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I am honored that my painting, "A Gentle Mist," was selected for inclusion in the 145th Annual International Exhibiton of the American Watercolor Society

American Watercolor Society Membership

Mon, Apr 2nd, 2012

The American Watercolor Society is a historic, 145 year-old organization, as well as the oldest society of its kind in the United States. It was founded by eleven artists in December of 1866. The purpose of the society is to promote the art of watercolor and to exhibit works of the best contemporary watercolor artists. AWS held its first annual exhibition on December 21, 1867, hosted by the National Academy of Art and Design, previously located at 23rd Street and Fourth Avenue.

Some of America's most well known and beloved artists were members. The list includes William Merrit Chase, Winslow Homer, Willard Metcalf, Thomas Moran, John LaFarge and Andrew Wyeth. A few lesser-known, but noteworthy members that I'm particularly fond of were John Whorf, Ogden Minton Pleissner, Tore Asplund, Frank Benson, Gordon Grant, Ted Kautzky and Emil Kosa.

This April, The American Watercolor Society will host its 145th Annual International Exhibition of Watercolors at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York City. I am honored that my painting, "A Gentle Mist," was selected for inclusion in this year's exhibition. And since it was the third time that my watercolors were juried into the annual exhibition, I have been bestowed full "signature membership" into the society.

Signature membership is a special distinction, which grants artists the privilege of including the letters "AWS" after their names. You may have noticed artists signing their paintings this way and wondered what it meant. Other art societies have similar distinctions, and many follow the American Watercolor Society's model. Several notable organizations with signature membership are the National Academy - NA, the National Watercolor Society - NWS, and the Pastel Society of America - PSA.

The process towards signature membership in the American Watercolor Society is difficult, taking, in some cases, several years to achieve. An artist's watercolors must be selected into three annual juried shows. That is not an easy task, in light of the fact that the annual show attracts hundreds of entries from all over the world. A panel of seven artists forms the jury of selection. Each year, the panel is different, which makes the process even more challenging. This year, the society received nearly 1,200 entries from which only 142 paintings were accepted.

The exhibition will open on April 3 and continue through April 22. The opening reception will be held on Tuesday, April 3 from 6 pm - 8 pm. The Salmagundi Club is located at 47 Fifth Avenue, New York City.