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Welcome to the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society's Online Annual Aqueous Open exhibit!

Aqueous is the annual juried exhibit open to both members and non-members.

To purchase a piece, click on the image, then the "Information" circled "i", then the "To purchase click here" link. Next, select "Add to Cart", then View Cart and check out. Payment can be made securely online using PayPal. Prices include shipping.

These images are copyrighted by the artists.

Scroll down to see the exhibit!

If you would like to vote for the People's Choice Award, send us an email with the name of the painting to:


Juror's Statement from John Salminen

I’d like to thank the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society for allowing me to play a role in the 75th Anniversary Exhibition. Thank you to all of the artists who submitted work and to all of the people behind the scenes who worked hard to present this show.

The accepted paintings are an out-standing cross-section of contemporary water-media. I selected works that balance technique and concept.  

It's difficult for a painting to maintain viewer interest with accomplished technique alone. Conversely, mastery over technique is needed to convey the message. A good story, well told, results in an effective painting. I was pleased to be able to include many fine examples of works that best represent the power of form and content. 

My only disappointment is that I will not be able to see the paintings in person. I look forward to meeting the accomplished artists that created them at some point in the future.

Stay safe and enjoy this beautiful virtual exhibition.  

From the President on Aqueous 2020

This has been a very different year for Pittsburgh Watercolor Society and all of us. As PWS presents this year’s Aqueous Open 2020 International, we have had to adapt and adjust. This is our first Aqueous Open completely online. We are delighted to once again showcase not only the very best watercolor works from our regional talent, but talent from around the globe. In our 75th year, we continue to be the only arts organization to present an International Exhibit every year. 

This year’s juror, John Salminen, was a joy to work with in such difficult circumstances. And, once again, our juror had his hands full. We received 249 entries, from artists in 34 states and 4 countries! The entries were varied in style, use of media, technique and subject matter. Some seriously wonderful work was submitted. And, Mr. Salminen chose a very representative exhibit telling a strong story about watercolor. Our only regret is that we did not get to meet Mr. Salminen in person, and experience his workshop. Maybe next year? Thank you, John. 

And, once again, I had the pleasure serving as President of this wonderful organization, got to Co-chair Exhibitions and Aqueous with the amazing Lisa Rasmussen. Her contributions to this project were innumerable and invaluable. She took the initiative to use a new program to present the exhibit in a Virtual Gallery, bringing it to a different level and a wonderful experience. 

I cannot say THANK YOU enough to our Exhibitions Committee, and to our members and volunteers who helped to make this wonderful exhibition happen. We could not have done it without you. 

Please, enjoy this excellent exhibit. 

Susan “Suzie” Sparks – President & Aqueous Co-Chair

For exhibit in catalog form, click here.

Aqueous Open 2020 in 3D Gallery View

PWS Aqueous 2020 Awards 

  • Best of Show- $2000. – Jiangang Sun                     
  • Second Place- $1500. – Zhou Tianya                     
  • Third Place -  $1000. – Chris Krupinski
  • Cad Scarlet Award - $400. –  Frank Webb                         
  • Past President’s Award - $400. – Randy Globus                     
  • Frank Webb Award - $300. -  Bill Vrscak
  • Ruth Richardson Abstract Award  -  $300. - Elaine Daily- Birnbaum
  • Baltimore Watercolor Society - $300.  – Mark Kaufman
  • Award of Merit – Merchandise/gift card – Ron Thurston
  • Award of Merit- Merchandise/gift card – John James
  • Award of Merit- Merchandise/gift card – Pam Wenger
  • Award of Merit- Merchandise/gift card – Ron Malone
  • People’s Choice - $250 - Eva Damianos 

PWS Aqueous 2020 Thank Yous /Sponsors

Once again, we at PWS so appreciate all of our members, friends and volunteers who help us make all of our exhibits and events successful. A special thank you to our Board of Directors, our Exhibition Committee and all of those who helped make this unusual year, and our 75th Anniversary, a productive and successful one, in spite of all of the obstacles.

PWS also thanks our sponsors for their generous support.

Wallflower Frames
Cheap Joe's Art Stuff
Strathmore Artist Papers
Armadillo Art & Craft
M Graham & Co
Jerry's Artarama
Baltimore Watercolor Society

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