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Aqueous Open

2024 Annual International Exhibition

September 7- October 25, 2024

The Pittsburgh Watercolor Society (PWS) Aqueous Open 2023 International Exhibition is a juried exhibit for artists using water-based media on paper. This year's 78th Aqueous is being presented online on the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society website.  

Aqueous Open is the annual PWS exhibit open to all participants, member or not. More than  $5,000 in cash and merchandise awards.



September 7- October 25

Stifel Fine Arts Center, Oglebay Institute

1330 National Road, Wheeling, WV 26003

& Online via PWS Website

Important Dates

• Registration Deadline - August 2, 2024 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time

•Notice of Acceptance - Week of August 12th

• Opening Reception - Saturday, September 7, 1:30 PM , Stifel Center Gallery

• Shipped work must arrive at the Stifel Fine Arts Center by: August 30, 2024

• Hand delivered work: August 24, 2024 - 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

• Opening Reception: September 7, 2024 - 1-4 p.m. at Stifel Fine Arts Center

• Pick up/shipping of unsold works: October 26-October 31


PWS Aqueous Open 2024 Annual International Exhibition is open to all artists 18 or older working primarily with water-based media on a paper surface (YUPO and Tyvek are permitted) and unvarnished. No canvas.

Mediums include: Watercolor, acrylic, casein, gouache, egg tempera. No pastels, class work, digital images, any form of print or reproductions, 10% collage only.

  • Artist’s original work only.
  • Minimum size: 12" x 12" image size The reason for the size limitation is due to the exhibit in the online gallery. Small pieces don’t show up well on the walls.
  • Maximum size: 40" x 40" framed size

Work must have been completed within the last two years and not previously shown in a PWS exhibit.

Entry fee: for one or two pieces is $45 (US funds) for non-members and $35 (using a discount code) for Pittsburgh Watercolor Society members. The fee is non-refundable.

You can securely pay online using PayPal, even if you do not have a PayPal account. Instructions for paying by check will be provided online.

Enter online at CaFE by August 2, 2024.

Artists may enter up to two (2) pieces for consideration, but only one piece will be accepted.

  • Go to www.callforentry.org
  • Create a free artist profile and upload your digital images (1 or 2) to your portfolio. The CaFE site will resize images uploaded to the required sizing.
  • Click “Apply to Calls” and search for “Pittsburgh Watercolor Society Aqueous Open 2024”
  • Follow entry instructions, click to enter and pay securely by credit card or check.

Digital Files: Images must be professional quality,

showing only the painted image, and be accurate for color catalog reproduction. All files must be saved in high-quality (maximum) jpg format. The dimensions must be 1920 pixels or greater on the long side. Resolution should be at least 300 dpi and the file size must be 3.5 MB or less.

For detailed instructions on preparing and sizing digital files, visit the PWS website:


A useful online resource for resizing images is at:


Accepted Work: All work must be framed and ready for hanging (with wire). Absolutely no sawtooth hangers.

  • Hand Deliver Work to Stifel Fine Arts Center: Saturday, August 20, from 11a.m. - 2 pm.
  • Ship Work: Acrylic/Plexiglas only; NO GLASS.
  • Do NOT pack work in “popcorn”.
  • Ship to: Stifel Fine Arts Center, 1330 National Road, Wheeling, WV 26003
  • No shipped work will be accepted after August 30th
  • Domestic work and international work shipped through a domestic clearinghouse must include pre-paid, pre-arranged return shipping documents and instructions.
  • - International shipments must contain all completed return documentation, airbills, customs forms, and appraisal (if value is over $300).


  • Matting must be: white, off white, light gray. No colored matts and no double matts.
  • Frames should be simple and black, gray, silver or gold, no more than 1 ½ ‘ wide. The work must be wired and ready to install. No sawtooth hangers.

Awards: Awards are selected from received work. The Best of Show award is $1,000, with over $5,000 in total cash and prize awards. Awards announced at Opening, September 7th

Sales: All work must be for sale at current market value and not concurrently in another exhibit.

Sales will be handled through PWS. Artist will receive 60% of sale price (after sales tax), Stifel Fine Arts Center will receive 30% and Pittsburgh Watercolor Society will receive 10%. If purchased, the artist will be responsible for shipping the painting to the buyer, so price accordingly. Paintings must remain installed until close of show.

Buyers may pick up work Oct. 26 – October 31 during regular hours at the Stifel Fine Arts Center

The exhibit will be presented in an online gallery via our website.

PWS Membership Eligibility: Artists exhibiting in Aqueous Open two years out of five become eligible for PWS membership. Members who get accepted in Aqueous Open three out of five years become Signature members.

Inquiries reqarding membership to: membership@pittsburghwatercolorsociety.com

Rights, Responsibilities and Liability: PWS has the right to refuse any work that does not meet specifications or is not accurately represented by the digital image. Sending an entry implies an agreement with all conditions set forth in this prospectus and grants the right to PWS to reproduce the work for the catalog and publicity. All accepted artists must complete a waiver of liability on acceptance of their work to the exhibition.

Pick-up/Return of unsold exhibited work: Hand delivered work must be picked up Oct. 26 – October 31 during regular business hours at Stifel Fine Arts Center. Shipped work will be returned as promptly as possible.

PWS and Stifel Fine Arts Center will not be responsible for any return shipping charges. A prepaid, return shipping label must be included when the accepted work is shipped to the exhibit.


Brian J. Lang, Juror

With more than 30 years of experience in the visual arts, my career has included managing fine art galleries, independent and corporate curatorial work, collection management, nonprofit management and private collection advising.

Through my work in both the private and corporate sectors, I have partnered with museums across the country and beyond, including The Andy Warhol Museum, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Tampa Museum of Art and the Royal Academy of Art, to name a few. In Pittsburgh, I serve on the art advisory committee of the Pittsburgh International Airport, and the art committee of the Sports & Exhibition Authority.

Following a tenure of more than two decades curating the collection of a Fortune 500 financial services company, Brian J. Lang Fine Art Advising was established to guide both individual and institutional collectors through all stages of a thoughtfully planned and executed collection strategy. My current work affords me the great privilege of building relationships with amazing people who happen to share my passion for art.


All work must be for sale exclusively through PWS and not currently being exhibited in another show.  Again, for a printable LINK TO CONSEQUENCES FOR FAILURE TO FOLLOW PROSPECTUS GUIDELINES: click here

I, (Artist/Exhibitor), grant permission for PWS and/or Stifel Fine Art Center to reproduce my name, information describing my work, representations of my work and any other information I have provided for the purpose of display, promotion and publicity either now or in the future.

Artist/Exhibitor and/or representative of Artist/Exhibitor agree(s) to display, pack, transport and provide for the return of artwork at Artist/Exhibitor’s own risk and expense.

If Artist/Exhibitor or representative of Artist/Exhibitor is not available on-site to display, re-pack or re-transport his/her/their work, Artist/Exhibitor gives permission to PWS and Stifel Fine Art Center to do so on behalf of Artist/Exhibitor at Artist/Exhibitor’s own risk and expense.

Release of Liability: PWS and Stifel Fine Art Center shall not be liable for any injury to Artist/Exhibitor, their personnel, agents or employees or for any damage or loss of Artist’s/Exhibitor's work, equipment or other personal property arising out of the above exhibitions/displays, the mounting and/or any other activities involved in the preparation and/or presentation of the exhibitions/displays. Artist/Exhibitor agrees to assume all risk of damage to or loss of Artist/Exhibitor’s own art from whatever cause. Artist/Exhibitor further agrees to release and to hold harmless PWS and Latrobe Art Center its officers, directors, employees, volunteers and agents from any and all liabilities and damages to art work and/or persons as a result of any part of Artist’s/Exhibitor's participation in the Exhibit.

Indemnification: Artist/Exhibitor shall indemnify, save and hold harmless PWS and Stifel Fine Art Center, its officers, directors, employees, volunteers and agents and the participating exhibition venues from any and all claims, demands, causes of action and judgments, losses, costs and expenses, including but not limited to reasonable attorney’s fees, arising due to the negligence of Artist/Exhibitor, their employees, agents or other personnel hereunder, including but not limited to any representation, warranty, term and/or condition of this Agreement.

Insurance: Artist/Exhibitor shall be solely and exclusively responsible to insure properly and adequately their work and property.

Assignment: Neither Party shall assign to transfer any of its rights or obligations under this Agreement and any attempt to do so shall be void and of no effect.

Waiver and Effective Nullity: Waiver by either party of any provision of this Agreement shall not operate or be construed as a waiver of any provision by such party at any time hereafter. The nullity of any provision hereunder shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions hereunder of the Agreement, which shall survive.

By entering this exhibit, you agree to the above Release of Liability.

Questions? Contact the show chairs at aqueous@pittsburghwatercolorsociety.com

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