About WHS


Mission Statement

Watercolor USA Honor Society is a unique art organization formed in 1985 from a broad based assemblage of kindred spirits who hailed from a host of backgrounds and experiences. The purposes of Watercolor USA Honor Society are numerous and their goals will be accomplished through its leadership, collaborations, services, and advocacy for the medium of watercolor.

Watercolor USA Honor Society has a passionate mission:

  • Watercolor USA Honor Society will endeavor to cultivate and promote an interest in watercolor painting through Watercolor USA, an annual competitive exhibition sponsored by the Springfield Art Museum. WHS members will encourage and support every artist’s efforts to gain prominence and a significant voice through the prestigious venue of Watercolor USA.
  • Watercolor USA Honor Society’s purpose will be to focus national attention on the Springfield Art Museum, as a repository for conserving, preserving, and collecting watercolor painting. The Museum’s permanent collection will provide the ultimate perspective on watercolor paintings from the twentieth century and beyond.
  • Watercolor USA Honor Society will be devoted to strengthening and enlarging the Museum’s collection of contemporary watercolor painting. Through the solicitation of gifts to the collection and by direct purchases of significant works of art, WHS will partner Springfield Art Museum, as it builds the most formidable collection of contemporary watermedia painting in existence.
  • Watercolor USA Honor Society will recognize and honor the individual artists who either won awards in Watercolor USA or served as jurors for the exhibition. WHS will acknowledge outstanding and continuous contribution to the field of aquamedia painting.
  • Watercolor USA Honor Society members will commit to be educational leaders for the advancement of the medium of watercolor by contributing their time and efforts both as members of WHS and as individual ambassadors to champion the advancement of watercolor painting. WHS members will share the goal of providing educational experiences for the benefit of the members of the Society and for the general public through exhibitions, demonstrations, lectures, workshops, and symposia. Educational support for the future of watercolor painting with an energetic exchange of knowledge will be ongoing and ever evolving.

History of Watercolor USA Honor Society

pdf A Brief History of Watercolor USA Honor Society

pdf A Complete History of Watercolor USA Honor Society 1986-Present by Missie Dickens and Sandra Schaffer, WHS Historians (PDF)

pdf Articles of Incorporation of a Central Not For Profit Corporation 10/7/85

History WHS Bylaws

WHS Lifetime Achievement
Award Recipients

1997 Charles LeClair and Ed Reep
2000 Carolyn Brady and Glenn Bradshaw
2003 Keith Crown and Milford Zornes
2006 Bill Armstrong and Harold Gregor
2009 Lee Weiss
Posthumous recipients:

Judy Richardson Gard
Electra Stamelos
Georg Shook
Rob Erdle

2012 Katherine Chang Liu and Judi Betts
2015 Miles Batt, Sr. and Kent Addison

Qualifications for Signature
Membership in WHS

Persons who are granted Juror-selected Awards from Watercolor USA, or whose paintings are purchased for the permanent collection of the Springfield Art Museum from said exhibition or who serve as jurors for Watercolor USA are eligible to become signature members of WHS. Effective 2000 forward persons accepted into 3 exhibitions of Watercolor USA will be eligible for signature membership. Upon joining and paying dues, members may participate in all WHS activities and may sign WHS after their signature.

WHS Past Presidents

  1. Bill Armstrong 1986-1987
  2. Lee Weiss 1988
  3. Judy Richardson Gard 1989-1990
  4. Georg Shook 1991-1992
  5. Ellen Murray 1993-1994
  6. Electra Stamelos 1995-1997
  7. Rob Erdle 1998-1999
  8. Carolyn Lord 2000
  9. WHS Ad Hoc Committee 2001
  10. Elizabeth Yarosz-Ash 2002-2003
  11. Missie Dickens 2004-2005
  12. Howard Kaye 2006-2007
  13. Sandra Schaffer 2008-2011
  14. Bob Mejer 2012-2016