Hard Work, Difficult Times
by Tom Kraycirik, IWE Director
The 43rd IWE will go down in the books as a testimonial to optimism and hard work prevailing over very difficult external developments.
One could hardly tell the difference between the awards ceremony and reception this year versus those of the past. The art is beautiful. Attendance was robust. Also, a number of paintings have been acquired by enthusiastic patrons.
WAS-H volunteers dutifully fulfilled their assigned tasks in the spirit of gala that has always been shown. The work of all the WAS-H volunteers and IWE sponsors cannot be appreciated enough for spectacular tasks that have been accomplished by the hundreds.
Little could anyone have grasped the effects and speed of international health events as they unfolded during the next few days just after the Sunday opening. Yet, WAS-H members quickly amended set plans to conform with national and city health guidelines. The gallery is now closed, two receptions were cancelled and a number of regular workshops put on hold. The health and safety of artists and patrons became first priority.
The work now is not over, though, as Haley Bowen and others contribute to put together and launch the on-line catalogue which is keenly coveted by virtually everyone involved and all the artists who submitted works.
Presenting an IWE reminds you of a roller coaster with a long, steady climb to the top of the track. A pause at the tipping point, then a mad flash of twists and turns, ups and downs till you arrive back at where we are now.
The 10-month process of organizing and presenting the International Watermedia Exhibition continues and will do so during the coming year for the next event. WAS-H volunteers will carefully crate and ship paintings back to their artists.
The WAS-H board members will review 43rd IWE results concerning presentation, attendance and financial returns toward possible improvements. They will also decide and contract the juror for the 44th IWE.
In August the Prospectus Committee will meet to confirm any possible changes in line with prevailing trends and material innovations. By the first few weeks of September, the on-line entry system Café will have been contracted. The 44th IWE information and prospectus will have been loaded into the system. Then the submission process officially opens.
During the fall, IWE committees will be soliciting sponsors, advertising the event for artists worldwide to submit their work, and planning social media campaigns to promote attendance. The juror committee will make arrangements for settling in the juror and send out calls for those wanting to attend the juror’s workshop.
As the last week to enter approaches, the rush of submissions pouring in is astounding, sometimes 50 or more per day. The juror selects paintings, artists are invited to be send their work to WAS-H. Crates with paintings stashed inside will be stored until the day before the judging. As they are uncrated another WAS-H group will review the works for compliance to prospectus regulations. The next day, the juror makes selections for awards and then another committee artfully hang the exhibition.
The reception and awards committee works to plan the awards ceremony and present refreshments to opening day visitors.
To all the artists, WAS-H board members led by Kathleen Church, volunteers, sponsors, juror and patrons, we all wish our most hearty congratulations.