The Illinois Watercolor Society was established in 1981 with Chuck Strissel as its president. The first exhibition took place at the Redfield Estate at The Grove in Glenview, Illinois in 1982. Today with well over 180 members, the IWS sponsors two shows each year, a national show and a members’ invitational exhibit. Bi-monthly meetings feature demonstrations by artists with a national reputation.


The mission of the Illinois Watercolor Society is to advance the education and caliber of watercolor painting throughout Illinois. This is accomplished by several means:

  • Encouraging the practice and appreciation of water based media at all skill levels

  • Publication of a newsletter

  • Providing a website for members to use as a learning and promotional resource

  • Providing exhibitions and demos for artists

Artistic Education

The IWS seeks artistic development by sponsoring and promoting group painting sessions, demonstrations, exchanges of information between members, and other programs designed to expand members’ skills, creative expression and technique.

Artists of all skill levels are encouraged to join IWS. Resources are equally available to all members.