Citrus Watercolor Society
Article contributed by Norm Freyer
In 1981, a small group of Citrus County artists, with a common interest in the watercolor medium of painting, joined to form the Citrus Watercolor Club (CWC).
In the beginning there were only about 15 artists in the group. The founders were watercolorists Joe Bucciante, Norma Willis and Robert Darden. The first president was Norma Willis. During the 1990’s the interest in watercolor painting, and club membership increased as the club adopted the theme “Promoting the Art of Watercolor and the Artist”. Membership reached 150 members in the years around 2007-2008 and remain at that level to the present day.
It is interesting to note that a number of artists have served as president of the organization for more than one term over the years. Those include Norma Willis (two), Ray Jowers (three), Jeanne Conrad (two), Pat Kelly-Sistrand (two), and Norm Freyer (two). Club program chairpersons have been successful in scheduling regional and nationally known watercolorists to come to Citrus County and demonstrate at the club meetings, and present workshops exhibiting the techniques used in their individual success to club members. The organization also scheduled public watercolor art shows and sales in the Spring and Fall at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and has contributed 20% of sales to the Friends of the Park over the years.
In 2016, club officers recognized that make-up of membership had changed markedly, and now consists of artists not only from Citrus county, but from Levy, Hernando, Marion, Lake and Sumter counties. The CWC board felt that it was time to change the name of the club to the Citrus Watercolor Society (CWS) to better reflect the make-up of the membership.