The American Watercolor Society’s 149th Annual International Exhibition is one of the premiere watercolor exhibits in the world. More than 1,100 artists from throughout the United States and 22 foreign countries submitted their work to a panel of jurors chosen from Signature Members of the AWS. Of these submissions (one per artist), 147 paintings were selected for the New York exhibition. Forty paintings from the show were then selected by the Jury of Awards for the Traveling Exhibition, which tours museums and galleries across the country. The South Arkansas Arts Center is one of only six exhibition sites across the United States. The winners of the Gold and Silver Medals of Honor and High Winds Medal winner are also included in this exhibit of important watercolor paintings.

Well-known local watercolorist Sandy Bennett said, “I can’t wait to see this exhibit! We seldom get the opportunity to see eminent American watercolorists like Tony Couch and Stephen Quiller in a local gallery. Renowned watercolorists Pat Dews, Linda Baker, George James, John Salminen, and Mark Mehaffey are also in this exhibit.” Sandy has served on the SAAC Board of Directors and the SAAC Visual Arts Committee.

Organized in 1866, the American Watercolor Society is one of the oldest and most prestigious art societies in the world. Election to the Society as a Signature Member is one of the most sought-after honors in the painting world.

This exhibit is being sponsored by local art enthusiasts who are interested in bringing world class art to South Arkansas. Multiple day sponsors are Joan and Bruce Coffey, Jennifer Gibat, Linda and Louis Hall, Vicki Lambert, Sarah Merkle, Danny Nicholson, Alieta Rupp, Mark Southall, and Julie Trimble. One day sponsors are Gay Bechtelheimer, Sandy Bennett, Beth Burns, Kelly Campbell, Rhonda Hicks, Nancy Rae Kinard, Mary Ethel Morgan, Catherine Noyes, Lee Scroggins, and Restore It Restoration and Cleaning. SAAC appreciates the sponsors’ willingness to be involved in the artistic excitement in South Arkansas.

The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday- Friday from 9:00-5:00. The American Watercolor Society’s 149th Annual International Exhibition which will open in the Price and Merkle Galleries on October 4 and run through October 27. A reception is planned for Thursday, October 13 from 5:00-6:30pm. For more information about the exhibit, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474.