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VPS Newsletter January 2023

QUARTERLY QUOTE 

A picture is a poem without words.

Horace

  • The CoViD variants haven’t left us, so with winter upon us, we may need to mask up again, and/or we may need to use Zoom for meetings, especially with some of our members traveling to warmer climes. Nevertheless, let’s keep getting together!
  • Hub activities have continued throughout the fall.
  • Three VPS-sponsored Workshops are coming in 2023.
  • A Juried Show and a Members’ Exhibition are being planned for the coming year.

 

Continue reading below for more details.

CALENDAR OF 2023 UPCOMING EVENTS:

Apr 19, 2023: VPS Board Meeting via Zoom

May 19-21, 2023: Tony Allain: “Catching Light,” Bennington, VT.

VPS REGIONAL HUBS UPDATE 

VPS: Central reconvened in November, after members took the summer off, and shared the results of their challenge to each other: paint a scene using 100 strokes or less. In their December meeting, they planned out an ambitious agenda for the coming year.

VPS: Champlain met in November with a packed agenda. First, they talked about Dawn Emerson’s workshop which two members attended, and introduced the idea of perhaps hosting a workshop in Chittenden County. Then they began preparing for the Members’ Exhibition that they will be hosting in Spring 2023. Finally, they shared the results of their challenge to each other, to paint a pastel miniature.

VPS: MidState gathered three times. In September, they shared what they had been doing artistically over the summer, as well as critiqued the Members’ Exhibition which they hosted. In November, they discussed having a local show and viewed their challenge to paint something that they had previously painted and compared the two versions. And in December, their group acknowledged their hub’s two winning members in the VPS Juried Show, as well as showed each other their response to the challenge to do a pastel using three analogous hues.

VPS: SouthEast hosted the Juried Show in Brattleboro, Oct-Nov and put on another local show in November at a local venue, also in Brattleboro, to use their hub allotment.

VPS: UpperValley found a gorgeous autumn afternoon in October to paint en plein air, trying “to catch the beauty and the drama of the day.”

VPS EXHIBITIONS

Our Juried Show (JS) for 2022, displayed in October and November at Vermont Artisan Designs in Brattleboro, VT, was a double success: it was the first time a VPS show was held in the southeastern part of the state, and three of the paintings sold!

Next year, the Members’ Exhibition (ME) will be hosted by VPS: Champlain. Due to an administrative crisis at the venue which had agreed to host us near Burlington, and their late notice, we could not find a suitable gallery in the region. Instead of canceling the ME, we decided to use an available gallery in Bennington and employ a hybrid approach with VPS: CHP coordinating all the aspects of the ME and VPS: SW assisting with the local logistics.

The JS will be more straightforward, hosted in October and November by VPS: UpperValley at the Long River Gallery in WRJ, VT. Stay tuned for all the forthcoming details!!

VPS WORKSHOPS 

Here is who we have lined up for next year’s three workshops:

Tony Allain: “Catching Light,” May 19-21, 2023, Bennington, VT;

Karen Israel: “Rocks/Water Reflections/Clouds/Sky,” Aug 4-6, 2023, East Montpelier;

Nancy Nowak: “Boats and Structures,” Sep 29-Oct 1, 2023 in Bennington, VT.

VPS BOARD NEWS

At our Annual Meeting in October, we voted to form a committee to draft a policy and procedure for a Signature Status category for VPS members, as some other pastel societies have done. This work will begin in January, so if you have any thoughts or suggestions, please contact Cris Kossow, who has offered to take on the task, at [email protected].

Our next board meeting will be via Zoom on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 from 7-9pm. An agenda will come out a couple weeks before the meeting, so please put this date and time on your calendar and plan to attend if you can.

As a VPS member, you are permitted to post two pastels on the website gallery. Remember to check what is up there now and update your images as you make new work. We get over 5000 visitors and 8000 visits a year, and the Gallery of Member Art gets the most traffic, so take advantage of the exposure:

https://vermontpastelsociety.com/participation-in-the-members-gallery/

Also, you can share noteworthy news about your artwork, about prizes you were awarded, about your upcoming shows, about your hub, or about other pastel items of personal interest. Check it out by going to the VPS website and clicking Member News on the drop-down menu or click on this link for submission instructions:

https://vermontpastelsociety.com/vps-member-noteworthy-news/

Don’t forget that you can also rent DVDs for free as a member. The information is on our website.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN VPS! 

With two VPS-sponsored shows in 2023 to exhibit your works, three workshops planned, and our Hubs meeting regularly, there is great value in being a member of the VPS. Please renew your membership for 2023. We stay strong because of the continual support for our organization which each of you provides. Thank you all so much!

Matt Peake, VPS President




VPS Newsletter October 2022

QUARTERLY QUOTE 

Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.

Oscar Wilde

  • The CoViD Omicron variant continues to pester us, and now with cooler weather calling us indoors for art-making, we may be going back to masking up, or Zoom meetings, or getting a booster and taking some risk.
  • Hub activities have been variable over the summer.
  • One more VPS-Sponsored Workshop is coming.
  • Our Juried Show is hanging October through November.

 

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS:

Oct 7-Nov 18, 2022: VPS Juried Show at Vermont Artisan Designs, Brattleboro, VT

Oct 12, 2022: VPS Annual Members’ Meeting via Zoom

Oct 21-23, 2022: Dawn Emerson workshop in Bennington, VT

 

VPS REGIONAL HUBS UPDATE 

VPS: MidState took the summer off with everyone being very busy. They plan to use their hub allotment for renting a space to paint in and to purchase some LuxArchival.

VPS: SouthEast has been meeting regularly over the summer months to plan for the Juried Show they are hosting. They also have another local exhibition in November for which they are using their hub money. They hosted a frame swap, critiqued each other’s pastels, and planned for two more exhibitions upcoming in 2023.

VPS: SouthWest met at the end of September, after a summer off. They used their hub allotment to make a hub sign for posting at their local shows. With winter coming and many of their members traveling south, they will resume meeting via Zoom.

VPS: Champlain has been meeting monthly, welcoming new members, viewing each other’s painting challenges, planning for a show in 2023, discussing pastel-related materials, and painting in Plein Air. They hosted Aline Ordman for a two-hour demo which was well-attended.

 

VPS EXHIBITIONS

Our Juried Show (JS) for 2022 is now on display at Vermont Artisan Designs in Brattleboro, VT, and can be seen any day of the week now through November 18. We had 57 pastels entered and the two jurors, Liz Haywood-Sullivan and Michael Chesley Johnson chose 33 of those for the venue. There will be two First Friday Art Walks for those selected pastels to be seen by the throngs of gallery-goers. They will be judged by Dawn Emerson during her workshop in VT, with awards being presented at the reception on Friday, Nov 4, 2022 from 5-7pm. Please try to attend!

Next year, the Members’ Exhibition will be hosted by VPS: Champlain and the Juried Show, by VPS: Upper Valley at the Long River Gallery in WRJ, VT. Stay tuned for details!!

 

VPS WORKSHOPS 

Our final workshop of the year will be with Dawn Emerson: “Pastel Innovations,” Oct 21-23, 2022, in Bennington, VT. It is full, with 15 participants.

Next year we will again sponsor three workshops:

Tony Allain: “Catching Light,” May 19-21, 2023, Bennington, VT;

Karen Israel: “Rocks/Water Reflections/Clouds/Sky,” Aug 4-6, 2023, East Montpelier;

Nancy Nowak: “Boats and Structures,” Sep 29-Oct 1, 2023 in Bennington, VT.

VPS BOARD NEWS

The Board met on Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022 and several items were discussed and actions were taken. To see the details, please go to the VPS website to view the minutes once they are posted.

Also, after the last two years’ successful Annual Members’ Meeting via Zoom (with more people attending than in the previous years’ in-person events), the board has decided to hold this year’s meeting virtually as well, see link below. The time and date are Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 7-9 p.m. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82281322631?pwd=blRpazhVemNjQkJld2tHZDViRlZXUT09

As before, we will have a short business meeting in the first portion. Among other agenda items, we need to elect 4 board officers for two-year terms, approve the budget for 2023, and discuss whether the VPS should have a Signature Status category for its members like some other pastel societies. Following that, we will have Jeanne Rosier Smith doing an autumn landscape demonstration. Please put that date and time on your calendar and save the link! 

As a VPS member, you are permitted to post two pastels on the website gallery. Remember to check what is up there now and update your images as you make new work. We get over 5000 visitors and 8000 visits a year, and the Gallery of Member Art gets the most traffic, so take advantage of the exposure:

https://vermontpastelsociety.com/participation-in-the-members-gallery/

Also, you can share noteworthy news about your artwork, about prizes you were awarded, about your upcoming shows, about your hub, or about other pastel items of personal interest. Check it out by going to the VPS website and clicking Member News on the drop-down menu or click on this link for submission instructions:

https://vermontpastelsociety.com/vps-member-noteworthy-news/

Don’t forget that you can also rent DVDs for free as a member. The information is on our website.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN VPS! 

With a Juried Show hanging now, another workshop coming this fall, and our Hubs resuming their more normal activities, there is great value in being a member of the VPS. Please renew your membership for the coming year. We are who we are because of the continual support for our organization which each of you provides. Thank you all so much!

Matt Peake, VPS President




VPS Newsletter July 2022

QUARTERLY QUOTE 

Art is a line around your thoughts.    Gustav Klimt

  • CoViD cases continue to decline, so some of us are feeling safer about meeting indoors, and with summer weather here and outdoor meeting possible, there is ample time and space to get together to make art, view art, and talk art.
  • Hub activities are returning to the frequency of pre-CoViD days.
  • Two more VPS-Sponsored Workshops are coming up.
  • We have a Members’ Exhibition hanging now and a Juried Show planned for October.

 

Continue reading below for more details.

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS:

Jun 10-Jul 22, 2022: VPS Members’ Exhibition at Chaffee Art Center, Rutland, VT

Aug 8-12, 2022: Alain Picard workshop in East Montpelier, VT

Oct 21-23, 2022: Dawn Emerson workshop in Bennington, VT

Oct 7-Nov 18, 2022: VPS Juried Show at Vermont Artisans Design, Brattleboro, VT

VPS REGIONAL HUBS UPDATE 

VPS: MidState met in April for an Aline Ordman workshop, and they spent the next two months coordinating the Members’ Exhibition that their hub was hosting.

VPS: SouthEast got together again after a long hiatus, and elected a new point person, then began planning for the VPS Juried Show they will be hosting in the fall. An art critique followed.

VPS: SouthWest met in April to plan for the two local exhibitions they were arranging and to coordinate transport of paintings to the Members’ Exhibition. They had a Zoom meeting in May to discuss postcards and signage to advertise for their local shows.

VPS: Champlain got together twice in the last three months for a plein air painting activity, and to have breakfast at a restaurant where their paintings were hanging.

VPS: Central put on a hub exhibition at the T.W. Wood Gallery in June and July with the theme, Local Perspective. They invited a judge to view the work and award prizes. A paint-out at one of the hub member’s homes was planned for mid-summer.

VPS EXHIBITIONS

Our Members’ Exhibition (ME) reception took place on Saturday, June 11 at the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland, wholly-hosted by VPS: MidState. This ME process went smoothly until the eleventh hour when the judge had a family emergency and could not be present. Fortunately, VPS: MS was able to secure another judge, Kate Gridley, a nationally recognized Middlebury artist, who came to not only judge the show, but attend the reception and present the awards in person. Thirty to forty people were in attendance, and those who were there were quite pleased with the judge and the venue. Big thanks to VPS: MidState!!

A Save-the-Date announcement has already been sent for the Juried Show in Oct/Nov 2022 at Vermont Artisans Design in Brattleboro, wholly-hosted by VPS: SouthEast. Stay alert for more announcements and please submit your pastels to this show. We have two nationally recognized jurors to select images on line, and a judge who will see the show in person. Moreover, the venue is open 7 days a week, they really promote the artists who show there, and even if you are far away, we can arrange a hub-to-hub transfer to get your artwork there!

VPS WORKSHOPS 

Alain Picard: “The Painterly Landscape,” Aug 8-10; “The Painterly Portrait,” Aug 11-12, 2022, East Montpelier, VT.

Dawn Emerson: “Pastel Innovations,” Oct 21-23, 2022, Bennington, VT.

VPS BOARD NEWS 

As a VPS member, you are permitted to post two pastels on the website gallery. Remember to check what is up there now and update your images as you make new work. We get over 5000 visits a year, and the Gallery of Member Art gets the most traffic, so take advantage of the exposure:

https://vermontpastelsociety.com/participation-in-the-members-gallery/

Also, you can share noteworthy news about your artwork, about prizes you were awarded, about your upcoming shows, about your hub, or about other pastel items of personal interest. Check it out by going to the VPS website and clicking Member News on the drop-down menu or click on this link for submission instructions:

https://vermontpastelsociety.com/vps-member-noteworthy-news/

Don’t forget that you can also rent DVDs for free as a member. The information is on our website.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN VPS! 

With a Juried Show still coming this year, two more workshops planned for summer and fall, and our Hubs resuming their more normal activities, there is great value in being a member of the VPS. We are who we are because of the support for our organization that each of you provides. Thank you all. You’re the Best!

Matt Peake, VPS President




VPS Newsletter April 2022

QUARTERLY QUOTE 

The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is—it’s to imagine what is possible.  Bell Hooks

  • CoViD cases are greatly diminished now, and mask mandates are being rescinded. People are starting to meet indoors more confidently. Moreover, with spring being here, by the calendar, at least, and with the promise of warmer weather, we can be outdoors again for painting alone, but also for painting together.
  • Hub Activities over the winter have really ramped up.
  • One VPS Workshop has happened and two more are coming up.
  • We have two exhibitions upcoming this year, in June and October.
  • Our next board meeting via Zoom is in April.

 

Continue reading below for more details.

 

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS:

Apr 6, 2022: VPS Board Meeting via Zoom 7-9 p.m. (see link below)

Jun 10-Jul 22, 2022: VPS Members’ Exhibition at Chaffee Art Center, Rutland, VT

Aug 8-12, 2022: Alain Picard workshop in East Montpelier, VT

Autumn 2022: Dawn Emerson workshop in Bennington, VT

Oct 2022: VPS Juried Show at Vermont Artisans Design, Brattleboro, VT

 

VPS REGIONAL HUBS UPDATE 

Winter Hub activity has surged!

VPS: MidState met in December, January, February, and March, giving each other challenges such as painting an animal, painting daily, painting in a style of an admired artist. They also discussed plans for hosting the Members’ Exhibition this summer.

VPS: Central met virtually in January, February, and March with large numbers participating, showing each other their responses to challenges of painting a night scene, painting using one hue, and everyone painting from the same photo reference. Plus, they recently gathered to watch a demo by Jacob Aguiar that they purchased with their hub allotment money.

VPS: SouthEast transitioned to a new Point Person, who was in FL for the winter without good access to internet, so they all decided to wait until April to begin meeting again.

VPS: SouthWest met three times in the last three months to discuss local Hub shows, to plan for the Lyn Asselta workshop they were hosting, to provide each other critiques for their current works, and to share techniques they were using.

VPS: UpperValley had an online meeting in February to look at the snowscapes they challenged themselves to paint. In March the group explored the world of underpaintings.

VPS EXHIBITIONS

For 2022, there will be a Members’ Exhibition in June/July at the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland, wholly-hosted by VPS: MidState. The save-the-date and first announcements have already gone out, so please submit a painting or two for that exhibition. Also, stay alert for announcements of the Juried Show in the fall at Vermont Artisans Design in Brattleboro, wholly-hosted by VPS: SouthEast.

 

VPS WORKSHOPS 

Our first online workshop with Lyn Asselta happened March 18-19, the topic being “The Why of Painting.” A non-attending artist facilitated the virtual workshop to ensure that all participants could benefit without tech difficulties. The participants were pleased with the insights gained from painting after having considered words for what their artwork was trying to convey. Not only was it a novel approach for the attendees, but such a tech-supported virtual workshop, conceived of by VPS: SouthWest members, represented a novel option for presenting VPS workshops going forward.

Alain Picard: “The Painterly Landscape/ The Painterly Figure,” August 8-12, 2022, East Montpelier, VT.

Dawn Emerson: Fall of 2022, Bennington, VT.

 

VPS BOARD NEWS 

We have a really exciting candidate for Board Secretary, and we will be asking for your vote to elect her in April. We appreciate all the help we received in filling that very important board position.

We received 44 responses to our request for members to fill out the VPS survey. The board is reviewing both the ratings and the written responses to know just how to adjust our compass settings for our VPS going forward.

We will be holding our next board meeting virtually via Zoom on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, from 7-9 p.m. We always have a number of interesting subjects to discuss, so please feel free to attend. The link for the meeting is below, so put it on your calendar now, and please join us. https://zoom.us/j/95665835951?pwd=Q3Ixem15NnJGV0RBUWJrWDB0Z1Y1Zz09

Remember, as a VPS member, you can share noteworthy news about your artwork, about prizes you were awarded, about your upcoming shows, about your hub, or about other pastel items of personal interest. Check it out by going to the VPS website and clicking Member News on the drop-down menu or click on this link for submission instructions:

https://vermontpastelsociety.com/vps-member-noteworthy-news/

Don’t forget that you can also rent DVDs for free as a member. The information is on our website.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN VPS! 

With a Juried Show and Members’ Exhibition coming this year, two more workshops planned for summer and fall, and our Hubs resuming their more normal activities, there is great value in being a member of the VPS. Please renew your membership, if you haven’t already, and stay active in our society. We are who we are because of the support for our organization that each of you provides. Thank you all, again and again and again!

 

Matt Peake, VPS President




VPS Newsletter January 2022

QUARTERLY QUOTE 

Artwork is a representation of our devotion to life. Agnes Martin

We’ve entered a new year, but Covid has not left us, so meeting in person will be challenging again. Thankfully, we now have lots of experience with virtual gathering, so let’s keep meeting that way if artists feel it’s safer than in person.

  • Regional hubs met regularly during the summer but since the Delta surge, and now with the Omicron variant emerging, hubs will have to resort to zoom forums again to stay connected.
  • Our next board meeting via Zoom is in April.

 

Continue reading below for more details.

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS:

Mar 2022: Lyn Asselta virtual workshop

Jun 10-Jul 22, 2022: VPS Members’ Exhibition at Chaffee Art Center, Rutland, VT

Aug 8-12, 2022: Alain Picard workshop in East Montpelier, VT

Autumn 2022: Dawn Emerson workshop in Bennington, VT

Oct 2022: VPS Juried Show at Vermont Artisans Design, Brattleboro, VT

 

VPS REGIONAL HUBS UPDATE 

Summer saw plenty of hub events, but in autumn the number of hub activities dramatically declined.

VPS: MidState met in November to plan how to spend their 2021 hub money, to talk about hosting the upcoming Members’ Exhibition in June, and to look at their assignment: doing a painting from a reference photo displayed upside down.

VPS: Central hosted the Members’ Exhibition at the T.W. Wood Gallery, a major undertaking which eventually all hubs will be doing, if they haven’t done one yet.

VPS: SouthEast was scheduled to meet in person in December, but cancelled because of Covid. It looks like we may need to reload our zoom apps and continue to meet that way for a while, until Omicron peaks and fades away.

VPS EXHIBITIONS

For 2022, there will be one Members’ Exhibition in June/July at the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland, wholly-hosted by VPS: MidState, and a Juried Show in the fall at Vermont Artisans Design in Brattleboro, wholly-hosted by VPS: SouthEast. More details will be forthcoming in the next several months, so keep your eyes out for the “Save the Date” announcements.

VPS WORKSHOPS 

With the new variant of the coronavirus emerging, and perhaps others to follow, we will be holding one virtual workshop early in 2022, and hopefully two in-person workshops in later 2022. As of now, this is the schedule:

Lyn Asselta: This will be a 2-day virtual workshop in March 2022 with a facilitator “on hand” for coordinating all technical aspects so participants can relax and learn what Lyn has to offer. These virtual workshops have improved during the pandemic, as instructors, wanting to teach, have had to pivot in their instructional methods to make workshops both beneficial to participants and safe for all. Stay alert for more forthcoming details from Linda Masten and Mark Grasso!

Alain Picard: “The Painterly Landscape/ The Painterly Figure, August 8-12, 2022, East Montpelier, VT.

Dawn Emerson: Fall of 2022, Bennington, VT.

VPS BOARD NEWS 

We are looking for a VPS artist to join our board as Secretary. It is a two-year term, beginning immediately and ending at the VPS Annual Meeting in the fall of 2023. The responsibilities are essentially taking minutes for three meetings a year, so very manageable, and the board members you will be working with are fantastic, so please consider volunteering for this position by contacting Matt Peake, at this link, or your hub point person.

About 10 years ago, our VPS asked members to fill out a short survey to assess how well the VPS was doing in meeting artists’ needs and what else might our VPS do to “build and strengthen connections with pastel artists” as our mission statement declares. The board decided that we would like to again ask our membership for a similar assessment in 2022. Please be on the lookout for that survey and please, please take the time to fill it out. Hearing from everyone would be grand and would offer us a much-appreciated direction for our VPS going forward. We thank you in advance!

We will be holding our next board meeting virtually via Zoom on Wednesday, April 2, 2022, from 7-9 p.m. We always have a number of interesting subjects to discuss, so please feel free to attend. The link for the meeting will be provided closer to the date, but put it on your calendar now, and please join us.

Remember, as a VPS member, you can share noteworthy news about your artwork, about prizes you were awarded, about your upcoming shows, about your hub, or about other pastel items of personal interest. Check it out by going to the VPS website and clicking Member News on the drop-down menu or click on this link for submission instructions:

https://vermontpastelsociety.com/vps-member-noteworthy-news/

Don’t forget that you can also rent DVDs for free as a member. The information is on our website.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN VPS! 

With a Juried Show and Members’ Exhibition coming this year, three workshops planned for spring, summer, and fall, and our Hubs staying active, whether in person or virtually, there is much to be gained by being a member of the VPS. Please renew your membership, if you haven’t already, and stay active in our society. We are who we are because of the support for our organization that each of you provides. Keep it strong, as you keep on painting!

Matt Peake, VPS President




VPS Newsletter October 2021

QUARTERLY QUOTE

Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.

Banksy

  • Autumn has appeared! Vermont lifted CoViD restrictions this summer, and we were able to meet again in person, but with fall bringing us back inside and the delta variant surging, meeting in person may be challenging again.
  • Regional hubs met regularly during summer, and Zoom meetings were on hold. We’ll know soon what autumn will bring.
  • Our second Members’ Exhibition is up for viewing in Montpelier.
  • Our next board meeting via Zoom is 2 weeks away.
  • Our next Annual Members’ Meeting via Zoom is 3 weeks away.

Continue reading below for more details.

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sep 1-Oct 31, 2021: VPS Members’ Exhibition at T.W. Wood Gallery, Montpelier, VT

Oct 13, 2021: VPS Board Meeting, 7-9 p.m. remotely via Zoom

Oct 21, 2021: VPS Annual Members’ Meeting, 6:30-8:30 p.m. remotely via Zoom

VPS REGIONAL HUBS UPDATE

Summer has seen plenty of hub events. VPS: SE met in June to raffle off their hub’s allotment of donated frames; to critique members’ works; and to finalize details for their local hub show which happened in August. VPS: SW met in July and August to discuss an upcoming hub show; to watch a demo by one of their members on painting water scenes; to learn from one member about making pastels; and to view several members’ water paintings. VPS: CHP viewed several paintings of their members; VPS: UV has been getting together monthly for paint-outs and informal critiques; and VPS: CEN put on a fantastic Members’ Exhibition!

VPS EXHIBITIONS

On view now, and until the end of October, is our second Members’ Exhibition of the year, wholly-hosted by VPS: Central. Because of the delta variant spiking in our state, the reception on September 10, 2021, was held outside the T.W. Wood Gallery in Montpelier. There was a veritable feast laid out for the many attendees. Our hosts innovated an awards ceremony with the help of many hub members, ferrying each award-winning painting from the upstairs wall downstairs to the outside sidewalk so that all could see the pastel which won. The threatening weather held off, making for a delightful evening. The paintings in this show are all exemplary, so please try to see it while it is still hanging.

For 2022, there will be one Members’ Exhibition in June/July at the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland, wholly-hosted by VPS: MidState and a Juried Show in the fall at Vermont Artisans Design in Brattleboro, wholly-hosted by VPS: SouthEast. More details will be forthcoming in the next several months.

VPS WORKSHOPS

With many Vermonters getting the CoViD vaccine, and, with venues opening up in our state, we had hoped that our workshop with Dawn Emerson would take place in Bennington this October. But unluckily, the delta variant upended our plans. As of now, this workshop and two others are planned for 2022.

Lyn Asselta: Spring of 2022, Bennington, VT

Alain Picard: August 8-12, 2022, East Montpelier, VT

Dawn Emerson: Fall of 2022, Bennington, VT

VPS BOARD NEWS

We will be holding our next board meeting virtually via Zoom on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 from 7-9 p.m. We always have a number of interesting subjects to discuss, so please feel free to attend. The link for the meeting will be https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82527177129?pwd=Z3pIN3UyN1NHdlhjT2xOOGFMRkFWdz09

so put it on your calendar now and please join us.

Also, after last year’s successful Annual Members’ Meeting via Zoom (with more people attending than in the previous year’s in-person event), the board has decided to hold this year’s meeting virtually as well. The link will be coming, but the time and date are Thursday, October 21, 2021 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. As before, we will have a short business meeting in the first hour. Following that, we have something new: a presentation by Dakota Pastels. Linda Masten has already seen this presentation as a member of another pastel society and attests to it being of great interest to all of us. Put that date and time on your calendar too!

Remember, as a VPS member, you can share noteworthy news about your artwork, about prizes you were awarded, about your upcoming shows, about your hub, or about other pastel items of personal interest. Check it out by going to the VPS website and clicking Member News on the drop-down menu or click on this link for submission instructions:

VPS Member Noteworthy News

Don’t forget that you can also rent DVDs for free as a member. The information is on our website.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN VPS!

With a Juried Show and Members’ Exhibition coming next year, three workshops planned for next summer and fall, and our Hubs staying active, whether in person or virtually, there is much to be gained by being a member of the VPS. Thank you to those who continue to be active in our society. We are who we are because of the support for our organization that you all provide. Keep it strong, as you keep on making pastel art!

Matt Peake
VPS President




VPS Newsletter July 2021

QUARTERLY QUOTE

An artist discovers their genius the day they dare not to please. (Forgive my gender-neutral substitutions, Andre!)

Andre Malraux

Summer has arrived, Vermont has lifted CoViD restrictions, so we are able to meet again in person!

  • Regional hubs continue to meet regularly, and now for several hubs, Zoom meetings can be on hold.
  • Holding an in-person workshop looks promising.
  • One Members’ Exhibition has successfully concluded and one more is coming in the fall.
  • Our next board meeting via Zoom is in October.

Continue reading below for more details.

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sep 1-Oct 31, 2021: VPS Members’ Exhibition at T.W. Wood Gallery, Montpelier, VT

Oct 13, 2021: VPS Board Meeting, 7-9 p.m. remotely via Zoom

Oct 21, 2021: VPS Members Meeting, 6:30-8:30 remotely via Zoom

Oct 23-25, 2021: Dawn Emerson workshop in Bennington, VT

VPS REGIONAL HUBS UPDATE

Our Hubs Coordinator, Cristine Kossow has been supplying us with Hub Happenings over the last three months, and we have been excitedly reading what all the hubs are doing remotely. Some activities included painting a nocturne, an abstract, a self-portrait, a landscape with figure; doing a tonal piece; exploring green; exploiting textural effects in a pastel; painting in the style of Degas; using pastel pencils; trying a 20-minute pastel; critiquing other’s work; and planning for hub exhibitions.

Remember, all that was accomplished via Zoom! And this is about to change as VPS: SE set up a meeting at a member’s home for June and VPS: SW announced that they are no longer meeting remotely.  Please let Cristine know what your hub is doing, so we all can vicariously experience what you all are actively participating in. We learn from everyone so keep us in the know! And thank you!

VPS EXHIBITIONS

Coming off our first Online Juried Show in January, our VPS did something innovative once again: we organized our first Wholly-Hub-Hosted exhibition. In the past, our Exhibitions Coordinator did all the preliminary work to enlist the venue and to get the show going, and asked the hub hosting the exhibition to help with activities directly related to hanging the show and putting on the reception. As we currently do not have an Exhibitions Coordinator, the board asked the hubs to take on one exhibition or show every three years and to manage all the details, such as coordinating with a venue, communicating with members, finding prizes, selecting a judge, and on and on.

Just to remind those who know, and to inform those who do not, our philosophy as a pastel society has been to have two types of shows. Our Juried Show (JS) showcases our most accomplished pastel painters, as determined by a pair of nationally recognized pastel artist jurors. That was our JS this past winter.

Our Members’ Exhibition (ME), on the other hand, celebrates our diversity, our varied interests, our courage to take risks, our membership’s depth and breadth. Accordingly, we hang one or two pastels of every artist who submits to the ME, and we ask our judge to pick pieces according to categories of subject matter (landscape, still life, abstract, etc.) and compositional element (line, shape, color, texture, etc.). This offers a chance for everyone to be recognized for their work.

VPS: SouthWest did an outstanding job with our inaugural Wholly-Hub-Hosted Members’ Exhibition (ME) at the Southern Vermont Art Center (SVAC) this April and May. And because we could not gather as a group during the months it was hanging, VPS: SW had the innovative idea to do the awards presentation on Zoom, where judge David Francis talked at length about the winning pastels. After the ME came down, our board sent out a survey to members who either submitted or did not submit to the ME to listen and learn whatever we could so as to improve our process for subsequent ME and JS.

Coming up this fall is another opportunity for VPS members to show their work. This will be another ME, this time Wholly-Hosted by VPS: Central. Scheduled to run from September 1 to October 31, 2021, a save-the-date memo has already been sent, so remain alert for more details coming soon.

VPS WORKSHOPS

With many Vermonters getting the CoViD vaccine, and, as venues are opening up in our state, it is likely that our workshop with Dawn Emerson will take place in Bennington from Oct 23-25, 2021 as scheduled.

VPS BOARD NEWS

We will be holding our next board meeting virtually via Zoom on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 from 7-9p.m. We always have a number of interesting subjects to discuss, so please feel free to attend. The link for the meeting will be provided as we get closer to that day, but put it on your calendar now.

Also, after last year’s successful Members’ Meeting via Zoom (with more people attending than in the previous year’s in-person event), the board has decided to hold this year’s meeting virtually as well. The link will be coming, but the time and date are Thursday, October 21, 2021 from 6:30-8:30p.m. As before, we will have a short business meeting in the first hour. Following that, something new: a presentation by Dakota Pastels in the second half. Linda Masten has already seen this presentation as a member of another pastel society and enthusiastically testifies to it being of interest to all of us. Put that date on your calendar too!

Remember, as a VPS member, you can share noteworthy news about your artwork, about prizes you were awarded, about your upcoming shows, about your hub, or about other pastel items of personal interest. Check it out by going to the VPS website and clicking Member News on the drop-down menu or click on this link for submission instructions:

VPS Member Noteworthy News

Don’t forget that you can also rent DVDs for free as a member. The information is on our website.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN VPS!

With another Members’ Exhibitions coming this year, a workshop planned for the fall, and our Hubs meeting in person again, there is much to be gained by being a member of the VPS. Thank you to those who have renewed, and who continue to be active in our society. We are who we are because of the undying support for our organization that you all provide. Keep it coming, as you keep on painting in pastel!

Matt Peake, VPS President




VPS Newsletter April 2021

QUARTERLY QUOTE
Art has a voice—let it speak.
Rochelle Carr

  • Spring is here, and a renewed feeling of hopefulness abounds. Let’s celebrate in whatever way we want…including by painting!
  • Three regional hubs continue to meet regularly, via Zoom, and three others are hoping to meet this way soon.
  • Holding an in-person workshop continues to be fraught even as the pandemic winds down, but our VPS artists persevere in planning for 2021.
  • Exhibitions for 2021 include two Members’ Exhibitions: one now, and one in the fall.
  • Our next board meeting via Zoom is in April.


CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS:

April 3 to June 4, 2021: VPS Members’ Exhibition at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT

April 20, 2021: VPS Board Meeting, 7-9 p.m. remotely via Zoom

Sep-Oct 2021: VPS Members’ Exhibition at T.W. Wood Gallery, Montpelier, VT

Oct 23-25, 2021: Dawn Emerson workshop in Bennington, VT

VPS REGIONAL HUBS UPDATE

With VPS: SW modeling how to stay connected as a hub during physically distancing times, two other hubs, VPS: SE and MS, are now meeting regularly via Zoom. And VPS: CEN has begun with remote meetings as well. VPS: CHP and UV promise to give things a try soon. The spirit of hubs gathering in-person was inspirational in early 2020, but the pandemic put an abrupt halt to that. With the real possibility that artists can safely start meeting again soon, these remote meetings now offer a transitional bridge to that brighter future ahead. So, thank you, VPS: SW for showing us the way, and thank you to our other hubs for embracing the virtual approach while we dream of the real thing to come.

VPS EXHIBITIONS

Our Board decided, with our VPS Juried Show occurring so late last year, and being displayed on our website from November 2020 through January 31, 2021, that we will not have a Juried Show this year. Added to that, we have been isolated from each other for a year and have been unable to visit galleries and see actual pastel paintings on the wall. So, with venues opening up again, our Board felt it would be better to welcome all our VPS artists to exhibit now, in a Members’ Exhibition, one in the spring, and then later on, in the fall of 2021.

Just to remind those who know, and to inform those who do not, our philosophy as a pastel society has been to have two types of shows. Our Juried Show showcases our most accomplished pastel painters, as judged by a pair of nationally known pastel artists. Our Members’ Exhibition (ME), on the other hand, celebrates our diversity, our varied interests, our courage to take risks, our membership’s depth and breadth. Accordingly, we hang one or two pastels of every artist who submits to the ME, and we ask our judge to pick pieces according to categories of subject matter (landscape, still life, abstract, etc.) and compositional element (line, shape, color, texture, etc.). This offers a chance for everyone to be recognized for their work.

For the April ME, we have 50 paintings to be displayed. They will be judged by Master Pastellist Dave Francis during the opening week. Although there is no opening reception, our pastels will be able to be viewed in person during the show’s two-month run, and there is hope that by the close of our ME, there might be opportunity for larger groups to gather in public.

This ME is notable for another reason. Because we don’t have an Exhibitions Coordinator, we have asked the hosting hub to do all the organizational aspects of putting on a show. VPS: SW has been our first hub to do this, and they’ve done superbly. Please find any opportunity you can to let them know how much you appreciate their efforts. Without them, we would not be having this ME!!

VPS WORKSHOPS

Unfortunately, our Lyn Asselta workshop slotted for April 30 to May 2, 2021 in Bennington, had to be cancelled, but it is being rescheduled for 2022.

With many of Vermonters getting the CoViD vaccine, and, as  venues are slowly opening up in our state, it is likely that our other workshop with Dawn Emerson will take place in Bennington from Oct 23-25, 2021.

VPS BOARD NEWS

We will be holding our next board meeting virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 from 7-9p.m. We have a number of interesting subjects to discuss, so please feel free to attend. The link for the meeting is included below

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85244204701?pwd=VEltYm9wSmg4dWlTamJsTlVBVGFIdz09

Remember, as a VPS member, you can show a painting on the VPS website with a link to another image and to a short bio. If you want to do this for the first time, or if you want your image changed in the VPS Website Gallery, please use this link: https://vermontpastelsociety.com/participation-in-the-members-gallery/.

Don’t forget that you can also rent DVDs for free as a member. The information is on our website.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN VPS!

With two Members’ Exhibitions coming this year, a workshop planned for the fall, and our Hubs rebounding from a pandemic-imposed isolation, there is much to be gained by being a member of the VPS. Thank you to those who have renewed, and, to those who have not, please consider renewing your membership today.  We are who we are because of the undying support for our organization that you all provide. Keep it coming, as you keep on painting in pastel!

Matt Peake, VPS President




VPS Newsletter January 2021

QUARTERLY QUOTE

A true artist is not one who is inspired but one who inspires others.
Salvador Dali

Our first VPS Online Juried Show is still available for viewing on our website until January 31, 2021.

  • One regional hub continues to meet regularly, via Zoom, and two others have begun to meet this way, too.
  • Workshop planning is continuing for 2021.
  • Exhibition planning for 2021 continues but needing a new format.

Continue reading below for more details.

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS:

January 1-31, 2021: Final days of the 2020 VPS Online Juried Show.

April 20, 2021: VPS Board Meeting 7-9 p.m. remotely via Zoom

April 30-May 2, 2021: Lyn Asselta workshop in Bennington, VT

Oct 23-25, 2021: Dawn Emerson workshop in Bennington, VT

Oct-Nov 2021: VPS Members’ Exhibition at T.W. Wood Gallery, Montpelier, VT

 

VPS REGIONAL HUBS UPDATE

VPS: SouthWest continues to meet monthly via Zoom. VPS: MidState re-united this fall on Zoom, and VPS: SouthEast is meeting remotely as well on Monday, January 4, 2021. We have a new Hubs Coordinator, Cristine Kossow, and you probably recall having received a Hubs Happening Constant Contact message from her.

Of note, when our hubs system was first adopted in 2017, we didn’t intend that hubs isolate themselves, but wanted a hub’s activities, whenever possible, to be open to artists in the other 5 hubs. We realized, however, that some activities a hub did, because of space limitations, could not be opened up to all VPS artists. Also, distance would make it impractical for all VPS members to attend. So, we used the terms “open” and “closed” to characterize the activities that a particular hub was doing. “Open” meant that the hub’s activity was open to attendance by VPS members of any hub. “Closed” signified that the activity was only for artists of that particular hub.

Now, however, because several hubs are using Zoom, space and distance issues are less restrictive—although obviously, too large a zoom meeting can limit an individual artist’s time to show a painting and invite feedback. Accordingly, we have been discussing how to make one hub’s Zoom meeting available to VPS members from other hubs. Mark Grasso and Linda Masten are looking into getting a VPS Zoom account for this purpose, and we will be talking about how to communicate the date, time, and zoom link of a particular hub’s meeting, and to develop a sign-up process so that there will be an optimal number of participants for such a hub meeting.

So, stay tuned—or better yet, get in touch with your hub point person or persons and give them any input you may have.

VPS EXHIBITIONS

Our first ever VPS Online Juried Show is still happening—look at our website to see the exhibition and the award winners, if you haven’t already. But don’t delay, as the show ends January 31, 2021.

With Susannah’s departure as our Exhibitions Coordinator, and with no one willing or able to take her place, in order to continue to have exhibitions, we will have to do some creative thinking. For our first online juried show, for example, four board members worked together, and, in a relatively short amount of time, put together a virtual exhibition. That required partnering with ShowSubmit for the submission process and the jurying and judging; finding jurors and a judge willing to do those tasks; and posting the images and contact information for the selected artists on our website. In some ways, a virtual show is easier to put on.

With a Members’ Exhibition upcoming in the fall, assuming we can all safely gather, we will need to do more than manipulate images on a screen. We will need real people—VPS artists—receiving paintings, hanging the show, hosting the reception, photographing and publicizing the event, and more. Just like before. But we will need someone or some cadre of artists to organize the whole process. Will that be members of the board or will that be members of the hub of the region where the show is going to take place? Your input will be valuable to working through these and other questions, so please communicate with your hub point person or persons!

As for our annual Juried Show for 2021, we are tentatively scheduled to exhibit at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in spring, but there is still a real question as to whether we will be able to gather safely by then. We will keep you posted, as it is only three or four months away!

VPS WORKSHOPS

Let’s keep our hopes high that we will have workshops this year! So far, the following are in the planning stages:

Lyn Asselta workshop will be Apr 30, May 1 and May 2, 2021 in Bennington.

Dawn Emerson workshop is planned for Oct 23-25, 2021 in Bennington.

BOARD NEWS

At our 2020 Annual Membership Meeting, held via Zoom on November 9, 2020, we elected one new board member, Cristine Kossow, as Hubs Coordinator, but we are down a board member, with no Exhibitions Coordinator. Please visit our website to see who is on the board, and please don’t hesitate to volunteer to serve on the board, especially if you are interested in exhibitions.

We will be holding our next board meeting virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 from 7-9p.m. The link for the meeting will be sent out closer to the date.

Remember, as a VPS member, you can show a painting on the VPS website with a link to another image and a short bio. If you want to do this for the first time, or if you want your image changed in the VPS Website Gallery, please use this link: https://vermontpastelsociety.com/participation-in-the-members-gallery/.

Don’t forget that you can also rent DVDs for free as a member. The information is on our website.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN VPS!

With a vaccine now being distributed, we seem tantalizingly close to being able to meet again in person. But even if that doesn’t happen right away, there is still much to be gained by remaining a member of the VPS, so please renew your membership today.  We are who we are because of the undying support for our organization that you all provide. Keep it coming, as you keep on painting in pastel!

Matt Peake, VPS President




Members Online Show Awards

Juror Alain Picard’s Comments on the 2020 Members Show Award Winners

I am honored and delighted to have served as Juror of Awards for the Vermont Pastel Society’s inaugural Members Only Online Show. I’d like to share a few comments regarding how I select award winners before talking about each of the top winners specifically. There are four categories of consideration that I use to evaluate the work.

First off, I look at The Fundamentals.  This is the skillful deployment of color, composition, drawing, proportions, perspective, tonal values, and edge quality. These are the foundational elements of the painting. Have they been executed with skill and mastery?

Next I consider  The Medium.  This is the skillful handling of pastel. The mark-making, surface effects, and creative techniques that are used in the application of soft pastel in all its various approaches.

Moving on from there, I consider  The Artist . Is there a unique point of view in the painting? Can I identify a clear artistic voice speaking through the work? Does the artist use poetic expression in the handling of the medium? Is there a strong concept and a clear intention being delivered? These qualities of the artist are powerful influencers in the resulting painting.

Finally, I consider  The Art . This is that intangible resonance of the work. It’s the painting’s ability to impact the viewer, reach in and stir something inside of you. There is a power in a painting that somehow gets unlocked through the passion of the artist, and it takes on a life of it’s own. This is one reason why great art lives on for generations, why we are moved when we enter a museum and behold a work from generations past as it speaks to us today. I’m searching for this resonant power in the painting.

All four of these categories—the Fundamentals, the Medium, the Artist and the Art—are considered in making decisions as Juror of Awards. Now to the Award winners.

BEST IN SHOW

Last Light  by Patti Braun

Last Light received best in show. As I view this elegant landscape, the design, color harmony, mood and atmosphere all coalesce to create a moment in time that connects with the heart and speaks to the soul. I can feel the air hovering over the mountains and the warm late day light as it moves up the tree line until it’s gone. This wonderful celebration of nature reveals the artist’s admiration for and connection with the scene. I admire in particular the use of color deployed to convey emotion and atmosphere. We feel the moment, and we are rewarded greatly.

SECOND PLACE

Tractor Study #5  by Robert Carsten

Second place went to Tractor Study #5. This piece is a truly unique vantage point on the art of abstraction. Rooted in direct observation of an antique tractor, the artist has transformed the surface environment of this machine into a technicolor delight of texture, light and shadow. Ultimately, it is the compositional drama, created through the play of light and shadow on the surface and conveyed with highly chromatic hues, that won me over. No one else has observed a tractor in such a unique way and shared their unique artistic vision with such joy and celebration.

THIRD PLACE

Nearing Twilight by Katrina Thortensen

Nearing Twilight took 3 rd  place in this exhibition. The sky in this subtle and restful landscape is painted with such elegant restraint that it creates a sensory experience for the viewer. The depth of atmosphere is felt as much as seen through control of value and edge as well as the unity of color harmony. The soft light dances across the grass and rides over the clouds through sublimely rendered color. The moon is now in view, such a tender and skillful touch revealing thousands of miles of atmosphere and space between the viewer and this lunar sighting. What a beautiful scene, and a sense of place the artist has created for us here.

FIRST HONORABLE MENTION

The Blues by Shelli Duboff

Pure joy. That is the direct emotion I encountered when setting eyes on this painting entitled, The Blues. It’s a clever composition that emphasizes energetic diagonals to evoke a musical celebration of the genre. The artist has captured a feeling of music so well. I can’t as much hear the sounds as I can feel them resonating in my body in cadence with the fingers of the musician’s hand. That’s what makes this painting more than a portrait of a man or a description of a jazz player. It is a true visceral expression of joy.

SECOND HONORABLE MENTION

A History of Baseball #3 by Monica Hastings

A History of Baseball #3 is a narrative still life painting that sensitively and lovingly observes articles of our national past time. The surface effect of the leather gloves, well-worn and aged, is treated with great care. The color and value of aged and crackled leather depicted with wonderful grace. I enjoy experiencing the meandering line created by the outside edges of the gloves as you travel from one old soul to the next. What a special homage to the game of baseball, and to the art of pastel.

THIRD HONORABLE MENTION

Felicity by Alla Hiser

Felicity takes the 3rd Honorable Mention in this show. Nestled between the trunks of a tree, this compositional v-shaped design rivets our attention upon a beguiling young princess. She is treated with great dignity, using the site line vantage point of just below the subject to create a sense of power and poise in this little girl with great aspirations. From the eyes to the hands and tenderly rendered mouth, the artist has given us more than a skillful likeness, but a painting that invites us into a story. We are left wondering, “who will she become…?” And this willful participation with the art nourishes the viewer’s mind as well as heart.