PSC Mile High
International Pastel Exhibition
The PSC sponsors its highly competitive Mile High International Pastel Exhibition every year, and this year there were again exceptional pastel paintings selected by our nationally-recognized juror and judge from highly competitive entries. The resulting show is an opportunity for artists to win over $10,000 in awards, art connoisseurs to expand their collections, and the public to enjoy the shimmering colors of pastels throughout the shows multiple weeks duration. The breadth of subjects, styles, and skills found only in pastel paintings at their best are captured in the beautiful show catalogue (see below).
The 2023 Mile High International Pastel Exhibition
May 12 to July 1, 2023
Curtis Center for the Arts in Greenwood Village, Colorado
2349 E Orchard Rd, Greenwood Village, CO 80121
Juror and Judge of Awards: Aaron Schuerr
Show Co-Chairs: Anne Cooper Salazar and Rita Bhasin
Click this link to download a pdf file of the 2023 PSC Mile High National Pastel Exhibition Catalog
Images from the 2022 Mile High Exhibition at Washington Hall Gallery in Central City
2022 Mile High National Pastel Exhibition Awards
GENERAL COMMENTS FROM CHRISTINE DEBROSKY:
First of all, Brava on such a beautiful show – Thank you Pastel Society of Colorado for affording me this opportunity.
I think that you know this was a tough job in judging with all of this great work.
I loved the variety of work submitted – it is refreshing and I have to say that it is wonderful to see the works in person – it is exciting!
What I do first is a quick walk around, this tells me right away which pieces are well designed, and which pieces command a second look. I then walk around and contemplate each piece. In doing so, there are those that stood out. Things I think about are good use of color, value, shapes, and facility and confidence in mark making. Also, presentation (framing) – which can work with or against a piece, and drawing.
A much more elusive quality is did the intent of the artist come through? This goes beyond mere picture making. It relates to mood, or a story and the impact of a piece on the viewer. Will I remember this piece after I leave the room?
BEST OF SHOW
Beautifully composed with a minimalism that grabs the viewer from across the room.
Even with such a strong impact, there are delicate, almost ethereal nuances in stroke and color.
When up close, the mark making is exquisite, with the same thread like strands just suggested.
It is a mundane subject elevated to brilliance.
"My Wild Irish Rose"
Mastery in drawing, composition and mark making. To place freckles on that beautiful face is quite a feat. There is a lesson in the piece in the variety of stokes, each expressive of the artists intent.
This has a joyful, playful quality.
Beautifully composed, and is quintessentially Southwestern.
Mindful of the work of Kim Wiggins – who works in oil whom I admire.
Great to see the same spirited approach in pastel.
It is also a very handsome, effective presentation.
“Blue Vase on the Rock Wall”
Brilliant capture of sunlight and shadow while still keeping the integrity of the color.
I love the unusual still life setting
Nice reflected light in the rock - Difficult to pull off but very successful.
ELIZABETH MOWRY POETIC LANDSCAPE
This one is meaningful to me, as I knew Elizabeth Mowry well.
So evocative and serene.
Great capture of the time of day, as it slips in to evening
The serpentine foreground leads the viewer in and up to the moon, which you don’t notice immediately, but is rendered so well.
GREAT AMERICAN ARTWORKS
Award of Excellence
“Last Night at Ghost Ranch”
My favorite time of day, which is often difficult to capture. This is a fleeting effect.
Good balance of lights and darks and color temperature.
Dramatic yes, but yet a lovely soft quality.
RICHESON & CO., INC Award of Excellence
“In the Bag”
Fun subject – about finding beauty in the everyday subject is elevated to make one think differently about a commonplace subject – fruit in a bag.
Technical excellence, and beautifully drawn and composed.
TERRY LUDWIG PASTELS Award of Excellence
“Swan Princess from Above”
Any multi-figure piece is difficult, and there is excellence in the figure drawing.
There is graceful movement in the composition, and drama in the contrasts just like a ballet!
The central figure is the star of the show.
Wonderful capture of cloud movement – clouds are nicely rendered.
Overall cool palette with subtle color shifts.
"Days End – Mesa Verde"
Another good capture of the fleeting moments.
It is a small painting with a strong presence.
Perfectly placed sun.
Wonderful variety of edges.
Another example of the elevation of an everyday subject.
Spirited and sure mark making.
This has a nice modernist vibe.
Beautifully composed, with subtle movement in the sky.
And then you notice the lights at the below that are just twinkling on.
UART PREMIUM PASTEL PAPER
Award of Excellence
Great use of color wonderful variety of stroke quality.
Unique calligraphy, and great energy in the strokes
HOLBEIN ARTIST MATERIALS
Award of Excellence
Great graphic quality – very dramatic.
Very strong impact from across the room.
Nice movement and rhythm.
I can feel the cold.
BLICK ART MATERIALS Award of Excellence
A small piece with a big impact.
Lovely softness, and the feeling of serenity and the time of day.