Knoxville Watercolor Society celebrates 50 years, presents exhibit


Founded in 1963, this year brought forth a new era of celebration for the Knoxville Watercolor Society. Started by the late Kermit “Buck” Ewing, the society has reached its 50-year milestone. Their celebration exhibit is available at Clayton Center Building A’s Denso Gallery.

As a node to past anniversary celebrations, the current members put together a collaborative exhibit entitled, “Celebrating 50 Years,” an homage to the first exhibit that brought the group into existence. The exhibit will run from March 4 – 28.

The group started with an invitation from Ewing to take part in a University of Tennessee’s own watercolor exhibit, which was extended to several other Knoxville artists, all coming together to show their own “aqueous media,” a medium of art containing water. The newly formed society said that their purpose is “to educate the members as well as the community, to the understanding of watercolor as a significant art form.”

‘Home’ is a painting by Jo Marie Brotherton that depicts the Smoky Mountains.

Full of colorful, vibrant pieces of art that range from detailed and up-close portraits to vivid images of flowers, mountains or family homes, the exhibit serves as a representation of the group of community artists as a whole, tying together the elements of each artist’s life and work.

The society also serves as a benefactor in the Knoxville area. Every year, the society provides a scholarship to a University of Tennessee student who is studying watercolor painting. The society requests that the winner donates to their gallery at UT, which is named in honor of Ewing, and that the student keeps up an active membership in the Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville.

‘In the Sun’ and ‘Closeup’ are two paintings by Susan Miller.

The members of the group who actively participate in exhibits are evaluated by a jury of their peers to assure that they are showing a continued pursuit towards the mastery of water-media. The group recently added an associate membership position to accommodate other painters who wish to be able to access the monthly seminars that the society presents.

After the on-campus exhibit concludes, the society will relocate to UT’s downtown gallery to display more of their pieces in June, the society’s celebration of their 50-year anniversary will continuing into the summer.


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