Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pastel Society of America's 2010 Exhibition

Posted by Maggie

As I mentioned in a previous blog, Bill and I were in New York to attend the reception and banquet for the Pastel Society of America's 2010 exhibition. It's always exciting to see the paintings—the amazing and wonderful variety of style, subjects and techniques demonstrated by the artists whose work hangs in the exhibitions. And it's fun to see the award winners. Like all artists, I don't always agree with the judges' decisions, but this year I applauded their selection of Rae Smith's painting (left) for the grand prize of $5,000, given by Jack Richeson in memory of Flora Giffuni. Its moody, mystical feeling caught my attention as soon as I saw it, and well before I knew who the artist was.

Rae Smith (left) is the President of PSA, and she spoke about some of the things the society has been doing since last year. One important project is carrying on Flora Giffuni's plan to get pastel teachers into the public schools to teach pastel, since art programs are so often the first thing to go when schools cut budgets.

Rae also presented the PSA Hall of Fame award to Richard McKinley (left), who is well-known in the world of pastel for his teaching and his Pastel Pointers blogs on The Pastel Journal web site. Richard is the 34th artist to be awarded the Hall of Fame designation; the award has been given annually since 1978.

Hearing about PSA activities, seeing the art and watching the artists receive awards is great, but another reason to attend this event is to see artist friends. It seems there are some people that I only see at the PSA banquet or the IAPS convention—though I'd love to see them more often, it just doesn't work out. It was great to see so many friends this year, and enjoy visiting with them before, during and after the banquet. In the photo at left, Jimmy Wright (Treasurer of PSA and a long-time board member of PSA and recently of IAPS) and Richard McKinley and I are visiting in the entry hall of the National Arts Club.

In the photo at left is Jack Richeson, with Rae Smith on his left, taken during the banquet. The banquet is held in the hall where the paintings are hung, so it's possible to continue enjoying looking at the beautiful art while enjoying dinner.
A final event at the PSA banquet is the raffling of a number of paintings donated by artists to help raise money for the society. Bill and I buy tickets, though we are both quick to explain that we never win anything, and just purchase tickets to support PSA. This year, though, to our great surprise, Bill won the painting Juicy Apple by Sangita Phadke (left).

I guess this means that either I can't continue to say we never win anything, or it's the beginning of a change in our luck and we should start buying lottery tickets! I'm hoping it's the latter, although we still won't win the lottery if we continue to forget to buy tickets.

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