You’re Invited to a Pastel Family Reunion: IAPS 2015

On Monday, November 17, at 12pm EST (9am PST), registration will open for the 2015 International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) Convention. This marks the eleventh biennial convention to unite member pastel societies from around the country and around the globe for a celebration of all things pastel. The 2015 event will be hosted again in the beautiful southwestern city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and will run from June 2nd through 7th, 2015.

IAPS 2015

My 2013 IAPS convention badge showing previous convention pins.

IAPS was formed in 1994 as a non-profit organization representing pastel societies worldwide united in the common cause to demonstrate the validity and quality of pastel as a fine art medium. The member pastel societies are the core of IAPS. Through networking and the sharing of ideas with their respective memberships, pastel’s public visibility is enhanced and it’s positioning alongside oil and watercolor as a worthwhile painting medium is strengthened.

Urania Christy Tarbet founded IAPS in 1994 and served as its President until 2009 when she accepted the title of President Emeritus. Her goal was to unite pastel artists worldwide and encourage a renaissance of pastel in the modern world. This union was needed to establish a mighty voice to educate galleries, buyers, art magazines and the general public in the qualities of dry pastels. “My pastel art dream came to the surface through pure frustration after having so many walls come between my art and the ability to show the world the true value and beauty of the luminous medium of pastel. When I made a statement one evening that I was so very upset about how pastel was being treated like a redheaded stepchild, I was not surprised when Bob, my husband, gently took my chin, turned my face to his, and said, “Then do something about it!” My Irish heritage came into play when I replied, “Okay, I will!”

In 2013, following the tragic death of IAPS’s second president, Maggie Price, Liz Haywood-Sullivan became the President. Liz turned to fine art and pastels in 1996 after a career in design and quickly became a nationally recognized master of the medium. Under her leadership and vision for the future of the association, expansions and additions have been made to the biennial convention. In her words, “Our team has been working since the end of the last convention to bring the very best pastel has to offer. We have scheduled lively demonstrations and must-do workshops from the best instructors who are coming from around the world to teach at IAPS. Favorite pastel and art material vendors will be there with venerable products as well as new temptations. And the pastel paintings displayed at the Pastel World Exhibitions are not only the best in the medium but will provide inspiration and encouragement. Many may be new to the IAPS Convention and we extend a huge welcome to our pastel party. For those who have attended previous conventions, you will see that there are some changes in the daily activities and overall schedule, including new items, and a streamlined program based on your feedback. As a result we expect many people may decide to arrive early. So even if you are a seasoned conventioneer, please take a minute to read what is new and different for 2015 by visiting: This year there is a new, easier, more comprehensive registration process that begins November 17th online. The host hotel, Hotel Albuquerque, will also start taking their reservations at that time.”

Liz and all of us involved with IAPS look forward to seeing you in Albuquerque next June. It is the best pastel party on earth!

Visit the IAPS website TODAY for more registration information!

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