New England Watercolor Society Marks 135-Years with the 2020 Signature Members Show. The New England Watercolor Society is one of the oldest watercolor societies in the nation. Its 2020 Signature Members Show, which takes place in February at the Guild of Boston Artists, is a continuation of its solid 135-year history.
The Society’s first exhibition was held in 1885. It began as the Boston Watercolor Society. The inaugural show featured nearly 50 works from over a dozen artists. Among them were F. Childe Hassam, Thomas Allen, Charles Henry Sandham, John A. Fraser, George R. Barse Jr., Phillip Little and Ross Turner. Its earliest members included Frank W. Benson, John Singer Sargent and Andrew Wyeth.
Then, as now, the New England Watercolor Society’s raison d’être was to establish and “promote excellence and diversity in watercolor and to bring exceptional paintings, both traditional and innovative, to a wider public.” Today, the Society represents nearly 200 signature members and an equal number of associates. It consistently seeks and welcomes new members. The New England Watercolor Society (NEWS) has evolved parallel with artistic trends and styles as evidenced by the diversity of works, from classically representational to abstract. Kristin Stashenko, a signature member of the Society, said, “The Signature Member’s Show” is an eclectic mix of watercolor styles that highlights the technical mastery of this challenging medium. Visitors to previous shows are often amazed by the diversity of subject matter and technique.”
The upcoming exhibition is, as always, the Society’s opportunity to showcase its member’s artistry and technical mastery. The exhibiting members are accomplished watercolor artists hailing from the six New England states.