The most notable juried exhibition sponsored by the NWWS is the Annual International Open Exhibition. Painters in water media, including watercolor, acrylic, gouache, and egg tempera are eligible to enter. The exhibition has grown tremendously in size and reputation since its inception in 1940, with annual awards totaling over $10,000. It attracts talented painters from across the US and internationally. The full color catalog produced to accompany the exhibit showcases an entire range of water-based media being created by the contemporary artists who are juried into the exhibition.
CALLING WATERMEDIA ARTISTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD to enter this most prestigious exhibition.
Beginning in 2022, our entry process is part of the CaFÉ Call For Entry online system. This change has many advantages for both artists and art organizations.
It is easy to use CaFÉ. After you’ve read the Prospectus (button below):
STEP 1: Register and set yourself up to enter NWWS exhibitions on the CaFÉ site. Register once and you do not need to register in the future. CLICK: CaFE CALL FOR ARTIST WEBSITE.
STEP 2: After setting up your account, search on the CaFE site for “Northwest Watercolor Society” and our "Call for Entry” will come up.
Step 3: Follow the steps to enter your painting(s)
After reading the prospectus, find the CaFÉ call here: CLICK: NWWS CaFE OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTS
CaFÉ also offers a guide, “Getting Started on Cafe” that will be helpful. CLICK: GETTING STARTED GUIDE.
Upcoming jurors and workshop instruction:
Oct. 2022 - Andy Evansen -4-day workshop
Oct. 2023 - Stan Kurth - 4-day workshop
The Prospectus for the 2022 Show is now available.

A. The Co-Chairs of the Annual International Open Exhibition, along with the NWWS president, choose one painting to receive the “Purchase Award” from paintings that are part of the exhibition. This award does not apply to any other NWWS exhibitions. Accepted artists may choose to have their work be available for this $1,000 award but are not required to do so. Most artists elect to make their work available for this prestigious award and are honored to become part of the NWWS Permanent Collection.

A. There are many skills used and decisions made when one creates a painting, with the selection of subject matter being one of the first. An original painting includes originality of inspiration and is not borrowed from someone else’s photograph. Read a larger article about this topic here: Understanding Originality for Exhibitions

A. NWWS seeks out the best, most respected jurors to curate exhibitions. While each juror has personal criteria, each knows that the most successful exhibitions are a balance of subject matter and style while showcasing the most worthy paintings. This article, written by NWWS member , Sarah Love, provides insight into the jury process: How to Get Into a Juried Art Show – Tips from Six Well-Known Jurors.

Look at the “important dates” in the prospectus and find the date that the accepted entries will be posted on the website. If your name is on the accepted entries list on the website on that date, you will also be sent an acceptance package through email with additional information.

Paintings sold during an NWWS online-only exhibition are sold at the unframed price. When a painting is sold as an unframed piece, the buyer may request that the artist provide the piece framed and ready to hang. Framing costs are additional, and the artist coordinates and receives payment for framing directly from the buyer. These guidelines will assist both artist and buyer in making the esthetic decisions that will provide a professional appearance that enhances the painting and meets the buyer’s budget.

  1. MATERIALS - Choose framing, mounting, and matting materials that are archival to protect the buyer's investment.
  2. FRAMING A PAINTING WITHOUT GLASS – Paintings framed without glass should always have a protective sealant and/or varnish and be mounted on a rigid substrate to help prevent puncture damage. Ensure that all the edges are tight to the substrate.
  3. FRAMING WITH GLASS - NWWS recommends shipped paintings be framed using plexiglass. A painting being hand-delivered might have either glass or plexiglass, depending on the client's preference.
  4. MATTING - A 2” minimum mat is recommended, with a wider mat likely being a better choice. White or nearly white is best. Some “white” mat colors will enhance the painting more than others. You may choose to add a double mat, with the inner mat being no more than 1/4” and of any color that complements the painting. Avoid wide, colored mats.
  5. FRAMING PROFILE – A simple profile is suggested; however, your client may prefer something specific. Some frame designs and color will complement the painting better than others.
  6. INSPECT - Before shipping the framed painting, inspect it to ensure there is no damage or any surface mars.