2019 Vermont Pastel Society Member Exhibit

T.W. Wood Gallery,  46 Barre Street, Montpelier, VT 05062

September 3rd – 27, 2019

Press Coverage:  Article from the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus Newspaper, written by Mary Gow, where she states, “…the Wood’s Hallway Gallery is filled with color and light with the group exhibition of the Vermont Pastel Society.”  Click here for the entire article.


Awards Presentation was held Friday, September 6th

Judge’s Statement – Mickey Myers

Thank you, Vermont Pastel Society, for the privilege of selecting the prizes for this year’s exhibition at the T. W. Wood Art Gallery. It is always a joyous occasion to see your work. I particularly like “art surprises” and was gratified to meet many artists who are new to me this year, as well as visiting with new works of artists whom I follow through the course of my job.
Selecting the prize winners has its own mystique; one always wishes to add just one more award or call it a tie or follow a circuitous path to avoid not awarding awards to pieces I really like, which are many. Suffice it to say, I envy the time you have to do your artwork, and I applaud your explorations and results.




Luminous Landscape Award
Katrina Thorstensen: Evening Refuge
There is such restraint, resonance and nuance in this piece. It shimmers with deep emotion and serene resolution. I want to be there.





Reflective Waterscape Award
Patti Braun: Sunrise from Cape Porpoise
Reflected are huge, bold, moving clouds whose  image dances on the water, quiet and refined – a second in time. The contrast of weight between the clouds in the sky and their reflection in the water is masterfully rendered, fleeting and yet indelible.




Lively Still Life Award
Jill V. Burke: Old Barn
There is something so massive and yet so delicate about this barn. It is like a monument to itself, clearly having stood in the same place for years, with a whole lot of life left in it. This narrative is conveyed by the risk taken, interrupting its bulk with a tantalizing hint of a window (to its past or to its present.)



Figuratively Speaking Award
Matthew Peake: Me, Myself and I
Matthew, Matthew, Matthew, we have never met in person, but I feel I know you, never more
than having seen this drawing. Your self-observations are exceeded by your courage in rendering the wrinkle of skin more broadly than the wrinkle of fabric. Now that takes courage!


Abstractly Appealing Award
Kathy Detzer: Birches Redeux
This piece propels me back to mid-Century and the fullness of life when lived in the discovery of abstraction. As dense as this work is, there is a minimalism in palette and a repetition of imagery that foreshadows the iconic revolution that was to come. It’s spot on!


Totally Tonal Award
Marcia Hill: Gateway
As often as we envision the concept of gateway, this particular work succeeds in framing a threshold that holds interest through both its detail and its soaring sky. While the viewer remains on this side of the gateway, the destination beckons through its every corner.





Colorfully Crafted Award
Athenia Shinto: Vermont Hills 2
(I must confess I could have given this piece several awards.) It is lively, it is tonal, it is abstract, and within a limited palette, its color crafts its composition with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of depth.





Lovely Lines Award
David H. Brown: Birches in Rising Fog
This drawing is almost calligraphic in its grace and restraint while at the same time lyrical in its rendering. With a minimal palette and choice of subject, time and temperature are rendered, and yes, it is that time of year.



Shapely and Edgy Award
Susan Ross Grimaldi: Blinking Light Gallery
This piece has everything. It moves; it surprises; it delights; it invites. It creates a narrative from an inventory. Bright lights; big city: Plainfield, Vermont. One applauds the artist’s imagination as well as her ability to carry it off so joyfully.



Touchingly Textural Award
Angela Arkway: Above the Fray
In some ways, this work speaks for itself as its use of texture to narrate a scene is undeniable. Beyond that, the complexity of its texture lends intrigue to its scenic dimension. It is as though each color and each gesture are coming together to tell of the many unique facets of a scene.



Judge’s Choice: Lesley Heathcote: Curious

I have chosen this piece because it reminds me of my gentleman friend in the morning. That irreverent statement is actually one of great respect as it captures a look of determination in the warmth of early morning light; a certain curly wooliness one reaches to caress; the security of that we have made it through to greet another day. This work has all those qualities – distinct personality, tactile physicality; volume; light and confidence. It also has a fully developed background – the trees on top and the ground to the left, which place the beast somewhere she is free to be curious.


People’s Choice –  Judy Greenwald: “Somethings Fishy”

Judy’s whimsical painting of a fish took this honor with 12 votes in her favor. Many other artists received anywhere from 4, 3, 2, 1 votes so there was a lot of praise going around for our VPS Member’s show.






Participating Artists:

Angela Arkway, Athenia Schinto, Barb Walker, Belle McDougall, Carol Stephens, Carole Naquin, Cindy Griffith, Cristine Kossow, PSA-MP, David H Brown, Debba Pearce, Deedee Jones, Diane Leifheit, Diane Szlachetka, Dianne T Moore, Gail Barton, Grace Greene, Jill V. Burke, John Landy, Joyce Kahn, Judy Albright, Judy Greenwald, Kate Cone, Kathrena Ravenhorst-Adams, Kathy Detzer, Katrina Thorstensen, Kristen Varian, Lesley Heathcote, Linda Masten, Lisa Kent, Maggie F Smith, Marcia Hill, Matthew J Peake, Pat McPike, Patti Braun, Paula Dorr, Peggy Brogan, Sandra Conklin, Scott Tyler, Sharon Yorke, Shelli DuBoff, Shirley R.Thompson, Susan Ross Grimaldi, Susannah Colby, Wendy Soliday

Art Pick Up: Show closes Friday, September 27th.  Artwork Pickup from the gallery between 4-6PM


2019 Annual Juried Exhibit

Friday, May 17 through Saturday, July 6, 2019
50 Randolph Avenue, Randolph, VT 05060
To view the selections for the 2019 Juried Exhibit, please click on the link below:
A reception and awards ceremony was held Saturday, May 18
Many thanks to VPS Upper Valley for refreshments and to
Laura Winn Kane and Susannah Colby for organizing the event.
Best in Show
Cristine Kossow, VPS Midstate,  Expectant Mothers II”
Second Place
Maggie Smith – VPS SouthEast, “The Back Road”
Third Place
Wendy Soliday – VPS Central, “Brief and Spectacular
Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod Award
Judy Albright – VPS Midstate, “Spring Tonic”
Mallory Lake Memorial Award
Mark Grasso – VPS SouthWest, “Morning Curl”

Saturday, July 6: Artwork pick up from gallery between 2-4pm

2018 Annual Juried Show

Hello VPS Members!

The 2018 Annual Vermont Pastel Society Juried Show was held at the Laumeister Art Center in Bennington, VT and the reception and awards ceremony took place on Saturday, September 29thfrom 2-4 p.m. The show will be open to the public September 29th to November 17th.

Please take a moment to fill out the survey about this year’s show. We would like all members to respond, even if you did not attend: https://goo.gl/forms/Dk6fyr07WE833uVG3

Our judge, Christine Labich carefully and thoughtfully selected artwork in the show to award the following prizes. She had this to say to the members:

Congratulations to all of the participants in the Vermont Pastel Society’s 2018 Annual Show! You have skillfully displayed a wide range of techniques, compositional approaches, and subjects, showing the depth and possibilities of the medium. It is wonderful to see pastel used in these different ways, and with great success. There are many paintings in this show that deserve recognition for their experimentation, their fine command of the materials, or their sensitivity to mood, color, and mark. I encourage you all to keep up the good work and keep exploring the possibilities of pastel.

Best in Show
Overlook #36, Matthew Peake
This painting is fun, and engages both the viewer’s eye and mind. While the eye delights in the juxtaposition of colored shapes—no two the same, and yet expressing a compelling overall pattern—the mind is drawn into imagining the narrative of these figures and shadows. Technical, imaginative, and bold.

Second Place
All the Tea in China, Judy Albright
A compelling combination of precise rendering and freedom. The texture of the support is used in a skillful way to add interest and a playful sense to a beautifully drawn subject.

Third Place
New Kid on the Block, Laura Winn Kane
A narrow tonal range is used wonderfully here. The lively surface keeps the eye moving throughout the painting, and manages to create both a decorative flat composition, and a sense of space (albeit a crowded one!).

Pastel Painters of Cape Cod Award
Cape Evening Light, Katrina Thorstensen
A lovely rendering of light and space. The diversity of effective and confident mark-making creates atmosphere and texture within the scene.

Mallory Lake Memorial
Two Pears, Maggie F. Smith
This small painting creates an architectural, moody atmosphere reminiscent of Mallory Lake’s work, even though it isn’t a landscape. Deceptively simple, there are unexpected risks taken in the composition and color choice that make it a pleasure.

June 22-July 28, 2018: VPS Member Exhibition at The Chaffee Art Center, Rutland, VT.

Amid the arpeggios and trills of the violin and piano, with floral arrangements on the many table tops, and hors d’oeuvres befitting a presidential banquet, the 2018 Vermont Pastel Society’s Members’ Exhibition reception took place at the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland, Vermont on Saturday, June 23 from 2 to 6 p.m.
Hosted by executive director, Jim Boughton and his capable staff, the Members Exhibition was attended by scores of viewers–artists and art-lovers. An awards ceremony took place at 3 p.m., with the four attending board members reading off the winners in ten creatively-crafted categories, interpreted by respected Rutland area artist William Ramage, who stepped in as our judge when the original judge had an unexpected conflict.
Special thanks to Susanna Colby and Louise Kenney who worked out all the many details of this fantastic show and reception, and to VPS MidState who coordinated the painting drop offs, the refreshments and reception, and were there to welcome the viewers, and to all the VPS artists who submitted paintings to this memorable 2018 Members’ Exhibition.

A list of awards follows:

Most luminous Landscape:

Barbara Hageman Sarvis – Trumbull Farm

I couldn’t help but respond to the qualities of light in “Trumbull Farm” that seemed reminiscent of Claude Monet’s luminous landscape such as the “Haystack Series” and his “River Seine” paintings. ~ William Ramage

Most Fluid Waterscape:

Susannah Colby – Salisbury Sunset

This extraordinary painting is so alive with color that is both fluid and brilliant that my immediate response referenced JMW Turner, who might be art history’s most fluid waterscape painter. ~ William Ramage

Most Lively Still Life:

Shirley Thompson – Summer Treasure

What more can be said, this painting is an all-out colorful barrage of flowers, vegetables, bees, butterflies and beautiful color flying all over the surface of the painting. Lively is putting it mildly. Thank goodness for the little mouse, a temporary respite for the eye. ~ William Ramage

Most Figuratively Speaking:

Shelli DuBoff – Mother and Child

A truly stunning rendition of the age tested image, from Giotto to Mary Cassatt, of a mother and child. I think Shelli’s painting is every bit as engaging, visually and emotionally, as any mother and child painting I’ve ever seen. ~ William Ramage

Going Gaga with Color:

Louise Kenney – Abstract Spring

“Abstract Spring” is such an appropriate title for this delicate expression of colorful bands of greens and blues offset by a delightful band of pink that brings to mind the feelings, the sights and even the smell of a landscape coming back to life.

The Ying and Yang of Light and Dark:

Deedee Jones – Harbor Lights

This is a fantastic example of a dark foreground and an extraordinary luminous sky. It is a beautiful painting that reminds me of the many painting of Claude Lorrain’s sunsets where dark fore-grounds (often harbors) are silhouetted by a dazzlingly bright sunset. ~ William Ramage

Seriously, do a Series

Matthew Peake – Overlook #35 in Concert

This is a truly interesting composition of a circle created by the four musicians in a square (the format) offset by those striking red diagonal lines, the middle one passing from corner to corner causing twelve triangles diminishing to the opposite corners. I can’t say that this was Mathew’s

intention, but whether intentional or serendipitous, it is a brilliant composition involving the three fundamental shapes, the square, the circle, and the triangle that should be explored in a series. Did I neglect to mention the marvelous fore-shortening, reminiscing of Mantegna’s “Dead Christ” or his “Oculus.” ~ William Ramage

Tell me More:

Linda Kiniry – Late Night

Simply put, this painting wants a corresponding narrative, a story of the character working late at night in what appears to be an urban diner. It reminds me of Edward Hopper’s “Night Hawks,” another painting that wants to tell me a story. ~ William Ramage

The Frame Makes It:

Athenia Schinto – Etudes

This category while applying to Athena’s framing of a quartet of paintings in a single frame might be an appropriate category, it doesn’t do justice to these four beautiful little gems. They are wonderful pastel studies that could very well be etudes used by Athena to hone her

technical skills. An etude usually refers to musical compositions for musicians to practice and develop their technical skills . . . Chopin wrote twenty-seven of these compositions and I believe Bach wrote sixteen. ~ William Ramage

The Judges Choice:

Judy Albright – My Happy Place

I made up this category because Judy’s painting is just too wonderful to be over-looked because it is not a good match for any of the categories I was provided. It is a beautiful still life that has the feel of a Vermeer. The cast of the gentle blue light though out the painting, the exquisite rendering of the lemons, the delicate shadowing of the white napkin draped over the table, and the subtle reflective surface of the blue bowl gives this painting a sense of serenity that could be anybody’s “Happy place.” I love this painting and its title. ~ William Ramage