Pastels USA: 25th Annual International Open Exhibition
Apr 24, 2011 - Jun 19, 2011
The Pastel Society of the West Coast brings its Pastels USA: 25th Annual International Open Exhibition back to The Haggin Museum beginning Sunday, April 24 through Sunday, June 19.
The Pastel Society of the West Coast was founded by a handful of dedicated artists from Northern California. Some of the most elite pastel painters in the country enter the annual exhibition.
Since only about 100 paintings are placed in the show, acceptance is considered a worthy accomplishment. This year’s exhibition attracted 555 entries from 172 artists. Artists are allowed five entries, two of which may be selected for the show.
What is Pastel?
Pastel does not refer to pale colors, as the word is commonly used in cosmetic and fashion terminology. The name comes from the French word pastische, because the pure, powdered pigment is ground into a paste, with a small amount of gum binder, and then rolled into sticks. The infinite variety of colors in the pastel palette range from soft and subtle to bold and brilliant.
Many associate pastel with colored chalk, but chalk is a cheap, impermanent substance. Pastel is the most permanent of all media when applied to a permanent ground and properly framed. There is no oil to cause darkening or cracking, nor other substance or medium to cause fading or blistering. Pastels from the 16th century exist today, as fresh and alive as the day they were painted!
Jury of Selection
Three nationally-prominent artists were selected this year as a Jury of Selection to review the submitted images:
Bill James is a graduate of Syracuse University who lives and works from his studio in Florida. He is a member of four national art associations including the Pastel Society of America (which has awarded him the title of Master Pastelist), the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society and the Knickerbocker Artists.
Lorenzo Chavez was born in New Mexico and now resides in Colorado with his family. He graduated with honors from the Colorado Institute of Art in 1983. He participates in many prestigious national invitational group exhibitions, including the Pastel Society of America in New York. Chavez recently participated as a guest artist with the Plein-Air Painters of America at the Laguna Art Museum.
Sally Strand is a native of Colorado now residing in California. Strand has been exhibiting professionally as an artist for more than 30 years. Strand was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, the highest commendation of the Pastel Society of America. She is the recipient of the PSA Master Pastelist distinction. Strand teaches workshops and master classes around the country.
Juror of Awards
The Juror of Awards reviews the actual paintings at the museum and selects those to receive awards. This year’s Juror of Awards is Bob Gerbracht, who began studying art in junior high school in Erie, Penn. During World War II, he carried his oils, watercolors and brushes with him in combat; they fit nicely in a German gas mask canister he found.
He earned his B.F.A. in Painting from the Yale School of Fine Art and his M.F.A. from the University of Southern California. Since then he has taught in public schools, community colleges, the College of Notre Dame and the University of California. He began teaching his private classes and workshops in portrait and figure drawing and painting in 1979 in San Jose. His workshops have since taken him all over the United States and Mexico.
Gerbracht is a member of the Society of Western Artists, an Advisor and Pastel Laureate of the Pastel Society of the West Coast, and a Master Pastelist of the Pastel Society of America.
The 97 works will be on display in the Tuleburg Gallery. These works will be for sale through the Pastel Society of the West Coast and a catalog with pricing information will be available in the gallery.