’s global reach. “The exhibit is quite varied,” says McDougle, “from abstract, nonobjective paintings, to portraits and whimsical works, to very traditional still lifes and everything in between.”

Among the 30 prizes distributed, juror of awards Derrick Cartwright bestowed the highest honor—the NWS Purchase Award—on Tres Ritos, NM, artist Lynn McLain for his watercolor ROAD CHATTER 52, which will become part of the NWS Gallery’s permanent collection. Other top award winners were Dean Mitchell, who garnered the distinguished NWS Masters Award for his watercolor CARRIE MAE, and Georgia Mason, who snagged the Vanguard Award for her mixed-media painting EDGE OF LIGHT. As its name suggests, the Vanguard Award was established to recognize an artist “on the cutting edge” whose work hasn’t been juried into the exhibition before, says McDougle. His or her piece must be both nonobjective and innovative in the spirit of such pioneering artists as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning.

Other prize-winning works in the exhibit include Elaine Daily-Birnbaum’s nonobjective, mixed-media painting ADRIFT IN A SEA OF MADNESS; Marni Maree’s bright, whimsical watercolor of a camel, titled WEDNESDAY; and Mark Smith’s expressive architectural watercolor RIGHTHAND DRAWING.

If you plan to stop by for a gander, prepare to be enchanted. Visitors to the exhibition are often awed, says McDougle, by the depth, variety, and power of watercolors. —Kim Agricola

contact information
310.831.1099
www.nationalwatercolorsociety.org

This story was featured in the December 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  December 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS
Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook

COMMENT