Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Ohio Watercolor Society Permanent Collection
OWS Permanent Collection
When someone mentions watercolor paintings the general thought is the very simple, pastel landscape that you might find in your grandmother’s house. Usually a bright pigmented, photo realistic, painting on plastic paper doesn’t come to mind. Luckily we have The Ohio Watercolor Society Permanent Collection to break all of those stereotypes for us. This collection is described “as a way to encourage the advancement, understanding, appreciation, and awareness of the broad scope of watercolor paintings.”
“The Ohio Watercolor Society’s Permanent Collection comprises 37 paintings that reflect the quality, scope and evolution of watermedia painting during the Society’s first 25 years and include categories of abstract, collage, figurative, landscape, portraiture, and still-life paintings,” mentioned Thomas Sorrell President of the Ohio Watercolor Society (OWS). Pushing the boundaries of watercolor media is something OWS strives for. Tom explained that the board is considering enhancing the collection and trying to find new criteria to use for this expansion “It would make sense to have some painted with egg tempera or casein and to have some paintings that were done on surfaces such as Yupo in order to show the breadth and diversity of watermedia painting.”
A little bit of background regarding these paintings . . . the collection is comprised of artists that are members of OWS and some eminent jurors of its annual exhibition. Each year from 1978-2001 paintings were added to the collection with money raised by OWS, mainly through donations from members and friends. Some paintings were donated to the collection by past or present members or their estates. The purchasing of paintings stopped in 2001 mainly due to lack of funds so the collection was then held in storage until last year when the Board of Trustees made a decision to refurbish the paintings and to display them. “As it turned out, this was a good decision . . .” Tom said, “The place where they had been stored was flooded recently by several thousand gallons of water and mud from a nearby construction project.” Tom mentioned their current home is in a climate-controlled, secure storage facility (on the second floor!).
American Frame had the honor of refurbishing the collection in 2016 and currently have the paintings displayed in the showroom gallery after almost a decade in storage. It was last shown in Columbus in 2008 and this is the first time it has been displayed in Northwest Ohio! Later this year the OWS Board has plans to use the Permanent Collection to encourage and support watermedia painting in Ohio. “Perhaps portions [of the collection] will be loaned to corporate donors for several months at a time. It might be exhibited in whole or in part at various galleries or museums around the State. Several paintings could be displayed on a rotating basis with the opening of the Annual Exhibition,” Tom speculated. Whatever plans the OWS Board has for their permanent collection we all know it will challenge the way we look at watercolor paintings.