After months of online-only content, the Spokane Watercolor Society and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture are partnering to present this year’s SWS National Juried Show in person. The exhibition is open through April 25.
“Now that we’re kind of coming out of COVID, we’re just really proud that we’ve been able to work with the MAC and get a show that people can actually come in and see,” said event chair Oral Carper, explaining that organizers have been conscientious of planning the event with varying vaccination levels in mind.
“The community is kind of fragmented into three groups – those who are fully vaccinated, those who are on their way and then those who haven’t been vaccinated yet, so we’re making sure we meet the standards that protect everyone.”
This year, Seattle artist Catherine Gill will be serving as juror of selection and awards for the exhibition. Gill, a Pacific Northwest resident for more than 30 years, teaches painting and printmaking at her studio in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.
In addition to the Spokane Watercolor Society, Gill is a member of Northwest Watercolor Society, Women Painters of Washington, Plein Aire Painters of Washington, Seattle CoArts, Seattle Print Arts and Print Arts NW. Examples of Gill’s artwork and other publications are available at catherinegill.com.
Although COVID-19 has taken a toll on the overall number of submissions – this year, SWS received 68, where they might usually receive 100 – the quality of work hasn’t diminished in the slightest, Carper said.
From those 68, Gill has chosen 28 to hang in the exhibit, 17 of which were painted by local artists, including Carper and SWS President Amalia Fisch. The first-, second- and third-place prizes will be announced Saturday. First place will receive $500, second place, $300, and third place, $200. Additional gift certificates and merchandise awards may be presented based on merit.
The exhibition was not officially centered around a theme, but organizers noticed a large number of landscapes among the submissions.
Following the exhibition, artist Daniel Marshall will lead a virtual Zoom workshop. Based in Denver, Marshall is an avid plein air, or “on location,” painter. His work has been featured in Watercolor Artist Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine, American Art Collector and Plein Air Magazine. Public registration for the workshop opens April 16.
The Spokane Watercolor Society is looking forward to showing the exhibitions in person.
“I think everyone has struggled business-wise in coping with COVID trying to figure out and learn how to get through it,” Carper said, mentioning the difficulties inherent to moving the organization totally online for a year. “But we’ve managed to grow as an organization and at the same same time hold together during a trying time.”
For more information and to purchase featured artworks, visit spokanewatercolor.org.
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