Enduring Brilliance! is the premier event for pastel artists in this country and abroad. It is sponsored by the Pastel Society of America and on exhibit in the National Arts Club’s historic mansion along Gramercy Park. Marjorie Shelly, a distinguished authority on pastels and the Sherman Fairfield conservator in charge, Sherman Fairfield Center for Works on Paper and Photography Conservation, Metropolitan Museum of Art, will jury the selected finalists and choose the recipients of $25,000 to $30,000 in cash and material awards.
There are 182 pastels on display selected from 1,222 entries. I was really taken by the diverse ways the artists used pastel. There are still lives, landscapes, portraits, and abstract pieces. There were some pieces that were so realistic that they looked like photographs.
In other pieces, you could more easily see the mark of the pastel chalk. Among my favorites was “Bouquet,” by Deborah Stewart, because of its vibrant colors. Also, “Shaving Brush,” by Maceo W. Mitchell, Director of Education at PSA (and a wonderful teacher). It reminded me of paintings by Wayne Thiebaud.
The exhibit, which is free, runs from September 2nd-27th. You can visit M, W, Thu and Fri 10am-12pm and 2-5pm; Tues 3-5pm and Sat-Sun. 10am-5pm. The address is 15 Gramercy Park South (20th Street between Park Avenue South and Irving Place).