The International Watercolor Society South Africa held its first National Watermedia Exhibition on March 9-22 2018 at Artem Gallery in Sea Point, Cape Town. The juried exhibit featured 115 artworks by 63 top artists from across South Africa. This was the first major exhibition of watercolor paintings in South Africa.

On opening night, March 9th, the crowd was too large for the newly opened Artem Gallery to contain them and they spilled out into the Artem Centre halls, waiting for their chance to view the artwork. IWSSA head Christopher Reid opened the event with a humorous speech and then announced awards. The exhibition was also a competition that was judged by top international watercolor artists Stan Miller, Angus McEwan, and Wayne Attwood. Over R30 000 in cash and prizes were awarded.

Best In Show went to Victoria Du Toit. Top prize for opaque media went to Linda Rossouw. As there were more watercolor entries than opaque media, there were more awards for watercolor. 1st place Chrysoula Argyros. 2nd place Fawa Conradie. Charme Southey and Rekha Sinath tied for 3rd place. A People’s Choice Award was given based on votes cast during the 2 week exhibition and was won by Fawa Conradie. A Cyber Choice Award was also given based on online votes during the exhibit and was won by Judy Sintenie.

The huge success of the exhibition has resulted in a lot of excitement for the next iWSSA exhibit, planned for Johannesburg in October 2018. After years of stagnation, the IWSSA began a major reboot in January 2018. The organization has over 250 active members from across South Africa and is still growing. Their mission is to promote watercolor as a medium while creating opportunities for South African artists working in watermedia.

Photos by IWSSA event photographer Kimberly Reid

IWSSA Admins: Inge Semple, Cheryl Curnick, Christopher Reid, Val Landau, Richard Curnick