Top Three Winners Chosen for NWWS 81st International Open Online Exhibition

Juror Thomas W Schaller announced the winners of the 81st International Open Online Exhibition at Northwest Watercolor Society’s (NWWS) awards reception on October 22nd. The top three went to Lance Hunter of Oklahoma, Tiantian Ji of China and Lynda Hoffman-Snodgrass of Oregon. The exhibition is free for viewing at from now through January 4, 2022.

Schaller explained his criteria at the beginning of introducing the 75 paintings accepted into the exhibition. “Judging work is an honor but it is extremely difficult,” he said. “There has to be the artistic impulse, an electric jolt of intent that is the umbrella. Then the composition of shapes, the value range and the colors that carry emotional weight” are orchestrated to create an experience and a dialog with the viewer. “The painting makes you ask questions.”

“The beautiful elongated format with a busy background illuminates the skin tones and drapery of the gown,” Schaller said of Lance Hunter’s “Without Reason.” Hunter was awarded 1st place of $2,000 cash. “The drapery alone is worth hours of study,” Schaller added. Hunter is a professor of art at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.

Second place of $1,300 cash went to Tiantian Ji from China for his painting, “Fishing Port.” “I can feel myself standing there. This is an admirable painting in contrasts – what is there and what is not there,” Schaller spoke of Ji’s work. “This is a whispered experience.”

Lynda Hoffman-Snodgrass of Phoenix, Oregon was awarded $800 cash for third place for her painting, “Riding the Waves.” “There’s a sense of life and energy in this painting that is so beautifully watercolor. The wet on wet, lost edges, the shapes and brush marks,” Schaller pointed out in Lynda’s abstract.

Twelve other awards of cash and merchandise were also awarded. Schaller, who is an NWWS signature member among his many memberships including American Watercolor Society (AWS) and National Watercolor Society (NWS), said of NWWS that it is “the most engaged [of watercolor societies]. You care about the arts, artists and art education together to make something very unique.”

The awards reception was recorded and can be seen for free at For those interested in purchasing a painting you’ve fallen in love with in the exhibition, contact the NWWS treasurer, Shirley at

The 81st International Open Online Exhibition from the Northwest Watercolor Society is a feast for the eyes and most importantly, it’s FREE and online at! Watermedia artists from 34 states and 11 countries submitted 573 entries. The juror, Thomas Schaller, had the task of selecting only 75 paintings.

-Northwest Watercolor Society