PPS 1st National Open Exhibition Juror Comments

For our 1st National Open Juried Exhibition, now on view at the Community Art Center, our Juror of selection was well-known and talented pastelist, Liz Haywood Sullivan, PSA-MP, IAPS/MC. Liz is a former president of the International Association of Pastel Societies. She had this to say about our exhibition:

“It is a distinct privilege to have been asked to be the Juror of Selection for the Philadelphia Pastel Society‚Äôs first ever National Exhibition. The submissions for this show were excellent, and are proof that the pastel medium continues to grow and attract impressive, talented artists. Congratulations to the artists whose paintings were selected for this exhibition. As the quality of pastel paintings continues to become even better, it makes getting accepted into any exhibition an increasing honor. The judge of awards certainly has her work cut out for her. This will be a wonderful exhibition”

Our judge of Awards was Dawn Emerson, a unique practitioner of pastel who incorporates printmaking techniques into her work. Dawn conducted a pastel workshop for us at the Community Arts Center from September 13-15 while taking time to select many fine paintings for exhibition awards. Dawn also had much to say about our show and the award winners that she selected.

Dawn Emerson, PSA, Judge of Awards Statement
for PPS 1st National Open Juried Show

“I want to thank the PPS for inviting me to teach, demo, and judge for them. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and work with some of the board members, and find it rare these days to see a group so supportive of each other. Everyone made me feel very welcome here, and I have truly enjoyed being in this beautiful art center with you. Thank you to Kathy and Bruce for housing and feeding me, to Al for hanging and lighting the show before my arrival, and for being such a help with things technical. I especially want to thank each of the wonderful students who laughed their way through the workshop with me, and were willing to play and work hard, ask lots of questions, and share with each other. Thank you to the center staff, Austin and Paul, for letting us use their press, and to Molly for being an assistant to me during the workshop.”

“This was a difficult show to judge, especially when I only see one piece out of an artist’s entire repertoire. As I look at each painting, I look for good design and composition first. I’m looking for a feeling of the person behind the art, and I’m looking for excellent handling of the pastel medium and clarity of the intention expressed in the painting. I’m also looking for a uniqueness that makes me see a subject in a new way. It is the consistency in the image, and a representation of the many ways the versatile medium of pastel can be used that I’m looking to represent in my selection process.”

“Each artist represented here should feel proud to have been selected to show your work in the first national show for the Philadelphia Pastel Society. Whether you won an award or not, please congratulate yourself on getting to this point, to have come this far, and wanting to go further.”