Show Preview | Pastel Society of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM
Hispanic Arts Center, October 29-November 27

Vicki Duron, Cowboy David, pastel, 11 x 16.

Vicki Duron, Cowboy David, pastel, 11 x 16.

This story was featured in the November 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  November 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

The Pastel Society of New Mexico has long used its annual national show as a way to raise interest in the art of pastel painting, and this year is no different. The organization hosts the 25th annual National Pastel Painting Exhibition at the Hispanic Arts Center beginning with an opening reception and awards ceremony on October 29 from 1 to 5 p.m. According to Nicholas Tesluk, show chair and president of the organization, the exhibition receives submissions from artists in 21 different states, as well as international artists from Canada and Europe. From those submissions, 140 paintings are selected by three jurors to be featured in the exhibit.

Artists Gil Dellinger, Jen Evenhus, and Janis Krendick juried this year’s show, while Casey Klahn decides which pieces receive awards. Tesluk says there are a range of styles featured, although most are representational with just a few abstract pieces. In order to be considered for display, the artwork must be at least 85 percent soft pastel and can include subject matter ranging from nude figures to architectural work.

Tesluk says the organization decided to accept nude works in order to honor them as a vital part of art history. “We often get some things that will surprise us, too,” he says. “It’s always fun to see what entries are accepted and what we get because it’s so different from year to year.”

Artist William Schneider has submitted work to the organization’s national show for the past five years and says he wishes more collectors would realize the validity and longevity of pastel paintings. “The medium is in ascendancy—it’s really coming back right now,” Schneider says. “Shows like this give [collectors] the opportunity to look at pastel paintings, fall in love with them, and maybe overcome their prejudices about such works.”

Schneider submitted three pieces for the exhibit, including a reclining nude and two portraits. He says he enjoys pastels because he believes the technique makes his painting stronger. “The act of observing and then mentally de-aggregating the color and re-aggregating it on the surface helps you understand color better,” Schneider says. —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
www.pastelsnm.org

This story was featured in the November 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  November 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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