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About SWS

About Us

Granted a charter by the State of Texas in May of 1964, Southwestern Watercolor Society began as the North Texas Watercolor Society, founded by Reese Kennedy, its first president. As membership expanded rapidly, the organization’s name was changed to encompass a wider spectrum of potential members. SWS has grown to be an international organization and is one of the largest watercolor societies in the nation. Many of its members have attained national signature status in other watercolor societies, such as American Watercolor Society (AWS) and National Watercolor Society (NWS). Many members have paintings accepted in open juried competitions throughout the United States each year. SWS is fortunate to have many nationally know artists and teachers as members.

SWS meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in Dallas, Texas (except June, July, August and December.) Meetings are held at Lovers Lane Methodist Church is located at 9200 Inwood Road, Dallas, Texas in Asbury Hall. They are typically attended by 100+ members and feature a lecture-demonstration by a nationally recognized artist. This is a good place to learn some new techniques and meet other artists and make friends for life.. At the monthly meetings, members are encouraged to enter a painting in the “Painting of the Month” competition sponsored by Jerry's Artarama in Dallas. Members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Each year, SWS offers several workshops lasting three to five days with the nationally recognized watercolor artists. During these workshops, participants enjoy several days of intensive instruction and the opportunity to paint with other water media enthusiasts. Workshop teachers often do demos, provide information, and offer feedback to painters. Read more about upcoming workshops on our Workshops Page.

SWS activities include the Painting of the Month competition, Annual Membership Exhibition, Annual Western Federation Show, Weekend Paint-outs all around Texas, Workshops, the yearly December Holiday Party and various other opportunities to exhibit work, network with other artists, serve SWS and serve the community. SWS awards two free workshops yearly in the Stepping Stones program. SWS has an active and up-to-date Facebook page. Members have website access to the monthly “Scene” newsletter, which is packed full of SWS news and announcements. SWS members have special "members only" log-in to the SWS website with exclusive content and events only available to members.

SWS encourages water media training in area schools and colleges and SWS Members are available for lecture-demonstrations. Student scholarships are offered for some SWS sponsored workshops during the year. Students are invited to attend all SWS meetings for free. SWS Members are available for lecture-demonstrations.

If you would like to get involved, you can join for a nominal membership fee and we are always looking for volunteers to help with running the society. The SWS board meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month via zoom. There are many volunteer opportunities available to help SWS. Find out more about membership here.

The Board

The board term is June 1, 2024 - May 31, 2025

2024-2025 BOARD MEMBERS:
President: Kent Perigo
1st Vice President, Programs: Cheryl Sonsteby
2nd Vice President, Membership: Jan Venuso
3rd Vice President, Workshops: Kay Byfield and Mary Jane Journey
4th Vice President, Exhibitions: April Hare
5th Vice President, Communications – Dalynn Montgomery,

Complete list of Board and Committee Chairpersons is available to SWS Members:


Article I. Name and Purpose SECTION ONE: Organization Name This Society shall be known as the Southwestern Watercolor Society (“SWS” or “Society”) with Headquarters in Dallas, Texas. SECTION TWO: Mission Statement The purpose of the Society shall be the elevation of the stature of watercolor as an art medium and the education of the public …

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Bits of SWS History

The SWS “Drop” Creator – “Bud” Biggs, SWS


In 1970 the incoming SWS President, Don Mitchell, asked a well-known graphic artist and member, “Bud” Biggs, to design a new logo for the Southwest Watercolor Society.  Bud agreed to take up the task and presented a “drop” motif with the letters SWS contained within its boundaries.  It was adopted unanimously and has stood the test of time, as it remains the SWS logo to this day – 50 years later!

Who was this graphic artist and why did Don ask him specifically?

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SWS Past Presidents

Past SWS Presidents from left to right: Jonesy McConnell (1992-1993, Mickey Archer (2013-2014), Gaylord O’Con (2012-2013, 2017-2018), Lou Bono (2018-2020)-pictured is his widow, Jean Bono holding Lou;'s portrait, Paula Vining (2021-2022), Teta Smith (2014-2015), Dalynn Montgomery (2022-2024)

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SWS Past Presidents