Kathleen Files, “Mallory’s Hands,” 2017, watercolor on paper

Nearly $20,000 in cash and museum purchase awards are available this year for the 56th exhibition of Watercolor USA — a national, annual juried exhibition recognizing aqueous media painting. When does it open and where?

It shouldn’t surprise that Watercolor USA, now in its 56th year, attracts the best in contemporary American water media each year and has been an important player in elevating and pushing the boundaries of the medium. Hosted — and founded — by the Springfield Art Museum in Missouri, the juried exhibition opens June 3 and will continue through August 27.

L.S. Eldridge, “A Different Measure,” 2017, watercolor on paper

In partnership with the Watercolor USA Honor Society, this year’s judge was Laurin McCracken, president of the organization. “One of the goals of Watercolor USA is to recognize the innovative use of watercolor,” he says. “I believe that you will find a number of fine examples of this in this year’s exhibition. You will see paintings that break the traditional rectangular borders of the frame of a painting, paintings that use watercolor to create three-dimensional statements of art, and paintings that use three-dimensional objects to enhance the story the artist is communicating to their viewer.”

In addition to the exhibition, organizers have scheduled artist talks, taking place Thursday, June 29, and Saturday, July 29. Robert Langford, local artist and art educator from Branson, Missouri, will discuss his award-winning painting “Saturday Morning” on June 29 while Rachel Wood, a local artist from Ozark, Missouri, will talk about her award-winning large-scale installation “Realizations of Change.” An opening reception will be held at the museum on June 2 at 5:30 p.m.

Fans of the medium will recognize many of the featured artists in this year’s exhibition, who include — among many others — Denny Bond, ZL Feng, Chris Krupinski, Warren Taylor, and Eric Wiegardt. In total, 85 artworks representing 80 artists from 32 states compose the show.

To learn more, visit the Springfield Art Museum.


  1. mallory’s hands, although it is well painted, i am just so anti body art of tattoos….they are everywhere on everyone…they depict many negative images…..no to mention what all these people will think 20 yrs from now or when they are grey haired grandparent…..sorry


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here