Monday, May 19, 2008

Call for entries to The 10th Annual Pastel 100

The call for entries for the 10th Pastel 100 competition has been published! I've lost track of whether this is the
  • Pastel 100 2008 because the deadline is 1st September 2008
  • or the Pastel 100 2009 because the results are announced in April 2009
The Pastel Journal is an American magazine and I think the work which has achieved Pastel 100 status in the past has been done overwhelmingly by American artists. It certainly provides an excellent insight into pastel painting in the USA. It'll be interesting to see whether the increasingly active presence of the Pastel Journal online - in blog and website and forum terms will generate a more international entry this year.

The Pastel Journal
April edition 2008
You can read my blog posts about previous Pastel 100s:
Prizes: As always there are significant cash prizes being awarded by the sponsors plus a major product-oriented prize. I gather that this year there is more cash on offer than ever before.
  • $5,000 Jack Richeson/Unison Pastels Best of Show Award
  • a product oriented award - Ruth Richeson/Unison Pastels Award, featuring a 402-piece set of Unison Pastels— worth $2,067, plus 750 worth of Richeson Co. products!
  • $2,500 The Pastel Journal Grand Prize
  • $1,500 The Art Spirit Foundation/Dianne B. Bernhard Gold Medal Award for Excellence
  • $1,000 The Art Spirit Foundation/Dianne B. Bernhard Silver Medal Award for Excellence
  • Plus cash awards in each of the 5 categories:
    5 First Place Awards: $500 each
    5 Second Place Awards: $250 each
    5 Third Place Awards: $150 each
    5 Fourth Place Awards: $100 each
    5 Fifth Place Awards: $50 each
All top prize winners will be featured in the April 2009 issue of The Pastel Journal. In addition there will be 70 Honourable Mentions - to make up the Pastel 100.

I'm not sure what the odds are - but back in 2005 my blog post records that there were some 4,000 entries. It would be interesting to know whether that figure has increased or stayed the same.

Entries will be prejudged and then finalists will be chosen by the magazine staff. Award winners and honorable mentions will be selected by the jurors named above. All properly prepared entries will be viewed and judged. The jurors and editors reserve the right to recategorize the entries.
Pastel 100 Competition - Call for Entries
Judges this year are detailed below and you can find descriptions on them in the Pastel 100 Call for Entries. Note that although it is a panel of judges, they seem to be operating on the basis of only one judge per category with presumably some consultation in relation to the top prizes.

At this stage of a competition I always take a jolly good look at juror's websites. After all a lot of what judging is about is very often down to personal preferences - a work which can't even get juried into one show might win the top prize in another! Below you can find my summary of what I found from the website review.
  • Landscape & Interior—juried by Lorenzo Chavez ( - a very committed plein air pastelist with a lot of splendid pastel landscapes on his website. Plus I love it when people include their pastel workshop supply list!
  • Portrait & Figure—juried by Desmond O'Hagan ( a painter who is very interested in figurative work and who is described as painting in pastels and oils - although at a rough estimate (based on a lot of 'clicking') I'd say 80% of his work is in oils - as is all his gallery work.
  • Still Life & Floral—juried by Christina Debarry ( - is an award winning pastel artist and teacher. She has juried for many art societies and prizes in the past and is a past President Emeritus of the Pastel Society of America (1998-2001). I couldn't find website links to recent paintings or workshops.
  • Animal & Wildlife—juried by Dustin Van Wechel ( - a prizewinning nature artist and a signature member of both the Society of Animal Artists and the Pastel Society of America. He has a number of excellent pastel works in his archive but now seems to work mainly in oils.
  • Abstract & Non-Objective—juried by Frank Federico ( an artist whose website suggests he likes colour and works in a variety of media. I'd say his emphasis is on abstracting from reality and pushing the boundaries on colour.
While it's perfectly normal for artists to work in more than one medium (eg Albert Handell - juror for the 7th Pastel 100), I did find it rather odd that there weren't more jurors who are currently actively painting painting in pastels. I'd be interested in your comments on my take of 'personal preferences' and whether or not judges should be actively painting in the medium they are judging especially when they are the sole juror for category prizes.

How to enter: You can enter work in any and all of the categories; there is no limit to the number of entries.You may submit your entry online or via mail using:
Digital Image files cannot exceed 500KB or a height or width greater than 800 pixels. The file format must be JPEG.

All entries are $12.50 per slide or image with a $10 for all returned checks or declined credit cards. All entries must include a properly completed official entry form. Incomplete entry forms and information sheets, and improperly marked slides or CDs will be disqualified.

Overview of Rules and Submission: Below you can find links to
Rules for eligible works include - which means 'read the rest of the small print too! ;)
  • Artists must be age 16 or over.
  • Work must be at least 80% soft pastel; no oil pastel. Nupastels and other "harder" pastels are considered soft pastels.
  • The contest is open to artists in the U.S. and abroad.
  • All works must be original. Compositions based on published material or other artists' work are NOT considered original and are not eligible.
  • Paintings executed in a workshop under another artist's supervision or paintings based on another person's photograph (even if copyright-free) are NOT eligible.
  • Work previously published at the time of submission to this contest in any national publication or receiving an award at a national-level exhibition is NOT eligible. (I'm assuming this means in a newspaper or another art magazine rather than forums or blogs which publish internationally - but it would be nice to have clarification)
  • All entries must be postmarked no later than September 1, 2008.
  • Entry is online or via mail using slides or digital images.
Again we are back to the 'all the artist's own work' topic. Interestingly the competition appears to have dropped the requirement that source material must be available upon request - although it's now quite clearly stated that works based on other people's photos are NOT eligible. This aligns to the position taken in the recent debate about works being submitted to the annual exhibitions of the coloured pencil societies - and in my view is absolutely correct - although it may impact on the animal and wildlife category.

There's a lot more to it than that and, as ever, I do urge people to read the details, then read them again - and to read them again in advance of submission. Plus don't leave it to the last minute - said by the person who ALWAYS swears she'll never ever ever ever do that again! ;) It's so easy to fall foul of the rules by just forgetting what they said or failing to read something properly or losing track of dates.

The Pastel 100 Book I'm not sure whether there any plans for a book this time around. I haven't seen any reference to a book since the 8th Pastel 100. Has anybody else seen a book for the last one?

Data protection

Finally, on another matter, I'd strongly recommend that The Pastel Journal gives some thought to how it asks people to say 'No' to being included in lists of names and addresses circulated to other parties when the contacts are generated online.

Their current practice (ie you have to sit down and write and then post a letter to a different address in the USA in order to get yourself removed from the list of names and addresses circulated to other parties ) looks to me very much like a hangover from an old paper process. It certainly doesn't take account of the personal privacy and identity data requirements of current data protection legislation. Stating that you do NOT wish to have your address circulated to other people also needs to be online. Good practice also suggests that the default position is that addresses are not added unless the tick box gets ticked and that you should be able to detail all your requirements on the entry form. (ie one form covering the processes for both submission and data protection)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the details on this competition Katherine.

In regards to your question about judges currently working in the medium they are judging,I understand the concern. I guess it depends upon their credentials.

In this specific case, I always associate Desmond O'Hagan with pastels, and I wasn't aware how much he was painting in oils. His awards and credential in his bio seem to often be in pastel competitions.

Makes me wonder how far in advance do jurors committ to a competition? Let's say it's a year in advance. Should a juror then keep this in mind as they go about the year in choosing what work to produce? Variables, variables!

Sidebar -- I do agree whole-heartedly that artists in high-end competition should not be working from someone else's photos.

Thanks again for such interesting posts!

Post a Comment

COMMENTS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED AGAIN due to very silly ignorant people who leave spam comments without realising they have no benefit for them.

Please feel free to comment on my Facebook Page as my blog posts are always posted there (but please note anonymous comments are not published and I block and report spammers to Google and on Facebook)

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.