About The San Diego Watercolor Society

SDWS enjoys a beautiful, inspirational setting in
The Arts District Liberty Station

The San Diego Watercolor Society facility includes a gallery, an education center for workshops and classes, and a reference and instructional library for watermedia artists.

Mission Statement  To be an ongoing recognized leader in expanding the appreciation of and involvement in watermedia painting through member instruction, exhibition, community education and promotion.

Purpose  To promote water-based media on paper by sponsoring Member Shows, an International Exhibition, and holding workshops and painting demonstrations.  To encourage students, viewers, and artists of all ages to become involved in watermedia on paper and the San Diego Watercolor Society.





Formed in 1965, The San Diego Watercolor Society (SDWS) is a broad-based nonprofit art organization promoting the appreciation of and involvement in watermedia painting.  Its charter members formed a focus on establishing an organization that would meet its goals of promoting watermedia art through the volunteerism of its members.  They were forward thinking and expanded the organization from an initial 16 members to nearly 700 and from meeting in a community room in a library to a facility with 4,000 square feet and an education center that is the setting for frequent workshops given by nationally recognized watermedia artists. 

Today, nearly 50 years later, with its dedicated all-volunteer staff, SDWS operates a major gallery and education center located in The Arts District Liberty Station in the Point Loma area of San Diego.

SDWS provides a wide variety of services and activities that benefit members and the public.


The SDWS Gallery is a showcase for the tremendous variety of watermedia at created by SDWS members. Artwork is for sale along with greeting cards and other items.

Each month a new show is presented to the public. All visitors are asked to vote for their favorite painting. Each month votes are tallied and a People's Choice award is presented to a member artist for their work that inspired the winning number of votes from our visitors from all over the world.

Location & Hours


Education & Outreach

We are also devoted to arts education for all ages. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the SDWS Education Committee currently has four main programs:  Community Outreach for Youth and Seniors, Liberty School, Military Family Arts Program, and Adult Beginner Watercolor Workshops.

Best in Show 2012 International Exhibition
Artist: Ruth Ellen Hoag. Title: "Retrospective"

The International Exhibition

For over three decades, SDWS has been proud to host its yearly International Exhibition which attracts hundreds of entries from acclaimed artists worldwide.  Well-known artists are invited to jury the exhibit, and accepted artists are honored to participate.  This significant exhibit is one of the highlights of the year for SDWS.  A gala reception for members, artists, and the public is held at the SDWS gallery in October, and hundreds of visitors view the exhibit during the month.