WOW!! What a hectic and inspiring couple of weeks I just had!

First off was our 28th Annual Purely Pastel exhibition at Federation Gallery in Vancouver. 68 outstanding paintings graced the walls at the gallery, coming from right across our country. And a couple from the US!

Roberta Combs did an absolutely amazing job, almost single-handedly, getting everything organized. Despite some shipping challenges, the show was beautifully hung. Everyone had a great time at the opening reception and if you ask Roberta nicely, she may still have some sliced cheese that you can have!! We also generated heavy competition for some of our silent auction items and in the end wound up making over $2100.

If Joan Larson had a difficult time selecting the works for the exhibition, she probably had an even harder time selecting the awards. In the end, Robin Nyikos’ stunning painting, “Tea and Oranges at Suzanne’s” received the Ursula Reese Best in Show award. And many of the award recipients were on hand at the opening reception to receive their awards in person. A thank you must go out to all our sponsors who so generously donated award prizes as well as silent auction goodies. We also had 7 new PAC and 2 MPAC receive their signature status certificate.

Best in Show – Robin Nyikos

With the show over, there was just enough time to get ready to attend the 13th biennial IAPS convention in Albuquerque, NM. What a fabulous event! They had over 700 registrants, so it was an amazing experience being surrounded by so many like minded people. Everyone had at least one thing in common – Pastels. And boy, were there ever a lot of pastels to be had. The “candy store” was constantly busy for the full 3 days from the time it opened until it closed. Pastels and papers were flying out the door – and a lot of them ended up in my suitcase! This despite my stalwart resolution to be good, which lasted until about 10:05am Thursday morning when the trade show opened.

And the exhibitions – talk about being awestruck with the awesomeness of what can be achieved with pastels. There were 126 entries accepted into the 34th IAPS open exhibition, including three PAC members: Cathy Cullis, Patricia Lindley and Anu Vedagiri and 76 in the Master Circle exhibit, in which I had a piece accepte. Every style you can imagine were exquisitely done. All too often one can view a show and wonder – how did that get in. Not with these 2 shows. Each and every painting was very deserving of being included. It was great to see Canada represented in both of these shows.

Prix de Pastel – Brian Bailey

I also attended the President’s forum on behalf of Pastel Artists.CA. Richard McKinley, IAPS President, asked me and 5 other international society presidents to make a presentation at the forum on our society’s mission, challenges and activities. It was interesting, but not too surprising to see many common threads in each of these presentations. Attracting and retaining members, finding exhibition venues and encouraging volunteer participation were predominate concerns although some interesting solutions were also presented. I’ll expand more on it on our website.

And speaking of website, I’m hoping that by the time this newsletter is released that everyone has had at least a chance to view the new website. While I’m writing this before it is up and live, I have faith that it will be in place by the time you read this. After getting home from the IAPS convention, it was my number 1 priority to get completed, so unless something catastrophic happened, I hope you like the site and have already created your profile for all the world to see.

PAC President – Kathy Hildebrandt