In 1983, a small group of watercolorists met in Missoula and asked each other why Montana did not have an organization just for watermedia artists. Out of that meeting came the Montana Watercolor Society. Today, we are over 200 members strong.
What is our purpose?
To encourage the advancement, study, appreciation, and creation of watercolor painting in Montana and elsewhere.
What is our story?
The MTWS Story by Founding Member Marjorie Harper
Back in the 1970's there were occasional painting workshops in Missoula given by local artists. Don Emblem, an accountant who regularly attended these workshops, kept after me about getting a watercolor society going. (He actually ended up being the MTWS treasurer for years.) Margaret Mudd and I were friends and we both were acquainted with Lee Morrison. Lee was the matriarch of the art world in Missoula, she was the glue that held the art community together and she had so many contacts. Margaret and I approached her with the idea, and before we knew it she had Jim Haughey of Billings doing the legal set up for the organization and Jean Halverson hired as our first judge. We paid these wonderful people with a Signature Membership. There obviously was a need because the organization grew and has flourished. We started the practice of having our judge for the Water Media show give a work shop as a way to get quality instruction here in Montana. There were lots of members who needed an avenue for showing their work, so we came up with the idea of a Members Show, and Lewistown graciously agreed to host this show, and continues to do so. Getting the MTWS started and meeting the artists from all over the State was an incredible experience. Margret Mudd has moved out of state and Lee has left us to paint flowers that we can only imagine. The friendship Lee and I developed went way beyond art and I'm eternally grateful for the time we had. Those who have taken over the jobs we once did have done a wonderful job. I can't believe all the great presidents this organization has had. I hope everyone appreciates the hard work these people put into this organization, so that we can all take up our paint brushes and put our heart & souls in full color on paper.