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Art Society profile:

National Watercolor Society 87th Annual Watercolor Exhibition

This October I was given the priviledge of attending the opening on the 87th Annual Exhibition of the National Watercolor Society. Many luminaries attend the opening including the presidents of Jack Richeson & Company and Cheap Joe's Art Supplies. Prior to the aftertnon of the opening a luncheon is held nearby the Brea, California Civic Cultural Center where the galleries are set up.
To view a selection of the works from the exhibition: Click Here
The luncheon is an opportunity to provide awards, give out door prizes (over 20 individual packs of Camellia watercolor products were given away), reminisce about the society and, importantly, give out the annual NWS Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Exhibit is open through the end of December 2007

The event was entertained by a jazz band above, Tyrus Wong, the recipient of the 2007 NWS Lifetime Achievement Award, is pictured on the right at the back of the table. Mr. Wong gave a speech explaning how the opportunity, as a middle school student, to be in a class doing nude studies inspired him to dedicate his life to art, he is a delight and his acceptance speech was wonderful.

The room was decorated with many of Tyrus Wong's hand made kites. A short film about this remarkable man was shown and the most impressive thing, for me, was him, at an exhibition of his art, preferring to work in a booth teaching children to make kites rather than standing in a gallery receiving visitors.

Daniel Smith's new contact for art societies and associations - Connie Cagley, one of the many representatives of art supply companies present at the opening.

Originally named the California Water Color Society, the National Watercolor Society was founded in 1920. The Society was instrumental in the founding and developing of the innovative California Watercolor Style, a style with an emphasis on using the paper white in the composition and relying very little if at all on preliminary pencil sketches. The name of the society has been changed twice first in 1967, to California National Watercolor Society; then in 1975, to the National Watercolor Society.

The first exhibition was held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The first twenty-five annual exhibitions were held there. From 1946 through the early 1960's, they were often in Pasadena, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and the San Francisco. From the late 1960's through the 1970's, Laguna Beach Museum of Art was most often the host gallery, in addition to the Otis Art Institute and the Palm Springs Desert Museum. Throughout the 1980's to the present time, the annual shows have been held at, in alternate years, the Brea Civic Cultural Center and the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton. Regional invitational shows have been held in Colorado and Arizona.

Slides of its annual exhibitions are available through a rental program. Travel shows visit collegiate and public galleries and museums throughout the United States and Canada. Special written material are often prepared for these institutions, lectures and orientation programs are made available to docents of the host museums.

Artists interested in watercolor, or art in general, may become Associates and attend openings, shows, and Society events. They receive all the NWS publications and may submit work for the juried shows for the same fees as Signature Members. This membership provides an opportunity for involved patronage by those who wish to appreciate, encourage, and support the efforts of the society.

Today the NWS has over 8000 members all over the world, making it one of the largest, if not the largest, art organization in the world.

In 1999, the National Watercolor Society found and purchased a building at 915 South Pacific Avenue, San Pedro, California, 90731 - 3201. We hope to make this the Society's center for offices, gallery, workshops, and a place to house our growing permanent collection.

The National Watercolor Society
915 S. Pacific Avenue, San Pedro, CA 90731