IWS Annual Exhibit 2020 Prospectus

The Iowa Water Society's Annual Exhibition will run from August 6, 2020 to September 13, 2020
and take place at La Poste in Perry, Iowa.

Images of your artwork Must be Within the Range of 470KB to 20MB! 

SEND AN EMAIL REQUESTING SUPPORT TO: iowawatercolorsociety@gmail.com 

Entry submission deadline is June 11, 2020. 
Entry forms and photos of paintings (images) must be submitted on-line.

One of the benefits of IWS membership is that there is no entry fee for the annual exhibition.
All members are encouraged to take advantage of this benefit and submit up to two paintings in the annual exhibition. 

Eligibility - Review all Requirements Carefully. 
     1. IWS Members Only (Visit iowawatercolorsociety.org to become a member.)  
      2. Original Artwork Only
         2a.  Only done by you
         2b. No copies of other artwork 
         2c. No work completed in workshops or with an instructor
         2d. No copies of others published photos. 

Recent Work

      1. Created in the last two years

      2. Not previously shown in an IWS show 

Medium Restrictions 

     1. Watercolor paint only

     2. Only removable resists used

     3. Standard watercolor paper only 

     4. Preliminary sketching only – not used for shading of any kind

     5. Only transparent watercolor paint can be used in paintings to be considered for the “Transparent Watercolor Award.”

Definition of Transparent in Watercolor:
All watercolor pigments applied in a transparent manner allow light to penetrate the layers of glazes and reflect back through the pigments from the paper below. The whites are brilliant paper left unpainted. This light, reflecting off the white of the paper, makes the medium work.

White paint is by its very nature opaque, not transparent; it covers up what is underneath. It also permanently changes the surface of the area it has covered and its use can be both noticeable and unattractive. No white paint is accepted. Artists are required to preserve the white of the paper's surface wherever a white statement is intended.

While white paint interferes with the natural transparency of the medium, the use of transparent watercolor paint includes pigments classified as 'opaque' such as the cadmiums and others which are acceptable as long as they are applied largely in a transparent manner. The focus on the way paint is applied to the paper, 'in a transparent manner', is to allow the white paper to create luminosity rather than, 'in an opaque manner', which obscures the reflected light. This shifts the emphasis from a discussion of pigment to the way in which pigment is applied. In practical terms, if the texture of the paper can be seen through a dark area of the painting, or there is an undulation of value or color(s) within it, then it is not 'opaque'. However, if the area shines, then the light is reflecting off of the pigment and not from the paper underneath.

Presentation - Chosen art will only be exhibited if the below requirements are met. 

  1. Mat board must only be White or Off-White

  2. Thin color liner is acceptable

  3. Maximum frame size not to exceed 46” x 33”

  4. A sturdy wire hanger must be attached to the back of the frame and art must be ready to hang
  5.. Paintings must be protected by non-breakable acrylic (i.e. Plexiglas). Glass is not acceptable 

How to Enter:


1. Each artist may submit 1 or 2 paintings. 

2. The photograph of your artwork must be of the unframed, unmated image. Use filtered natural light, as flash may be too harsh. 

3. The painting’s photo orientation must be correct -
    The top of the painting must be up when the image is opened (not upside down or laying on its side). 

4. Make sure your image is its best. Your image will be used for initial jurying, and for publicity throughout the following year. 

5. File must be in .jpg format. No other formats will be accepted.
6. Files must be within in the 470KB  to 20MB range.  

7. File(s) submitted on the Annual Exhibit entry form must conform to the following IWS naming convention:  

    Title of painting Artist last name First name.jpg  Example: Big Barn Jones Jane.jpg
 Image files not conforming to the IWS naming convention will not be submitted for consideration. 

For any questions, please email the IWS Exhibition Chair at iwsexhibit@gmail.com 



Cash, gift certificates, and additional awards. The Juror will select both cash and honorable mention awards. Award jurying will be from actual paintings. The judge’s decisions are final.

There is a special award category for transparent watercolor paintings. Check the “Yes” box by “Transparent Watercolor Only” in the entry form to be entered. Only transparent watercolor paint can be used in paintings to be considered for the “Transparent Watercolor Award.”
No opaque watercolors and no gouache.

All sales will be handled by the artist. LaPoste, Inc. or the Iowa Watercolor Society will not take any commissions from the sale. Paintings are to be sold at the price stated by the artist on the entry form. If not for sale, check NFS on the entry. Paintings are not insured by LaPoste, Inc. or the Iowa Watercolor Society. It is at the discretion of the artist to provide their own insurance. Traveling show sales are handled by the artist and the paintings sold must continue in the traveling show until the conclusion of the final exhibition of the traveling show.

No substitutions are permitted after the selections have been made by the judge.
Iowa Watercolor Society will assume the privilege of photographing, using any submission photos of paintings, or paintings entered in the exhibition for the purpose of publicity or reproduction in the exhibition catalog, the IWS website, the IWS Facebook page or other IWS social media pages. LaPoste, Inc. and the Iowa Watercolor Society reserve the right to reject any work that arrives damaged. All accepted paintings are eligible to be selected for the traveling show, and if chosen, are required to travel to the conclusion of the final exhibition.

Accepted artists will be notified by email by July 1, 2020. Instructions for shipping, hand delivery, and return of accepted artwork will be included at that time.


Award-winning entries and other chosen work will be kept and placed in the Traveling Show.  The present year's Exhibition art pieces and the prior year's Traveling Show art must be claimed on September 13, 2020.  All unclaimed art becomes the property of the Iowa Watercolor Society and will be disposed of as necessary. 

For any questions, please email the IWS Exhibit Chair  or iwsexhibit@gmail.com 

Non-compliance with eligibility requirements may result in works being disqualified. 

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