This week I received notification that my membership application to the Pastel Society of America was approved! I am now a proud elected juried Associate Member!
The PSA is headquartered in New York City and they have the honor of being the the oldest pastel society in America.
It was founded in 1972 by the Italian-born artist and educator Flora B. Giffuni who was directly involved in the creation of more than 30 regional pastel societies in the United States. The Executive Director of the Butler Institute of American Art Dr. Louis A. Zona said:
If the world of art had such designations, Flora Giffuni would be deemed the Patron Saint of Pastels. I say that, not just because she founded the Pastel Society of America and performed other good works on behalf of the medium and practitioners of the medium, but also because of her other mission, which is to give the art of pastel the kind of recognition and honor it deserves. She has been tireless in her efforts to promote and to educate, demonstrating a missionary-like zeal as she works to raise the art of the American pastel to greater levels of recognition.
According to the PSA website they are a non-profit educational organization that sets standards of professional excellence in studio practice and educates the public regarding the permanence and beauty of the pastel medium. PSA accomplishes its goals through certification, workshops, classes, demonstrations, and exhibitions, as well as distributing information through its website, publications, and e-communications.
I'm just starting out with them and look forward to taking advantage of their resources.
I'm also dreaming of someday having one of my paintings hang in the Flora B. Giffuni Gallery of American Pastels at The Butler Institute in Youngstown, Ohio. It is the only museum gallery in the U.S. devoted exclusively to works in the pastel medium.