International Watercolor Society South Africa launches

Cheryl Curnick, chairwoman of the International Watercolor Society South Africa, with a watercolour painting by member of the society Anna Liebenberg.

The City Times recently caught up with Cheryl Curnick, Benoni resident and chairwoman of the society, to find out what it has to offer.

Curnick, who was also chairwoman of the former Watercolor Society of South Africa, which was discontinued in December, last year, was roped into coordinating this branch.

The International Watercolor Society South Africa’s (IWSSA) first exhibition will launch the society at the Bedford Centre, in Bedfordview, from October 21 to 27.

She said about 45 paintings will be showcased at the exhibition.

Twelve of these are prints of the works of professional international watercolour artists, from various countries.

Others are selected works by local members, which will all be on sale.

Four works by well-known watercolourist from Johannesburg, Edward Selemetsela, will also be showcased at the event.

Thirty per cent of the funds raised at the launch will be donated to selected charities, including the South African Guide Dogs Association for the Blind, the Benoni SPCA and Little Black Artists.

The artists of the best three paintings will receive prizes.

Curnick said the society mainly operates through electronic communication.

Exhibitions and social events are arranged, for which members are invited to enter their watercolour paintings digitally.

A panel of judges then selects those which are exhibited.

She said artists learn through the feedback from the judges and regular workshops and demonstrations conducted by her.

Curnick joined the former Watercolor Society of South Africa in the late ’80s and achieved a Fellow Watercolour Society of South Africa (FWSSA) title.

Her sister and vice-chairwoman Janeen du Toit has an Associate Watercolour Society of South Africa (AWSSA) title.

Curnick said certain criteria must be met for works to be chosen.

“Watercolour is a different medium to master; for instance you cannot really make corrections by painting over your work,” she explained.

She said the judges were impressed by the quality of submissions by members for the first exhibition.

“With constructive help they will be able to make the mark next time,” she added.

“The whole object of the IWS is to interact overseas and improve the standard of watercolouring.”

“This whole idea came about because there has been a huge revival of watercolors around the globe from places like Iceland, to Australia, China,  Taiwan, Italy and Germany among many more.”

Those interested in being added to the membership database can email their names, contact and residential details to Terenia Surtees (coordinator), or Marilyn du Toit (admin) at [email protected]

The launch will commence at 5pm on the first evening and include wine and cheese.

The rest of the exhibition can be enjoyed during shopping hours.

Paintings that are not sold will be kept at Curnick’s gallery, Gallery Petite, at 162 Pretoria Road and can be viewed by appointment.

Contact Curnick on 083 701 1047, or by email at [email protected], or Janeen du Toit at [email protected], for further information.

Tanya Bester

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