37th National Exhibition 2021

The Next Picture Show

A Fine Arts Center

113 W. First St., Dixon, Illinois

May 1 – 28, 2021

Reception: Saturday, May 1st, 1 – 4pm 

Over $6,000 in cash awards

The IWS National Show is held at a community-fine arts center
welcoming audiences of all ages. For this reason, artwork
depicting violence or sexual behavior cannot be accepted.


To download a printable version of IWS National Show 2021 prospectus, click here:
To submit an entry, scroll down to entry form.


Juror of Selection and Awards, Elaine Daily-Birnbaum

Internationally recognized artist, Elaine Daily-Birnbaum, is a signature member (and Dolphin Fellow) of the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, Watercolor USA Honor Society, California Watercolor Society, Rocky Mountain National Watercolor Society, and others. Her abstract water-media paintings have received awards in more than one-hundred national and international exhibitions, including two Silver Awards from the American Watercolor Society and First Place Awards from Rocky Mountain, Louisiana, and Northwest Watercolor Societies. Her paintings are included in the permanent collection of the Qingdao Museum, Qingdao, China and her work can be viewed at www.dailyartgallery.com. Ms. Daily-Birnbaum has also served as the juror of selection for the American, National, and California Watercolor Societiesexhibitions as well as a juror of awards for the American Watercolor Society.

Exhibition Overview

  • Selection and Awards Juror: Elaine Daily-Birnbaum
  • Entry Submission Deadline: Sunday, March 7, 2021
  • Entry Fee: $35 for Non-Members, $25 for Members, $10 for Signature Members
  • How to Enter: Online entries only at www.illinoiswatercolorsociety.org
  • Over $6,000 in cash awards — Best of Show is $1,500
  • Exhibition Dates: May 1 – May 28, 2021

Exhibition Awards

In addition to the prestige of participating in this wonderful exhibition, cash awards presented by the Illinois Watercolor Society will total at least $6,000. Below is a complete list of awards.

  • Best of Show: $1500
  • Award of Excellence I: $700
  • Award of Excellence II: $600
  • Award of Excellence III: $500
  • Schultz Creative Spirit: $500
  • Outstanding Figurative: $325
  • Outstanding Landscape: $325
  • Outstanding Abstract/Non-Representational: $325
  • Director’s Choice: $225
  • Charles Strissel Memorial: $150
  • People’s Choice: $150
  • Honorable Mentions (7): $100

Exhibition Calendar

March 7: Deadline for entries

March 27 : Accepted entries posted on www.illinoiswatercolorsociety.org

April 20 24: Paintings due (gallery is closed on Mondays)

  • Shipped or hand delivered
  • The Next Picture Show
  • 113 W. First St.
  • Dixon, Illinois 61021
  • 815.285.4924
  • (gallery is closed on Sundays and Mondays)                 

May 1: Reception & show opening

  • Elaine Daily-Birnbaum will give presentation at 1pm.
  • Awards presentation following demo

May 28: Show closes (work shipped back to artists)

May 29: Pick-up of hand delivered work

  • 10am – 4pm or call for arrangements (Gallery closed on Sunday and Monday)

Artwork Eligibility

The IWS National Exhibition is open to all artists who are 18 years or older.

  • Work must be original (not derived from another’s intellectual property or copyrighted references).
  • Painted after January 1, 2018.
  • Entries cannot have been displayed in an IWS Members’ Exhibition or IWS National Exhibition.
  • Entries cannot have been completed in a class, workshop, or under supervision.
  • Collage, digital media, photography, prints or reproductions are NOT permitted.
  • Acrylic and work painted on yupo or canvas is permitted.
  • Paintings framed under plexiglass must use plexiglass (no glass permitted). Paintings completed on stretched canvas may be framed without plexiglass or mat.
  • Mats must be white or neutral (a color similar to white).
  • Paintings must be wired and ready for hanging. No “saw-tooth” hangers.
  • Maximum frame size: 40″ in width or height.
  • Only one painting per artist will be selected.

Entry Submission Requirements

  • Fees for one or two entries:
    Non-Members: $35 
    IWS Members: $25 
    IWS Signature Members: $10 
  • Detailed instructions for shipping and delivery will be provided in the Acceptance Notification.
  • Insurance will be the responsibility of the artist.
  • Entry information along with images must be submitted online only.
  • File names should include the JPEG (JPG) extension.
  • File size should be no more than 1MB.
  • Crop images to show only the painting, no mats, background images or frames.
  • Image names must include the title of the painting and the correct number corresponding with entry form. Example: Flowers1.jpg and Barn2.jpg.
  • Payment will be made online via PayPal
  • Questions sent to: NationalShow@illinoiswatercolorsociety.org

Confirming Entries

  • Acceptance only notification will be via email and posted on the IWS website.
  • After paying the entry fee in PayPal, your entry is submitted. You may email NationalShow@illinoiswatercolorsociety.org if you have questions. Registration information cannot be revised or changed after submission. This includes price, title of the entry, and entry size.

Accepted Artwork

  • All artists whose work is selected for exhibition will receive instructions for shipping and
    delivery in the Acceptance Notification.
  • Only one painting will be accepted from an individual artist.
  • No substitutions of artwork can be made after acceptance.
  • No peanut packing or wood cartons, please!
  • Once accepted, no changes can be made to price, title or dimensions.
  • Artwork must remain on display in the Gallery for the duration of the Exhibition. Removal of artwork prior to the closing will result in penalties assessed by the by the IWS Board of Directors.

Reception Invitation

  • The reception is free and open to the public and will be held at the Next Picture Show Gallery on Saturday, May 1, 2021 beginning at 1pm.
  • The Awards Juror will offer a watercolor presentation at 1pm.
    This will be followed by a ceremony recognizing award winners and new Signature honorees.


  • The Next Picture Show is responsible for all sales and will retain a 20% commission.
  • Unless specified by the artist (NFS) all paintings will be for sale.


  • IWS reserves the right to photograph and duplicate works for the catalog/website and publicity purposes.

Contact Information

For additional questions or clarification, please contact the show chairman at: nationalshow@illinoiswatercolorsociety.org

You can find the PROSPECTUS  here.

2021 IWS National Juried Exhibition

Entry #1
H x W
Enter the price or Not For Sale
Max 1MB
Entry #2
Enter the price or Not For Sale
Max 1MB