Who We Are: Contemporary Watercolorists of Arizona

Contemporary Watercolorists of Arizona began in 1969, formed by a group of professional art teachers and accomplished artists who met first to paint together then critique their paintings. The first group exhibition was held in 1972.

The purpose of the organization is to motivate each artist member to stretch and expand the scope of their work, aim at new goals and reach their next level of accomplishment.

Membership is held to forty artists. New artists are added by invitation. They are first recommended by a member artist, their portfolio is reviewed for proficiency and achievement and then a vote for acceptance is made by the Board of Directors.

This is a working group of artists solidly based in the fundamentals of painting in watermedia. Members volunteer to serve as officers, motivators or to participate in the group’s activities. At each of the monthly meetings, two members present a written motivation to the group suggesting a theme with various ideas, restrictions or innovative techniques to use for the next month’s painting. Motivations are meant to stimulate freethinking, play and experimentation to achieve a new view within their own work and style. The paintings are then shared and critiqued the following month by the group. This is our way of encouraging and forming a nurturing support system to allow our artists to make that spectacular leap into future possibilities. Our work is in the field of watermedia where all the latest, most exciting experimentation and advances are being achieved. New water soluble art materials are being produced which tempt our artistic appetites.

Our artists are often juried into International, National, Regional and Local Watercolor competitions and frequently win awards. Some members are working in numerous other art related fields and showing excellent achievement. Many artists have been published in various publications, magazines or art books. Several artists have their paintings hanging in corporations, museums and private collections across the country and abroad.

Our annual juried Contemporary Watercolorists of Arizona Exhibition offers a feast for the eyes as well as an intellectual and emotional tour of the inner visions and personal messages that are conveyed to the viewers. Awards for exceptional work as chosen by the juror are presented to artists at the Exhibition