About Us

Mission Statement

The Mission and Purpose of WSI is:

  • to promote a strong awareness of, and interest in Indiana watercolor painting;
  • to further the interest of painters in watercolor by sponsoring programs and competitive exhibits;
  • to encourage the study of watercolor by art students and others engaged in the visual arts;
  • and to establish the highest aesthetic standards in the field of watercolor painting.

Our History

Founders (Seated Left to Right) Crawford Donnelly, Shirley Werner Carr (Standing Left to Right) James Curtin Lentz, E. Roger Frey, Wilbur Meese (Not Pictured) Stephen Edwards

In late 1982 Crawford Donnelly and Stephen Edwards discussed the need for a watercolor club in the state of Indiana. They resolved to tackle the task of organizing and generating interest in such a group. Letters were sent statewide to various artists concerning a first meeting for organizational purposes.

The first meeting was held in October at the Indianapolis Art League (IAL.) A committee was selected to draft a constitution and by-laws for the group. It was made up of Crawford Donnelly, Stephen Edwards, Roger Frey, James Curtain Lentz, and headed by Wilbur Meese, with the assistance of Shirley Werner Carr. The draft was submitted to the potential members for their approval in January, 1983. At the second meeting the constitution and by-laws were passed, and Wilbur Meese was elected as the first president. During the next few weeks, 120 Charter Members began the Watercolor Society of Indiana.

In honor and appreciation of our founding members, the Watercolor Society of Indiana has created the founders award as Third Place Merit Award for 1996 and thereafter. Thank you Crawford Donnelly, Stephen Edwards, James Curtin Lentz, Wilbur Meese, E. Roger Frey, and Shirley Werner Carr.


The Watercolor Society of Indiana is a Non-For-Profit organization. As an organization we have a constitutional document with information and by-laws on how we run our business.

If you would like to read the WSI constitution, please click here for a downloadable PDF file.


The organization became a registered nonprofit corporation in the State of Indiana in September, 1983. The first annual exhibit was held in November, 1983 in the William H. Block Company Auditorium. The second, third and fourth exhibits were also held at Block’s. In 1987 the annual exhibit moved to the American United Life (AUL) Lobby.

Since September, 1991, the annual exhibitions have been held at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
WSI’s status as a publically supported organization 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) became official on April 6, 1995, after a five year probationary period. The Foundation can be credited to the efforts of Wilbur Meese, Foundation Chairman; Jean Vietor, Treasurer; Frank Vietor; and Shirley Werner Carr. The Watercolor Society of Indiana today thanks these members and all the Founding Members who shared a dream.