Tuesday, October 16, 2012

National Watercolor Society 92nd Annual Exhibition

fig 1  Dennis R. Kapp & Kim Caldwell
The National Watercolor Society's (NWS) 92nd Annual Exhibition is currently on display at its San Pedro, California gallery through December 2, 2012.  The opening reception was held on Saturday, September 29th, and was widely attended by artists, their families and collectors.  Dennis R. Kapp, the CEO of Martin/F.Weber Company as well as an art enthusiast and collector, was also in attendance.  He enjoyed the artwork so much that he ended up purchasing I Never Saw a Purple Cow, by watercolor artist, Kim Caldwell (fig. 1).  Kapp remarked that, "In our Weber fine art collection, we already own one purple cow painting.  Now we'll have a companion piece to hang with it.  If we ever purchase another purple cow painting, we'll be able to hold our own themed exhibition!"
fig 2  Martin/F. Weber Co. CEO, Dennis Kapp, 
Mission Gold Watercolors Brand Manager, Kelly Clawson
 and artist, Angela Chang

Kelly Clawson, our Mission Gold Watercolors Brand Manager (fig. 2), also attended the exhibition.  Clawson commented, "I got to make my first trip to California for National Watercolor Society’s exhibition opening.  It was wonderful to meet and get to know some of the artists.  My personal favorite painting—Kathleen Ballard’s Balboa Park Pond—even won the Watercolor West Reciprocal Award.  I’m so excited for next year’s NWS event, when Mission Gold Watercolors will sponsor its first purchase award."
fig 3  Kaleidoscopic Colors #3, by Denise Sperry
The exhibition was juried by Elaine Daily-Birnbaum, Fran Larson and Warren Taylor, along with first alternate, Michael Schlicting.  They had the difficult task of reviewing almost 1,000 entries, from which 93 were chosen.  Additionally, 15 new signature members were selected.  An eclectic array of styles and techniques such as realism, abstraction, expressionism and minimalism were featured in the exhibit.  The works showcased were as diverse as the talented artists who painted them.  Kaleidoscopic Colors #3 (fig. 3), by watercolor artist and instructor, Denise Sperry, was one of the many beautiful paintings on display in the show.

fig 4  Tsarina, by Nicholas E. Simmons

Awards juror, Barbara Nechis, choose the awards as wells as the traveling show.  Nechis, an accomplished artist, holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Fine Arts from the University of Rochester and a Master of Science from Alfred University. She was an instructor at Parsons School of Design for many years, has authored watercolor books and served on American Watercolor Society's Board of Directors.

fig 5  Reservation Wall, by Dean Mitchell
With regard to the award selection process, Barbara Nechis commented that, "The paintings were consistently competent, some showing brilliant technical facility.  This made choosing the awards challenging.  I tried to select an eclectic representation consistent with the breadth of the work presented to me, not favoring any particular school, style or technique" (NWS publication, 2012).

fig 6  Poster Portrait, by Miles G. Batt
Nechis did an impressive job choosing award recipients.  Artist, E. Richard Clark, was awarded the National Watercolor Society Purchase Award with Silver Star for his striking painting, Antigua, "Street Limbo."  The painting, Tsarina, by Nicholas E. Simmons (fig. 4) was awarded the prestigious National Watercolor Society Master's Award.

Other paintings honored with awards at the NWS exhibition included:  Reservation Wall, by Dean Mitchell (fig. 5), Poster Portrait, by Miles G. Batt, Sr. (fig. 6), Balboa Park Pond, by Kathleen Ballard (fig. 7) and Invention Reflection, by Kathleen Conover (fig. 8). Congratulations to all those who were juried into the exhibition, won an award, achieved signature status or were included in the travel show!
fig 8  Invention Reflection, by Kathleen Conover
As NWS is both an exhibiting and educating society, its travel show will be on display at college and public galleries and museums throughout the United States and Canada.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the history of NWS, it originated in 1920 as the California Water Color Society.  Society members voted to change the name to National Watercolor Society in 1975.  To learn more about the National Watercolor Society, visit http://nationalwatercolorsociety.wildapricot.org/.
fig 7  Balboa Park Pond, by Kathleen Ballard

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