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Springfield Art Museum News Releases

Posted on: March 29, 2021

Watercolor USA 2021 Selected by Museum Director Nick Nelson

Watercolor USA logo with a headshot of Museum Director Nick Nelson


Springfield, MO. (March 29, 2021) – The Springfield Art Museum is pleased to announce that Watercolor USA 2021 will feature 96 works from 95 contemporary artists working in watermedia, representing 32 states. At 96 works, Watercolor USA 2021 is one of the largest Watercolor USA exhibitions in recent memory, continuing a recent trend among jurors to give audiences what they want: watercolor - and more of it.

The 60th exhibition of Watercolor USA was selected by juror Nick Nelson, Museum Director of the Springfield Art Museum. Nelson has held this position since 2012, having previously served as the Executive Director of the Albany Museum of Art in Albany, Georgia. Under his leadership the Springfield Art Museum has reached record attendance levels and has met a long-standing goal of accreditation with the American Alliance of Museums. In addition to his experience working as an arts administrator and educator, he is also an artist with a BFA from Georgia Southwestern State University and a MFA from Georgia Southern University.

Two hundred and thirty-two artists from 44 states and the District of Columbia entered 399 works for consideration. Nelson had the unenviable task of narrowing those entries down into a sampling of the very best in contemporary American watermedia. Unique among the many juried watercolor exhibitions across the country, Watercolor USA is exhibited in a museum setting and the Springfield Art Museum frequently acquires and continues to exhibit work from the show. The Museum purchased work for its permanent collection from Missouri artists Blake Willis Tiggemann from Watercolor USA 2016 and Trevor Doell from Watercolor USA 2020, and Arkansas artist Emily Wood from Watercolor USA 2018. 

A number of cash prizes, artist materials packages, and possible purchase awards from both the Museum and the Watercolor USA Honor Society totaling approximately $20,000 will be announced prior to the opening of the exhibition on June 5. The opening reception, which has a long history of generous support from the Southwest Missouri Museum Associates, has been cancelled this year due to the ongoing pandemic, but may be replaced by a closing reception dependent upon the public health situation. The Museum will once again host a virtual exhibition walk-through available on our website.

See Watercolor USA from June 5 through August 29, 2021 at the Springfield Art Museum located at 1111 East Brookside Drive in Springfield, Missouri. A color catalog, a complete record of the exhibition, will be available for purchase. Admission is always free. Donations are gratefully accepted.


The Springfield Art Museum is Springfield, Missouri’s oldest cultural institution, founded in 1928. A department of the City of Springfield, the Museum invites you to connect with the world, your community, and yourself through active engagement with art objects. For more information, please visit or contact Joshua Best, Museum Affairs Officer at (417) 874-2859 or

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