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Our History

The Northwest Watercolor Society was founded 1939 in Seattle, Washington when a group of eight artists came together to form an organization dedicated to the celebration of watercolor. With a goal to inspire both a lasting interest in the art of watercolor painting and an appreciation for watercolor as an artful, imaginative medium, the history of NWWS began.

The Society decided in 1992 to extend the offer of membership to all residents of the United States of America and Canada. This expansion afforded the opportunity for artists across the entire North American continent, not only membership, but also the occasion to exhibit their art in what has become our most eagerly anticipated yearly event, the NWWS Annual International Open Exhibition. Now in 2011, the Society has once more expanded its outreach – this time, worldwide! We have become truly international in all definitions of the word – by opening our membership and entry into our exhibitions to watermedia artists universally!

Recognized by The Artists Magazine as one of the ten most prominent watercolor societies in North America, NWWS continues to gain international attention and exposure.

Although, we have grown enormously throughout the years in both numbers and accomplishments we remain firmly rooted in our history, devoted to the philosophy of the Mission Statement of our Founders…To promote and elevate the art of watercolor as a medium, to encourage the growth and creativity of our artist members as we remain a prime artistic resource of the Northwest…