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Piedmont Pastel Society

  PPS Founders & History

P.R.  01/24/2020

Piedmont Pastel Society

The Early Years, 2007 - 2010




Founding Board Members

President:  Melanie Miller Longshore

Vice President:  Jayne Hunter

Secretary:  Karen Mello

Treasurer:  Brent Scott

Exhibitions:  Bre Crowell

Co-Chair:  Barbara Jamison

Membership:  Debra Kryzaniak

Newsletter:  Jill Rausch

Hospitality:  Jeanie Gilland and Donna Knorr


Membership Dues:  $20


The Launching of The Piedmont Pastel Society


The idea for creating a pastel society was spearheaded by Queens University Arts Instructor, Melanie Miller Longshore.  She was teaching an Adult Learning Pastel Class and recruited some of her students to help her launch the first pastel society in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina.  This group of volunteers formed the Founding PPS Board and worked quickly and effectively to become a well-organized operation.  Jayne Hunter, an attorney serving on the Board, led the effort for PPS to become a 501©3 Nonprofit organization.  The Articles of Incorporation were filed with the NC Secretary of State on June 15, 2007.   Bre Crowell suggested the name, Piedmont Pastel Society, and the group voted to approve this name for the society. 


Goals for the organization were presented in the President’s Message in the first Pastel Palette Newsletter and demonstrated the ambitious and high-quality vision possessed by the Founders.


These goals were as follows:


            *Set elevated artistic standards and encourage the use of Pastel

*Focus attention on the renaissance of Pastel and educate the public    

  regarding the beauty, versatility and permanence of the medium

*Promote workshops and demonstrations as a part of this education


*Unite outstanding pastelists through membership in the society

*Encourage young talent with classes, critiques and scholarships

*Provide opportunities for artistic growth and enrichment for both student

   and professional members

*Hold a biennial or annual show

*Organize and promote a biennial or annual national juried all pastel   

   competition with qualified jurors and judges


Membership perks included plein air outings, life drawing sessions, attending regional workshops as a group and other fun painting experiences.


Jill Rausch served as the first Piedmont Pastel Society Newsletter Editor of the Pastel Palette.  Through this resource members learned about local, national  and international happenings in the pastel world.  Workshops available through the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) by well-known artists such as Albert Handell, Doug Dawson, Alan Flattman, and Leslie B.Demille were also announced through this PPS resource for members.


Thursday, April 19:  First General Meeting conducted at Cheap Joe’s at 6:45 pm on Monroe Road.  Jayne Hunter, Vice President presented a talk on copyright law.


April 28-29:  2 Day workshopat Cheap Joe’s,  Pastel to Paint Growthshopby noted artist , Rebecca Dean Cox.  Proceeds from the workshop were donated to the art program of Elon Homes for Children.  From the very beginning, the Society was reaching out to support the needs of children.


Saturday, May 19, 2007:  Workshop:  Susan Mayfield, noted artist from Charleston, SC was the instructor.



Sunday, May 20, 2007

Piedmont Pastel Society’s first formal judged Membership Exhibitionwas held at Queen’s University.  Bre Crowell served as the Exhibition Chair.  Tina Sacco and Dr. Siu Lipton secured the space for the event.  Susan Mayfield, artist from Charleston, SC, served as the Workshop Instructor and judged the show.

Reception was held from 2-4 pm at the Watkins-May Jackson Gallery at Queen’s

The public was invited to attend and refreshments were served. 


November 27:  General Meetingheld at Jerald Melberg Gallery

The host, Jerald Melberg spoke about the Wolf Kahn Exhibition, Celebrating 80 Years


Community Partners in the First Year


Queens University:  Where the Vision was Sparked

Queens University, Watkins-May Jackson Gallery was the site of the first Membership Exhibition held on May 20, 2007.


The Jerald Melberg Gallery:  Jerald Melberg hosted the general meeting on November 27th  and spoke to the group about the Wolf Kahn Exhibition, Celebrating 80 Years.


Cheap Joes:  New to Charlotte, Cheap Joe’s opened it’s doors to PPS by providing meeting space, workshop space, and discounts for art supplies for the membership.  The first general meeting and 2 workshops occurred at Cheap Joe’s.




In 2008, the PPS Founder, President, and Queens Professor, Melanie Miller Longshore, moved to Aiken, South Carolina.  Carmella Jarvi, award-winning painter and glass artist, stepped in to teach a variety of pastel classes at Queens University’s Center for Lifelong Learning.  This engaged another important local pastel artist with the Society and membership.


Needless to say, it was sad to see Melanie Longshore, the Society’s first President, relocate out of state as she followed her growing career.  She had ignited such community excitement and interest in pastels along with vision in the young and ambitious Piedmont Pastel Society Board and membership!  As is often said, “success begets success” and this was certainly the case when the very talented Jill Rausch, provided the necessary leadership and became the second PPS President.  In 2008, few pastel societies existed in North or South Carolina so Bre Crowell reached out to the more established Southeastern Pastel Society in Atlanta for support and guidance.  Bre attended the Jerrysartarama event in Raleigh and took a class with Maggie Price, Master Pastelist, co-founder and former editor of the Pastel Journal.  This led her to invite her to be the featured artist at PPS Second Exhibition.  Another exciting opportunity for PPS members and the greater community of Charlotte.


March:  The Piedmont Pastel Website became available.


April 27:  Plein Air Outing:  Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden


November 10-12, 2008:  PPS held its’ Second Annual Membership Exhibition and invited Maggie Price, co-founder, former editor and contributor of The Pastel Journal to serve as the Judge.  Maggie brought her husband along, Bill Canright, (PSA, IAPS, MC) who was also an accomplished pastel and acrylics artist and instructor.  The workshop was held at Covenant Presbyterian Church and they stayed at a nearby Residence Inn. 


This was the first big event which required PPS artists to prepare and send digital images of their work for Maggie to judge.  At that time people were just beginning to transition from using slides to images on a CD.  


Needless to say, this new technical twist created some angst with the artists so PPS member Gail Peacock, offered the assistance of her husband’s secretary to get their images ready for Maggie to judge.  Another well documented example of the camaraderie and support these members shared with one another.


Two of the PPS meetings were conducted at the Jerald Melberg Gallery and one at Shain Art Gallery that year. 





October 5 – 10:  Carolina’s Got Art and The Piedmont Pastel Society collaborated to present Live Pastel Demonstrations and Classes from National and Regional Award-Winning Artists.  This 5-day event was conducted at The Atherton Mill on South Boulevard.  Larry Elder generated this event and invited PPS to collaborate with him.  This event served to raise the community profile of the organization.

PPS Board Members Mona Hearne and Bre Crowell taught a workshop.  Many PPS members volunteered to man the studios and provide support to maximize the success of the event.


November:  Third Major Workshop with PSA artist, Susan Ogilvie.  A Plein Air workshop was held at the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, SC.  PPS rented the Nature Center, in case it rained.  Good idea, as rain poured down so the artists painted inside that day.  Still learning took place and photographs taken that day demonstrate the fun and effectiveness of the event.




During a Board Meeting at Karen Mello’s house, Bre and Mona were chatting and wondering why no one was organizing pastels according to the Munsell color system.  It was fresh on their minds since they had just taught a workshop in October of 2009 at Carolina’s Got Talent using the Munsell System.  They knew that Terry Ludwig would be coming in November to the PPS workshop.  So Bre, Mona and Judith Cutler decided to look at the open stock color chart to see if they could customize a set of pastels aligned to this color system.  It was a time consuming project.  They contacted Terry and convinced him to provide multiple sets labeled as The Piedmont Pastel Society Box of 30 pastels. These sets were hot sellers with local pastelists which generated income for the organization.  Fast forward, a year later when their pastel project would impact one of the most famous pastelists of our time.  Wolf Kahn was in town for his Exhibition at the Jerald Melberg Gallery.  On Opening Night, Bre, Mona and Judith presented him with the Piedmont Pastel Box of 30 Terry Ludwig pastels.  You never know where your PPS projects will take you!


November 8 -10:  3 Day Workshop with Terry Ludwig 

Terry presented instruction on the figure as well as the landscape. 

PPS member Mona Hearne headed up this event.  The workshop was held at Covenant Presbyterian Church and Terry stayed at the Morehead Inn. 


Jill Rausch (President from 2008 – 2010) writes of these accomplishments during her tenure:

  • ·      Membership more than doubled
  • ·      501 ©3 Nonprofit status was achieved
  • ·      PPS provided workshops and exhibitions




Goals for the upcoming year included:

  • ·      Post Office address for the organization
  • ·      A facility to display work and hold classes
  • ·      Increase membership from 60 to 200
  • ·      Retreat for Art
  • ·      2 workshops per year
  • ·      We need a Program Director, Event Chairperson and A Fundraiser Chair!




Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful

committed citizens can change the world;

indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.


Margaret Mead


  PPS By-Laws

Information coming

  PPS Board Role Descriptions


To ensure our volunteer Board leaders have an informed decision making process to join the PPS Board and to greatly ease their training transition, the 2020 PPS Board created Role Descriptions for each Board Chair Role.  These documents contain: responsibilities, estimated time commitment, and key skills needed. 

In addition, each Board Chair has prepared a "training"notebook containing key processes, forms, templates, timelines, etc. to further ease the training and transition for our wonderful volunteer Board leaders. Each Board Chair will review  their "training" notebook with their successor and also be available for dedicated coaching during the first three months of the successor's tenure.

Our PPS By-Laws, a requirement of a non-profit organization, currently states that our Board Chairs serve a minimum of one year and a maximum of 3 years in any one role.  Of course, future Board leaders can vote to change or amend this, as well as vote to change the Role Descriptions as needed.

Your 2020 Board wants your experience stepping into Board leadership to be one that is smooth and well supported by documentation and coaching.  In addition, these materials contribute to the sustainability of our organization for years to come.




PPS TREASURER  -  Eileen Wilhem




PPS PROGRAM CHAIR  - Tracy Ference

PPS STATEWIDE CHAIR - Darlene Ferguson


PPS MARKETING CHAIR - Scarlett Fleming 


Piedmont Pastel Society Charlotte, North Carolina

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