Log in

Baltimore Watercolor Society

  • Home
  • Gallery
  • April 2024 Signature Member Exhibit at Friendship Heights Community Center Gallery

Members can log in to the site by clicking the icon at top right of the banner.

Signature Member Exhibit at Friendship Heights

Community Center Gallery

April 8, 2024 - May 5, 2024

Location: 4433 South Park Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Juror: Jennifer Kahn Barlow


All images are the property of the artists and protected by copyright. No image can be used without the written permission of the artist.

Award winners on display at:
Award Winners -BWS Exhibit at Friendship Gallery - BWS Exhibitions (

Click on the information icon  to see titles and captions

Images of all paintings on exhibit are available at:
2024 FriendshipHeightsSignatureArtistExh - BWS Exhibitions ( 

Comments From Our Jennifer Kahn Barlow

Thank you for inviting me to not only visit the fantastic works of the Baltimore Watercolor Society’s Signature Members, but really spend the time to look, feel, and evaluate the artwork. Judging an art exhibition is a nuanced process that involves evaluating various aspects of the artworks on display. It's not merely about the aesthetic appeal but encompasses a range of criteria to ensure a fair and comprehensive assessment of each piece. With that in mind, I looked at 5 different criteria: technical merit, originality, composition, presentation, and its ability to elicit an emotion.

Technical merit is a fundamental criterion. This involves examining how well the artist has mastered the medium of watercolors, which is known for its fluidity and unpredictability. I looked for evidence of skill in brushwork, color blending, and the ability to control water to achieve desired effects.

Originality is another factor. In a world inundated with visual stimuli, presenting an original idea through art can be challenging yet highly valued. This criterion assesses how the artist brings a unique perspective or a new approach to the subject matter. It's about the innovation in thought and execution that makes the artwork stand out.

Composition obviously refers to how elements are arranged within the artwork. Good composition guides the viewer's eye across the painting, creating a sense of balance and harmony. I evaluated the use of space, the interplay of shapes and lines, and how these elements work together to support the overall theme or message of the piece.

Presentation is all about the framing, matting, and overall cleanliness of the work. A well-presented piece shows respect for the viewer and can enhance the perceived value of the artwork. It's about ensuring that nothing detracts from the viewer's experience of the art.

Lastly, the ability to illicit an emotional response is perhaps the most subjective yet profound criterion. Art, at its core, is about communication and connection. I considered how effectively a piece evokes my own feelings or thoughts. It's about the power of the artwork to move people, which often distinguishes the remarkable from the mundane.

In summary, judging this watercolor art exhibition involved a holistic approach, which was my goal while evaluating this exhibition jam-packed with talented artists and wonderful artworks. Congratulations to all.

1st Place
Janet Means Belich
“Potential Poppers”

"The wonderfully rendered balloons drew me right in. The carefully constructed composition kept my eyes moving around and they did not want to leave. From the balloons to the string to the red hair to the streetlight and back to the balloons my eyes kept circling. Once I was able to break my eyes from that pattern, there was so much more taking place on this busy city street. The complimentary blue and orange colors dominate this artwork further captivating the viewer. This is an image we might overlook as we walk down a bustling street, trying to make our own` way, but this artwork makes us stop and wonder about the women with the balloons, her celebration, and her destination."

2nd Place
Christine Duke
"A Veteran's Story"

"This eye-catching artwork tells a story of hurt, grief, healing, and life. It is hard not to be moved by this massive artwork; however, the technical merit of this piece is superb. From the piercing blue eyes of the Veteran to the meticulous font and architectural lines, is it exquisitely executed, original, and personal. It is an engaging journey with appreciation of life’s ups and downs.

3rd Place
Janice Hendra
"Symphonic Waves"

"This artwork is complex and requires the viewer to really study all that is happening within its frame. The warm glow of the orchestra and the cool arches at the top of the outdoor stage pull the viewer in and extend warmth on a grey, stormy night. I appreciate the loose, impressionistic style, combined with the repeating pattern of circles implying audience heads and the rectangles for the steel archways."

Honorable Mention
Zina Poliszuk
"Fantasy Forest"

"I enjoyed that this piece was full of originality and imagination. It is vibrant, moody, and allows the viewer to imagine what lurks beyond the trees. This is a case where presentation enhanced the art, as the royal blue frame allowed the artwork to stand out."

Honorable Mention
Kathy Burke Daywalt

This piece is strikingly original and reminiscent of ancient figures in the classical world. The tension between ancient and modern worlds is palpable. The contrasting colors, along with the multiple patterns and textures, work together to become a cohesive piece."

Honorable Mention
Janet Arsenault
"Antietam: Tides of War"

"of sorrow, divide, and a by-gone era. The muted color choice, no foliage, and composition with the house at a bit of a distance reinforces the message. The title of the work added to the explanation of the art." 

© Baltimore Watercolor Society

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software