The Illinois Watercolor Society welcomes anyone with a love —or even an interest—in water media. Some members are highly accomplished professionals. Others of us are dabblers, just having a little fun. Our National Show is juried, with major awards, and is the path to signature status. Our Member’s Show is open for all to hang any painting they wish! We publish the news on watercolor events, exhibitions, workshops and classes. Most of all, the Illinois Watercolor Society is a place to gather with new friends and celebrate painting in water media. That means you! Welcome

IWS yearly membership includes two newsletters which highlight IWS sponsored exhibitions and member’s accomplishments. We also send our “E-Blast” several times a year with exhibition and workshop opportunities across the state. Members are able to enter the annual member’s show held at galleries such as the Peabody Estate at Mayslake, the Bloomingdale Park District museum, and Evanston Art Center. Members also pay a reduced fee for entry into the national show. In partnership with the OakBrook Library, IWS members’ meetings are free and open to the public. Membership fees allow us to hire accomplished artists to present demos at the library and the IWS website. All of us at IWS appreciate your support.

Membership Dues Schedule

  • Yearly membership fees are $40.00 due by April 30th of each year.

  • IWS is now also offering life-time membership at $400.00

You can join or renew your membership ONLINE!


Fill the form or download the Membership application here Memb App 

Submission Form


Online or with Check

The association/renewal fee is $40.00.

Life-time membership at $400.00

Pay your dues online via PayPal by clicking on the button below. We use PayPal for all of our online payments but you DO NOT need a PayPal account to pay with ANY major credit card.


With Check

Mail your check (and application) to:

Gerald Lewis
IWS Director of Membership
207 Arrowwood Dr
Northbrook, IL 60062

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:

  1. Encouraging the practice and appreciation of water based media at all skill levels
  2. Publication of a newsletter
  3. Providing a general meeting for socializing, demos and lectures
  4. Providing a website for members to use as a learning and promotional resource
  5. Providing a national and a members’ exhibition

Artistic Education
The IWS will provide essential information regarding the further educational advancement of its members by means of this website and newsletter. Artists of all skill levels are encouraged to join IWS. Resources are equally available to all members.

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

Annual National Juried Exhibition
This annual event is a juried show open to all watercolor artists living in the US. A Juror of Selection and Judge of Awards will be responsible for selecting the entries into the exhibit and for selecting finalists to be presented with awards. Award winnners paintings will then be featured on the website and newsletter.

Annual Members’ Show Exhibition
This annual event is an invitational show for all IWS members that is judged for awards. Award winnners paintings will then be featured on the website and newsletter.

Membership Dues Schedule
The IWS Membership term is from May 1 thru April 30 of the following year. Dues are payable from February thru April and will cover the following year. Membership deadline (the postmarking of letters) is April 30.

Membership Levels

Associate Membership
Associate membership benefits include: entry into the annual show at a reduced rate, a newsletter, their name, email address and web link published on the website and IWS event notices. Renewing Associate members fee is $40.

Signature Membership
Signature (active) membership retains all of the benefits of Associate membership plus the privilege of using the initials ‘IWS’ after their signature. Only those qualifying signature members who pay their annual dues each year will be authorized to use IWS after their signature. Signature members also receive a reduced entry rate into the national exhibition. View all the current signature members here.

Qualification for Signature Membership
Signature status will be granted to members (whose dues are current) and non-members through inclusion into 3 IWS national exhibitions and not necessarily consecutively.