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Baltimore Watercolor Society

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Benefits of Membership

Who BWS Members Are

Our Members work in a variety of watermedia including: watercolor, gouache, acrylic, egg tempera, casein, and ink.  We respect the opinions of our membership and ask them to share ideas such as new programs or new ways to deliver events to our membership and the public. We encourage members’ active involvement in our continued evolution and growth, with the goal of keeping watermedia in front of the public.

Although our membership is spread out over a large geographic area, there are many online or distance volunteering opportunities such as promoting events, recruiting new members, fundraising, conducting media outreach, providing newsletter content, offering a free online program, etc. as well as in-person volunteering at events. Each board of director's committee needs help on a periodic basis so please update your membership profile with your volunteer interests so we can connect you to the most appropriate options. If you see a call for help in the newsletter or email, please respond when it is in line with your talents.  

Types of Memberships and Recognition Opportunities

Benefits for Signature Artist, Associate, and Student memberships

  • Periodic free Artist Demonstrations on Zoom
  • Workshops, art talks, panel discussions held in-person or via Zoom
  • Programs such as plein air events, critique sessions, and some how-to events such as photographing your art.
  • Reduced entry fee for the BWS Mid-Atlantic Exhibition
  • Early access and reduced fees to programs and workshops
  • Annual Social Event (If not limited to Health Department restrictions)
  • Advertising artists who teach or accept commissions
  • Newsletters with upcoming events, member news, art tips
  • A Member Profile Page where you can maintain various details about yourself, for example a link to your website, classes you teach, whether you do commissions, etc.

Signature Artist Membership

As a regional watermedia society, BWS welcomes all artists residing in the "Mid-Atlantic" region, including Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, to apply for Signature Membership.

Signature status is achieved through jurying by the Board of Governors or three acceptances in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Exhibition. 

Paintings are juried for Signature Artist Membership twice each year in March and October. You can read a Jurying Packet with instructions and requirements here. Watch our list of events for the next opportunity to apply. 

Additional benefits available to Signature members:

  • Serve on the Executive Board or Chair a position on the Board of Governors,
  • Participate in exhibitions open only to Signature Artists, with the opportunity to receive one of six awards,
  • Allowed to use the initials BWS after your signature.

Associate Membership

Associate Membership is open to anyone with no geographic constraints.

Additional benefits available to Associate members:

  • Chair a position on the Board of Governors,
  • Exhibitions open only to Associate members with the opportunity to receive one of six awards.

Student Membership

Student membership is open to anyone between the ages of 16 and 25 who is enrolled in an art program, and submits an application and pays dues. The Student must provide their current institute of education along with the degree or certificate they are pursuing. The maximum term as a Student member is limited to five consecutive years, measured on a Calendar Year basis.

Additional benefits available to Student members:

  • Student members are entitled to participate in exhibits open to Student members, with the opportunity to receive one of six awards.

Recognition Levels for Signature Artist Members

Life Status

Life status is available to Associate and Signature Artist members who meet either of the following criteria:

  • An Associate or  Signature Artist in good standing for 25 years.
  • A 75-year-old Signature Artist in good standing for at least 10 years.
  • Volunteering to assist with activities held by BWS or that assist in the running of BWS and being nominated by yourself or another member of BWS by filing a Life Nomination form for consideration by the BWS Board of Governors.*
Membership dues are waived for  Life members.

* Signature Artists who reach meet the age based criteria between now and 2028 will be grandfathered into Life status based on the prior rules described in our Bylaws.

BWS Watermedia Master

  • Achieved when a BWS Signature Artist exhibited at least 6 times in the BWS Mid-Atlantic Regional Exhibition. 
  • Allowed to use the initials BWS-WM after their signature. 
  • Dues are unaffected by this new recognition level.

BWS Watermedia Master Elite 

  • Achieved when a BWS Signature Artist exhibited at least 10 times in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Exhibition. 
  • Allowed to use the initials BWS-WME after their signature. 
  • Dues are unaffected by this new recognition level.

Not sure yet if you want to jump in as a member?

Join as an "Art Lover" and get the newsletter and announcements about exhibits and public events. You can join as an "Art Lover" at no cost. Select "Art Lover" in the form below, then click the "Next" button.

If you want to include artwork in an exhibit, then join as an Associate. Associate member dues are $30 annually. Select "Associate" in the form below, then click the "Next" button. You will then be able to pay online.

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Payment of Dues

Annual dues are payable to BWS on January 1st of each year.

Anyone who joins BWS between September 1st and the end of the year is credited the membership through the following calendar year. Subsequent years, you may renew you membership starting during this same period.

Our annual dues reminder email is send December 2nd of each year with reminders approximately every two weeks. Once you pay your dues the reminders stop. 

Pay online

The dues reminder email will contain a link that will allow you to pay online. BWS prefers online payments via credit card, but if you need to pay by check, you can send it to: 

Janice Hendra, Membership Chair
103 Avondale Circle
Severna Park, MD 21146

To obtain Signature Status Recognition Levels of Watercolor Master or Watercolor Elite you must renew your dues annually after becoming a Signature Artist.

Your membership is considered lapsed on February 1st if your dues are not paid.

A lapsed member may not enter member exhibitions, no longer appears in the Member Directory, is removed from the Members Who Teach and Members Who Accept Commissions pages, and no longer received dues notifications. A lapsed Signature Artist members can resume their membership by contacting the Membership Chair for details. Associate members can resume their membership by renewing at any time. 

More Questions About Membership?

Direct questions about BWS Membership to

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