Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society (FSWS) is an IRS tax-exempt 501-C-3, not-for-profit organization for members who reside on the west coast of Florida.  FSWS was formed in 1983 to foster the advancement of and promote excellence in the art of watercolor painting. Our intent is to inform and educate through exhibitions, lectures and painting demonstrations as to the best work currently being done in watercolor. 

FSWS usually has at least three juried exhibitions a year at various art centers and galleries in the region.  These exhibitions can be either transparent watercolor or aqueous water based media like acrylics.

Transparent Watercolor is defined as a painting executed in traditional watercolor paints, namely water-resoluble transparent medium without the addition of opaque white pigment, the white of the paper being the only white, on traditional watercolor paper, not Yupo, unvarnished, matted, and framed under Plexiglas.

Aqueous Watercolor is defined as a painting executed with any water-soluble medium, including gouache, acrylic, ink, egg tempera or watercolor collage, on such surfaces as paper, silk or Yupo, matted, and framed under Plexiglas.

President’s Message


I’m excited to begin my journey with you as President of Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society. It’s incredible to witness the talent we have in our organization and enjoy the continued support of the volunteers who keep our organization moving forward.

Leda Palermo did a fabulous job last season as President, leading our organization through a successful season that provided wonderful educational workshops, an incredible annual event, and popular juried exhibitions. This year I plan to do the same and we are already working on the details to provide workshops, exhibits, award ceremonies and receptions, and an informative and celebratory annual event.

Without each and every one of you, we would not have the vast array of beautiful art to exhibit or workshops available, because our organization is a representation of the artists living in Florida’s Suncoast, the most wonderful place that nurtures beauty and the arts.

Again, I will share that your Board of Directors wants to ensure that all members feel welcome and understand they are appreciated, and they are important to our community. If you are new to the organization, welcome! And if you are a returning member, thank you for your membership! If you are interested in helping FSWS, please volunteer at receiving, post your paintings on our Facebook and Instagram accounts and at our events, introduce yourself to other members so we can get to know you and enjoy your work.

I am looking forward to the Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 Season with much anticipation. Thank you for being a valued member of the Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society.

In gratitude,

Susan Tobin, President


Gail Ribas, Diane Simon, Mary Louise Ringers, Jerry Chesley, Leda Palermo


March 27th, 2020
University Park Country Club
7671 The Park Blvd
University Park, FL 34201


The Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society is a tax-exempt, Public Charity, under IRS Code Section 501-C-3; contributions that are made to the FSWS are tax-deductible.

Article I

Sec. 1 Name

The name of this association shall be:

  1. Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society, Inc., a nonprofit Florida Organization.
  2. The Corporation’s registered office shall be the address designated by the Executive Committee. The President or Treasurer is authorized to serve as the Resident Agent for the Society.
  3. Members are residents, past or present, of one of the counties which border the West Coast of Florida.

 Sec. 2 Purpose

The purpose of FSWS is to promote watermedia painting, and to inform and educate the public and our members through exhibitions, workshops, lectures and demonstrations. The Society furthers public awareness through awards, scholarships and donations to civic organizations.

Sec. 2 Definitions

  1. Transparent Watercolor – is defined as a painting executed in traditional watercolor paints, namely water resoluble transparent medium, without the addition of opaque white pigments, the white of the paper being the only white permitted, on traditional watercolor paper, unvarnished, matted and framed under Plexiglas.
  2. Aqueous Watercolor – is defined as a painting executed with any water soluble medium, painted on surfaces created for watermedia, and framed under Plexiglas.

Article II

Sec. 1 Categories

  1. Charter Member – Any member who joined the Society within the first five (5) years of its founding. Charter Members shall pay annual dues, may vote and hold office, and submit paintings for exhibitions, and are also considered Signature Members.
  2. Master Signature Member – Beginning November 2012, any member who has earned Signature status shall earn 25 points based on the following system: Acceptance into any FSWS show – 1 point per accepted work; in addition: Honorable Mention – 1 point, Merit – 2 points, Third Place – 3 points, Second Place – 4 points, First Place – 5 points.
  3. Signature Member – To become a Signature Member, a member must be accepted in two (2) juried exhibitions. Signature Members shall pay annual dues, may vote, hold office, and submit paintings for exhibitions.
  4. Member (open to all individuals) – Shall pay dues, may vote, hold office, and may submit paintings for all exhibitions except a Signature Members exhibition.
  5. Patron – Anyone who has contributed financially or materially to the Society, and is invited by the Executive Committee to join the Society. Patrons shall not pay dues, vote, hold office, or submit paintings for exhibitions.
  6. Honorary Member – Honorary membership may be conferred by the Executive Committee on individuals whom the Society wishes to honor. They shall not pay dues, vote, hold office, or submit paintings for exhibitions.
  7. Life Member – May be bestowed on a member for whom the society wishes to waive the dues requirement and allow the member to vote, hold office, and submit paintings for exhibitions.
  8. The Executive Committee may from time to time establish other categories of membership, subject to approval by the voting members.
  9. Only Master Signature, Signature, Life and Charter Members may use the initials FSWS after their names.

Article III

Sec. 1 Administration – Officers (Executive Committee)

  1. The officers of this Society shall be: President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer.
  2. The President shall serve in the same position for no more than two (2) successive years.
  3. The Executive Committee shall consist of nine (9) members, six (6) elected officers, referred to above, plus two (2) members at large, all of whom will be elected at the annual Members’ meeting, plus the Counselor (immediate past President) who shall be a voting member of the Executive Committee for one year. Two thirds (2/3) of this committee shall constitute a quorum.
  4. The Executive Committee shall manage the affairs of the Society subject to the provisions of the By-Laws.
  5. If any member of the Executive Committee is unable to perform the duties of the office, an interim appointment, until the next election, may be made by the Executive Committee.

Sec. 2 Duties of the Officers

  1. President – The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Society. The president shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and membership; shall sign all instruments of the Society; shall have check signing authority; shall appoint standing committee chairpersons not designated by office; shall be ex-officio member of all committees, except for the Nominating Committee, and shall be responsible for the seal, the Charter, and all legal papers.
  2. First Vice President – Shall serve and exercise all the functions of the President in his/her absence. The First Vice President shall be the chairperson of the Exhibition Committee and shall perform such other duties as are incident to the office or are required by the Executive Committee or the By-Laws of the Society.
  3. Second Vice President – Shall perform all duties of the presiding officer in the absence of both the President and First Vice President, shall act as Chairperson of Activities and shall perform such other duties as required.
  4. Recording Secretary – Shall be responsible for keeping the minutes of the Society, and shall perform such other duties as required.
  5. Corresponding Secretary – Shall conduct the correspondence of the Society, and keep members informed; shall serve as Membership Chair and keep a complete roster of members and their status, including dues status, and shall perform such other duties as required.
  6. Treasurer – Shall be in charge of the financial affairs of the Society; shall receive all monies due and deposit same in the bank approved by the Executive Committee; shall be empowered to sign checks on behalf of the Society; shall keep a correct account of all monies due the Society and present said account for auditing at the end of the fiscal year of the Society.

Article IV

Sec. 1 Committees

  1. Nominating Committee – Shall consist of three (3) voting members, not holding office. It shall be appointed by the Executive Committee at its January meeting.
  2. Internal Auditing Committee – Shall consist of two (2) voting members not serving on the Executive Committee. They shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Committee. They shall meet annually after the end of the Fiscal Year in May.
  3. Other Standing Committees – Shall be Hospitality, Publicity, Parliamentarian, Newsletter/Website, Compliance Historian and Membership.

Article V

Exhibitions and Awards

Sec. 1 At least one annual juried exhibition will be held each year. Other exhibitions may be held according to the Executive Committee’s discretion. If a “Master Signature Members or Signature Members Exhibition” is held, participation is limited to those artists who have achieved that status.

Sec. 2 Juried Exhibition shall be held at a time and place designated by the Executive Committee. Paintings will be selected and judged by a paid juror, who is not a member, selected by the President and confirmed by the Executive Committee.

Sec. 3 Prior to judging, the juror shall be presented with a written copy of the rules of the exhibition.

Sec. 4 Exhibition Rules

  1. All paintings must meet the definition of Watercolor (Art.1, Sec.3) to be accepted in any show.
  2. No painting shall be older than two years.
  3. All entries must be the original work, composition and execution of the artist. No work done under workshop or step by step instruction is eligible. Copies of other works of art, published photographs, internet images, or those provided by an instructor will not be accepted.
  4. No member shall receive more than one award in any show.
  5. The number and categories of awards shall be determined by the Executive Committee prior to each exhibition.
  6. All entries submitted must be suitable for public viewing and in good taste as determined solely by the juror or the Compliance Committee.
  7. Membership dues must be currently paid to enter any exhibition at the membership rate.

Article VI

Sec. 1 There shall be a minimum of four (4) meetings annually of the Executive Committee. They shall be held at the call of the President and be announced in advance and be open to the general membership.

Sec. 2 Quorums – To vote and/or transact business at any Executive Committee or Members meeting a quorum must be present.

  1. Executive Committee – Two-thirds (2/3) of the Executive Committee must be present for any quorum and a majority of the quorum is required for approval.
  2. Voting (Charter, Life, Master Signature, Signature and eligible Members) – At least fifteen (15) Charter, Master Signature, Signature and/or eligible members must be present to make a quorum for voting on items not pertaining to the By-Laws. A majority of those present is required for approval.

Article VII

Nominations and Elections

Sec. 1 Appointment of the Nominating Committee shall be made at the January Executive Committee meeting.

Sec. 2 The Nominating Committee shall present the slate of officers and replacements for retiring members of the Executive Committee, one name for each office, to the Executive Committee for its information at the February meeting. Additional nominations may be made from the floor before the election.

Sec. 3 Election of Officers shall be held at the Annual Members Meeting. Election will be by the majority vote of those present.

Sec. 4 Installation of Officers shall be held at the Annual Members Meeting.

Article VIII

Order of Business

Sec. 1 Recording attendance

Reading and adopting the minutes

Treasurer’s Report

Committee Reports

Auditing Committee Report (annual)

Nominating Committee Report (annual)

Election of Officers and Executive Committee (annual)

Unfinished Business

New Business


Article IX


Sec. 1 Proposed amendments to these By-Laws must be signed by five (5) Charter, Master Signature, Signature and/or other voting Members and presented in writing to the Secretary at least thirty (30) days prior to a regular or special meeting, at which action is to be taken. Fifty-one percent (51%) of the eligible voting membership must be present or represented by proxy to form a quorum for adoption. A two/thirds (2/3) vote is necessary for adoption.

Article X Policy
Sec. 1 Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern the proceedings of all meetings.
Sec. 2 The fiscal year of the Society shall be May 1 through April 30.

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