Art Angels and Community Outreach


Sierra Watercolor Society's Art Angels Program was started in 1999, in response to the cutback of art instruction offered in public elementary schools.  The Art Angels Program annually takes free watercolor instruction and supplies into 20-24 elementary classrooms, which do not have art.  An instructor, and several helpers, teach the children how to use watercolor paints, how to mix colors, and how to create an effective watercolor painting.  The children learn about the color wheel, about composition, about using color to create a mood, and how to tell a story with their painting, which they then share with the class.  Each child does a wet-into-wet exercise, which is turned into a card, and completes one ¼-sheet painting, which is matted, ready to go into a 16"x20" frame.  Spending time answering students' questions and presenting them with a finished product conveys to the children that they are worthy of time, and respect, and that their creations are valuable!  The children learn to express themselves through the art, and practice speaking and listening skills; they also appreciate the value of art. The classes are scheduled by teachers calling or emailing the coordinator, currently Nancy Podewils-Baba (775-343-8100/, who then recruits volunteer helpers and orders supplies.

The Art Angels Program also offers four free community workshops/year—each for 50 children, who are taught watercolor techniques by various instructors in small-group instruction.  Each child leaves with one 16"x20" matted painting, which is ready to put into a frame, give as a gift, and hang on the wall.

All Art Angels instructors and helpers volunteer their time and travel costs, in order to share their love of watercolor painting with the children of our community.


Funding for the Art Angels programs comes from private donations, occasional grants, and SWS member dues.  The major fundraiser for Art Angels is the annual Silent Auction & Raffle, held at the Wilbur D. May Museum each December.  Guest workshop artists, each graciously donate one painting to be raffled off to the public, and SWS members generously donate small original paintings for the Silent Auction, on which the public can bid. 

This year the Silent Auction & Raffle will be held at the Wilbur D. May Museum Saturday, December 2, at 10 a.m. through Saturday, December 9, at noon, during Museum hours.  Winner are called immediately after the end of the Auction/Raffle.

For more information, to donate, or to volunteer, please contact Art Angels Coordinator, Nancy Podewils-Baba at 775-343-8100 or  Thank you.

Art Angels Student Paintings

Fun, education, and art! You can see why this program is so popular by looking at these paintings by Art Angels participants.

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