“The memories of influenza, it seems, are surreal, and to write them is seemingly to write nonsense or dreams or poetry. Perhaps this meant that even those who might vividly describe injuries to the body (like those caused by the war) would have found themselves incapable of representing to others the experience of having the flu.”
Catherine Belling, from The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919: Perspectives from the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas (2014)
In the age of CoViD-19, the time of our pandemic, we have perhaps the same difficulty describing how it is affecting us, as people, let alone as artists. For us pastel painters, and our VPS, things have changed for now, and for the foreseeable future. For that reason, we can only hope for a resolution in the next several months, but until we know for sure, we must follow the guidance of those we trust, keeping ourselves, our families, and our friends and neighbors safe from the infection. And we must keep painting, if we can.
• Our Members Exhibition is still up until the pandemic is over.
• Regional hubs are in need of innovation for remote activities.
• Workshop planning continues, although we can’t be sure they will be held.
• We need an Exhibitions Co-Chair and …
• We have a new Secretary, Anne Taylor!
Continue reading below for more details.
CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS:
Thursday, January 16 to date uncertain, 2020: Members’ Exhibition, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, 4th floor
August 17-21, 2020: Alain Picard workshops “The Painterly Landscape” and “The Painterly Portrait,” East Montpelier
October 2-4, 2020: Lyn Asselta workshop, North Bennington
November-December 2020: VPS Juried Show, Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT
VPS REGIONAL HUBS UPDATE
In the last quarter, just before the pandemic hit us, 5 of 6 hubs met once. One of those hubs, VPS: SouthWest, did it remotely via Zoom. VPS: Upper Valley hosted the monumental Joint Members Exhibition at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. With the recommendation to limit our contacts and stay in place, we will need innovative solutions to help us continue hub activities within the parameters of social distancing and restricting our travel to essential needs.
Our Members Exhibition for 2020 featured a coordinated show of the Vermont Pastel Society with the Pastel Society of New Hampshire. Nearly 120 works from 60 artists lined the expansive medical center hallway where hundreds of people walked through to view them every month. Or did so until recently, when the corona virus pandemic struck New England. Now the show still hangs, and fewer viewers will be seeing it per month, but it remains in place indefinitely until the threat of infection is gone. Still, for those who helped receive the paintings, hang them, and attend the reception, this was an exhibition to remember—not only in scope and scale, but in the quality of the works on display. Thank you to VPS Upper Valley for making it happen, and thank you to Susannah Gravel for the fabulous idea of a combined show!
Our Juried Show will be in November 2020 at the Southern Vermont Arts Center, enough months away to be optimistic about it happening. We will be using a new on-line submission platform this year, ShowSubmit, which has a great reputation among many pastel societies in the US.
Alain Picard will offer a combination of workshops in East Montpelier, VT: The Painterly Landscape, August 17-19, 2020 and The Painterly Portrait, August 20-21, 2020. Artists can sign up for one or both. Details will follow. Given the late summer dates it is scheduled for, this workshop may still happen!
Lyn Asselta will offer a workshop October 2-4, 2020, at the Taraden Art Barn in North Bennington. Stay alert for details coming to you, and again, given the autumn dates that it is scheduled for, this workshop may also still happen!
As you may recall, in December, we elected Mark Grasso, VPS: SouthWest, as our Vice President, and in January, we elected a new Secretary, Anne Taylor, from VPS: MidState. Thanks to the two of them for offering to serve on our VPS board, and to everyone who voted. Our board is once more complete!
But, before celebrating too soon, we need someone to volunteer to join Susannah Gravel as Exhibitions Co-Chair. The job of putting on two exhibitions per year has become less complicated, but it would be even easier if there were two people collaborating on the many little jobs that need to be done. Please contact your hub point person(s) if you are interested, and please consider it, as exhibitions are one of the offerings that encourage pastel artists to become members of VPS.
The Board will be holding its meeting on April 18, 2020, from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. via Zoom. Anyone may attend, so if you would like to do so remotely, contact Mark Grasso (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be the Zoom host and can give you the link to join the meeting.
As a reminder, as a VPS member, you can show a painting on the VPS website and have it linked to another image and a short bio. So if you want to do this for the first time, or if you want your image changed in the VPS Website Gallery, please use this link: https://vermontpastelsociety.com/policies-procedures/.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN VPS!
We are who we are because of the passionate participation in our organization that you all provide. Keep it coming, as you keep on making pastel art!
Matt Peake, VPS President