Revised September, 2023

PDF file of the IWS Policy Manual

Mission Statement: To promote the appreciation of watercolor art through education, exhibition, and community service

 For Clarification – Throughout this document, when “the Board” is referenced as a decision-maker, it denotes elected and appointed members only.


A budget shall be developed and adopted by the Board prior to the beginning of the fiscal year to cover administrative costs and projected income & expenses of IWS activities for the new fiscal year.  If activities are not to be self-supporting, the Board shall decide to what degree such activities will be subsidized through the general fund.  The fiscal year shall be from September 1 to August 31 as set by Policy Manual revision dated 9/9/96.

To maintain viability of the organization, a reserve of approximately 2-years’ operating expenses will be kept in either checking or savings accounts owned by IWS.  Deviating from this policy will require a 60% vote of the Board.


  1. Operating funds will be allocated equally among regions annually as a set amount, plus an allocation based on a percentage of each region’s active and associate membership as set by the Board, under the leadership of the Treasurer.  Regional Representatives will be responsible for managing and reporting the regional allocations.


  • Total IWS Regional Budget $2,252
  • $350 to each of 5 regions   – 1,750
  • Remaining Amount of Regional Budget to be divided by each Region’s
    percentage of membership (i.e. $502 divided by number of regions)
  1. No unused allocations will be carried forward to the next fiscal year.
  2. Use of regional funds must be supported by appropriate documentation, budgets, and receipts.

The President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Recording Secretary shall be signatories on the financial institution checking and savings account and CDs; these positions shall be bonded on an annual basis.  (Currently only president and treasurer are signatories.  This needs to be updated to comply with Policy Manual)

Event Budgets (Exhibitions, Workshops, Paint-outs, Programs):
Event coordinators are responsible for submitting a proposed budget for Board approval 60 days prior to the event.  A concluding financial report with original receipts for reimbursement shall be submitted to the Treasurer within 30 days following the event.  Coordinators are responsible for collecting all income and expense receipts.

Donated Member Services:
Members providing services to the Society, such as typing, bookkeeping, legal advice, and graphics, shall not be paid for such services unless otherwise approved by the Board.


  1. The Board shall review for approval unbudgeted expenses in excess of $150. No disbursement in excess of $150 shall be made except by vote of the Board.
  2. The Treasurer shall reimburse members for approved expenses after receiving a signed Reimbursement Request with original paid receipts attached.
  3. Expenses and reimbursement for the statewide Annual Membership Meeting/Fall Workshop will be made according to the rate set by the Board.


  1. The Treasurer shall prepare detailed monthly financial reports to the Board
  2. The IWS books shall be audited on an annual basis by an auditor selected by the board.
  3. The President and Treasurer are authorized in advance to jointly contract and commit on behalf of IWS for time urgent matters an amount of $500 or less.

Annual Membership Meeting / Fall Workshop:

  1. Lodging shall be paid for the coordinator of the Annual Membership Meeting/Fall workshop.
  2. Lodging may be paid in the amount up to $150 for regional representatives and the Board members who live out of the area of the annual event (does not include spouses).
  3. Expenses for gas (from point to point), according to the approved rate, will be reimbursed to regional representatives, and officers who travel to the Annual Membership Meeting/Fall Workshop.  A completed reimbursement form needs to be submitted and approved by the Board.
  4. All Board members and regional representatives may receive a complimentary banquet dinner at the Annual Membership Meeting if funds are available.


Statewide Sponsored Events:The Annual Juried Membership Exhibition

  1. A non-juried Annual Show (i.e. Capitol Rotunda).  Any active member is invited to participate.
  2. Non-juried shows in each region, sponsored by that region.
  3. Other exhibitions as the Board determines.

The Vice President will lead the search for nationally recognized jurors for the Annual Juried Exhibition & Workshop.  Jurors should be contracted at least 2 years prior to the year of service.

Regional Exhibitions:
IWS encourages members to organize open shows in their regions; all active and associate members in that region shall be encouraged to participate in these events.

Budgets & Financial Reports:
All IWS events, either regional or statewide must follow the guidelines outlined in the section FINANCE/Event Budgets.

Exhibitions and Workshops
An exhibitions and workshops committee may be appointed by the President to provide oversight of the planning, coordination, and management of the workshops and exhibitions conducted annually by IWS. This committee will be appointed by the Board and will include chairpersons of the annual juried show, the annual workshop, the spring workshop, the Capitol Rotunda Show and other members as appointed. This committee will provide a forum for the chairpersons of the exhibits and events to share information, techniques, experiences and insights on arranging and conducting their events. This committee will work with the Vice President in identifying potential annual exhibition juror and will take the lead in locating instructors for additional statewide workshops. Information generated by this committee will be shared with regional representatives so that potential educational resources might be available statewide.

Media & Substrate Specifications:
IWS sponsored exhibits shall consist of water media paintings on substrates as defined by the board-approved prospectus for each event.

Presentation Criteria:
As often as possible at IWS juried exhibits the center of each painting will be at a height of 54 inches, and exhibition labels will consist of letters at least 5/8” high in order to comply with existing federal ADA guidelines.

The IWS shall suggest a 15% donation for paintings sold during IWS sponsored exhibits.  That will apply to any IWS sponsored exhibit and will be included in the exhibit prospectus/call for entries.  All donations from all shows shall be allocated to the general fund or otherwise determined by the Board.  Any artwork that is part of the Annual Juried Exhibition Traveling Show and is sold prior to the end of the Traveling Show, must remain with the Show until its conclusion.  At that time, the artist should make arrangements to get their sold artwork to the buyer.

The IWS shall not sponsor a display booth in which individual members set up their own booths for the purpose of showing and selling their own work.  Individual sales booths are not permitted in IWS shows and exhibitions.

Loss and/or Damage of Member Work:
A waiver of liability for loss or damage shall be included in every IWS exhibit prospectus/call for entries, whether statewide or regional.

Professional Standards:
The chairperson or persons will have the responsibility to reject and/or remove any exhibition work that does not meet the exhibit specifications. This pertains to work found in violation during the exhibition and/or judging. Standards will be strictly enforced, and awards will be forfeited. The Juror may remove any work that differs substantially from its entry representation. For regional shows, the regional representative may assist the show chairperson in these determinations.


Entry Fees:
Exhibition entry fees are non-refundable.

The Board shall schedule a variety of jurors so that over the years there shall be no bias toward any style of art.  The juror of the Annual Juried Membership Exhibition shall be a nationally recognized artist with juror experience.   The juror shall be requested to select the works of art as stated in the exhibit guidelines.


  1. The Board shall determine the number and amount of awards for the Annual Juried Membership exhibition; the list of award winners shall be published in the Annual Exhibition Catalog.
  2. The Juror(s) shall determine which works of art receive awards.
  3. Award recipients shall be notified by phone prior to the Award Ceremony, that they are among the award winners.  No specific award information will be revealed prior to the Ceremony.

Exhibition Selection:
The IWS shall retain for its library images of all work selected for inclusion in the Annual Juried Membership Exhibition.

Donors and businesses who have provided substantial support during the year shall be acknowledged in the Annual Exhibition Catalogue.

Exhibition Chairperson(s):

  1. The Annual Juried Membership Exhibition chairperson(s) shall have his/her workshop fee waived.


  1. The IWS shall sponsor an annual, non-juried show, open to active members statewide.
  2. Work will be accepted on a space available, first come, first accepted basis.
  3. This show will be held at the Capitol Rotunda or other venue as approved by the Board.


The IWS shall sponsor statewide workshops throughout the year.

  1. A workshop conducted by a nationally recognized artist which may be in conjunction with the Annual Juried Membership Exhibition
  2. Fall Workshop, in conjunction with the Annual Membership Meeting
  3. Spring Workshop

Workshop Content:

  1. Instructors may be requested to provide a course outline prior to the workshop.
  2. Advertising the workshop shall include the skill level and the content for which the workshop will be designed.

Workshop Coordinators:

  1. Workshop coordinators shall submit a proposed budget to the board for approval.  Upon approval by the Board, the coordinator shall secure a signed contract for the instructor’s services and, if necessary, the facility.
  2. Workshop coordinators for the Spring Workshop, the Fall Workshop, and the Annual Exhibition Workshop will pay zero workshop tuition, on condition that the enrollment, as set by the instructor and coordinator, is filled.  If the workshop enrollment is not met, the coordinator shall pay 50% of tuition or a percentage set by the Board.

Workshop Registration and Fees

  1. IWS members shall be given space priority in IWS sponsored workshops.
  2. Non-members may participate in such workshops on a space available basis.
  3. Workshop fees shall be set as necessary to cover expenses.
  4. Refund requests for cancellation after the designated deadline will be reviewed by the workshop coordinator and submitted to the Board.  A written request for a refund, with reason/explanation for cancellation, should be sent to the workshop coordinator.  Refunds will be made only in cases of family illness or emergency or determined by the Board.

Payment of Jurors and Instructors:
When IWS contracts with an instructor and/or juror for the fee of $600 or more, the Treasurer will provide the instructor with an IRS Form 1099.  It will be the instructor’s sole responsibility to report such earnings from IWS.


There are three basic categories of IWS membership.  These are detailed in the IWS By-Laws

  1. Active Members
  2. Associate Members
  3. Dual Members (IWS and PAPI)

Special Designations:
There are six designated membership categories.  These are detailed in the IWS By-Laws.

  1. Distinguished Merit Members
  2. Merit Members
  3. Honorary Members
  4. Donor members
  5. Associate Members
  6. Full Time Student Members

Membership Period:

  1. Annual membership is from January 1 to December 31.  Memberships paid for during October through December will be in effect for those months in addition to the following year.
  2. Membership must be paid prior to entering the Annual Juried Membership Exhibition.  To be included in the membership Directory for that year, membership must be received by IWS by March 1.

Membership Directory:
The Membership  Chairperson is responsible for preparing, printing, and distributing the membership directory, which is mailed to IWS members in the spring.

Annual Membership Meeting:
One important purpose for a gathering of members from across the state, is to foster comradery and friendship among members statewide.

The business of the Annual Membership Meeting shall be as follows:

  • To announce the election of officers
  • Any revisions to governing documents such as By-Laws or Policy Manual
  • Approval of the budget for the coming year
  • To unveil and discuss any new or changing activities of the organization for the coming year.

A slate of officers will be provided to the membership via email, prior to the annual meeting and voting will take place at least one week prior to the meeting.  All documents to be reviewed, discussed, or voted on at the meeting, will be provided electronically to members at least one week prior to that meeting.


The IWS newsletter, WATERWORKS, shall be published, at least quarterly on a schedule as determined by the Board.

The IWS newsletter shall be provided to all members without charge.  The newsletter shall be available to non-members via the IWS website.


IWS shall maintain a social media presence that will include a website and Instagram.  Their purpose is to provide information about the Society (membership, leadership, classes, workshops and Annual Juried Exhibition, newsletter, etc.) and also provide applications for membership.


Address List:
The address list of IWS members shall not be sold or given out to non-members.

Loaning or Renting IWS Equipment:
Any projectors, electronics, or other equipment owned by IWS shall not be loaned or rented to persons or organizations outside of IWS.

Fair Awards:
Watercolor non-member artists exhibiting water media at any of the regional fairs may receive special recognition by IWS and a one-year paid IWS membership.  Decision on awards, will be made by IWS Regional Reps.

Alcoholic Beverages:
IWS funds will not be used to purchase or serve alcoholic beverages.