Vermont Pastel Society Minutes
Board Meeting April 20, 2021
A board meeting was held online via Zoom.
Matthew Peake, President, called the meeting to order at 7:04pm. Participating were Mark Grasso, Vice President; Anne Taylor, Secretary; Linda Masten, Treasurer; Cris Kossow, Hub Coordinator; Maggie Smith, Membership; Grace Cothalis, Director at Large/Video; Shelli DuBoff, Director-at-Large/Scholarships, and John Landy, Webmaster.
Mark Grasso made a motion seconded by Shelli DuBoff to approve the minutes of the October 7, 2020 meeting. The minutes were approved as written.
Hub Coordinator Cris Kossow presented the report on hubs.
VPS: MidState’s monthly meetings have an average attendance of 10 members on Zoom, many of whom post on a closed Facebook page prior to the meeting, enabling the sharing of work and ideas. Often one member will explore a topic in depth and present information on it. The hub has already paid for space to host two paint together days yet to be scheduled owing to Covid. A member from Massachusetts has joined VPS:MS owing to her prior connection with the coordinator.
VPS: SouthWest averages five to seven members at its monthly Zoom meetings. The hub plans to use its allotment of funds to reduce the cost to members of workshops it plans to hold. At meetings members discuss upcoming shows and workshops; have critiques of work completed; and brainstorm a monthly assignment. The hub is planning a show at the Beyond Gallery in Bennington.
VPS: SouthEast’s Zoom attendance averages 10 members who will have participated in a group project, theme or process. During winter these meetings are held monthly. Critiques are a significant portion of each meeting. Members also brainstorm locations for hub shows and will hold a hub show in August. The hub spent some funds on upgrading the Zoom account to a paid account.
VPS: Central has been meeting monthly via Zoom with participation of about fifteen of twenty-three active members. In January the hub covered abstract work; and in February, self-portraits. In March the hub used hub allotment funds and had a Zoom presentation from Tony Allain. Seventeen hub members participated in the three-hour program. In April Aline Ordman was the three-hour presenter and 14 members participated.
VPS: Upper Valley’s meetings average seven members. They are spending their allotment on arranging a monthly gathering location in Thetford.
VPS: Champlain is “limping along,” not using Zoom, and doing little, owing to the Covid-19 situation. The hub requested permission to award $100 of its funds as a prize for the New Hampshire Pastel Society. There was discussion of this request later in the meeting.
Matthew thanked John for distributing the donated frames to the hub persons handing them on as agreed previously.
Both Mark’s and Linda’s hubs had attendees from other hubs at their Zoom meetings.
Exhibitions (Board position currently vacant).
VPS: SouthWest is responsible for the current Members’ Exhibition at Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester. Linda reported that the organization of the show was fairly straightforward for the hub as SVAC undertook the hanging of the art and the reception was online. Mark secured the judge. Coordination and communication necessitated many e-mail exchanges. Linda took on this responsibility for the show.
The Board concluded that we should continue to seek an exhibition coordinator, but also that the localized running of a show by a hub can be helpful in as much as hub members will know appropriate locations to try.
If a hub is unable to take on the organization of a show we can have an online show similar to the juried show held in autumn of 2020.
VPS: Central will organize the next show, another Members’ Exhibition, in autumn 2021. This will be at the T.W. Wood Gallery in Montpelier which is in the process of a renovation scheduled to conclude by the beginning of May.
Only the images of the current show’s prize-winning works have been posted on our website owing to the workload involved in gathering the necessary information. The Board concluded that such a posting is sufficient unless an entire show is held online.
For the 2022 Juried Show, hosted by VPS: SE, if it is held in Bellows Falls, only 20 – 25 paintings will be accepted.
The 2022 Members’ Exhibition will be the responsibility of VPS: MidState. Cris will ask Lou Kenney to approach the Chaffee Arts Center in Rutland once again about available dates. The show should take place between the end of April and the end of October and not overlap with the show in Bellows Falls.
In 2023, VPS: Champlain and VPS: UpperValley will each be responsible for one show. Grace had a few ideas on possible locations. We have used Hotel Coolidge in WRJ for a VPS show before, so could perhaps use that for the show VPS: UV hosts.
Each hub will be asked to find a show venue. An Exhibitions Coordinator will be helpful in establishing with each hub the consistent criteria for a VPS show. A Juried Show (JS) To-Do list and a Members’ Exhibition (ME) To-Do list already exist. These will be sent by John for distribution to hubs. John may decide to upload same to the VPS website. VPS: SW will look at the ME To-Do list and add to it based on their experience with the current show at SVAC.
Linda commented that award amounts for our juried shows are low and wondered how much profit VPS, as a non-profit organization, should be making. This was addressed later in the meeting.
Mark Grasso reported on workshops. The Lyn Asselta workshop which was to be held in Bennington from April 30 – May 2, 2021, was cancelled owing to inadequate interest. Three VPS members and two non-members had signed up. There has to be a minimum number of people signing up in order to cover the costs. If more than that number can be accommodated and do sign up, their fees are profit for VPS. Lyn will only conduct four workshops during 2022 and encouraged VPS to schedule one of them.
The Dawn Emerson workshop to be held in Bennington, from October 22 – 25, 2021 may yet go ahead.
John will remove from the website information on the rescheduling of the cancelled 2020 workshop with Alain Picard.
The board again discussed the possibilities for collecting post-attendance evaluations of workshops. Survey Monkey limits free use to ten questions. An upgrade costs $32 per month which is not reasonable currently for VPS given our likely need for only one or two surveys per year. Mark will find out whether one can join just for the months when the upgraded version is needed for a survey. John reported that Google Forms has been used for survey purposes, but participants need to have a Google account and not all members are willing to open one. VPS will not use Google for future surveys.
Matthew will locate the questions VPS has used in earlier surveys. Mark will look into Survey Monkey options as we may also use surveys to improve exhibitions and membership meetings.
Linda Masten, Treasurer, presented her quarterly report on finances and raised the issue of the wash of income and expense when VPS has a reciprocal award relationship with a society in another state. As the treasurer must record the receipt and distribution of these funds this could perhaps be done as a footnote to the budget and the Treasurer’s reports. The matter was not resolved. Reciprocal arrangements with other pastel societies provide name recognition for VPS. The Board decided that these arrangements should only be with groups in neighboring states and/or with those whose membership includes one or more of VPS’ members.
VPS: Champlain had requested permission to use $100 of its hub allotment for an award for the New Hampshire Pastel Society. Although this request was considered unusual, it did not cause a problem until the NHPS expressed a desire to make the arrangement reciprocal. As a hub cannot accept the funds from NHPS which would have to be paid to VPS, this proposal for the use of hub funds was discussed. Linda will contact Lisa Kent about this difficulty. VPS could enter into a reciprocal relationship with NHPS as it costs nothing, but hub funds would not be used.
VPS: Central spent its funds on the two artist presentations referenced earlier. VPS: SE spent $150 on a Zoom account. VPS spent $17 on bank checks which are printed with the VPS P.O. Box address in Montpelier.
Membership fees on the current report look unbalanced, but that is because members often renew in December, and, indeed throughout a calendar year.
All in all, VPS is in a healthy financial position and should perhaps consider lowering the cost of attendance at the Dawn Emerson workshop or allocating more funds to hubs for their use.
Webmaster John Landy reported that the VPS Exhibitions web page continues to be the page most visited, followed by the Gallery of Member Art. John has made 69 updates to the website since our meeting in October. These updates include plug-in updates, and updates to the Gallery page resulting from member requests.
The page on our website for Noteworthy News is not being used by members or hubs. Matthew in his quarterly newsletter will remind members of the page’s existence and request information for inclusion. It is possible the Board will decide to replace this page in the future with hub news in some form.
The Board decided that information on the website should not be older than two years (unless, of course, it remains current).
On February 27, 2021, the website was briefly unavailable owing to the expiration of the security certificate. John and Linda took immediate action to remedy this situation.
Annual Members’ Meeting
Matthew reported that there are two possible presentations for this meeting: one by Dakota Pastels and one by Artisan Advantage, a marketing consultancy. Linda will call Dakota Pastels to find out the west coast days and hours during which the presentation could take place. The Board concluded that if we did accept a presentation from Artisan Advantage there would be no payment for same as the business is actually seeking access in order to market itself to our membership. Mark will consider speaking with the contact person, Becky Sciullo, to determine the usefulness to our members of this 50-minute presentation.
Mark made a motion to hold the Annual Meeting via Zoom, noting that there was greater member participation in the last such meeting compared to the in-person meeting in 2019. Cris seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Dates suggested for the Annual Board Meeting to be held via Zoom are October 16, October 21, October 28, or October 30. The timing depends on Dakota Pastel and will be decided later by e-mail exchange.
VPS Mail/PO Box
John has agreed to take on responsibility for checking the mailbox every two weeks or so. Membership checks are mailed directly to Maggie and tax communications go to Matthew. The PO box receives little of importance but the address is needed for state and federal registration purposes.
Reciprocal Pastel Society Sponsorships/Donations
Reciprocal arrangements with other pastel societies provide name recognition for VPS.
The issues surrounding these arrangements were discussed during the report by Linda as Treasurer.
Gifts for Departing Board Members
It has been VPS practice that departing board members have received a financial award at the end of their tenure according to a scale developed in the past. In light of VPS’ current non-profit income tax situation, this practice will not continue. A non-cash gift is appropriate although a gift certificate for non-art related items may also be problematic and should be avoided. The Board decided to ask the members of the hub to which the departing board member belongs for suggestions on a gift, perhaps related to a non-art interest of the member. Equally, no one undertakes service on the board in anticipation of a gift at the end of tenure and accordingly members could choose to forego a gift or the gift suggested by the hub could be a token of appreciation rather than equaling the sums expended in the past.
Next Board meeting is tentatively set for October 13, 2021, from 7 – 9pm via Zoom.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:15pm upon the unanimous passing of a motion moved by Anne and seconded by Linda.
Anne E. Taylor, Secretary
Vermont Pastel Society Minutes Board Meeting October 7, 2020
A board meeting was held online via Zoom.
Matthew Peake, President, called the meeting to order at 7:02pm. Participating were Mark Grasso, Vice President; Anne Taylor, Secretary; Linda Masten, Treasurer; Judy Albright, Hub Coordinator; Maggie Smith, Membership; Grace Cothalis, Director at Large/Video; Shelli DuBoff, Director-at-Large/Scholarships, and John Landy, Webmaster.
Maggie Smith made a motion seconded by Mark Grasso to approve the minutes of the April 18, 2020 meeting and the minutes of an e-mail meeting held August – September 2020. The minutes were all approved as written.
Hub Coordinator Judy Albright presented the report on hubs. Since the last meeting only two hub point persons have contacted Judy. Only one group has been meeting regularly via Zoom. Judy noted that many members are not interested in using Zoom or any other online platform for meeting remotely. Linda suggested that a hub that does meet in this manner might invite members of another to join in so that they can see the ease with which these meetings are held.
Mark and Linda will work on determining the practicality of a Zoom account for VPS with an administrator for each hub and for the society. Any progress on this issue can be discussed via email meeting prior to the next board meeting.
The Champlain hub has inquired informally about using its allocation of funds to sponsor an art award for the Pastel Society of New Hampshire. Judy forwarded to Lisa the information needed in order to submit a formal request for fund use.
After discussion it was agreed that the unused funds allocated to hubs for 2020 would be rolled forward into 2021 in the hope that the current pandemic situation might enable their use. This is an exception to the rule of no rollovers and may be revisited as needed. In 2020 no hub allocations have been distributed.
Mark Grasso reported on workshops. Two workshops are scheduled for 2021: Lyn Asselta in Bennington from April 30 – May 2; and Dawn Emerson, also in Bennington, from October 22 – 25. Whether these workshops may be held with reduced capacity or be rescheduled has yet to be determined. Mark will contact Lyn again in January about the April workshop.
The cancelled 2020 workshop with Alain Picard may be rescheduled for 2021, but it is too early to plan for this.
Mark will send to John Landy the current workshop information for uploading to the VPS website.
The board discussed the possibilities for collecting from attendees valuations of workshops. Survey Monkey limits free use to ten questions. An upgrade costs $32 per month which is not reasonable currently for VPS given the number of these surveys we need. Mark will find out whether one can join just for the months one needs to use the upgraded version. Google Docs has been used for survey purposes, but participants need to have a Google account and not all members are willing to open one. VPS will not use Google Docs for future surveys.
Linda Masten, Treasurer, presented her report on finances to date, and a draft budget for 2021. There has been no income or expense in 2020 related to workshops. VPS is more or less on budget for the year to date. The payment under Marketing of $187 was for Constant Contact.
Web hosting will cost less than budgeted for 2021 as changes made this year involving an increased expense will reap benefits in the future.
The 2021 budget has a lower amount for gifts than in 2020 owing to the lower number of members leaving the Board.
John Landy will send to Linda the information about 501(c) filing of form 990 with the IRS and about informing Vermont of VPS’ non-profit status.
Maggie Smith made a motion seconded by Shelli DuBoff to approve the draft 2021 budget. The 2021 draft budget was approved and will be presented to the membership.
Webmaster John Landy reported that the VPS web page is visited daily by approximately ten to twelve persons who each access about three pages. The most visited pages are Exhibitions, Gallery and Workshops.
Seven members have updated their artist pages. John has updated the information on holding electronic meetings and the amended by-laws are live on the website.
The method of having prospective buyers contact artists exhibiting in our upcoming online exhibition was discussed. Our online Exhibition pages should have either a link to the artists’ pages on VPS or have contact information on the exhibits’ labels. Maggie will contact those members whose works are accepted to ask them for the contact information they wish to have displayed on the website.
Susannah Colby, Exhibitions was unable to join us. Online entries for the upcoming exhibition are due on or before October 31. As of the date of the board meeting there were 14 paintings entered by seven members.
The question of rotating responsibility for member shows among the hubs remains unresolved. We also need to consider the question of VPS juried shows versus members’ shows and how many there should be.
Matthew Peake asked the various board members whose terms expire at the Annual Meeting whether they are willing to continue serving. Matthew, John and Maggie agreed to continue.
Judy will step down as Hub Coordinator owing to pressure of employment; she will concentrate her efforts on maintaining interest in the Mid-State hub.
We do not yet know Susannah’s intention concerning her role as Exhibitions Coordinator, but it is likely that she will also be stepping down.
Board members are asked to think of possible candidates to fill these two positions. If candidates are identified within the next weeks the membership will be asked to vote on their appointment at the Annual Meeting. If not, then a later e-mail vote will be held.
Matthew raised the possibility of VPS participating in the Central Massachusetts Pastel Festival to be held in September 2021 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Although response to the event was positive the board decided that the distance – 3 1⁄2 hours drive from Burlington – would prohibit most members from attending. Hubs will be able to make contact and participate if they choose.
Member Lisa Kent has in her basement the picture frames donated recently to VPS and has asked about their future. Matthew will ask Lisa if there is an inventory of the frames and if not, whether she has the time to produce one. Maggie volunteered her son who lives close to Lisa to inventory and collect the frames Lisa does not wish to retain for her own use. Hubs will divide the frames for use by their members. John will collect the allocation for the Central Hub. Other hubs will make arrangements for pick up either from Lisa or from Maggie.
The VPS 2020 Annual Meeting will be held on Monday, November 9, from 7 – 8:30pm. When VPS meets in person there is often an activity to encourage participation, but it seems unlikely that we will be able to offer this online in the short time preceding the meeting. Matthew will notify all members in good standing of the date and time of the meeting.
The next Board meeting is tentatively set for Monday, April 20, from 7 – 9pm via Zoom.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:55pm upon the passing of a motion made by Mark Landy and seconded by Linda Masten.
Respectfully submitted, Anne E. Taylor, SecretaryVPS 1st Qtr - 2021_
Annual Membership Meeting, November 9, 2020
The meeting was held online via Zoom.
Matthew Peake, President, called the meeting to order at 7:06pm. Participating were Mark Grasso, Vice President; Anne Taylor, Secretary; Linda Masten, Treasurer; Judy Albright, Hub Coordinator; Maggie Smith, Membership; Grace Cothalis, Director-at-Large; Shelli DuBoff, Director-at-Large; John Landy, Webmaster; Patti Braun, Kate Cone, Carroll Durand, Annie Halvorsen, Monica Hastings, Cris Kossow, Debra Kraemer, Diane Szlacketka, and Grace Worcester.
Monica Hastings made a motion seconded by Linda Masten to approve the minutes of the Annual Membership Meeting held on November 10, 2019. The motion passed and the minutes were approved as written.
Hub Coordinator Judy Albright presented the report on hubs. Funds allocated to hubs for 2020 and not spent in 2020 will roll over to 2021 owing to the difficulties presented by the pandemic. This change is reflected in the budget for 2021. The process for applying for funds remains unchanged.
The society’s six hubs have not been particularly active with the exception of VPS: SouthWest which has continued meeting throughout this period. VPS: MidState resumed monthly meetings recently after a summer hiatus. Efforts to encourage resumption of activity in other hubs have received little response, though some hubs are holding local shows.
Despite reaching the end of her term, Judy will soon distribute Hub Happenings (or will assist her successor in doing so as needed).
Mark Grasso reported on workshops. Two workshops are scheduled for 2021: Lyn Asselta in Bennington from April 30 – May 2; and Dawn Emerson, also in Bennington, from October 22 – 25. Whether these workshops may be held with reduced capacity (fewer than 17), full capacity, or be rescheduled, has yet to be determined.
The cancelled 2020 workshop with Alain Picard may be rescheduled for 2021, but a decision will be made whether we want a third workshop in 2021 and, if so, whether it should be in person or online.
Any tuition checks received by Linda will be held in case there is later cancellation of a workshop. If so, Linda will mail back the checks to the would-be participants.
Webmaster John Landy reported that he has been tracking site traffic to see the popularity of the various pages and use that as an indicator of member interest. Exhibitions, Gallery, and Workshops are the pages receiving the most visits (other than, of course, the Home page).
Members are beginning to take advantage of the ability to have a web page on the VPS website. Each artist’s page may have two paintings, one of which will also become part of the slide show on the VPS home page. The other painting will appear in the Member Gallery and be linked to the artist’s VPS website page. From the artist’s page s/he may link to a page outside the VPS website.
The 2020 online juried show is live. John will enter links from the paintings to the VPS pages of the artists.
John has updated the information on holding electronic meetings and the amended by-laws are live on the website.
Hubs and members are invited to submit any noteworthy news for announcement on the website. E-mail John to effect this. The date and location of a member’s show is a perfect item for this page. Suggestions for hub activities could also be included here.
John welcomes suggestions for improvements to the website. He also noted that he will help members with technical issues.
Matthew complimented John on his swift responses to member requests.
Linda Masten, Treasurer, presented her report on the society’s finances. She detailed the amount in the checking account and in an interest-bearing certificate of deposit.
Although there has been no income in 2020 from workshops VPS is on target with its 2020 budget. The 2021 budget will include the rollover of hub funds. Linda reported that VPS is in excellent financial shape and suggested a couple of ways VPS might reduce its fund cushion while keeping at least $10,000 on hand.
Linda reported that VPS is now a tax-exempt organization. John will work with Linda to ensure that the correct version of form 990 for VPS’ income and budget is filed with the IRS.
Mark Grasso made a motion seconded by Shelli DuBoff for membership to approve the 2021 budget previously approved by the Board. The motion passed and the budget was approved.
Exhibitions (Susannah Colby was unable to join us, so Linda Masten and Matthew Peake presented).
Pastels for the VPS 2020 Online Juried Show have been selected. Forty-five members submitted eighty-five paintings of which thirty-five met the jurors’ criteria for inclusion. Jean Rosier Smith and Lyn Asselta served as jurors. Alain Picard has already received the thirty-five for final judging. Alain will comment on the three winning paintings and the two honorable mentions on or before November 23, 2020. John will announce the results online as soon as they are available and Linda will inform winners directly.
Three artists joined VPS in order to be able to enter their works.
The Show Submit platform worked very well and its personnel were helpful in offering suggestions for a successful process.
The T.W. Wood Gallery in Montpelier will be the location of the VPS members’ exhibition in 2021, if it is held. There will also be a juried show at the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester.
Elections to the Board
There are ten positions on the Board, and each position is for a two-year term so each year five of the positions need to be filled. For 2020 – 2022 these positions are President, Webmaster, Hub Coordinator, Exhibitions Coordinator, and Membership Chair.
Judy Albright and Susannah Gravel are stepping down from their positions as Hub Coordinator and Exhibitions Coordinator respectively. Cris Kossow has volunteered to take over as the hub coordinator. No member volunteered to fill the position of Exhibition Coordinator. No other nominations were received.
Matthew Peake, John Landy and Maggie Smith all agreed to continue in their current roles if such was supported by the membership.
Kate Cone made a motion seconded by Linda Masten for membership to approve the slate of four candidates Matthew, John, Cris and Maggie. The motion passed.
Matthew thanked Cris for volunteering, those continuing on the Board and Judy Albright and Susannah Gravel who are stepping down. Judy and Susannah will each receive a gift certificate for merchandise at Dakota Pastels.
Members discussed possible ways of mentoring and/or critiquing the work of new members, those new to the pastel medium, or members whose hubs are not meeting online at this time.
Various methods of inviting members of other hubs to a hub’s meeting, whether online or in person were discussed.
VPS may consider asking jurors for their criteria for inclusion in shows.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:43pm upon the passing of a motion made by Linda Masten and seconded by Shelli DuBoff.
Anne E. Taylor, Secretary
Vermont Pastel Society Membership Meeting
November 10, 2019, Sherburne Memorial Library
Present: Matthew Peake, Joyce Kahn, Linda Masten, Grace Worcester, Shelli Duboff, Judy Albright, Susannah Gravel, John Landy, Scott Tyler, Kathy Detzer
President Matt Peake called the meeting to order at 1:15 p.m.
The first item of business was the approval of the minutes of the last VPS Members’ Meeting on November 4, 2018. The minutes were approved unanimously after Susannah moved and Shelli seconded the motion.
Judy reported that some hubs are more active than others. She has found that doing regular assignments lends vitality to the hubs. The question of what to do with out-of-state members came up. Should they be assigned to the hub nearest them, given a choice, or not put in a hub? Matt sends each new member a letter asking them if they have a connection to a particular part of Vermont (e.g. do they have family or friends or own a vacation home in the state). Otherwise, they are put into the geographically closest hub.
Judy passed out a list of the hubs and the point people. There is one correction: VPS: Central has Belle McDougall as point person, soon to be Cindy Griffith.
Each hub is supposed to have a social media team (SMT), which is in charge of taking photos at hub events and VPS Exhibitions when that hub is hosting. It is the responsibility of the point person to facilitate forming their hub’s Social Media Team. The SMT should send photos to John for the website, to Carol Corliss for FB and Instagram (or post to Instagram themselves), and to Judy for the Hub Happenings newsletter.
We need a form for hubs to use for news releases to promote local hub exhibitions. Susannah has one and will send it to Judy.
There are no rollovers for hub money from one year to the next; however, the question came up about whether hubs could use this year’s hub money to buy tickets to attend a museum next year. After a brief discussion and clarification, it was decided that this was fine.
Susannah reported that VPS will be holding a dual show with the Pastel Society of New Hampshire at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center from January-March 2020. This will be a Members’ Exhibition and will be held in their fourth-floor gallery. Dartmouth takes a 25% commission. Tentatively, the reception will be on January 19, 5:00-6:30, and since Dartmouth Hitchcock caters everything, VPS will not have to supply food. We do not yet know the hanging date, but members will be asked to submit two paintings each. PSNH will find the judges.
The other show to be held in 2020 will be a juried show at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, probably at the end of May.
Next year the two workshops will be with Lyn Asselta (south) and Alain Picard (north).
John Landy will become the new webmaster. He will be going over various elements of the website at the close of the business meeting today. PayPal will be used for dues, but not for workshops.
Linda has submitted the paperwork to make VPS a 501(c) 6, after consulting with an accountant. This year we will have to pay taxes, but, as long as the application is approved, we will not have to do so next year. Currently we have $15,848 in our bank account, plus $10,000 in a CD. We made over $3,000 from our workshops this year.
There was discussion about how to pay for a one-day hub workshop. Should the money go through VPS or not? It was felt that the hub should handle everything itself, getting any money allocated for the hub and asking attendees to supplement any additional costs.
VPS Board Positions
There are ten positions on the Board, and each position is for a two-year term. Each year, five of the positions need to be filled.
John Landy will fill out the second year of Cindy Griffith’s term as Webmaster.
These people are stepping down from the Board:
Joyce Kahn as Member-at-Large,
Grace Cothalis as Vice President,
Grace Worcester as Secretary.
Linda will say on as Treasurer.
Shelli will remain as Member-at-Large.
No one has volunteered to fill either of the vacant positions: Vice President and Secretary. We will continue to search for volunteers. The VP position will be temporarily vacant. Grace Cothalis will become Member-at-Large. (It was moved, seconded, and voted unanimously for Linda as Treasurer, Shelli as one Member-at-Large, Grace W as Secretary, and Grace Cothalis as the other Member-at-Large.) Grace Worcester agreed to serve as secretary until a replacement can be found.
There was discussion about having a Board Meeting on the same day as the Members’ Meeting next year, or of having the Board Meetings virtually. No consensus was reached. Matt said that he was not surprised that the attendance at the annual Members’ Meeting has dropped considerably; the Vermont Watercolor Society had warned him about that possibility because of the activity locally with the Hubs. At the next meeting the Board will discuss possible changes in the time of year meetings are held, and how to increase attendance at the annual meeting.
Matt thanked the departing Board members (Joyce, Cindy and Grace W.) and presented them with thank you gifts.
The meeting concluded at 2:27 p.m. Following a short break, John Landy gave a very informative presentation about our VPS Website, and Susannah Gravel enticed us with the whys for and hows to using Instagram to promote our artwork.
Grace K. Worcester, Secretary
Vermont Pastel Society Board Meeting on October 26, 2019
Present: Matthew Peake, Grace Cothalis, Joyce Kahn, Maggie Smith, Linda Masten, Grace Worcester, Cindy Griffith, Judy Albright, Susannah Colby, John Landy
President Matt Peake called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m.
The first item of business was the approval of the minutes of the last VPS Board Meeting on May 18, 2019. The minutes were approved unanimously after Judy moved and Susannah seconded the motion.
Judy announced that there are new point people in two hubs: Lisa Kent in VPS: Champlain and Kate Cone in the VPS: Upper Valley. Lisa is trying to revitalize the Champlain Hub by finding a new meeting place and encouraging more people to attend meetings. The other hubs are all doing fine, with some much more active than others.
Judy brought up the question of whether we should roll over hub money from one year to the next. She said we had originally said we would not do this, so she recommended sticking to that decision, and the board agreed. Only one of the hubs has used any of its money, VPS: Southwest, which hired Judy to do a still life demonstration.
Rack cards: We discussed if we should print more, and the consensus was that if hubs need more, they will let Matt Peake know, as he has the original on file at Staples in Brattleboro.
Last item under Hubs: if a hub makes money, what do we do with the extra? The Board agreed that we should put that money back in the VPS treasury.
Grace Cothalis asked workshop organizers to have participants fill in the online evaluations, so we have an accurate record of what worked and what did not. Grace will send the form to Cindy, and Cindy will send it out to the workshop organizers.
Joyce reported that the McKinley workshop was fabulous. Because of cancellations, there was one empty spot. Several people from out of state attended, all joining VPS in the process.
Discussion of paying for workshops: Using PayPal is both too complicated and too expensive, so we will only accept checks for workshops. We also discussed the possibility of requiring prospective attendees to pay the entire amount upfront, but it was decided to let workshop organizers decide on using a “deposit first” system, depending on length of workshop, cost, etc.
Next year the two workshops will be with Lyn Asselta (south) and Alain Picard (north).
VPS made $2,078 from this year’s workshops.
Susannah reported that VPS will be holding a dual show with the Pastel Society of New Hampshire at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center from January-March 2019. This will be a Members’ Exhibition and will be held in their fourth-floor gallery. Dartmouth takes a 25% commission. Tentatively, the reception will be on January 19, 5:00-6:30. We do not yet know the hanging date, or the number of paintings each member may enter, but Susannah will be meeting with PSNH soon to firm up the details.
The other show to be held in 2020 will -be a Juried Show at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, probably at the end of May.
Susannah is working to get each hub to identify a place where a VPS show can be held so we can rotate the venues and each hub can each host a show every three years.
VPS is changing to ShowSubmit for the next Juried Show.
Linda has submitted the paperwork to make VPS a 501(c) 6, after consulting with an accountant. The accountant declared that she had done it perfectly, and he did not charge us. Linda also declined payment. This year we will have to pay taxes, but, as long as the application is approved, we will not have to next year.
PayPal will be used for membership and the online juried show, but not for workshops. Linda had many hours of works to resolve all the PayPal issues.
Linda went over the changes she has made in the budget, and all were approved by the Board. There was discussion about allocation for both purchase and mailing of DVDs. We need to buy new copies of damaged ones and advertise the fact that we own such a collection. Shelli will be asked to take a few to the annual meeting so members can check them out right then.
Social media update: it has not worked to find a group of artists in each hub to oversee social media for that hub. Susannah volunteered to do a workshop at the annual meeting on how to use Instagram and Facebook to promote your artwork.
Cindy is turning the job of Webmaster over to John Landy who has been assisting her. Since no one is currently using the online calendar, they will take it down. We need to increase and update the member gallery. This will be discussed at the annual meeting.
VPS Board Meeting positions
We discussed whether the VP position should be also president-elect, and the Board agreed that that would be the ideal. The current VP, Grace Cothalis, does not want to be president, so would gladly step aside if someone can be found who would be Vice President, President-Elect. In that case Grace would become a Member-at-Large. Otherwise, she will stay on as Vice President.
These people are stepping down: Joyce Kahn as Member-at- Large and Grace Worcester as Secretary. Linda will say on as Treasurer, and Shelli will remain a Member-at-Large.
Annual Members Meeting
Our meeting will be held at the Sherburne Memorial Library on Sunday, November 10 1:00-4:00 p.m. The library has hosted three VPS Board meetings and now a members’ meeting, all free of charge. Grace W. suggested making a donation to the library, and the Board unanimously approved a $150 donation.
At the meeting Matt will go over highlights of the budget, and there will be updates on upcoming workshops and exhibits.
Susannah will do a presentation on using social media, and John will go over key elements of our website. Attendees will need to bring their devices so they can immediately apply what they have learned from Susannah. The introduction to social media will be advertised as ways to promote your work.
The meeting concluded at 3:14 p.m.
Addendum: Email Meeting
An email meeting was convened from Oct 28-Nov 4, 2019 for purposes of getting the board’s approval of the VPS 2020 budget as prepared and distributed by Linda Masten, Treasurer. Present: all board members except Susannah. Cindy moved and Grace C seconded that the board adopt the proposed budget. After a number of days were left for discussion, a vote was held on November 3-4, 2019; the motion passed unanimously.
Grace K. Worcester, Secretary
Minutes of the Vermont Pastel Society Board Meeting May 18th, 2019, held at the White River Craft Center, Randolph
Present: Matt Peake, Grace Cothalis, Grace Greene, Maggie Smith, Judy Albright, Susannah Colby, Laura Winn Kane
Matt called the meeting to order at 12:15
The minutes of the VPS board meeting of October 28th, 2018, were unanimously approved.
501 Application. There was discussion about whether 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 was more appropriate. The Board decided to follow Linda Masten’s recommendation to work with an accountant to fill out the application. The Board voted to offer $200 to Linda to pursue this option. If Linda chooses not to do it, we will offer that stipend to someone else in the Society.
Online Juried Show. Laura Winn Kane reported that there were many communication problems and the owner of Online Juried Show was unresponsive to requests for information. The owner was late with all of his contracted tasks. One of the jurors, Christine Ivers, was livid with the way it proceeded and recommended that we never use the service again. The Board decided to use Show Submit instead. The Pastel Society of America uses and recommends this. On the positive side, we had 90 entries for our juried show. It was decided to raise the 2020 entry fee to $20.00 so that we can better pay judges and jurors.
Scholarships. VPS needs to publicize the fact that there are now scholarships available. Judy Albright will mention it whenever she sends out a hub report. The board discussed criteria for awarding scholarships and came up with these factors: a letter of interest, willingness to present, amount requested, and whether a prior scholarship has been received. Joyce Kahn, member at large, will head the Scholarship Committee. She will choose at least two other members for the committee.
Rack cards distribution. Matt handed out bundles of rack cards to the Board members. All hubs except southwest now have them. The cards should be made available to hub members to distribute at shows, art stores, and other places.
Hubs and money spent so far. No hub has requested any money yet. Judy will mention the availability of hub money in every Hub Happenings, so that all members know this is a possibility.
First quarter financial report. The board voted to roll over the CD, and then unanimously accepted Linda’s report.
Upcoming/current shows. To aid Susannah, Matt asked Laura to take the lead on the current juried show. Susannah assisted and acted as backup. The board recognizes that it would help the local hubs to have a list of specific responsibilities when the show is in their area of the state. For instance, the local hub is responsible for receiving and dispatching paintings and hosting the show reception. A complete list with timeline will be compiled by Susannah and Laura, and provided to the hosting hubs. The exhibition team can write press releases.
This year’s members’ show will open on September 3rd, 2019, at the T.W. Wood Gallery in Montpelier. The opening will be during an ArtWalk. Grace Greene will organize the reception at the T.W. Wood Gallery. The Members’ Exhibition in 2020 will be at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and will be a joint show with the NH Pastel Society, from January to March. The 2020 Juried Show will be held at the Southern Vermont Art Center, Manchester, VT, which hosts VPS every third year.
The board discussed the awards for the Members’ Exhibition and agreed not to change to first, second, and third prizes. The idea of the Members’ Exhibition is that everyone is equal, and all should feel included; it is an exhibition, not a competition. We will continue to offer prizes in the “most luminous” vein, and will solicit ideas for new categories from members. The board also decided to have a “people’s choice award” and a “judges’ choice award.” Susannah will write up a description of the purpose of the members’ show. Matt will write a Constant Contact memo about the awards, explaining the past choices and that we want other ideas for categories, and he will introduce the idea of the “people’s choice and “judges’ choice.”
PayPal. We will continue to use PayPal for membership and juried shows. For workshops, however, there will be two prices, one if paid by check, another if paid by PayPal, to take into account the fee that PayPal charges the VPS with every transaction. Workshop refunds will be sent by check only.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:45 pm.
Grace Worcester Greene
VPS Annual Meeting Minutes, November 4, 2018 at the Wood Art Gallery in Montpelier, VT
Present: Matt Peake, Linda Kiniry, Grace Greene, John Landy, Kathy Ravenhorst-Adams, Wendy Soliday, Carole Naquin, Susannah Colby, Grace Cothalis, Maggie Smith, Susan Grimaldi, Joanna Novembrino, Athenia Schinto, Diane, Szlachetka, Patti Braun, Shelli DuBoff, Linda Masten, Anne Unangst, Marcia Hill, Cindy Griffith, Belle McDougall, Joyce Kahn, Sarah Albert (15 Central Vermont; 2 Upper Valley; 2 Champlain; 2 Southeast; 2 Southwest)
The Minutes from the last annual meeting were approved as written.
Hub Coordinator Judy Albright was not present, so President Matt Peake did the update. The hubs are all quite busy, and, interestingly, are all doing different things, from critiques to workshops to shows. Each hub has been asked to designate a social media team to photograph events and post information on our various social media sites. Two are still in need of a team: Champlain and Upper Valley.
The Board has voted to designate a sum of money for each hub annually. The amount will be $100 plus $5 for each member. To access the money, the hub must apply to the board. Money will not be carried over to another year. However, it would be possible to get more than the initial amount if the hub applies for something specific and opens up the designated activity to the whole society.
A special thank you to VPS: Central for hosting the Annual Membership meeting this year!
Susannah Colby, Exhibits Chair, reported that the dates and venues for the two 2019 shows are a bit up in the air. The Wood Art Gallery has agreed to hold the member show September 3-27, but the dates need to be confirmed and possibly changed. She is working on dates for Valley Arts in Waitsfield for the juried show but may need to go to another venue. Currently they have reserved March 9-April 27 for us, but there was concern that there is very little activity in the Valley at that time.
In 2020 we will have an exhibit at Southern Vermont Arts Center. We have an agreement with them to have an exhibit there every third year.
The Board has decided to try an Online jurying process for our Juried Shows. This will save Susannah many hours (she currently spends about 400 hours annually on all her duties). This means that artists will submit their images to this site, but we will still hire our own jurors and judges and have the actual show in a real gallery. There will be a fee to the VPS of $125 to set up the process. The members would pay a $15 entry fee for each piece. It was agreed to begin this method in 2019.
There was a discussion about having shorter and more specific times for pick up and drop off of paintings for exhibits. Susannah will work with each gallery on this, since we cannot dictate policies to them.
It was suggested that it would be great if everyone could see the whole show online.
There are two workshops planned for 2019:
Richard McKinley in East Montpelier, July 29-August 2
Jacob Aguiar in Bennington, September 14-15
Joyce Kahn is coordinating the McKinley workshop. It will be open to everyone, not just people who have taken a workshop with him previously. She will begin advertising around the first of the year and expects to hold a lottery to determine who will attend.
Linda Masten is arranging the Jacob Aguiar workshop.
It was reported that the Board has voted to establish a member scholarship. Every year VPS will designate an amount to be used for scholarships for VPS sponsored workshops. The money can be given to one person or divided up and given to several, depending upon need and the cost of the workshops. All VPS members, except Board members, are eligible to apply for consideration. Members interested in applying should fill out the form which will be on the website and include a short paragraph outlining their interest in attending the workshop and how they would benefit from attendance. Applications can be made any time after the workshops are announced, up to two months before the desired workshop begins. All application information is strictly confidential. Scholarships will be awarded by a designated Scholarship Committee, headed by one of the Board Members-at-Large. Scholarship recipients must wait two years before they apply again.
Webmaster Cindy Griffith reported that since our website was hacked it has been made much safer. She is exploring using PayPal to pay for membership. She indicated that she would very much like an assistant or someone to take over the job entirely. John Landy volunteered to help her. Cindy also mentioned that members who want to change their bios or artwork, should send her the new information.
Treasurer Linda Masten presented the budget report. VPS has a total of $21, 290.
The group discussed jurors’ fees and agreed that we should increase what we pay. Susannah will research typical fees for jurors and judges and give that information to the board.
Matt had previously sent out the changes for comment, and, receiving none, called for a vote on the changes as written. They were passed unanimously.
There are ten positions on the Board, all of which are for two years. Every year five of them are up for election. The slate this year is:
President Matt Peake
Webmaster Cindy Griffith
Hub Coordinator Judy Albright
Exhibitions Chair Susannah Colby
Membership Maggie Smith
All of these people are currently incumbents and have agreed to serve another term.
In addition, there is a one-year member-at-large position to fill out a term. Shelley DuBois has been nominated for that position.
After finding that there were no more nominations, Matt closed the nominations, and asked for a vote for the whole slate. The slate passed unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 1:32 p.m.
Grace Worcester Greene, Secretary
Minutes of the Vermont Pastel Society Board Meeting, October 20, 2018
Sherburne Memorial Library, Killington, Vermont
Present: Matt Peake, Maggie Smith, Cindy Griffith, Joyce Kahn, Grace Greene, Linda Masten, Susannah Colby
President Matt Peake called the meeting to order at 1:06 p.m.
The Board approved the minutes of the last board meeting, with Linda moving to do so, and Maggie seconding.
Judy was not present, so Matt reported in her stead.
All hubs have selected a social media team except for Champlain and the Upper Valley.
We discussed giving the hubs an annual allotment of money. Decision on amount to followed later.
Susannah updated us on exhibits. She got back 57 responses to her questionnaire about the juried exhibition. The consensus was that the reception was poorly attended because it was a long drive for most of the members.
Some members are interested in pairing the reception with a workshop, so as to get more for their long drive. Another possibility is to do those two activities plus have a meeting.
Venues for our next shows: Festival Gallery in Waitsfield for a juried show March-April. Cindy said that is the dead time in the Valley, and maybe Susannah should try to move the dates.
The Members’ Show is scheduled for the T.W. Wood Gallery in Montpelier in August.
We are scheduled for a show every three years at the Southern Vermont Art Center. There was discussion about having two shows at the same time, but Susannah explained that that would be a huge amount of work. Another possibility is for a hub to have a show, but to invite other members to participate.
We need to charge to enter to cover our costs and to hire more prestigious judges and jurors and provide better prizes.
We agreed that online juried shows would make things easier. You submit the entries online, but the show is still in a real gallery. Cindy will investigate further. The cost is about $125 for write-up, then $7 per artist. We will try this out in 2019, and VPS will pay for artists’ entry fee.
After a discussion about changing the dates of next year’s shows, Susannah agreed to check with Waitsfield to see if we could move the show to Sept.-Dec., and with the Wood to try to have some time in August to November. She will make sure they do not overlap.
Cindy and Susannah will present the information about the online juried show to the membership.
Jacob Aguiar will do a workshop September 14-16 in Bennington, and Richard McKinley will do one July 29-August 2 in East Montpelier.
Susannah mentioned that schools will pay for art teachers to take workshops, so if we need to find people to fill a workshop, we could try that route.
Grace Greene presented a proposal for VPS to begin offering scholarships to members to help defray the costs of a VPS workshop. After discussion, we came up with this revised version of her proposal:
To support the educational component of our mission, the Vermont Pastel Society has established a member scholarship. Every year VPS will designate an amount to be used for scholarships for VPS sponsored workshops. The money can be given to one person or to several, depending upon need and the cost of the workshops. All VPS members are eligible to apply for consideration. Members interested in applying should fill out the form on the website and include a short paragraph outlining their interest in attending the workshop and how they would benefit from attendance. Applications can be made any time after the workshops are announced, up to two months before the desired workshop begins. All application information is strictly confidential. Scholarships will be awarded by a designated Scholarship Committee, headed by one of the Members at Large. Board members are not eligible to apply. Scholarship recipients must wait two years before they apply again.
Cindy reported that we will soon be able to pay through PayPal. The PayPal button will be on the website shortly.
We are still searching for someone to take over from Cindy. Fortunately, she has agreed to keep the job until a replacement has been found.
Cindy brought up the question about paying for security, but after discussion it was determined that it is not necessary for us.
The Board reviewed the budget report that Linda passed out (attached). VPS has a current net worth of 21, 489.55 which consists of $11,345.03 in the checking account, and a CD worth $10,144.52.
The Board decide to use the surplus for scholarships and for money for hubs. It was decided to give $10 per member to each hub at the beginning of the year, starting in January, 2019. However, if a hub would like money for a particular project, they are welcome to apply to the Board for more money.
Maggie and Judy will discuss this further and create a rack card.
With a couple of very minor changes, the bylaws changes proposed by Matt were approved (see attached).
Board positions up for election and the current holder of the position:
President: Matt Peake
Webmaster: Cindy Griffith
Hub coordinator: Judy Albright
Exhibitions coordinator: Susannah Colby
Membership secretary: Maggie Smith
Member at large: currently empty
Although all the people listed above are willing to serve for another two-year term, nominations for the positions are also encouraged.
There was discussion about the need for this. Most other pastel societies, except Florida, do not have it, and it was decided that we do not need it either.
After a reminder that the Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Sunday, November4, noon to 4:00 at the Wood Gallery in Montpelier, the meeting adjourned at 3:10 p.m.
Grace Worcester Greene
Vermont Pastel Society Board Meeting
May 12, 2018 at the Sherburne Memorial Library, Killington
Present: Matt Peake, Judy Albright, Grace Cothalis, Grace Greene, Joyce Kahn, Linda Masten, Maggie Smith
Matt called the meeting to order at 1:03 and welcomed Linda Masten as the new treasurer.
The Board approved the minutes from the October 15, 2017 meeting, as well as the email meeting of April 2.
1.Hubs update: Matt began the update, and then when she arrived, Judy continued it.
a. Hub activity: There is a great variation of activities in the hubs, from regular critiques, to monthly activities to shows. The hope is that hubs will get ideas from other hubs via the updates that Judy sends out.
b. Social Media Team: Each hub was asked to talk about choosing two or more people to become familiar with posting on the VPS Instagram (IG) platform, but only two hubs have done so to date. Matt, Susannah, and Maggie all have the password and would be happy to share it with others. We need to get the hubs to agree to this. Those who are interested, should contact their hub point person who can set up a meeting with Susannah Colby to learn how to post to IG.
We need two people from each hub to be on the Hub’s Social Media Team to take pictures of hub activities and post them to our social media sites. Judy will contact the point person/people to get two volunteers per hub. Joyce Kahn volunteered for her hub.
c. Misc.: Since the next show will be in Rutland, VPS MidState will be in charge of receiving the paintings, the reception, photographing, etc. Individuals who wish may post information about their own shows.
2.Exhibitions update: In Susannah’s absence, Matt gave the update.
a., b. As reported previously, we are all set for the 2018 shows: both the members’ exhibition (to be held at the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland) and the juried show (to be held in Bennington).
c. Plans for 2019 are up in the air, but for 2020 we are planning to have the Members’ Exhibition in conjunction with the New Hampshire Pastel Society at the AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH.
3. Workshops update:
a) Linda reported on the Alain Picard workshop, which was a great success, both financially and educationally. The net profit was $3, 067.57. She recommended visiting his website to watch the helpful videos he has created.
b) Karen Margulis workshop: the workshop is filling up fast and will almost definitely be sold out.
The Board discussed what to do about the evaluation forms, and it was decided that Grace Cothalis will compile information on the artists, venues, and suggested workshop presenters and topics.
c) Workshops for 2019 and 2020: Joyce is in touch with Richard McKinley about a follow-up workshop in 2019 to the one he gave last year.
d) Grace Greene brought up the possibility of giving scholarships to attend one of our workshops. She reported that both New Hampshire and Maine give scholarships, as cited on their websites. The Board was supportive of the idea but had a lot of questions about how the selection would be made. Grace agreed to contact both of those pastel societies to find out how they do it, and then make a proposal to the Board at the fall meeting.
e) Policy for refunds when a participant cannot attend a workshop at the last moment: If there is someone on the waiting list who can take the spot, then the entire amount will be refunded. If not, then this needs to be decided on a case by case basis, in consultation with Matt and Grace C. The decision will be made in as compassionate a manner as possible.
4. Webmaster report: Cindy was not able to attend this meeting but reported that things have been quiet since the website was hacked and subsequently fixed. Also, since then she has not done anything about looking into using PayPal. Maggie agreed to try to get it going again.
Cindy also asked the Board to find someone to work with her, or to take over completely. Some board members think that the website needs to be updated already and that it is text heavy and hard to navigate. Others expressed the opinion that Cindy had done an excellent job, and that it was too early to overhaul the website again. Several people volunteered to talk to friends and neighbors about costs for redoing the website. These volunteers will send their findings to Matt, and he will compile the info. for the Board.
The Board discussed the idea of offering to put links on our website to companies which donate prizes for our shows. The idea was unanimously approved. Matt will ask DeeDee and Pat for the list of companies that donated prizes for the members’ exhibit this year, and Cindy has agreed to add the links to our website.
Google calendar: Judy will remind hub point people about the existence of and the uses for our Google Calendar.
5. Placement of information: what goes where? Matt informed the board of the variety of requests he receives from various parties for dissemination of information to our membership—from parades to workshops to merchandise for sale.
a) These things should be put on our Facebook page: non-VPS workshops, such as the U-art workshop in Wilmington; past-VPS members’ workshops, such as Robert Carsten’s; offerings from other area pastel societies, and shows in Vermont venues.
b) The Board voted to renew the contract with Constant Contact, which costs $160.00/year.
6. Treasurer’s report: Linda Masten has just taken over from Norma, so is learning the ins and outs. She reported that as of May 1, there was $19,169.62 in our account, plus we have a $10,000 CD.
Matt had one question about an exhibit line item, and Linda will ask Norma about it.
7. Gifts to individuals for service to the board.
Matt proposed the following:
1 year to 1 year, 11 months – a Big Thank You
2 years to 3 years 11 months–$100 and a Bigger Thank You
4 years to 5 years 11 months–$200 and an even Bigger Thank You
6 years and more–$300 and a Bigger than even Bigger Thank You
This passed quickly and unanimously.
8. VPS marketing needs
a) Brochures: Do we want/ need them? The current one is outdated. It was decided to have a rack card instead, and that Judy will design it and Maggie will write the text.
b) Business cards: are they needed? The Board decided that the rack cards would replace business cards, too.
c) Student rate for membership: Susannah proposed this idea, and the Board agreed to offer a student membership for half price, or $20.00.
d) Should we keep a PO Box in Montpelier? Yes, and Joyce Kahn will continue to check on it regularly.
9. VPS Lifetime Memberships
It was decided to establish an honorary membership category instead or a lifetime one. There will be no stated criteria; for someone to achieve this status, a board member must write a letter nominating a person and explain why that person should be given the honorary membership. Then, the Board will vote on it. If the person is granted honorary membership, he or she will receive a congratulatory letter from the VPS president. Maggie will establish an honorary membership category.
10. Annual Meeting: The annual meeting will we held in mid-October from 1:00-4:00, with a business meeting and then a demonstration. Judy will check on possible locations in Middlebury. The Board is asked to suggest names for possible presenters at that meeting.
Matt adjourned the meeting at 3:22.
Grace Worcester Greene, VPS Secretary
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 https://vermontpastelsociety.com/vps-meeting-minutes/) were approved as written.
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:
- 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.
- Karen Margulis, June 25-28 in Hyde Park, organized by Diane Szlachetka and Patti Braun,
- 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 https://vermontpastelsociety.com/vps-workshops/and in general membership emails as it becomes available.
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:
- a) Vice President Grace Cothalis
- b) Secretary Grace Greene
- c) Treasurer Norma Jean Rollet
- d) Member at Large Joyce Kahn
- e) Member at Large Linda Masten
The rest of the Board members have one more year in their terms. They are:
- President: Matt Peake
- Webmaster: Cindy Griffith
- Hub Master: Judy Albright
- Exhibitions Chair: Susannah Colby
- 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.
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.
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.
ARTICLE 5 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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.
ARTICLE 6 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.
ARTICLE 6 OFFICERS
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.
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.
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!).
Grace Worcester Greene
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:
- President – Cindy Griffith
- Vice President: Grace Cothalis
- Secretary: Grace Greene
- Treasurer: Norma Jean Rollet
- Exhibitions: Anne Unangst
- Membership: Debra Kraemer
- Member at Large: Joyce Kahn
- 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: https://vermontpastelsociety.com/ 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 (email@example.com) 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.
Vermont Pastel Society Minutes
Annual Meeting 11/8/2015 – Wood Art Gallery
In attendance: Judy Greenwald, Marcia Hill, Grace Cothalis, Cindy Griffith, Kathrena Ravenhorst-Adams, Norma Rollet, Grace Greene, Jacquie Call, Susan Tucker, Wendy Soliday, Kathy Hart, Shirley Reid Thompson, Debra Kraemer, Linda Kiniry, Anne Unangst, Linka Zita Lee, Carol Eberlein, Matt Peake, Diane Taylor Moore, Jean Serino, Athenia Shinto, Patti Braun, Arlene Hanson, Janice Fleetwood Bean, Sarah Albert, Jane S. Dale, Diane Bruns,
Introductions and Welcome: President Cindy Griffith
2014 Minutes Accepted
Treasurer’s Report: Norma Rollet
VPS budget has remained stable; we have a healthy $10,000 CD, and thus were able to offer three demos this year (free or at a reduced cost to members).
Membership: Debra Kraemer reported that we have 100 members, 14% of whom reside out of state. Membership must be up to date to register for workshops and is due to renew January 1, 2016.
President’s Report: Cindy Griffith reported on several events and issues that occurred in 2015-16 year.
Juried Show at Southern Vermont Arts Center: Mathew Peake chaired event and Wendy Soliday helped. The show was concluded with a demonstration by artist Karen Israel from the Connecticut Pastel Society.
The Board met following the show several times to discuss future processes and to clarify the issue of juried and non juried shows. The attached “Definitions of our member vs juried show” was developed after much discussion and research to help clarify the process. Thanks to all who were involved in this show and helped to clarify. There was a short discussion of these definitions at the annual meeting.
2) There was a workshop with Rosalie Nadeau, organized by Joyce Kahn.
3) There was a “Pizza and Pastels” evening where people gathered to talk pastels and watch a DVD. Wendy Soliday hosted, but any members are welcome to host a similar event. DVD’s are available (contact Grace Cothalis) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
4) Exhibitions: Our new exhibition chairs (Matthew Peake and Anne Unangst) are continuing to look for places for future members and juried shows. There is a possibility that we will have an all members show at The Compass Music and Art Center in Brandon in June and July. Emile Gruppe Gallery has also expressed interest, as well as Wood Art Gallery. It was suggested that VPS check out Space, an exhibit space in Burlington run by Arts Alive, which may regularly be available for 60 pieces and perhaps is available this April. The Exhibition Committee will follow up on these. Members should let Anne and Matthew know of other exhibition areas that may be possibilities. It was also suggested that we try to create more awards for the Members Shows to encourage more participation in showing. A volunteer (or volunteers) is (are) needed to work with the committee to generate a letter to solicit awards from art suppliers or local businesses. Anyone willing to do this should contact Anne or Matthew.
It was also suggested that members find ways to share transport to shows. If someone is transporting or looking to transport, a letter can be sent to the membership by emailing Debra Kraemer. Thanks, Debra.
5) This led to discussion about the blog and Facebook page which also may be used to send and receive information. Carol Corliss has gotten the Facebook page up and running. Thank you, Carol.
6) A membership list will be emailed to all members so that they can more easily contact other members.
7) There are two Board vacancies. We thank Anne Unangst who has served as secretary and is now working as our exhibitions board member. We also thank Phil Laughlin who has offered many years of service as our webmaster and has resigned. We expect we will need to hire someone to help update, recreate, and manage our web services as this is a huge piece of VPS. Cindy and other members of the Board have been exploring options and are hoping to have an updated website in the future. HOWEVER, we need someone to serve on the Board to help oversee the task of updating ongoing web information. We do expect to pay a vendor for the service of developing a new website with us, but NEED someone with some web savvy to join the board and help us to keep up with the content. We are going to select a site that should be fairly easy for a web-savvy lay-person to modify. A committee is being formed to work with this person to enable this update. Norma Rollet volunteered to help with this, but we need other members to contact Cindy if interested in helping or overseeing this process. Until we get volunteers, our website will not change and it is seriously outdated. PLEASE VOLUNTEER!
Grace Greene volunteered to serve on the Board as Secretary. So now there is one Board vacancy. Please consider.
8) We voted to change our by-laws to read “There will be one annual meeting within the year.” It is written that it is supposed to be in September of each year, but we chose not to set a specific month.
9) A membership list will be sent annually to all members.
Exhibitions: Should we allow all pastels (oil and soft) in juried and non juried shows? It was noted that most of our in-print materials and mission statements include all pastelists. Those present voted to allow all pastelists to participate in exhibitions and VPS activities.
We have hired Richard McKinley to do a workshop in August 2016, in the central VT area. Joyce Kahn is organizing, and sign up will be open first to VPS members. She is clarifying the process of sign up as we anticipate many will want to participate and we want to ensure there is a fair and transparent system for registering. The Board will notify all VPS members when registration opens. It is expected to fill quickly, so watch closely for VPS email and announcements.
Demos/workshops: For the past year the Board has tried to offer members free or reduced price workshops and hopes to continue to do so, especially to coincide with exhibits and the annual meeting. Please submit ideas for future demos or workshops to email@example.com. Ideas generated for future workshops/demos: Desmond O’Hagan, Jennifer Evenhouse, Aline Ordman, Tony Allain, Barbara Jaenike.
A still life painting demonstration by Aline Ordman concluded our meeting. We would like to thank her for sharing her time, knowledge, and amazing skills with all of us. We would also like to thank Grace Cothalis and Anne Unangst for organizing food for this meeting. We would also like to thank all of you who travelled so far to share the work and pleasures of this wonderful organization. One third of our members came to this annual meeting…a wonderful turnout.
VPS would like to thank Cheryl Dick who managed our DVD library for the past few years but is no longer able to do so. We are grateful for all her work and have sent a thank you on behalf of VPS. Grace Cothalis has agreed to take on her responsibilities. She orders new DVD’s based on our members’ recommendations, and is the person to contact if you want to borrow a DVD. In my opinion this is a wonderful perk of being a VPS member, and I hope we use it frequently.
VPS also has sent a huge thank you to Phil Laughlin who has managed our website for years. We will miss him and wish him much success and painting time in the years ahead.
Respectfully submitted and perhaps overly edited: Wendy Soliday