Vermont Pastel Society Annual Meeting

College of St. Joseph, Rutland, November 5, 2017

Present:  Judy Albright, Cristine Kassow, Susannah Colby, Stella Ehrich, Barbara Sarvis, Monica Hastings, John Landy, Louise Kenney, Marni McKitrick, Jacquie Call, Grace Greene, Carol Stephens, Maggie Smith, Susan Tucker, Norma Jean Rollet, Matt Peake, Linda Masten, Janice E. Fleetwood-Bean, Sarah Albert, Nancy Merolle, Belle McDougall, Sean Dye

President Matt Peake called the meeting to order at 2:01 p.m. and introduced the Board members present:  Norma Jean Rollet, Treasurer; Grace Greene, Secretary; Susannah Colby, Exhibits; Judy Albright, Hubs; Maggie Smith, Membership


The minutes of the  VPS Annual Meeting (11/6/16) and Email meetings of 4-28-17 and 5-4-17 (see VPS website at were approved as written.

Committee reports

Exhibitions Chair Susannah Colby reported on exhibits:  The current juried show will be up at the Coolidge Hotel in White River Junction through December 27; so far two paintings have sold.

For 2018 Susannah is in negotiations with the Chandler Arts Center in Randolph for the VPS Members’ Exhibition in May or early summer, and with the Bennington Center for the Arts for the VPS Juried Show in the fall.

 She is also working with the Pastel Society of New Hampshire to have a joint Members’ Exhibition with VPS at the AVA Gallery in Lebanon in the fall of 2020, and to have a VPS Juried Show in 2020 at the Southern Vermont Arts Center.  


There are three workshops planned for 2018:

  1. Alain Picard, April 23-27 in Bennington at the Bennington Art Center (three days of landscapes and two of portraits), organized by Linda Masten. Linda recommended signing up for his free monthly newsletter which contains links to educational videos he has created.
  2. Karen Margulis, June 25-28 in Hyde Park, organized by Diane Szlachetka and Patti Braun,
  3. Richard McKinley, part two, August 6-10, East Montpelier, organized by Joyce Kahn. At present, this will be open only to people who have already taken a workshop with McKinley, although Joyce will be further clarifying this with him.

More information on these workshops will be on the website in general membership emails as it becomes available.

Social Media

Matt reported that VPS has a Facebook page (and also an Instagram account), but it is difficult, if not impossible, to upload photos, so the site needs to be cleaned up or re-created.  Matt suggested we create a VPS Social Media team. A suggestion was made to have someone in each hub be responsible for posting things to Facebook. Both Maggie Smith and Susannah Colby volunteered to work with Carol Corliss on this.


Judy Albright reported on the status of the hubs, first thanking Matt for his initiative and hard work in starting the groups. Judy has created and sent out thirty-six “Hub Happenings” since June, with a 70-80% opening rate.


Treasurer Norma Rollet reviewed the budget, showing that we did well on workshop fees this year. We have increased the annual membership fee from $30 to $40 to help cover the increases in pay for judges and jurors and the increased costs to rent venues for our shows and meetings.

Norma reiterated that we must make money on the workshops we offer, not just break even. The budget passed unanimously.

Bylaws (see attachment)

Matt presented changes to the bylaws to accommodate the job descriptions for the two new positions on the Board. They passed unanimously.


The proposed slate of officers was voted in unanimously.  They are:

  1. a) Vice President Grace Cothalis
  2. b) Secretary Grace Greene
  3. c) Treasurer Norma Jean Rollet
  4. d) Member at Large Joyce Kahn
  5. e) Member at Large Linda Masten 

The rest of the Board members have one more year in their terms. They are:

  1. President: Matt Peake
  2. Webmaster: Cindy Griffith
  3. Hub Master: Judy Albright
  4. Exhibitions Chair: Susannah Colby
  5. Membership: Maggie Smith


Retiring Board Member

 At this point thanks were given to Wendy Soliday who is going off the board after many years of service. Most recently she was a member at large, but she has held several other positions over the years. She was not able to be present at this meeting, but will receive a thank you gift at a later date. Sean Dye added his thanks and praise to Matt’s, saying that Wendy was probably responsible for keeping the organization together during the lean years.





Maggie Smith reported that we have 108 members. She talked about sending out a members’ list to the entire membership. Members will have the opportunity to opt out of being included in that list. She will send out the list immediately, and then twice a year, in January and June. Meanwhile, she encouraged the members present to pay their dues today.

Matt Peake adjourned the meeting at 3:45p.m., and introduced Sean Dye, “The Master of Vibrancy” who then did a one-and-a-half-hour demonstration.

Respectfully submitted,

Grace Worcester Greene






Vermont Pastel Society Board Meeting

October 15, 2017

Present:  Matthew Peake, Cindy Griffith, Maggie Smith, Joyce Kahn, Judy Albright, Grace Cothalis, Grace Greene.  President Matthew Peake called the meeting to order at 2:10.

Minutes:  The minutes of the VPS Board meeting of May 15, 2017 and of email meetings of 4/28-5/1/17 and 5/4-5/7/17 were approved.

Hubs:  Judy and Matt reviewed her report on the hubs, with all congratulating them both on how well the hubs and the reporting on the hubs are going.  Judy said that Constant Contact is available to other board members, and she will be happy to train anyone who is interested.

There was discussion on what logos hubs should use for their activities. Judy presented some samples, but it was agreed that Grace Cothalis will work on another possibility. The idea is to incorporate hub information into the middle of the VPS banner, so both the larger society and the subset will be recognized.


There was general discussion about guidelines for workshop planners. We must make a profit, and the organizers should plan for something to go wrong so there is no financial trouble at the last minute.

Next year we will have Richard McKinley back to do a follow up to the workshop he did last year. Joyce Kahn will organize this, and advertise it out of Vermont so as to make sure we have enough attendees (since it will be required that attendees have already taken a workshop of his). 

 Linda Masten, who organized this year’s Desmond O’Hagen’s workshop, has submitted a proposal for a workshop in 2018 by Alain Picard. She is suggesting having two parts: a three-day landscape workshop, and a two-day portrait workshop. Artists can take either or both. The Board looked over her proposal, and Grace C. was charged with talking to Linda again about adjusting some prices.

There is also a workshop by Karen Margulis planned for the Hyde Park area by Diane M Szlachetka and Patti Braun in June.

Some members had raised the question about the possibility of a hub piggybacking on to a planned workshop. The Board decided that it would be ok to add on something different such as a critique and demo, but not another workshop.

It was proposed and agreed upon, that we should create a workshop evaluation form for the VPS. It will cover both the presenter and the venue.


There was concern over the organization of the exhibit at Coolidge Hotel in White River Junction. We need a sign-in form, and more than one person to accept the paintings as they are dropped off. Possibilities:  the hub where the exhibit is held could help the Exhibits chair; there could be a whole committee; one of the directors on the Board could automatically be assigned to help the Exhibits Chair.  The new membership form should include a place for people to volunteer for committees.

Bylaws changes.  We will vote on these at the annual meeting. They concern job descriptions for the new jobs we added to the Board (Hub Director and Webmaster)

Membership list:  This will be available to all members. Members who want to opt out will have the chance to do so.

DVDs: There are directions on the website on how to borrow the DVDs, so there should not be any confusion.


Matt and Carol talked over several issues surrounding the VPS Facebook page. We may need to restructure the page totally, or better, begin over because uploading has been difficult to impossible. The board also thought that VPS should have an Instagram account as well. It is possible that Carol Corliss would like help with this or she may want someone to take over VPS Social Media; Matt will ask Carol how we should proceed. We will ask for volunteers to work on the VPS Social Media at the Annual Meeting.


Should we charge an entrance fee for the juried shows? It was decided that rather than do that, that we will raise our annual membership to $40 from $30. That way more people are encouraged to submit paintings to the juried shows. For comparison purposes, Maggie told us that New Hampshire has a $35 membership fee.

There was discussion about adding PayPal to the website so people can pay for membership online. Cindy will look into this.

The budget proposed by Norma looks good, but will need to be adjusted because of decisions made at the meeting today (e.g. raising the membership fee).

The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Grace Worcester Greene


Minutes of the Email meeting 4/28/17-5/1/17

 Motion was made by Norma Jean Rollet, seconded by Grace Greene, to approve the Bylaws changes as written below in bold.  


Section 2:  Number, tenure 

The Board of Directors shall consist of not less than three and no more than nine Officers. 

Proposed change: The Board of Directors shall consist of no fewer than three and no more than ten Officers.



Section 1: General and Elections

The Officers of the VPS shall consist of: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Secretary, and two Members at Large.

Proposed change: The Officers of the VPS shall consist of: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Secretary, Exhibitions Director,  Webmaster,  Director of Hubs, and two Members at Large.

Of 88 VPS members eligible to vote, 51 voted in favor of the motion, 1 against, and 36 abstained. 

Minutes of the Email meeting 5/4/17-5/7/17

Motion was made by Norma Jean Rollet and seconded by Grace Greene and Wendy Soliday, to nominate Judy Albright as the VPS Director of Hubs. 

Information about Judy Albright from her resume was provided as well as the job description for the Director of Hubs as below. 


Section 9: Director of Hubs

The Director of Hubs will report to the President and be responsible for communication between Regional Hub Point Persons and the VPS Board. The Director of Hubs will coordinate information about Hub activities and pass that information along to the Webmaster, to the Membership Secretary, and/or to the VPS Facebook page editor depending on the need. The Director of Hubs will prepare a report for board meetings twice a year, describing the status of the regional hubs and their activities. The Director of Hubs will maintain contact with each hub point person, advising new Point People of their responsibilities; being a resource for Point People should questions or problems arise; participating in the replacement of Point People should the currently serving one step down. In essence, the Director of Hubs will oversee the VPS Regional Hub Program and work to maintain its stability and growth.

Of the 89 VPS members eligible to vote, 50 voted in favor of the motion and 39 abstained. 

Matthew J Peake


Vermont Pastel Society Board Meeting

May 15, 2017

Present: Norma Rollet, Grace Cothalis, Grace Greene, Cindy Griffith, Matt Peake, Joyce Kahn, Judy Albright

Before the meeting began, treasurer Norma Rollet made a plea to all who collect money for VPS not to hold on to it, but rather to send it to her ASAP.


President Matt Peake formally began the meeting with introduction of our newest board member, Judy Albright, Hub Director, and then gave an update on the status of hubs. There are four that have been organized so far: Southeast (Brattleboro); Midstate (Middlebury/Rutland); Central (Montpelier area) and Upper Valley (White River Junction area). Next, Matt will be going to the Manchester/ Bennington area on Wednesday. All hubs are enthusiastic and have many ideas for activities and getting to know one another better. There are not enough members in the St. Johnsbury/Newport area, so the one artist who is there will be invited to join the Central Hub.


There are a great many topics that VPS needs to communicate to its members: exhibits, shows, workshops and opportunities among them. There needs to be a better way of communicating and indicating what kind of communication each item is. There are currently: a website, a blog (connected to the website) a Facebook page (barely used) and emails on all kinds of news from the Membership Director. Judy Albright shared how Connecticut Pastel Society does their communications, and after much discussion, it was decided to adopt some of their methods.

The main thing is that VPS will get a Constant Contact account (approximately $220) which will enable the organization to communicate in a more professional and consistent manner. Judy and Norma, who are both familiar with Constant Contact, will acquire the license, set up templates for communications (e.g. headings that specify whether the notice is about workshops, opportunities, etc.) and share access and templates with the Board members who need them. As Hub Director, Judy would like newsletter-like information from the hubs, such as a report on a workshop or show; she will compile all the hub information, and sent it out to the membership. Any information calling for ideas or organizing a hub activity will, on the other hand, only go out to hub members and will be sent by the local hub organizer. Constant Contact has many uses besides use as a newsletter; for instance, you can do surveys through it.

In addition, there need to be clear guidelines about what the FB page is for. Carol Corliss tried to get members to send photos of work in progress, but no one did. Cindy will talk to Carol about creating guidelines.

V-cube USA

In very short order the Board declared that the V-Cube USA prices to record our meetings were too expensive, and that most of what we did would not lend itself to being videotaped anyhow. As for workshops, the presenters often make money selling their own videotapes, so would not allow VPS to tape them.


Matt reviewed the information about the two workshops we have planned for this year: Desmond O’Hagan and Doug Dawson. Both are a go. There was discussion about finances, and it was re-stated that VPS should make money on all workshops, and that planners should allow for changes and the unexpected when creating a budget. In the case of the Desmond O’Hagan workshop, VPS will subsidize it by approximately $75, a small amount considering how hard the organizer worked to reduce the costs.

Members’ Exhibit

The hubs have arranged for transportation of artists’ paintings to the Southern Vermont Art Center for drop off on May 20 and 21. The show will be up May 27-July 8 and the reception will be held on May 28 from 2:00-4:00.


Last year there were approximately 100 members, but his year, in spite of several new people joining, we currently have only 89. There was discussion about what to do about this: call, email, letter, or what, and the decision was to send another email with another reminder. Cindy said they always used to send 3 or even 4 emails out, and that people just need several reminders (esp. artists!).

Respectfully submitted,

Grace Worcester Greene

VPS Secretary



November 6, 2016-Vermont Pastel Society Annual Meeting,

Center for Carton Studies, White River Junction, November 6, 2016

Present: Carol Eberlein, Kathy Detzer, David Brown, Sarah Albert, Grace Greene, Maggie Smith, Susannah Colby, Jocelyn Randles, Matt Peake, Kate Burn, Janna Fleetwood-Bean, Katrina Thorstensen, Marcia Hill, Jacqueline Call, Norma Jean Rollet, Anne Unangst, Joyce Kahn, Grace Cothalis, Wendy Soliday, Carol Stephens, Pat McPike, Debra Kraemer, Kate Cone, Ellen Questel, Mallory Rich, Angela Arkway

President Cindy Griffith began the meeting at 2:35 by introducing the current board members:

  1. President – Cindy Griffith
  2. Vice President: Grace Cothalis
  3. Secretary: Grace Greene
  4. Treasurer: Norma Jean Rollet
  5. Exhibitions: Anne Unangst
  6. Membership: Debra Kraemer
  7. Member at Large: Joyce Kahn
  8. Member at Large: Wendy Soliday

The first action was to approve the minutes of last year’s annual meeting. They were approved unanimously.

Review of last year’s exhibits and activities

Cindy commended the great job by people who were responsible for setting up the exhibits and getting the awards: Matt Peake and Anne Unangst were co-chairs for exhibits and other members founds the extensive awards over the year.

The Richard McKinley workshop was a success both artistically and financially. Because of the great interest in the workshop, Joyce Kahn, the organizer, used a lottery system which worked very well.

Cindy next showed the group the new website which she has been working on for the last year: There is a rotating gallery of one work per member on the first page, a member gallery, news about exhibits and the Society and lots more, including a membership form. Cindy was thanked and congratulated on all her excellent work.

Norma Jean Rollet presented the treasurer’s report. The Society has a total of $15,438.11. The only changes from last year to this were minor, such as new line items for marketing and demonstrations, $300 for each. The budget was accepted as presented.

Membership chair Debra Kraemer reported that we currently have 99 members, 14 of whom are from out of state. This year renewal forms will be sent out the first week of December, instead of towards the

end of the month. Members who were present were urged to renew at this meeting. Debra will be leaving this position.

Thanks and gifts were given to Board members who were stepping down: Anne Unangst and Debra Kraemer.

The new board was presented, and Matthew Peake, Maggie Smith, Susannah Colby and Cindy Griffith were voted in unanimously. Both new and continuing members are noted below:

President: Matt Peake

Vice President: Grace Cothalis (continuing)

Treasurer: Norma Jean Rollet (continuing)

Secretary: Grace W. Greene (continuing)

Membership: Maggie Smith

Exhibitions: Susannah Colby

Webmaster: Cindy Griffith (continuing – different role)

Member-at-Large: Joyce Kahn

Member-at-Large: Wendy Soliday

At this point, Cindy turned the meeting over to our new president, Matt Peake, who, with the help of Wendy Soliday, presented Cindy with a bag of small gifts to thank her for her years as president.

Matt talked about plans for 2017, and ideas he has to increase membership. He may do a survey to find out what causes people to join and then stay or leave. We also need to look at look at our mission statement to see if we need to update it. In addition, he would like to find ways for people to get to know one another, and to this end introduced the idea of Regional Hubs of the VPS, a concept that the Vermont Watercolor Society has been successfully using for several years. Matt will look into using the idea with the VPS.

Activities for 2017

Vice President Grace Cothalis discussed two workshops that members are putting together: one by Desmond O’Hagan at the end of June, and one by Doug Dawson in September. Each will be for three days. More info will follow.

The new Exhibits Chair, Susannah Colby, presented plans for two shows in 2017: a members’ show at the Southern Vermont Art Center Manchester beginning at the end of May, and a juried show at the Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction in September. They do not yet know which room we will have at SVAC, so cannot say how many pieces can be hung. At the Coolidge, they can take approximately 30 pieces.

Matt then led a discussion of possible activities for 2017 and beyond. We could compile a list of venues for shows. We could work with/ exhibit with the New Hampshire Pastel Society. We could encourage local gatherings such as the one Wendy Soliday did at her house when she showed a DVD from the VPS collection and artists gathered to paint. Mallory Rich ( suggested a paint out such as the one that the Emil Gruppe Gallery does annually in Jericho. She will look into the possibility of us doing this; we have money to pursue it.

There was a lot of enthusiasm for trying new activities, and the membership gave Matt the green light to look into ways to increase our visibility and opportunities.

The meeting ended with a suggestion of taking VPS brochures to distribute to art stores and at classes and workshops.

Respectfully submitted,

Grace Greene