Pastel Pointers with Richard McKinley | IAPS 2013 | A Pastel Family Reunion

The tenth biennial International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) convention was held recently in Albuquerque, N.M. More than 600 artists who work in pastel converged at the Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town for what has come to be referred to as a “Pastel Family Reunion.” Participation in IAPS is limited to qualified pastel societies. There are no individual memberships. Artists must hold active membership in one of the more than 75 societies to participate in activities.

The first IAPS convention was held in Denver, Colorado, in 1995, and since then has steadily grown. Artist Urania Christy Tarbet founded IAPS in 1994 to help unite pastel societies in the common cause of demonstrating the validity and quality of pastel as a fine art medium around the world. Urania compiled her story, along with reflections on the formation and development of IAPS by her pastel comrades, into a book entitled, Dare To Dream, which she unveiled at this year’s convention.

Here’s a look at the happenings at this year’s convention day-by-day:

Wednesday: The gathering kicked off on Wednesday, June 5, with preconvention workshops and the opening reception of the 22nd Juried Exhibition, the 2nd Master Circle Exhibition, and a Demonstrators Exhibition. Beautifully displayed in one of the hotel’s main ballrooms, the exhibition was open for attendees to enjoy throughout the convention.

Thursday: The convention’s official start was on Thursday afternoon with the ever-popular “Paint Around,” consisting of five prominent pastelists working in rotation on five different paintings. These were later available in a silent auction to fund scholarships. Thursday concluded with a “Welcome” buffet dinner and live band entertainment in the hotel courtyard under a magnificent New Mexico sky.

Friday: On Friday, the tradeshow opened to the public. Referred to as the “Candy Store,” it was filled with offerings and demonstrations from both familiar and new friends of pastel. Workshops and master demonstrations from pastel luminaries got rolling on Friday and continued throughout the convention.

IAPS 2013 trade show

The trade show at IAPS is a affectionately referred to as the “Candy Store” with many irresistible pastel temptations.

IAPS 2013 pastels on sale

Pastelists enjoy special sales on all their favorite pastel brands, from Girault and Sennelier to Unison and Mount Vision, and many more!

Saturday: On Saturday evening, artists are given the chance to dress-up a bit and attend the banquet celebration. The gavel of presidency was handed to Liz Haywood-Sullivan who will be filling the vacancy left after the tragic loss of IAPS president Maggie Price early this year. The “IAPS Golden Mentor” honorees were announced and artists that had earned “IAPS Master Circle” status were honored. A new tier of distinction was also announced, “IAPS Eminent Pastelist.” Congratulations to artists Terri Ford and Fred Somers for being the first to earn that new distinction. In celebration of the tenth anniversary of IAPS, keynote speaker, gallery owner and author Jason Horejs discussed “The Ten Ways to Sell Your Paintings.” The banquet concluded with a tribute to Maggie Price, beautifully orchestrated by Liz Haywood-Sullivan and Maggie’s daughter Amy Vredevoogd.

Sunday: Although Sunday is the last day for the trade show and regular convention classes, there were still post-convention workshops that continued for a few more days. Many artists extended their stay in the area to enjoy the galleries and scenery of northern New Mexico.

IAPS 2013 workshops

Along with pre- and post-convention workshops, painters enjoy day-long workshops (plus demonstrations and classes) throughout the convention.

Start planning and saving now for the next convention, set for June 4 -through 7, 2015, with pre-convention workshops on June 3 and 4 and post-convention workshops on June 8 and 9 at the Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque. After attending one convention, you will never want to miss another. Putting faces to artists we have long admired, learning from master pastelists, interacting with manufacturers, and sharing stories and laughter with others that love the dry medium of Degas, makes it a pastel family reunion not to be missed!

All photographs courtesy of Kathy Detrano.


At the Pastel Journal Booth

At Pastel Journal’s booth at IAPS, we offered magazine issues and ArtistsNetwork.TV videos, as well as  Richard’s bestselling Pastel Pointers book; as well as three new favorites from North Light Books: Liz Haywood Sullivan’s Painting Brilliant Skies and Water in Pastel; Maggie Price’s Creative Freedom; and Luana Luconi Winner’s Painting Classical Portraits.



AN_SummerSidewalkSale-403-NL Enjoy amazing deals at the North Light Shop’s Summer Sidewalk Sale through June 25!  Pick up archive copies of Pastel Journal or one of our CD compilations of a year’s worth of pdf-issues or five year’s worth of pdf-issues on a single CD for a fraction of the regular price! Now’s the time to make sure your Pastel Journal  library is complete!






You may also like these articles: