Annual International Open
Waterworks Members Exhibition
Overlake Hospital Display
WC Societies, Exhibitions, & Competitions
Calendar + Events
Members Who Teach
Daniel Smith Events
Open Art Studios
Samish Paint Out
Featured NWWS Artists
NWWS Gift Shop
Resources & Reading
NWWS Gold Medal Fellowship
Daniel Smith Artists' Materials
NWWF Scholarship and Barbara Pitts Award
Art for Kids
International Open - Most Recent
Waterworks Exhibition - Most Recent
Signature Exhibition - Most Recent
Leadership + Committees
When I went to my first Northwest Watercolor Society meeting back in 2009, I had no idea how much of an impact the society would ultimately have on my life. I had heard about NWWS for years from one of my watercolor instructors, but those years passed by before I went to my first meeting. Afterward, I kicked myself all the way home for waiting so long!
My first volunteer role for the society was to chair the 2012 Waterworks Exhibition. It was a big undertaking, but I managed and ended up having a lot of fun in the process. After that, I was hooked… I became a true NWWS evangelist! Shortly after, I was asked to become vice president. I accepted, then assumed the president’s role in 2013.
Over the years, I have been involved in some capacity with almost every aspect of NWWS, from overseeing the first major overhaul of our website in 2013, to working hard on our 75th Anniversary Celebration in 2015, to being involved in our exhibitions as digital curator and catalog designer. For the celebration, I also designed the 128-page retrospective book, A Fluid Tradition: Northwest Watercolor Society… The First 75 Years, and after a year working with the creative team on the book, I truly learned just how much of an impact NWWS has had on art in the northwest. And it’s been huge.
My current role as president is now my second “tour of duty” and I’m looking forward to the year and all things NWWS. Debbie Roskopf – our president for the past two years – has done an incredible job of prioritizing the society’s activities and making sure our volunteers experience the rewards of their dedication and time spent. My commitment is to carry on that work, while also encouraging the society to continue to fulfill its mission of promoting and elevating the art of watermedia while encouraging the growth and creativity of our member artists.
The impact NWWS has had on my personal life cannot be overstated. I have met the most creative, smart, wonderful people ever, and I’ve grown by leaps and bounds as an artist in ways I could not have imagined. I encourage anyone who has an interest in advancing his or her artistic skills to join the society and become involved… you’ll be so glad you did. I certainly am.
Molly Murrah, President
Northwest Watercolor Society
NWWS Board & Committees
Many of our volunteers have served NWWS for many years and you’ll see their names repeated while other volunteers are brand new to the board. Each of them appreciates the “thank yous” from our members for their year round help—large or small—and their thoughtful attention to guiding our organization.
NWWS BOARD 2020-2021
We will forward your email to the correct board member, and thank you.
"Hot Press" Newsletter Editor(s)
Katherine Wright and Janet Groza
BOARD ADVISORS / PAST PRESIDENTS
Kristi Galindo Dyson
NORTHWEST WATERCOLOR FOUNDATION 2017-2018
Gold Grant Scholarship
"Art for Kids"
2018 Open Exhibition Co-Chair
2018 Open Exhibition Co-Chair / Brochure / Catalog
Exhibition Entry Data Manager
Exhibition Digital Curator
Overlake Hospital Hang Chair
2018 Waterworks Co-Chair
2018 Waterworks Co-Chair
2018 Waterworks Brochure / Catalog
Exhibition Digital Curator
Juror Procurement Chair
Awards Assistant Chair
Grant Writer Chair
Librarian, Visual Chair
Shirley Jordan, Cricket Crockett, Evette Norton, Debbie Haggman
Paint Out Chair
Dolores Marquez, Linda Hulce
Permanent Collection / Fred Hutch Chair
Social Media Chair Facebook
Social Media Chair Pinterest
Renee St. Peter
Video Technician Chair
Video Technician Assistant
Webmaster / NWWS Email Coordinator
PAST PRESIDENTS 1940 TO 2017
Betty Jo Fitzgerald*
Linda P Dunn
Lola K Deaton
NWWS thrives because of member participation. The contribution of an hour or a few hours each month by our members sustains our energy and maintains NWWS as a leading arts organization. Along the way, you’ll help us with decisions that help steer the organization and be rewarded with lasting friendships.
The attached form can be used or you may email us with any questions about how your talents and availability might be best used, and thank you!
We ask you to consider a contribution to either the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS) or the Northwest Watercolor Foundation (NWWF).
Always honoring our mission statements, you may choose to contribute “In Memoriam” or “In Honor” of someone, request specific intent for your donation, or include NWWS as a beneficiary in your will.
(Northwest Watercolor Foundation) is a 501c(3) and contributions are tax-deductable.
(Northwest Watercolor Society) is a 501c(4) and contributions are not tax-deductable.
NWWS MISSION STATEMENT:
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.
NWWF MISSION STATEMENT:
To assist, encourage, promote and advance the visual arts in the Pacific Northwest with particular emphasis on watercolor media and to provide scholarships to students to further the study of art and to conduct educational activities.
The Gold Grant Award & Scholarship and the Northwest Watercolor Foundation accept monetary contributions, gifts, devices, and bequests that are administered and used in accordance to the purpose and mission of the NWWF. You may find additional, more detailed information on this website under “Foundation” on the menu bar.
It was the turn of the 20th century and many local Seattle artists were painting the times in watercolor. Watercolor, considered to be mostly a woman’s media, was a perfect medium for the Pacific NW with its gray and rainy days. Men and women took up their brushes to paint the landscapes, seascapes and stories that were happening around them like the Great Depression.
In 1939 three co-founders, Vara Grube, Dorothy Milne Rising and Florence Harrison Nesbit, along with members Paul Immel, Al Dunn, James Huston, Dale Goss and Z. Vanessa Helder formed the Northwest Watercolor Society. These eight were dedicated to celebrating watercolor and its magical wonder.
One of their first exhibits, as noted in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on November 3, 1940, was at the Seattle Art Museum during National Art Week, November 25 to December 1. The Society’s goal:
To promote and elevate the art of watercolor as a medium and to encourage the growth and creativity of our artist members as we remain a prime artistic resource of the Northwest.
Throughout the decades many noteworthy and talented watercolor artists joined the society. Some were nationally known like Irwin Caplan and Mark Tobey. To learn more about the fascinating history of NWWS, by all means treat yourself to a copy of the beautifully illustrated book by David F. Martin,
A Fluid Tradition: Northwest Watercolor Society…the First 75 Years.
In the first 75 years, the original mission to promote and celebrate watercolor has remained. NWWS has grown from a regional society to an international one hosting two exhibitions each year:
The International Open Exhibition
, which has drawn members from around the world including Canada, China, Australia, India, and Singapore, gains in stature each year. This exhibit also draws international jurors who often find it difficult in selecting paintings for the shows because of the high number of quality entries submitted.
is exclusively for NWWS members and showcases some of the best of the Society’s talented artists in quality and diversity.
Evolving into the 21st Century
NWWS has grown into the internationally recognized, historically rich organization of today with over 800 Signature, Lifetime and Associate members. It has also been recognized by
as one of the ten most prominent regional watercolor societies in North America. Like any organization NWWS must change with the times and still maintain the founders’ original goals. How is NWWS moving into the 21st century to draw in younger and more members?
NWWS is active on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter – creating a community that celebrates the beauty and challenge of watermedia.
The September through May (except December) meetings that feature exciting, stimulating programs and demonstrations are now on
. Members in Canada, North Carolina or even Hong Kong can “attend” without leaving home. Or view the recording later at their leisure.
More Than a Meeting
meeting is a wonderful festive Membership Drive. Four artists are stationed around the room each painting the same subject but in their own style. Vendors sell brushes and paints. Members and potential members stroll the area, watch artists paint and explore techniques. It’s a celebration with prizes and surprises.
The membership only exhibition, Waterworks, is now
Beginning with the 2018 show accepted paintings are not required to be exhibited under glass allowing for a more personal connection with viewers. Artists can submit with the formal matting and framing under glass or ‘unplug’ and use a different method with an equally professional, gallery ready presentation. This is to encourage more members with diverse presentations of watermedia.
The original 20th century members were innovative and wanted to celebrate watercolor, which they did with the media available then. Now in the 21st century NWWS continues the tradition of connecting with artists and promoting watercolor throughout the world electronically. NWWS is flexible and ready to embrace the technology of our times, to move forward and invite diverse and creative artists to join the celebration. To find out how to become a member and more about the benefits, click