The TnWS holds two major juried exhibitions, held in alternating years:
- Biennial Exhibition (open to Tennessee residents)
- Online Exhibition (open to TnWS members only)
Our Biennial Exhibition draws watercolor submissions from across the state, with works judged by a nationally (or internationally) recognized watercolor artist. Historically, the competition attracts more than 150 submissions in any given year, with about a third chosen for inclusion. Jurors for TnWS Biennial Exhibitions are selected by membership vote.
Any Tennessee resident, 18 years or older, can enter the Biennial Exhibition – even if not a TnWS member. Nonmembers, however, do pay a higher entry fee. Former Tennessee residents who have maintained their membership are not required to pay the higher fee.
Our Biennial Exhibition and its opening events rotate geographically among our five Tennessee membership regions: Region 1-Memphis, Region 2-Nashville, Region 3-Chattanooga, Region 4-Knoxville, and Region 5-Tri-Cities. In months following each exhibition’s opening, a juror-selected collection of paintings is then rotated to other sites in our five membership regions. The works are exhibited for about a month at each location.
Due to support from sponsors and member patrons, the exhibition provides substantial awards – accumulating in past years to as much as $14,000. Historically, awards range from $250 up to $1,500 for Best of Show.
Biennial Exhibition openings are usually held in the month of May and include two or three days of activities for TnWS members and supporters. These activities vary but generally include social gatherings for member networking, a watermedia workshop conducted by the juror, product demonstrations and a TnWS membership meeting. Opening activities change from year to year, based on each show’s location and recommendations made by the TnWS Exhibition Committee. Some activities require prior registration.
Our members are also often involved in opening events for the general public, such as watermedia demonstrations by TnWS members and a Members’ Market Place, which features art items for sale by TnWS members and friends.
The TnWS Online Exhibition, held for the first time in 2013, is open only to TnWS members and is held biennially in odd-numbered years. The exhibition opens for submissions in early spring with juror selection of prize winners and chosen works posted online by the end of May. First, second and third-place winners receive cash awards.
The exhibition remains posted for approximately two years for public viewing (until the next Online Exhibition), at which time the show is archived on our website.
Members are required to submit entries via the TnWS website. Mailed entries are not accepted. When a call for entries is announced, detailed instructions for entering, including the prospectus and entry form, will be posted on this website under “Exhibitions.”
The Tennessee Watercolor Society regions occasionally put on their own exhibitions. Usually, these are neither juried nor have an entry fee. In addition, the requirements for framing and painting techniques used are more relaxed. Information about these exhibitions, including entry date and exhibition dates, is sent out to the regional members by email.
Watch for a call for entries on this website, on our Facebook page, and in Roundup and ArtBeat publications. Rules, instructions, and forms for entering TnWS exhibitions will be posted under “Exhibitions.”
Who can enter TnWS Exhibitions?
Biennial Exhibition: Any Tennessee resident, 18 years or older, can enter the TnWS Biennial Exhibition – even if not a TnWS member. Nonmembers, however, pay a higher entry fee. Former Tennessee residents who are TnWS members do not pay the higher fee.
Online Exhibition: Only TnWS members can enter the TnWS Online Exhibition.