The Virginia Watercolor Society’s 41st Annual Exhibition

Time Period
1925 to Today
Art & Architecture

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture hosted the Virginia Watercolor Society’s (VWS) 41st Annual Exhibition from October to December of 2020. This prestigious event featured more than 80 watercolor paintings—all by members of the VWS—and included original works on paper and in various water media from transparent watercolor, acrylic, gouache, or mixed media. Subjects ranged from landscapes, scenes of everyday life, and imaginary scenes to still lifes, portraits, and abstractions. See a selection of works below.

After a decade of being hosted elsewhere throughout the state, the exhibition finally returned to Richmond. Over 400 paintings from Virginia artists of the VWS were submitted to be in the show; where final selections were made by juror and award-winning artist Fred Graff, AWS-DR, NWS, TWSA-MS, an internationally-recognized watercolorist in his own right.

Viewers of this year’s annual exhibition were asked to vote for the work they consider to be the best in the show. Voting took place in the gallery at the VMHC where the winner of the exhibition was announced by the VWS in January 2021. The People’s Choice Award is sponsored by James River Air Conditioning Co.

The majority of the show’s paintings were for sale directly from the artists, with 35% from each sale going to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. 

Exhibition Videos

Featured Exhibition Artwork


Curators at Work: The Watercolor in Virginia with William Rasmussen

About the VWS and Watercolor Painting:

An abstract black pair of shapes intertwine. Below, black text reads Virginia Watercolor Society.The Virginia Watercolor Society is a statewide organization founded in Roanoke in 1979 to promote interest and participation in watercolor painting. VWS fosters the advancement of any water media on paper (including such water-soluble paints as acrylics, gouache, casein, egg tempera), arranges exhibition opportunities for water-media artists, and provides information to the public. Any resident of Virginia may become a member. (Former residents who have left Virginia and were included in three annual exhibitions may maintain membership.)

Watercolor is a centuries-old painting method in which pigments are suspended in a water-based solution and applied (most often) to paper. Because it is combined with water, watercolor is a transparent medium that achieves luminosity from the light reflected from the paper back to the viewer. Acrylics, casein, gouache and egg tempera, also water-based media, are usually applied more thickly and contain binders that block the light (as oil paints do). Some paintings in this exhibit are pure acrylics or watercolors. Other paintings are more complex: the artists achieve a variety of effects by combining two or more water-soluble media, usually with one medium predominating. When describing an individual painting, the term "watermedia" indicates that two or more water-based media have been combined.

Featured Artists:

Mary Allen - Culpeper, VA
Mary Lou Andrews - Virginia Beach, VA
Terry Anstrom - Springfield, VA
Judy Antico – Falls Church, VA
Brenda Barthell – Arlington, VA
Claire Bentley – Springfield, VA
Solly Blank – Lynchburg, VA
Gwendolyn Bragg – Alexandria, VA
Solange Brown – Mechanicsville, VA
Noreen Brunini – Centreville, VA
Oleksandra Butts – Fairfax, VA
Patricia Carr – Roanoke, VA
Lizabeth Castellano-King – Stafford, VA
Charlotte Chan – Blacksburg, VA
Deborah Conn – Falls Church, VA
Pat Cook – Waynesboro, VA
Eleanor Cox – Midlothian, VA
Trish Crowe – Hood, VA
Constance De Bordenave - Richmond, VA
Kevin Deck – Roanoke, VA
Vera Dickerson – Troutville, VA
Janice Ducharme – Fairfax Station, VA
Christine Duke – Winchester, VA
Susan Egbert – Roanoke, VA
Holland Etheridge – Hampton, VA
Z.L. Feng – Radford, VA
Kimberly Ferguson – Clarksville, VA
Constance Fisher – Berryville, VA
William Frable – Richmond, VA
Marti Franks – Richmond, VA
Nancy Foley – Mechanicsville, VA
Jean Gill – Oak Hill, VA
Sally Guynn – Henrico, VA
Margitta Hanff – Alexandria, VA
Gayle Hicks- Hampton, VA
Myrtle Hooker- Roanoke, VA
David Hoque – Prince George, VA
John James – Hampton, VA
James Jones – Hampton, VA
Chris Kupinski – Maineville, OH
Linda Lavigne-Long – Richmond, VA
Charlie Lindauer – Virginia Beach, VA
Janet Martinet – Manassas, VA
Megan Mehra – Aldie, VA
Kathleen Miller – Richmond, VA
Doug Mock – White Stone, VA
Sally Mook – Blacksburg, VA
Kate Niner – Alexandria, VA
Elaine Nunnally – Leesburg, VA
Glenn Ormsby – Smithfield, VA
Gwen Parker – Richmond, VA
Beverley Perdue – Midlothian, VA
Martha Petroff – Alexandria, VA
Purnell Pettyjohn – Lynchburg, VA
Lynda Pitman – Woodbridge, VA
Patricia Porter- Fairfax, VA
Meera Rao – Poquoson, VA
Patrice Reese – Henrico, VA
Elizabeth Roberts – Chapel Hill, NC
Megan Robison – Virginia Beach, VA
Suzanne Ross – Roanoke, VA
Ginger Sanaie – McLean, VA
Jacqueline Saunders – Burke, VA
Jane Schafer – Wirtz, VA
Angel Shields – Troutville, VA
Suzanne Lohr Sliger – Herndon, VA
Jung Smith – Falls Church, VA
William Snow – Palmyra, VA
Marsha Staiger – Alexandria, VA
Gari Stephenson – Roanoke, VA
Susan Stuller – Midlothian, VA
Katherine Sullivan – Arlington, VA
Garry-Lou Upton – N. Chesterfield, VA
Jane Carter Vaughan – Lynchburg, VA
Carol Vaughn – Irvington, VA
Gerald Wadsworth – Richmond, VA
Linda Wallace-Blau – Fairfax, VA
Michele Walter – Blacksburg, VA
Don Whitson – Waynesboro, VA
Tammy Wiedenhaefer – Alexandria, VA
Christopher Wynn – Rockville, VA
Mary Jane Zander – Midlothian, VA
Treacherous Journey by Christine Duke (Winchester, VA ) -- Watercolor on Arches paper
An abstract multicolored depiction of mountains, flowers, and a setting or rising sun.
Sunshine of My Life by Mary Allen (Culpeper, VA) -- Watercolor
A close-up depiction of an airplane engine and propeller in shades of blue
Vintage Flight by Lizabeth Castellano-King (Stafford, VA) -- Transparent Watercolor
People shop in a Caribbean market store.
The Parksley Caribbean Market by Charlie Lindauer (Virginia Beach, VA) -- Watercolor
A cityscape with double arches and buildings beyond, with people walking through the left arch.
Into the Past by Kathleen Miller (Richmond, VA) -- Watercolor
People holding donuts walk away from a donut food truck.
Donuts by Gwen Parker (Richmond, VA) -- Watercolor
An abstract depiction of trees in a forest, in tones of green, yellow, and pink
I Think I Shall Never See by Patrice Reese (Henrico, VA) -- Acrylic
Pink and white peonies sit in a crystal vase, with more flowers in the background
Peonies by Jung Smith (Falls Church, VA) -- Watercolor
A close up of a pile of crabs
Hard to Choose by Katherine Sullivan (Arlington, VA) -- Watercolor
A layered collage of depictions of wine and cigar labels from France
On Her Majesty's Secret Service - "Dyspeptic Memories" by Gerald Wadsworth (Richmond, VA) -- Watercolor