Aug 22, 2016

Columbia State Hosts Tennessee Watercolor Society Juried Exhibition

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Aug. 22, 2016) - - - Columbia State Community College's Pryor Art Gallery will host the 35th annual juried exhibition of the Tennessee Watercolor Society, which will open Sept. 7 - Sept. 29 with 30 selected award-winning paintings touring the state.

The 2016 exhibition showcases 55 watercolor media paintings selected from nearly 200 entries by John T. Salminen, distinguished juror and award-winning American watercolor painter. The exhibit is traveling across the state for public and visual arts outreach at six locations including: Memphis, Humboldt, Columbia, Chattanooga, Elizabethton and Clarksville.

Salminen is a signature member of numerous art societies including the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. He has won more than 220 national and international awards. Salminen's work is included in permanent collections in Asia, Europe and the United States.

The exhibit will travel from July 2016 into January 2017. Fourteen of the 30 traveling paintings are award winners. Also traveling is the top award winner by Knoxville Artist, Kate Aubrey entitled "Old Soul, Dear Heart," which is a purchase award by Jeffry A. Shoham of Jerry's Art-a-rama of Knoxville.

"We're so excited to have the honor of exhibiting the most prestigious of watercolor societies starting at the national level, then the southern regional and now to bring it home to the heart of our state," said Michele Wilkinson, Pryor Art Gallery curator.

Local artists, who were selected for the traveling exhibit include: Glenna Cook, Pam Francis, Frank Lott, Noriko Register and John Wilkison. All are accomplished and well-celebrated artists, some having appeared several times at the Pryor Art Gallery.

"We are surrounded by such awesome talent in Tennessee, which is demonstrated by what we see in this show," Wilkinson said.

The Tennessee Watercolor Society, founded in 1971, is a membership organization dedicated to elevating the stature of watercolor painting and to educate the public about the significance of the art form as an important, creative and permanent medium. To date, the organization has a statewide membership of more than 250 artists and supporters and has represented the finest artists in the state for 45 years.

The artist's reception and art talk will be delivered by signature members, John Wilkison and Pam Francis, Sept. 8 from 4 - 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The Pryor Art Gallery is in the Waymon L. Hickman Building on the Columbia Campus, located at 1665 Hampshire Pike, in Columbia, Tennessee.

For more information relating to the exhibit, contact Wilkinson at 931.540.2883 or at

'Old Soul Dear Heart'
Photo Caption:
Aubrey Kate, "Old Soul Dear Heart"

Photo Caption:
Boone Sandy, "Bottomland"

'Dandelion Fun'
Photo Caption:
Hacker Tim, "Dandelion Fun"

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at