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Master watercolour artists to gather in Turkey
Li Jia, Swim. 52 x 98 cm. International Watercolor Society Contest 2014 Winner, First Place.
CAPPADOCIA.- Masters and other enthusiastic watercolour painters from all over the globe will attend the International Watercolor Society's (IWS) Biennial event "Universal Love Through Art" in Capadoccia in May. The event is organized through and held at Hacı Bektas Veli University in the ancient city of Nevşehir during the period of May 5 - 8, 2014. In addition to the juried exhibition of art, there will be a live musical performance by the university's orchestra, live demonstrations and studio and plein air workshops taught by the masters, a tour around the Cappadocia, hot air balloon rides, panel discussions, and an exhibition of art work created during the Biennial. Panel discussions will focus on "The Role of Watercolor Painting in the Art of Painting", future IWS activites, and the planning of expositions by individual countries' IWS chapters. Awards will also be given to the winners of the 4th Young Artists International Watercolor Contest. This event will bring together established artists, art lovers and collectors, academics, and young artists.

The 4th Young Artists International Watercolor Contest was conducted through a Facebook group with about 50,000 members, and attracted the participation of 697 young artists from 69 countries. 90 IWS jurors from 50 countries decided who the prize winners, listed as follows, were. International Category: 1. Li Jia (China, 26, "Swim"), 2. Li Chao (China, 24, "The Memory of That Time"), 3. Cai Ya Ming (China, 23, "Calling From After").

The IWS is a new society, founded in January 2012 by Turkish Canadian artist Atanur Dogan, with the objective of promoting watercolor, the world's oldest and most deeply rooted painting technique. It is fast becoming the finest and biggest organization in watercolor history. Teos, Seferihisar, Turkey, a city with 2800 years of history, is the IWS headquarters. Teos is located on the eastern shores of the Aegean Sea and by the 3rd Century BC was famous as the centre of the Guild of the Artists. The goal of the society is to promote peace by the use of art, a global language, and by bringing watercolor artists and art lovers together. Its mission includes the organization of events such as this one, the founding of the first watercolor museum in the world, the publication of a periodical journal of watercolor arts, and the provision of guidance, workshops, camps, and financial support to young watercolor artists who need it. There are 90 master watercolour artists from 50 different countries collaborating with the society. Many countries have their own chapters of the IWS and their development is encouraged.

The first International Watercolor festival took place in Teos in June, 2012, and attracted the participation of 650 artists and thousands of art lovers. A symbolic ceremony, in which artists holding torches climbed the ancient city walls, took place in the city that was once known as holding the "torch of art". The 2nd IWS festival was the Mediterranean Watercolor Festival in June, 2013, delivering a message of peace in the same city, a crossroads of civilizations, and attracted similar numbers of artists and fans. Future events will occur in alternate years at different locations. At this year's event in Cappadocia, where a variety of cultures have been nurtured, visitors will enjoy the ancient history as well as the natural beauty of its surrealistic landscape.

Some of the watercolor artists benefiting from this gathering of masters will be those on the Travel & Paint tour of Turkey, a 17 night vacation beginning April 25 and ending May 12, also organized by IWS along with Caravanserai Tours and Travel. Others will be those which successfully entered the juried exhibition. Local artists will also be visiting the Biennial, as well as academics who will sit on the discussion panels and speak to the attendees.



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