Showstoppers: Pastels Only

Rae Smith .jpg
Every September, the Pastel Society of America (PSA) presents their “Pastels Only” open juried exhibition in the beautiful galleries of the National Arts Club building in New York City’s Gramercy Park. This year’s show included a whopping 174 paintings and “wow” is the first word that comes to mind to describe the experience. From the moment you hit the entryway and take in three luminous paintings by this year’s Hall of Fame inductee Richard McKinley and two exceptional still lifes—one by Wendy Caporale and another by Abel Marquez—you know this is an outstanding show.

Artists Robert Palevitz, Paul Rahilly and Vivian Zoe had the difficult task of selecting award-winners. Three top awards went to landscapes, including a lovely atmospheric pastel by Rae Smith, winner of the Founders Award; a striking winter scene by Bill Hosner, winner of the Jack Richeson Award; and a gorgeous landscape by Duane Wakeham. Other award winners included Linda Dellandre, Rainie Crawford, Anne McGrory, Karen Margulis, and Abel Marquez, among others.

Master Pastelist Bill Creevy, who provided commentary at Friday night’s Gallery Tour, remarked that Rae Smith’s work had the chance of going wrong, of being just another “river runs through it,” but she hit the mark, capturing a very specific moment of time and quality of light. Congratulations to her, to the PSA and to all the artists whose work “hit the mark” and came together to make this year’s show so especially remarkable.

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[pictured above] Sunrise (pastel, 24×36) by Rae Smith

[pictured at left] Colette Odya Smith (artist and a juror in this year’s Pastel 100); myself; Jimmy Wright (artist and PSA board member/treasurer); and Robert Carsten (artist and contributing writer for the magazine)

Photos courtesy of Jimmy  Wright (thanks!)

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