Community outreach activities are central to Watercolor Art Society-Houston's mission. The volunteer opportunities are diverse - members judge and volunteer for exhibitions, performance demonstrations and instruction in schools, colleges, hospitals and community centers. WAS-H is proud of several of the long-term programs that have been implemented, notably the Senior Art Class, the HSPVA scholarship and participation in the Arts in Medicine program at Texas Children's Hospital.
Arts in Medicine Volunteers
WAS-H’s Outreach Program offers volunteers the opportunity to participate in the lives of others that are not so fortunate. Almost every Tuesday morning of the year, volunteers from WAS-H go to the Clinical Care Center of Texas Children’s Hospital to introduce the joy of watercolor to those children waiting for their cancer treatments. The children become absorbed in the process of painting, a welcome diversion during a difficult time in their lives.
WAS-H has been participating in the Arts in Medicine Program (AIM) of Texas Children’s Hospital longer than any other organization. We welcome new volunteers to this very meaningful program. Please consider giving of your time to help these children and their families. You will find it rewarding. Contact our Outreach Director if you would like more information.
A new experience for children and volunteers at the children's tables at Texas Children's Hospital
Art Class for Seniors
WAS-H has sponsored a free art class for Seniors for over twenty years. This relaxed class welcomes all levels of senior students who wish to paint from a provided still life or from photographs of landscape, seascape, architectural and floral subjects. The classes are Thursday mornings, September through May. Contact Mary Rustay, program director and instructor.
Senior class student with instructor Mary Rustay, enjoying a morning or watercolor painting.
9th Annual HSPVA Scholarship Awarded 2016
WAS-H has awarded its annual scholarship to Eleanor Annie Morris-Swank, a senior at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA). Eleanor plans to attend Platt Institute, where she will study fashion design.
About her work, Eleanor says, “Since I was little I used to gather my easel, colors, and drawing pad and begin to paint. Traveling has been a large part of my life, and I began to use places I’ve been as inspiration to my art. Using materials I enjoy, I soon created a cohesive body of work based on place, maps, fabrics, and design.”
Congratulations to you, Eleanor, and we at WAS-H wish you all the best in college and your future career.
8th Annual HSPVA Scholarship 2015
WAS-H has awarded its 8th annual college scholarships to Miyani Clark and Daniel Huerta, graduating seniors at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA).
Miyani Clark plans to attend either Beloit or Lewis and Clark College and major in studio art, creative writing, and physics.
“I enjoy thinking of myself as a tree,” Miyani says. “I have three primary branches. There is the art branch, which is the part of me that draws for contentment and solace. There is the physics branch, which is the part of me that loves mathematics and how numbers are connected to the way the world works. The most important branch represents my actions to make the world better. The paintings I create combat loneliness and promote the importance of taking care of oneself and others. Through my art, I want to spread kindness, and to teach others, particularly small kids, to spread kindness as well. It is my dream to write and illustrate stories, and to perhaps one day be as influential as Dr. Seuss.”
Daniel Huerta has applied to a number of schools and is hoping for a scholarship that will enable him to major in film and fine art.
“I had a hard time in Junior High,” Daniel says. “I entered HSPVA depressed, fearful of others, and dubious about my future. However, as I learned more about the role of art in our world, I began to use it to try to understand how I lived my own life. With time, my focus shifted from baseless doodles and cartoons to being honest with myself and creating art about my anxieties and inner conflicts. Through the discussions I had with my classmates, I not only managed to learn more, but I managed to break some of the chains that kept me from opening myself up to others, thus allowing me to gain a lot of the confidence I lacked.
“I have learned that art isn’t something that’s confined to a canvas — it’s a force that allows us to understand what it is to be human and how to apply that understanding to our lives. It is a gift that is meant to be shared with the world.”
Wow! What great young people we at WAS-H are privileged to help! Miyani and Daniel, we wish you both all the best in college and your future careers.
Top: The Pink Hair and the Quiet Mind by Miyani Clark
Bottom: Elude by Daniel Huerta
WAS-H Awards HSPVA Juniors Summer Scholarships
Last July WAS-H President Beverly Aderholt and Outreach Director Lynne Woods met with Eileen Montgomery, Chair of the Visual Arts Department at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA). In addition to the annual WAS-H scholarship to a graduating senior, they wanted to ask Eileen what else WAS-H might do to support and encourage young art students.
“You know,” Eileen said, “one of the most helpful things we do is encourage our juniors to attend a summer art program at a college of their choice. Often the college then offers the students financial aid once they graduate. Would WAS-H consider funding a couple of these junior scholarships?”
We would! So last fall we asked the WAS-H Board to fund two $500 junior summer scholarships, and Ellen Orseck graciously agreed to be the WAS-H juror at the HSPVA Junior Art Exhibit in March. So now we can announce that the first two WAS-H Junior Summer Scholarships have been awarded to Victoria Capo and Madeleine Fowler.
Victoria Capo: “I am set to go to Otis College of Art and Design’s Summer of Art in Los Angeles. I really appreciate that WAS-H is helping to make this happen.
“I most enjoy drawing and painting. Art helps me feel confident, and I have fun putting my ideas and creations down. When I feel good about myself, I get inspired to be even more creative with my art.”
Madeleine Fowler: “I am looking forward to attending the School of Visual Arts Summer Program in New York. I will be studying animation.
“What I enjoy most in art is creating movement, putting multiple images together to tell stories. The opportunity provided by WAS-H will help me to work on these skills in a focused environment. “I just want to create something for everyone to love and learn.”
Congratulations, Victoria and Madeleine! We hope you learn a lot this summer. And a big THANK YOU goes to Ellen Orseck for volunteering to serve as WAS-H’s juror for the HSPVA Junior Art Show.