The Appalachian Pastel Society (APS) will host its fifth National Exhibition from Thursday, October 19, through November 17, at the Jailhouse Gallery in Morganton. The juried show represents a broad range of styles and subject matter and features 47 paintings selected by internationally renowned artist, instructor and author Dawn Emerson. The exhibited works were culled from 196 entries by 72 artists from across the country. More than $3,000 in cash and merchandise will be awarded to artists for Best in Show, first and second place, People’s Choice and several merit awards.
“This exhibit presents the best in pastel painting today,” says show chair Zoe Schumaker. “With a juror of Emerson’s caliber and a generous set of cash and merchandise awards, the event attracts some of the finest artists in the country. For viewers, it’s a wonderful opportunity to experience an all-pastel show and see the variety of approaches and styles represented. Many leave these exhibits with a newfound respect for the medium.”
An opening reception, co-hosted by the Burke Arts Council and catered by a local Morganton restaurant, will take place at the gallery on Saturday, October 21, from 5–7 p.m. Awards will be announced at the event and Emerson will share her thoughts on the exhibit. “As a juror, I look for variety and diversity with regard to approaches taken,” she says, “but I also look for work that shows me a new way to see or think about a given subject—the artist’s individual take on things.”
Emerson will also demonstrate her own pastel painting process on October 21, from 12–3 p.m. at the Historic Burke County Courthouse next door to the Jailhouse Gallery. She will paint two different subjects and then allow time for a question and answer session and signing of her recently released book, Pastel Innovations. Copies of the book and three instructional DVDs will be available for purchase.
APS was formed in 2006 in order to promote an understanding and appreciation of pastel painting throughout the region. The organization conducts and sponsors educational activities such as classes, workshops and lectures. APS meets on the second Saturday of January, March, May, July, September and November.
‘The Jailhouse Gallery is located at 115 East Meeting Street, Morganton. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Historic Burke County Courthouse is located at 102 East Union Street, Morganton. Tickets to Emerson’s demonstration and book signing are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. For more information or to purchase a ticket to the demonstration, visit appalachianpastelsociety.org.