Pastel Pick of the Week | Pastel Wins Big at Academic Artists Association National Exhibition

Congratulations to Robert K. Carsten whose pastel, Insight and Inspiration, won the Best in Show Award at the 64th Academic Artists Association national exhibition, which opened last Sunday. The Academic Artists Association’s show is one of the oldest, continuing, annual fine art exhibitions in the country. It was established in 1949 by American Impressionist, Harriet Lumis, and a small group of artists whose goal was to promote an appreciation for traditional realism in art. The exhibit draws some of the finest artists in the country and is one of the best for honoring contemporary realistic art in all media.


Insight and Inspiration (pastel) by Robert K. Carsten

A Spotlight on Pastel

As an all-media exhibition, the show features award-winning painting in oil and watercolor, as well as pastel, drawings, and sculpture. Carsten says he’s particularly pleased to have a pastel painting win the top award. “It’s the first time I can remember a pastel taking that award,” he says. “Pastel is indeed making great strides, thanks to publications (like Pastel Journal), societies, manufacturers and artists.”

Carsten says this pastel, which he painted on La Carte paper, “is as much about experiencing the joys of plein air painting as it is a self-portrait expressed by my love of pastel painting, nature, mountains and big skies, birdwatching, butterflies and flowers.” The tiny lightning bug which appears on the color test strip, on the right of the painting, alludes to the time of the year the piece was painted—June.

The exhibit runs through April 26 at the Vernon Community Art Center in Vernon, Conn., and is open daily from 1 to 5 p.m.

All-Media Competitions

Another all-media art competition that offers opportunity for pastel recognition is The Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competition which has an approaching deadline of May 1. For more information visit the website here.


Artist Robert K. Carsten with his award-winning pastel.



Prizewinners in the pastel category at the Academic Artists Association Annual Exhibition (left to right): Maryanne Rupp, Mary Killilea, Jo McGinnis, Robert Carsten, Lisa Regopoulos, Patricia Trapp, Barbara Groff, and Jane Penfield.




















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