Huntington Beach Art Center presents ‘Water Works’ exhibition

The gallery poster for the upcoming “Water Works” exhibition at the Huntington Beach Art Center.
(Courtesy of Eileen McCullough)

Starting Saturday, the Huntington Beach Art Center (HBAC) is presenting “Water Works,” a juried exhibition that showcases local and regional artists who work in the medium of watercolor.

The group show — running through Aug. 25 — will feature 85 works by 53 artists who span the range from amateur to master professionals. The jurors are watercolor experts Eileen McCullough and Chris Sullivan.

This exhibit is the second installment of the art center’s 2018 contemporary series, “The Power of Pigment: A Celebration of Color.” The first installment, “Color Vision,” ran May 5 to June 16, and the third installment will be an exhibition of color glass works.

Watercolor is the most popular medium and subject among people who take classes at the city- and foundation-supported, nonprofit art center, according to HBAC Director Kate Hoffman.

“Watercolor classes have grown from one class to three full classes,” she said. “Demand is that high. Locally, watercolor is the single-strongest medium that people participate in.”

It doesn’t hurt that the ocean is just a few blocks away from the 23-year-old art center.

Juror McCullough, a plein air watercolor painter and Huntington Beach resident, is one of the watercolor teachers at HBAC. She’s also president of the board of the Huntington Beach Art League, where she has earned the status of master painter. In 2014, she earned signature status in the organization Watercolor West and also holds a position as demonstration chair.

Sullivan is also a signature member of Watercolor West. She was an assistant for the Rex Brandt Painting School from 1981-87, and an art professor at Coastline Community College for nearly 34 years. She has been featured at several area museums, and was an eight-year exhibitor at Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts, where she has also served as a juror several times.

HBAC is holding a free public reception for the opening of “Water Works” from 6:30 p.m to 9 p.m. Saturday. Prizes will be awarded in several categories, including the Lois Barth Award of Excellence in Art for best in show.

The art center is also hosting a screening at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 2 of “Loving Vincent,” a film depicting the life and death of Dutch Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. Bill Havlicek, a van Gogh authority, will introduce the film and provide commentary after the screening. Admission is by donation.

From 1-5 p.m. Aug. 25, Sullivan will lead a watercolor workshop at HBAC called “The Art of Color Pouring.” Registration will be required, but the tuition is yet to be determined.

If You Go

What: “Water Works”

When: Saturday through Aug. 25; open noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays, noon to 6 p.m. Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Where: Huntington Beach Art Center, 538 Main St., Huntington Beach.

Cost: Free; donations accepted.

Information: (714) 374-1650 or

Richard Chang is a contributor to Times Community News.