Granted a charter by the State of Texas in May of 1964, Southwestern Watercolor Society began as the North Texas Watercolor Society, founded by Reese Kennedy, its first president. As membership expanded rapidly, the organization’s name was changed to encompass a wider spectrum of potential members. SWS has grown to be an international organization and is one of the largest watercolor societies in the nation. Many of its members have attained national signature status in other watercolor societies, such as American Watercolor Society (AWS) and National Watercolor Society (NWS). Many members have paintings accepted in open juried competitions throughout the United States each year. SWS is fortunate to have many nationally know artists and teachers as members.
SWS meetings are held each month in Dallas, Texas (except June, July, August and December.) Meetings are attended by 150 to 250 people and feature a lecture-demonstration. Three to four, three to five day workshops with the nationally recognized watercolor artists are held each year. At the monthly meetings, members are encouraged to enter a painting in the “Painting of the Month” competition, sponsored by Asel Art Supply. SWS activities include: Annual Membership Exhibition, Annual Western Federation Show, Weekend Paint-outs, Workshops, Special Signature Events, a holiday party in December and various other opportunities to exhibit work, network with other artists and serve the community.
SWS aids and encourages watercolor training in area schools and colleges. Student scholarships are offered for some workshop. SWS maintains a set of color slides of past shows and makes them available to area schools and watercolor teachers for use in their classroom instruction. Members are available for lecture-demonstrations. Membership in Southwestern Watercolor Society is open to anyone interested in promoting watercolor – artists and non-artists. Signature Membership is earned by having paintings accepted in five SWS sponsored juried competitions.
The purpose of the Society shall be the elevation of the stature of watercolor as an art medium and the education of the public as to the significance of watercolor as an important creative permanent painting medium. The Society shall be dedicated to the highest aesthetic standards. The Society shall further the interests of painters in watercolor by its programs and competitive exhibits, and shall encourage its study by art students and others engaged in watercolor painting. The Society shall not sanction any bias among varying schools of art.