The committee has been working on a proposal for the CPPS membership to consider. They request that members read their proposal and then send written comments to the education committee members (Anne Kenyon, Kathleen Muffie-Witt, Virginia Belser) before the July 26th meeting. The proposal will be discussed at the meeting.
Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society: Education Committee Proposal
As the Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society (CPPS) reflects on the ten years since its inception, it is clear that thanks to several dedicated, energetic and hard-working members the group has achieved a great deal from instructor led workshops to hosting nationally acclaimed pastel artists for workshops, paint ins and paint outs, local group exhibitions, to the current shared show with the Pittsburgh Pastel Society and our ever- growing member roster.
As we look forward to the continued growth of CPPS, the education committee is proposing an educational structure which will satisfy the national pastel society by-laws*, while meeting the educational needs of our members and simultaneously fostering connections both in the CPPS and the local area arts community. Our reasoning is that the more attention we can garner, the more we can contribute towards educating potential artists, and the more energy we share about our collective passion for the medium of pastel, the more members we will attract, thus continuing the cycle and ensuring the longevity of the society.
With an eye towards sustainability and keeping the programming fresh, we propose that this committee consist of three members, each member serving a three year rotation. This rotation will always allow for a member serving his/her first year who is learning the ropes, a second member serving his/her second year with some experience and memory and the third member who can provide the experience, knowledge and skill set to effectively mentor the newer committee members.
We envision the educational/outreach program as consisting of 4 key features:
A short program, demonstration, slide show or activity either immediately before or after the standard quarterly meetings. These activities are intended to be informative, educational and are likely to generate a sense of camaraderie amongst the members.
A longer workshop led by members of the local arts community, annually for now, but can happen more often if members at large wish to be involved with the planning and delivery.
A clear goal of establishing and nurturing relationships with other local organizations- whether they be arts or educational in nature… avenues to be explored may include the Palmer Museum of Art, group exhibition spaces on the PSU campus, educational demos/workshops with local youth groups and/or organizations.
The eventual assumption of the responsibilities associated with the annual workshop led by an instructor of national renown. The CPPS treasurer would continue to be involved with this effort as that individual manages the monies and registrations for the society.
Following are more details with respect to each of the four components of the CPPS educational effort:
Part 1: A short program, demonstration, slide show or activity either immediately before or after the standard quarterly meetings. These informal activities can be led by any member of the CPPS. Ideas and activities include (but are not limited to):
Fun learning activities such as the “20 stroke apple” or the 3 values of one color painting.
Sharing by membership of current art projects
Demo of specific techniques
Presentation or demo of:
shipping of artwork
quality photography of pastels,
Slide show focused on projects or specific artists
Part 2: A longer workshop (one or two days) led by either CPPS members or members of the local arts community.
The purpose of the Local Artist/Member Led Workshop is to provide both the membership and community with educational based events using the joint talents of members and like minded local artists while simultaneously fostering new interest regionally in the use of pastel as a drawing and painting medium. We have conceived of this component as annual event for now, but it can happen more often if members at large wish to be involved with the planning and delivery.
Our goal for this component is to outline a sustainable process where the education of our members extends beyond what our members’ knowledge base can provide. We see the joining of other artists as an opportunity to enhance the use of pastel as well as introducing watercolors, sculpture, or photography to pastel as a chosen medium.
The procedure calls for a CPPS member with a specific topic, technique, or style to propose a 1 or 2 day workshop based upon the members expertise.
Aligned with the CPPS goals a local artist/educator from the community will be invited to join the workshop as a demonstrator/instructor. For example a watercolor artist under the guidance of the CPPS member would conduct a demo using watercolor describing his/her techniques. Participants will then try the watercolor medium. Next, the CPPS pastel painter would incorporate the watercolor skills possibly as an underpainting to a pastel painting.
Another example might be for a CPPS member to collaborate with an art historian or museum director from the university to conduct a talk on the pastel paintings at the local art museum. The presentation might include a description of the techniques and materials used (ie: how Degas used the pastel) and an opportunity for attendees to try out those techniques and materials.
Part 3: A clear goal of establishing and nurturing relationships with other local organizations, whether they be arts or educational in nature.
Considering sustainability of CPPS and fostering interest in the medium of pastels, it seems critical that our group consistently reach out to both youth and the community at large. Garnering attention through exhibitions and workshops or demos can only generate interest. Specific avenues to be explored might include:
the Palmer Museum of Art
group exhibition spaces on the PSU campus and around the region
providing educational demos/workshops for local youth groups and/or organizations or events such as:
the Kid’s Day at the annual State College Arts Festival
First Night activities
local scouting organizations
Part 4: The eventual assumption of the responsibilities associated with the annual workshop led by an instructor of national renown.
In conjunction with presiding officers, and with input from the membership at large, the educational committee would create a comprehensive plan for inviting nationally known artists for the annual workshop. The plan would include a list of several artists for a few categories. Categories would include standard subjects such as still life, portraits, landscapes and abstract and would factor in criteria such as cost, timing, perceived interest by the membership, rotation of category. The CPPS membership would be queried annually for artist nominations and then asked to vote on nominated artists.
National by laws: Purposes of the Pastel Society: The Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society was established to: 1. promote, encourage and foster creative painting with pastels in an atmosphere of sensitivity and helpfulness; 2. promote, and enrich member and public understanding of pastels as an artistic medium; 3. promote fellowship among the members and within the larger community of professional and non-professional pastel artists; 4. promote educational activities to benefit the goals and abilities of the members.