Community Outreach

Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society (SCVWS) brings painting and the art of watermedia to the local community. Our aim is to help those with less resources to enjoy the benefits of creating art, and to extend the knowledge and appreciation of watermedia painting to everyone.

Workshops & Free Art Demonstrations

SCVWS brings the rock stars of the art world to teach workshops at Hoover Historic Theater. Thousands have thrilled to demonstrations by John Salmanin, Frank Francesi, Ted Nuttal, Mike Bailey, Mark Mehaffey, Myrna Wacknov and many others. These are open to both members and the general public. In addition, we also arrange a free afternoon demonstration by most of our workshop instructors, which is open to the general public. This allows any interested person to experience an introduction to the techniques and style of individual instructors without committing to a complete workshop.

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Art Exhibits

One of the most exciting ways we artists enhance the community is showing our art in SCVWS exhibits. Venues have included formal galleries, offices, cafes, and libraries. Our SCVWS Annual Show features over 100 participating artists. Smaller shows are organized during the year at a variety of local venues, such as cafes, libraries and art centers. Thousands of area residents visit these shows and attend receptions to appreciate fine art.

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Passing the Art Torch

University art students receive encouragement and support.  Since 2009 the Society has given an annual scholarship to a student enrolled in the Art and Design Program at San Jose State University in memory of long-time member Wayne Champion. Wayne taught in the Industrial Arts Department of SJSU for over 30 years. The student also receives a complimentary membership in the Society.  The artist can work in any medium.


scholarship 2015In 2016 the award winner was Danielle Torvik-Staffen , shown here with some of her paintings. Danielle
is from Boulder Creek and currently resides in Santa Cruz. She will graduate with a BFA in pictorial arts, and is in preparation for her senior exhibition in the spring of 2017. She works primarily with watercolor on paper and oil on canvas. Using watercolor sensibilities, and her interest in the element of transparency, she combines the unpredictable and uncontrollable methods of puddling, pouring, and evaporation with crisp structure. Some of these works evoke a sense of ruins enshrouded in mist, others read as cracked glass and mirrors. She continues to joyfully experiment with new combinations and methods of indirect painting and mark-making.  Below is a recent watercolor.

Danielle painting


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Elementary and High School Education

Each year SCVWS holds a raffle to raise money for art education in the Santa Clara Unified school district. Prizes include paintings donated by well-known artists, art DVD's and free Workshops. The money we raise supports The Village, a non-profit group within the school district that assists Emotionally Disturbed students with special needs which can range from depression and anxiety to Autism Spectrum Disorders, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and other neurological impairments. The money helps offset some of the cost of basic supplies and art materials for the students.

Art Videos and DVDs in local libraries

Using funds provided by a generous donor and the Society, SCVWS  gave a selection of watermedia DVDs to the Santa Clara County Library and San Jose library systems. Members of the library systems have access to instruction without charge throughout the year. 

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Charitable Donations

SCVWS makes in-kind donations to non-profit groups. We recently purchased new chairs for Hoover Theater in San Jose, which are used for the people attending watercolor demonstrations and workshops throughout the year.

Spreading the Word

The Triton Museum in Santa Clara provides support for the local arts. They host our annual Members Show at no fee in their community gallery. Additionally, they do not take a percentage of art sales, unlike most venues. The Board approved a donation to the museum to enhance their support of the arts.  Check out this valuable community resource.