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Artistic Excellence

Watercolor Art Society - Houston is sustaining the vitality of water media art to the public with the Annual Members Exhibit.

Article by Memorial Lifestyle Staff

Photography by Photography provided by Watercolor Art Society - Houston

Originally published in Memorial Lifestyle

Most of us remember the flat tin box containing little squares of watercolor paint that was always part of our standard school supplies.  Perhaps because of this, many today think watercolor painting is mostly a pastime for children.  But painters like Hopper, Homer, Wyeth, Cezanne, and Van Gogh didn’t think so.  For hundreds of years some of the greatest names in painting employed watercolor as a serious medium for artistic expression.  In 2014 Houston’s MFA presented an exhibition consisting exclusively of watercolors by John Singer Sargent.  These exhibits demonstrate the vitality of watercolor expression and acceptance of watercolor as a major medium for making art. 

Fifty-seven years ago the Watercolor Art Society - Houston (WAS-H) came into existence when a small group of watercolor enthusiasts began meeting to share ideas, promote the value of watercolor painting, and most of all . . . encourage one another to make art.  Desiring to take this passion to the public, WAS-H created the Annual Members Exhibit which showcases the work of members selected by juries of some of the most respected painters in the country.  Every October since 1970, WAS-H has assembled this exhibition and made it available free of charge to the public.  While presenting an exceptional collection of paintings, the exhibit also provides a forum for local talent to learn from other artists and be encouraged to continue their artistic pursuits.

The Annual Members Exhibits have also served to expand WAS-H membership, which now includes artists from around the state and the nation. For many years WAS-H met in borrowed space, always searching for large public venues to present exhibitions.  But fourteen years ago, WAS-H constructed its own building and today it is one of only three such organizations in the country to possess its own home.  

Located in Houston’s Museum District, the facility is complete with galleries, classrooms, and a library.  While WASH is a not-for-profit organization, the art made by its members and exhibited in the gallery is for sale.  Along with the Annual Members Exhibit, WAS-H has smaller thematic monthly exhibits.  It also offers a yearly schedule of demonstrations, classes, and workshops for people at all ages and stages.  The gallery is open from Tuesday through Saturday and free to anyone - and membership is available to anyone interested in the art of watercolor painting whether you are a serious painter or simply someone who enjoys watercolor painting as art.