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Pastel Societies - Resources for Artists

Katherine regularly writes about art societies and art society exhibitions. She's also created comprehensive lists of art societies.

pastel-societies

Introducing Pastel Societies around the World

This is the most complete list of soft pastel societies on the Internet. Find out about:

  • Pastel Societies which cover your area
  • Pastel Societies in other regions
  • Pastel Societies in other countries
  • Pastel Societies which are open to national and international members

Why not take a look at what other Pastel Societies are getting up to?

Pastel Societies in North America

Organised according to nation, region and then alphabetically

National Pastel Societies - North America

There are two national pastel societies in North America

  • Pastel Society of America
    Pastel Society of America. America's oldest and most prestigious pastel society. Founded in 1972 by Flora B. Giffuni, Pastel Society of America (PSA) - the oldest pastel society in America - is largely responsible for the current renaissance of past
  • Pastel Artists Canada
    PastelArtists.Ca (PAC) - promoting public appreciation of art in dry pastel and improving the skills of artists working in this fine art medium.

USA - New England - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut

Each of the states in New England has a Pastel Society - except for Rhode Island

  • PPSCC - Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod
    The Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod is a nonprofit corporation sustained by membership contributions, gifts and grants. Founded in 1995, the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod's goal was to establish viable exhibition venues for the medium while
  • Connecticut Pastel Society
    Connecticut Pastel Society, official site
  • Pastel Painters of Maine (PPOM)
    Pastel Painters of Maine (PPOM), established in 1999, meets in Westbrook, Maine to promote soft pastels, uniting artists and heightening public's awareness of the medium.
  • Pastel Society of New Hampshire
    The Pastel Society of New Hampshire is dedicated to the appreciation of soft pastels as a fine art medium.
  • Vermont Pastel Society
    The Vermont Pastel Society encourages anyone interested in pastels or pastel painting to join them.

USA - New York and Mid Atlantic - New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey

There is no Pastel Society of New York. The Pastel Society of America has its home in New York but does not represent New York artists as such

  • Adirondack Pastel Society
    Located in Glens Falls, NY, the Adirondack Pastel Society is dedicated to supporing the pastel artist and cultivating an enthusiastic audience for pastels.
  • Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society Home Page
    The Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society is a newly-formed group of artists interested in the promotion and exploration the medium of soft pastel.
  • Pastel Society of New Jersey
    Our Mission is to secure the membership of artists dedicated to pastel painting, exhibit pastels of professional quality, expand the opportunities for artists working in pastel through exhibits and information, and promote public interest in traditio
  • North America Pastel Artist Association
    An Association of largely Chinese pastel artists with links to Taiwan. Not a geographical based pastel society in the conventional sense.
  • Pittsburgh Pastel Artists League
    From professional to beginner and everything in-between. Some of our artist's have been featured in art publications, done demo's, taught classes, and won prestigious awards.

USA - Mid West - Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa

Pastel artists in the Mid West are very active

  • Chicago Pastel Painters - A Pastel Society based in the Chicago Area
    The Chicago Pastel Painters is a pastel society based in the greater Chicago area but is open to artists anywhere. We presently have members in 13 states.
  • Welcome to the Gateway Pastel Artists Website (St. Louis Missouri)
    The Gateway Pastel Artists' goal aims to unite artists interested in pastel media through the usage of programs, critiques and technical support from one another.The society also helps members reach their optimum
  • Great Lakes Pastel Society Online
    The Great Lakes Pastel Society seeks to promote the use of pastels and increase the public awareness of creative pastel painting as a fine art medium.
  • Lake Country Pastel Society (Minneapolis, Minnesota_
    We seek to unite artists interested in the pastel medium and to serve their needs by encouraging artistic growth and development through education and sharing. we also work to create public awareness of pastel as a unique and beautiful art form.
  • Northern Indiana Pastel Society
    Formed in the summer of 2006, the Northern Indiana Pastel Society welcomes artists from Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois. It's a member of the International Association of Pastel Socities
  • Wisconsin Pastel Artists
    Our pastel group was formed in 2005 and had previously been called GLPS S.E. Wisconsin and Southeast Wisconsin Pastel Society (SEWPS). Our goal is to encourage, educate and connect both the aspiring and experienced pastel artist. In May 2008 our grou
  • Illinois Prairie Pastel Society
    The Illinois Prairie Pastel Society celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016.
  • Ozarks Pastel Society (MIssouri)
    Based in Missouri, founded as the Ozark Pastel Society in 1987. Members in five states & recognized by the International Pastel Society. Holds an annual Ozark Pastel Society Show open to all Pastel artists. This is their Facebook Public Group.

USA - South (Atlantic Coast) - Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida

Not every pastel society is dedicated to a State - some claim geographical areas such as the Appalachians.

Pastel artists are particularly active in North Carolina and Florida

The Coastal Pastel Society of North Carolina appear to have lost its website

  • Appalachian Pastel Society - Appalachian Pastel Art
    Founded 2006, The purpose of the Appalachian Pastel Society is the promotion, development, and enjoyment of pastel art. (The Appalachian Region is a 200,000-square-mile area that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York t
  • The Maryland Pastel Society
    Maryland Pastel Society
  • Pastel Society of North Carolina
    The Pastel Society of North Carolina is an organization dedicated to providing opportunities for social interaction and education for pastel artists through meetings, shows, juried exhibitions and other events. We welcome all levels of accomplishment
  • Piedmont Pastel Society (North Carolina)
    The Piedmont Pastel Society is a non-profit organization, based in North Carolina, founded in 2007 to promote artistic skills and public awareness of pastel as a fine art medium.
  • South Eastern Pastel Society
    The Southeastern Pastel Society was established in 1987 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting pastel as a medium in the Southeast. The Society has now grown to over 250 members, from all over the United States and other nations thro
  • Pastel Society of Central Florida - Home
    Welcome to the Pastel Society of Central Florida (PSCF) official website.
  • Pastel Society of North Florida
    The Pastel Society of North Florida (PSNF) is a nonprofit, tax exempt organization and is a member of the International Association of Pastel Societies. Organized in 1988, PSNF is an association of artists who work in the traditional pastel medium an
  • Southwest Florida Pastel Society
    The Southwest Florida Pastel Society (SWFPS) is a non-profit 501 ©(3) organization of pastel artists who live and work in Southwest Florida governed by a Board of Directors. The society encourages and promotes our enthusiastic pastel artists in thei
  • Pastel Society of Tampa Bay (blog)
    The Pastel Society of Tampa Bay formed in 2006 to bring local pastelists together to encourage artistic growth through education and sharing and to promote interest and enjoyment of pastel for both artist and community.

USA - South (Central) - Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana

In the larger states such as Texas, pastel societies tend to be focused around the larger cities

  • Alabama Pastel Society Website
    Alabama Pastel Society, pastel, painting, drawing, organization, art
  • Degas Pastel Society (New Orleans)
    Founded in 1984 in New Orleans. The Degas Pastel Society is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization founded in 1984, dedicated to promoting public awareness of the pastel medium and providing exposure and recognition for the Society's members through e
  • Arkansas Pastel Society
    Regional organization for Pastel Artists located in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Austin Pastel Society
    The Austin Pastel Society is a Non-Profit Organization founded in 1998 by a group of Austin artists who were active in the soft pastel medium. Our mission is to provide opportunities to pastelists to exhibit; to educate the public, gallery owners, an
  • CTPS Home Page
    Central Texas Pastel Society was founded in September l997 with 18 Charter members. Meetings are held third Saturday morning of each month at area locations to accommodate members in the Central Texas area
  • Oklahoma Pastel Society
    The Oklahoma Pastel Society (OPS) was founded in the spring of 2003 by a group of pastel artists from the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Since its beginning OPS has grown from a handful of local artists to over 55 members from all over Oklahoma and
  • Texas Pastel Society News
    The purpose of the Texas Pastel Society is to raise awareness of soft pastel art and to provide support for pastel artists.
  • St. Tammany Pastel Society (Louisiana)
    The pastel society was formed in 2009 by a group of Pastel Artists. The Society's mission is to provide Pastel art to the community and to educate and cultivate an appreciation for the fine art medium of Pastels. This will be done through exhibitions

USA - West (Mountain) - Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico

Pastel artists are active in the Rockies and the Desert States of the South West

The Pastel Society of the Northern Rockies appears to have decided not to have a website any more

  • Arizona Pastel Artists Association - APAA
    Arizona Pastel Artists Association (APAA). We are an association of pastel artists, promoting artistic skills and public appreciation of the Soft Pastel medium. Website includes membership info, history, members list, current events & exhibits.
  • Pastel Society of Colorado
    Connecting Pastel Artists across the Rocky Mountains and Frontiers Beyond The Pastel Society of Colorado (PSC) was formed in 1994 by six artists to fulfill the need for a regional organization to encourage the appreciation and art of pastel painting.
  • Pastel Society of New Mexico
    The Pastel Society of New Mexico - Promoting the fine art of pastel painting and contributing to the arts community in New Mexico
  • Pikes Peak Pastel Society
    The Pikes Peak Pastel Society was founded in January 2000, to promote excellence in soft pastel painting and the awareness of pastel painting to the general public.
  • Pastel Society of the Southwest
    The Pastel Society of the Southwest was organized in January 1979 to further education in, appreciation for, and encouragement of the use of the pastel medium. We are in our 31st year and going strong.
  • Tucson Pastel Society
    We seek to unite artists interested in the soft pastel medium and to serve their needs by encouraging artistic growth and development through sponsorship of exhibits, workshops, critiques, classes and demonstration. We will work to create public awar

USA - West (Pacific) - Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii

Pastel painting is very active along the west coast. This is one of the areas with the most pastel societies relative to states

  • Pastel Society of the Gold Coast
    The Pastel Society of the Gold Coast is a non-profit organization for the specific purpose to provide public exhibitions for its members, to educate the community through collaboration with environmental and other non-profit organizations; and to pro
  • Pastel Artists of Hawaii Home
    Pastel Artists of Hawaii (PAH) is an educational, publicly/member supported, non-profit organization, established in 2001 to primarily promote awareness of soft pastel as a serious art medium, and secondarily, to develop and maintain a national socie
  • Northwest Pastel Society Home Page
    The Northwest Pastel Society (NPS) was incorporated on October 5, 1988 as a nonprofit corporation dedicated to promoting pastel as a fine art medium. Through NPS open juried international exhibitions, juried members' exhibitions, workshops, and quart
  • Pastel Society of Oregon
    Pastel Society of Oregon home page - no "about us" page NOTE: Website is difficult to navigate and includes an attack page
  • Pastel Society of San Diego
    The Pastel Society of San Diego, a California 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is interested in encouraging the use of pastel through lectures, demonstrations exhibits and community outreach. The Pastel Society has a very active membership of talented
  • Sierra Pastel Society
    Sierra Pastel Society, P.O. Box 1936, Placerville CA 95667 Our mission is to support artists on their journey of artistic excellence and to promote greater public awareness of soft pastels as a fine art medium through learning opportunities, plein ai
  • Pastel Society of Southern California
    Founded in 2007 to promote pastel art in Los Angeles and Southern California. Membership is open to anyone working in pastel or interested in the medium. * To bring together pastel artists in the Southern California region for camaraderie and collabo
  • Pastel Society of the West Coast
    Pastel Society of the West Coast, an organization founded in 1985, promotes the pastel medium.

Canada

Two pastel societies in Canada below

  • Pastel Artists.Ca - Home
    PastelArtists.Ca (PAC) - promoting public appreciation of art in dry pastel and improving the skills of artists working in this fine art medium. We were founded in 1989 by a small group of eager pastellists as Pastel Artists of Ontario, Canada. The
  • Pastel Society of Eastern Canada - PSEC (Bi-Lingual)
    The Pastel Society of Eastern Canada was founded in Montreal in 1995. PSEC is a non-profit organization constituted of both professional and amateur pastel artists. The aims of the organization are as follows: 1. To promote and encourage artistic act

The Pastel Book - by Bill Creevy

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars (80 customer reviews)

One of the books I bought very early on when learning about pastels, this book by a master pastellist remains one of my favourite books about pastels because of the extent to which it focuses on a very thorough review of how pastels are made and the different pastel brands. It's something which is rarely found in other books about working with pastels.

My view is shared by many existing and would-be pastel artists who have also bought it. It's a book which never goes out of fashion!

Pastel Societies in the Uk and Rest of Europe

Both the UK and Ireland have national pastel societies. Some European countries also have a national society and there is also an International Guild covering the whole of Europe

Pastel Societies in the UK

Within the UK, despite the population of the UK there is no tradition of having Pastel Societies or even branches of the national Pastel Society at a regional or local level - except in Leicestershire

The Pastel Society is over 100 years old - having been founded in 1898. Unlike other national art societies in the UK, despite its great age The Pastel Society does not have a royal prefix or charter. The Society joined the Federation of British Artists at the Mall Galleries in 1970 and has its exhibition base at the Mall Galleries in London.

  • The Pastel Society
    The Pastel Society was founded in 1898. It held its first exhibition held in the Royal Institute in Piccadilly. Founder members and early exhibitors included Brangwyn, Degas, Rodin, Rothenstein, Whistler and G.F. Watts. It currently has over 50 Mem
  • Leicestershire Pastel Society
    On the Leicestershire Pastel Society web site you will find information about member artists who live in Leicestershire and Rutland and their work. .

The Pastel Society in the UK - Annual Exhibition

In the UK, the aim of The Pastel Society's Annual Exhibition is to present paintings and drawings produced by contemporary artists which reflect the extremely diverse nature of dry media - which is classified as covering pastels, including oil pastels, charcoal, pencil, conte, sanguine or any dry media.

This is an OPEN exhibition and is not limited to work by members, International artists can also submit work.

This is my review of the 115th Annual Exhibition of the Pastel Society in London in 2015.

  • see images of the exhibition
  • read about artists winning awards and see images of artists who caught my eye
  • what has stayed the same and what has changed - including observations about what I observed in terms of trends in work submitted and how work was presented for exhibition.

For those interested in learning more about pastels, it's worth noting that this is an art society that holds a series of workshop and an art event evening during the course of the annual exhibition.

Annual exhibition of The Pastel Society at the Mall Galleries in London. I go every year!

Annual exhibition of The Pastel Society at the Mall Galleries in London. I go every year!

Ireland

A Pastel Society in Ireland is a relatively recent creation. Started in 1988, the Society has two classes of membership - Full and Associate

  • Home - Pastel Society of Ireland
    The Pastel Society of Ireland was formed in 1988 by a group of dedicated pastel painting artists who felt that there was a need to provide a forum where pastelists could meet to discuss and promote the highly individual art of pastel painting. The So
  • Pastel Society of Ireland
    Pastel Society of Ireland Blog

Western Europe

There are pastel Societies in France, Spain and Malta plus one overall pastel guild - for all pastel artists in Europe

Eastern Europe

I've only found one Pastel Society in Eastern Europe and that has now disappeared. Moreover I feel sure there ought to be more - but maybe not with a website which communicates in English?

Pastel Societies in Asia and Australasia

Australia

Pastel Societies in Australia operate at the State level.

New Zealand

New Zealand appears to have only one pastel society

  • Pastels Artists of New Zealand
    Promoting and Encouraging the Use of Pastel as a Serious Art Medium PANZ promotes pastel as a fine art medium to the public, artists, galleries and exhibition organisers to raise the profile of pastellists within New Zealand and overseas.

International Pastel Societies

International Pastel Societies

Other lists of Pastel Societies

Comments and Feedback - comments are welcome - but please do not spam

Katherine Tyrrell (author) from London on August 01, 2017:

Brenda M Colautti - I've added the The Pastel Society of Victoria to the Australia section

Georgina Crawford from Dartmoor on January 04, 2015:

Very informative article. I found the rules for getting into the UK pastel society so daunting that I haven' t even tried!

Katherine Tyrrell (author) from London on November 13, 2010:

@makingamark: and now we have a site devoted to oil pastel societies! See https://hubpages.com/art/oil-pastel-societies

Katherine Tyrrell (author) from London on November 13, 2010:

@mariaamoroso: You could always start one! It may just be that we're not picking one up due to the language differences

Katherine Tyrrell (author) from London on November 10, 2010:

@delia-delia: Sorry to hear that. I've heard of very few people who become sensitive so that's really unlucky. It's nowhere near the problems people have with oil painting! I have problems with skin allergies and have had no problem with pastels. However I've heard how some people make a point of using a barrier cream or gloves to handle them while others pay lots of attention to dust and ventilation

Delia on November 10, 2010:

Squidoo Greeter here! Great link list for Pastel Soc. I used to do a great deal of pastels, but then became allergic to them.

irenemaria from Sweden on November 10, 2010:

Nothing for a Swede =(=(

Katherine Tyrrell (author) from London on November 10, 2010:

@WildFacesGallery: To be honest I ummed and erred about oil pastels and whether or not to add them in. I guess partly because I see them more connected to oil painting (ie in stick form) rather than dry media. It's beginning to get very confusing as to whether we classify media by the shape or the medium which combines with the pigment.In the end I opted to omit them - however I will add in lenses which relate to oil pastels

Mona from Iowa on November 10, 2010:

Being an oil pastel artist tends to make me ineligible for most pastel societies. None the less you've put together another great resource.

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