In 1973, the association we know today as the North East Watercolor Society was formed as the Orange County Watercolor Society by Babette Roy of Warwick, NY and Don Selchow, of Monroe, NY under the inspiration of internationally famous Illustrator, teacher and fine artist, John Pike, NA. AWS. The first meeting at Roy’s home included the fifteen charter members, who expressed the aim of the organization: “The Promotion and Preservation of Watercolor Painting.”

The Orange County Watercolor Society first exhibited at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY with an invitational show which was attended by both Bogimir Bogdonivic, AWS, and John Pike, himself, who made a rare trip from his home in Woodstock, NY.

Membership expanded and in 1976 the Orange County Watercolor Society sponsored its first Juried Exhibition at the Harness Racing Museum. The By-laws were revised and in response to the wider membership, the name of the organization was changed to North East Watercolor Society. The Annual Juried Show expanded the reputation of the organization and the jurors and demonstrators at those shows reads like a “Who’s Who” of American watercolor painters.

CHARTER MEMBERS: Carrie Lou Fisher, Ethel Goldblatt, Matilda Grech, Ingrid Large, Gus Liebman, Jean Needle, Gertrude Ochs, Richard Ochs, Estelle Reger, Gordon Richardson, Babette Roy, Don Selchow, Janice Slocum, Edith Vail and Malcom Yohannan.

PAST PRESIDENTS: Don Selchow (1973-1976), Babette Roy (1977-1983), Ingrid Large (1984-1986),
Joan Ross (1987-1990), Friede Strobl (1991-1992) Malcolm Yohannan (1993-1996), Richard Ochs (1997-2001), Winnie O’Dougherty (2002-2004), Richard Ochs (2005-2006), Richard Price (2006-2022).