View Full Version : Starting your own Pastel Society

harvey concepts
01-14-2008, 05:31 PM
I was wondering if anyone has information on how to start a Pastel Society. I live in Massachusetts and I just sent in my membership for the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod. This group is kind of far away and I would not be able to participate in it weekly or monthly. My immediate goal would be trying to get artists together that work in pastel. I would love it to have all the benefits that this forum has: showing work, helping each other out, contributing with info on pastels, doing workshops together....I was not sure if there were certain requirements you would need to have your group be called a "pastel society"

Deborah Secor was kind enough to tell me about how she started hers and suggested I start a thread on this subject.

Thanks - Sarah

01-14-2008, 05:59 PM
The International Association of Pastel Societies can help you to organize a pastel society. The following contacts are off their website (pastelinternational.com). Good luck!

Executive Director:

Susan Webster
http://pastelinternational.com/contact/susan.gif ([email protected]?subject=IAPS%20Question)
http://pastelinternational.com/images/spacer.gif http://pastelinternational.com/images/spacer.gif

Urania Christy Tarbet
P.O. Box 567
Pollock Pines, CA 95726, USA
http://pastelinternational.com/contact/urania.gif ([email protected])

01-14-2008, 06:35 PM
Deborah and Donna shared a lot in this thread:

That part is a few posts down in the thread.

01-14-2008, 07:04 PM
Sarah I've sent you a rather lengthy PM with ideas, and my own experience in this regard. I've helped 3 national pastel societies organize in the distant past.


Deborah Secor
01-14-2008, 07:16 PM
Peggy, why not post some of your thoughts here? I know there are others who would like to think about this possibility...

My suggestions are to simply find a place, name the day and time, put out a flyer and see who comes. It helps to have a few others who are committed to the venture or you can get eaten alive by it, of course. For the first year or so that PSNM existed we went to each others' homes and studios for meetings, and brought work for critiques, & talked and talked and talked. At the end of our first year of meeting we held a show at a local furniture store, which was loads of fun to do. We started out with 12 people and had three times that many in a year, and it grew must faster after that, too.

There's no secret to starting any group like this. I suggest you give it a go and see if there's enough energy and interest out there to make it happen. Why not just form an interest group and see what happens? Paint together. Get together to look at art. Do a one-day workshop together. Have a member do a book or DVD review. Share. Talk. Have fun!

Later, after it gets going, you have a lot of other things to organize and decide about. The work comes if and when you start doing shows, which are very worth doing, but by that time you'll know if there's enough interest and wherewithall to share the load.


harvey concepts
01-14-2008, 07:52 PM
Thank you so much for all this information. I do love this forum - I learn so much from all of you!

I will have to wait for the kids to get in bed to read all the links etc.. They are over my shoulder now as I am typing - long day - snow storm in Mass and no school today.:)



01-14-2008, 09:40 PM
What I told Sarah is about how to simplify, if possible, through an existing society within her state.

If there are only a half dozen or so people in your area working in pastel, creating a formal pastel society is very difficult, and can be quite expensive if you want to have paid demonstrators, lecturers, and good venues - or any venue for that matter - for exhibitions.

I know of two states that have slightly different ways of doing it, but they each have "sub-groups" that all belong to one society. These "sub-groups" meet regularily in their own area to paint together and offer group critiques. Once or twice a year, the "home" group officers come to the area for a general meeting and demonstration or lecture. They all pay dues to the same treasury so collectively they have a greater pool from which to pay for exhibitions, demonstrators/lecturers, and dues to IAPS if they so choose to belong to that organization (one does and one does not). Some of the members of sub-groups paticipate more actively by volunteering to manage the website, chair or assist chair the exhibitions, membership chair, etc because those "jobs" aren't dependent upon living in the "home" area if they have a computer.

Come to think of it, I know of another pastel "society" that is a sub-group of a multi-medium art organization. The members of the pastel society have their own officers and pay dues themselves to IAPS, but they hold meetings and exhibitions through the multi-medium organization.

I hope this offers some alternative ideas for those interested in starting a society to think about. Spreading the work through several sets of hands is a lot more fun than trying to do it all yourself or with the help of only 3 or 4 people. No matter how good you may be at it, after awhile being the "leader/founder" is not as much fun, and way more work than you can imagine it would be in the beginning. It takes time away from what you want to do most - paint!


01-15-2008, 12:15 AM
I have thought the same idea, at least 100 times. I lve in New York. I belong to several societies. I now would like to open a gallery, instead. I feel I can help artists get their work seen. I would love to get grants or some type of funding to help my dream along. Let me know where you start your group. I would love to join. Thanks for letting me share my dream with you.