Watercolor Society and Rice Museum celebrate 35 years of working together

  • Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Georgetown County Watercolor Society will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a reception for its annual members exhibit on Nov. 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Rice Museum.
The exhibit is titled “Holiday Low Country Art Show” and will be displayed until Jan. 4.
“This is an excellent group of talented artists,” said Brenda Lawson, vice president of the GCWS. “I am very happy to be showing with them and helping to lead them with president Patricia Givens.”
There are 42 pieces of original watercolor paintings in the exhibit, she said.

About the GCWS

About 35 years ago, a group of enthusiastic watercolorists gathered together and began regular painting sessions at the Georgetown Rice Museum.
Jim Fitch, director of the museum, encouraged the artists in their earliest endeavors, and has remained a steadfast supporter ever since.
Lessons for the artists were taught by Jonnie Cowan, and some of the group’s members included Doris Athey, Nancy Bourne, Lib Ferdon and Betty Fogel, who are still residents of Georgetown and nearby areas today.
Fogel, who now lives in Charleston, said she is very proud of the organization which is very active in the art community.
“I love following what they are doing and their activities,” Fogel said. “Its growth has been tremendous.”
After about a year, the artists decided to form a nonprofit, with formal recognition by the state. 
They named it the Georgetown County Watercolor Society (GCWS), and modeled its rules, regulations and by-laws after the South Carolina Watercolor Society that had just been formally named and organized the year before. 
Cowan was a charter member, as were the other women, and Fitch was named an honorary member. 
Alex Powers, a well-known, nationally recognized artist and Myrtle Beach resident, was actively involved from the early years, and painted with the group.  Over the years as his national reputation as a noted artist grew, he has continued to provide numerous workshops to members as an honorary member.
One of the major goals of GCWS is to promote the visual arts, especially watercolor painting, in Georgetown County, and to encourage residents to appreciate watercolor painting, and to try watercolor painting themselves. 
Continuing the collaboration with  the  museum, the GCWS has sponsored an annual members’ exhibition of paintings each year at the museum. 

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