The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts is pleased to host the Watercolor Society of Oregon for its spring 2015 convention, bringing over 200 convention registrants to Newport for up to six days of exhibits, workshops and breakout sessions. The convention will include “Making Waves,” a major exhibition of watercolor paintings in the Runyan Gallery at the Newport Visual Arts Center (777 NW Beach Drive), opening to the public on April 11, 4:30-6:00pm at the VAC, and running through May 3. The exhibit opening is jointly sponsored by the Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) and the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts (OCCA). The entire convention is open to Watercolor Society of Oregon members and non-members alike.
“You really haven’t ‘lived’ unless you’ve experienced one of WSO’s fabulous conventions,” says Ruth Armitage, co-chair of the convention. “Be on the lookout for painters around Newport during the weekend. You might be able to spot them painting at a lighthouse or along the waterfront, or in their natural habitat dining at one of Newport’s finest restaurants.”
The “Making Waves” exhibit in the Runyan Gallery at the VAC will include over 80 watercolor works by Watercolor Society of Oregon members, as selected through a jury-review process. Twenty of those works will be chosen as award-winners and then travel throughout Oregon. Watercolorists in the exhibit include Patricia Schmidt, an artist featured in the winter 2005 Watercolor magazine and Splash Retrospective: 20 Years of Contemporary Watercolor Excellence (2013), as well as Rene Eisenbart, an artist recently awarded signature status in the National Watercolor Society and an internationally known arts instructor, among many other talented painters.
“The Runyan Gallery at the VAC will be transformed by watercolors,” says OCCA VAC manager Tom Webb. “The exhibit will take full advantage of what the VAC has to offer in its premier gallery space.”
Gale Webb, a Signature member of many Societies, including the American Watercolor Society, the Northwest Watercolor Society, and Western Federation, will be the exhibition’s juror and workshop instructor. Webb will be traveling from Lubbock, Texas, to share her acrylic and collage techniques. For more information on workshops and breakout sessions, visit the Watercolor Society of Oregon’s website (http: watercolorsocietyoforegon.com).
“OCCA is honored to host the WSO convention and exhibition in Newport,” OCCA executive director Catherine Rickbone says. “There’s a strong interest in watercolors among the members of our coastal arts community.”
Founded in 1966 with 85 artists, the Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) has grown into a statewide organization whose primary activities include holding exhibitions of members work and providing education opportunities, both for the members and others interested in the creation and appreciation of the visual arts.
Since 1966, when the original WSO membership was 38, the WSO blossomed by traveling around the state of Oregon gaining new members in their outreach. By 1985 the membership reached 500, and in 2012 the membership was nearly 1,000. Admission to membership is determined by jury and based on works entered either by slide or digital image.
The Runyan Gallery at the VAC is open to the public Tuesday-Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, a nonprofit arts organization, promotes and provides high-caliber arts experiences on the Oregon coast. Located in Newport it manages the Newport Performing Arts Center and the Newport Visual Arts Center and serves as the Regional Arts Council for the Oregon coast. For more information, visit www.coastarts.org.