VPS Newsletter January 2021


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.


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: 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.


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!


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.


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.


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


Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

Edgar Degas

SUMMERTIME…AND THE LIVIN’ IS EASY We now have six active hubs and one more to bring into the fold—up in the Northeast Kingdom.

We’ve had one successful show and one to come. And we’ve had one successful workshop, and one more to come as well

Finally, we are unveiling a new communications tool—Constant Contact—to help all of us visually gifted people to see at a glance what information is coming to us from the VPS. 

Continue reading below for more details


We have another great workshop this summer:

Doug Dawson September 15-17, 2017 in Newfane, VT

Currently there are 16 participants, but there is room for 3 more so contact Jean Pollack pollock333@gmail.com if you want to sign up.

We will be having another VPS show this year:

VPS Juried Show September 14-December 27, 2017 in WRJ, VT.

The venue is small, so only 29 paintings were able to be selected for the show, but the Coolidge Hotel seems to sell a lot of paintings and the time of year should encourage many visitors. Stay tuned for more information.


Over the last three months, I have had the opportunity to meet with three more groups of VPS artists in three different parts of our state, as we continue the process of forming regional hubs according to the proposal made at the end of last year. I am finding a lot of common themes with each group I meet with, a recurring one being hubs providing opportunities for artists with a love of pastels to get together and share the love in a multiplicity of ways. 

Three new regions have had their first meeting, have adopted a name, and have chosen a point person to facilitate their hub activities. They are VPS SouthWest in the Bennington/Manchester area; VPS Upper Valley centered around White River Junction; and VPS Champlain uniting the Burlington/ St. Albans regions. Activities that their hubs want to engage in have been brainstormed, and once more, many are similar from hub to hub, but some are unique. Overwhelmingly, the response has been enthusiastic for regional hubs to allow members to gain that sense of community that comes with becoming part of the VPS.

I will be getting together with the artists of the St. Johnsbury/Newport region soon, and with that meeting, we will have our 7 hubs up and going as proposed.

We also have a Director of Hubs, Judy Albright, who has sent out several Hub Happenings communiqués letting everyone know what each hub is up to. Hopefully this will give ideas to artists in other hubs for activities to engage in.


Numbers to remember: 40/9/5

We had 40 artists participating (40 paintings displayed). Robert Carsten was our judge and awarded prizes in 9 categories. Five paintings were sold–those of Karen Baker, Wendy Soliday, Norma Jean Rollet, Angela Arkway, and Ann Wickham. Congrats to all participants, to award winners, and to painting sellers! Read more at https://vermontpastelsociety.com/vps-exhibition/.


Desmond O’Hagan’s workshop was greatly successful, with 12 attendees. It made a modest profit, but more importantly, it generated a lot of enthusiastic discussions among not only the participants, but in at least two hubs where paintings, begun in his workshop, were shown and talked about to all hub members present. Let’s give a big shout out to Linda Masten for her organizational efforts in getting this workshop for the VPS.


We have two opportunities to show our art-making on FB:

One is for an artist who is willing to take pictures of their work during the painting process and send that to Carol Corliss at carol@roehl-consulting.com. By doing so, we can all get an idea of a member artist’s approach, mistakes that were made and corrected, or serendipities that occurred that changed the course of the painting for the better. After all, it’s all about the process, right? So please email her with your interest, and/or send her 4-6 photos of a painting from start to finish, each image with one or two sentences explaining something special about that step in your creative process.

Two is the 40/4 Challenge announced in June: Paint four paintings using only 40 strokes each on 4 separate days. You can do a painting a day for four days or  in a time frame that works for you. Post your paintings on the Vermont Pastel Society Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Vermont-Pastel-Society-1526769437591380/?fref=ts and share a little about your experience.

 THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN THE VPS! These are action-packed times for all of us, especially as we continue to attract new members every week who want to share in what we, in the VPS, are all about.

Matt Peake


New VPS Website – Welcome

cropped-Vermont-Pastel-Society-Banner-2.jpgWelcome to the new VPS Website.  It is an evolving site, so please have patience as it settles into what you, our members, would like to see.  We hope to provide a site where our membership can find most of what they need to maneuver around in Vermont’s VPS world and a location for art information and opportunities.

This new site has a BLOG feature included so as of now, our old VPS BLOG site is obsolete and our old VPS website has been taken off line.  You may need to clear out your browser to start seeing the new site.

The Home page will have a scrolling Art Show which consists of one art image from each artist who submits images for the Member Gallery.  The Home page Art Show will show the artist’s name and art title when you hover over the top with your mouse.  In the Member Gallery, under the Members menu, one art image appears for each member who submits to the Member Gallery.  Again, if you hover over the image with your mouse, a small menu bar (in blue letters) appears with the artist’s name.   If you then click on the artist’s name menu, you will be taken to an individual art page for the artist which contains art information provided by the artist and images the artist has submitted for inclusion in the VPS Member Gallery.

Note: These functions may perform differently depending on the mobile devices you use.  This new website should display in the mobile app format, but touch-screen functions may act differently across devices.   With a touch screen, you don’t “hover”, but you may just need to touch the area verses “hover.”

Eventually, we will adding functions allowing you to pay your annual membership right on line using PayPal (you will have to have a PayPal Account for this function).  Also, you will be able to enter your own application information and submit it directly rather than having to print the form from the website and sending it in.

For now, to print any portion of a page, simply click on the little print icon in the lower right-hand corner of each page.  Pick what you want printed, then print.  You may now print off information you find on any page on the site.

As a VPS member, you may have two image and your own page on the VPS website.  If you would like your images and bio/statement included on the VPS site, feel free to send along the items need by following the guidelines found under the About menu, and Policies and Procedures.

If you have thoughts or suggestions, please pass them along to the webmaster (cindy.griffith.vt@gmail.com).

Once again, welcome to the new site and take a tour around.


Cindy Griffith,