Katherine Irish, Dream Tonight
2023 ‘Luminosity’ International Exhibition, 3rd Place
SPS is a community of artists who share a mission to promote the beauty of the pastel medium, provide education, offer exhibition opportunities for our members and elevate the pastel medium in the eyes of the art community at large.
We accomplish our purpose through:
*IAPS was founded in 1994 as a non-profit organization representing pastel societies worldwide. As a member of SPS you are also a member of IAPS and can participate in their exhibitions and conventions.
SPS is comprised of a diverse group of artists from throughout the US and beyond with artistic abilities ranging from beginner to award winning. We are an engaged society committed to creating an inclusive culture and maintaining a singular goal of helping our members thrive in their artistic journey. We share and support the desires of all members to develop their skills, learn new techniques and increase their love of painting in pastels.
Connie Lynn Reilly, President Emeritus and Signature Member of Excellence of Southeastern Pastel Society, founded the society in 1987. Connie had discovered a general lack of knowledge about the pastel medium when she began displaying her impressive artwork. Soon after she recognized that there was a revival, a “renaissance” so to speak, among artists using the pastel medium as well as the existence of the “Pastel Society of America”. Connie then began to consider how to gather other pastel artists with a purpose of educating through public exhibitions, sharing ideas, techniques and materials. She put together a message for a local art organizations newsletter to see if there might be interest from other artists for such a pastel organization and soon found out that they were!
The first meeting was held in Tucker, GA in 1987 forming the Southeastern Pastel Society organization. Founding members included Connie Lynn Reilly as President, Martha Bator, 1st VP, and other officers Amy Dean, Patricia Zellman, Jeannie Brownlee Irving Lawhon, Mikki Dillon and Bill Greenwood. Connie continues to be an inspiration and influence on SPS.
The Southeastern Pastel Society’s first “pastel only” exhibition entitled, “Pastel Renaissance” was held at the Unitarian Universalists Church in Atlanta, GA on November 9, 1988.
SPS welcomes you to volunteer as a member on our board. We have a friendly, talented, and devoted group of artists who work together to create a robust art community for pastel artists like yourself.
President – Connie Reilly
First Vice President – Becky Postell
Second Vice President – Terry Metzler
Secretary – Roseann Gaglio
Treasurer – Donna Clark
IAPS Rep – Nancy Nowak
Communications & Membership – Diane Sparks, Terry Metzler, Becky Postell
Programs – Joan Dromey & Shani Voyer
Workshops – Debbie Anderson & Kaitlin Craig
Zoom/EventBrite – Terry Metzler
Zoom Assistants – Cheryl Tryon, Debbie Anderson
Awards – Hilda Kurtz & Mary Jo Waldock
Member Facebook/Paint N’ Grow – Allison Woodward, Josie Varga & Joanne Willoughby
Instagram– Kaitlin Craig & Bonnie Hyde Morgan
Public Facebook- Susan Klinger Smith and Sallie Adkins
Connie Reilly, Melody
Pastel is known for its brilliant colors and velvety texture. It is also one of the most beautiful and versatile mediums in the history of art and is considered a major art form along with oils, acrylics and watercolors. It was first created in the 15th century and is not “chalk,” rather it is very finely ground pigment formed with a very light binder into sticks, pencils, or loose in small pans. The pigments used in pastel are the same used in almost all other art mediums including watercolor, oil, and acrylic. Pastel is the most permanent of all media when applied correctly and properly framed. The paintings don’t crack or fade like other mediums. Pastel paintings created in the 1400s are as vibrant and fresh today as when they were painted 600 years ago.
Pastels were initially used for informal sketches. However, Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757), a Venetian self-taught artist, was the first artist who used pastels for serious portraiture. Other famous artists who painted pastels include Leonardo da Vinci, Mary Cassatt, Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard, Whistler, Matisse, and Lichtenstein.
(See The Touch of Color; Pastels at the National Gallery of Art for more information about the history of pastels PDF)