About IAPS & Pastels




The International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) was founded in 1994 as a non-profit organization representing pastel societies worldwide uniting in the common cause to demonstrate the validity and quality of pastel fine art. This coming together of pastel societies provides a strong voice for pastel artists and the luminous medium of pastel. The foundation of IAPS is based on networking and sharing. Individual artists benefit and expand their knowledge through the IAPS Member Society of their choice.


All Officers, Board Members, Advisory Council and Committee Chairs are volunteers. IAPS has on staff an Executive Director and a Convention Director. The officers form the Executive Committee. The Board of Directors meet once a year; during the convention year they meet in June at the IAPS Convention, and on the off year in September in NYC during the PSA Annual Exhibition. At these annual meetings they vote on specific matters as outlined in the IAPS Bylaws, and are available to advise the President, Executive Director and Executive Committee. An Advisory Council, consisting of former Board and Executive Committee members, is also available to advise the President, Executive Director, Convention Director and Executive Committee. The Board and Advisory Council are consulted throughout the year, as necessary.

Urania Christy Tarbet
President Emeritus: Urania Christy Tarbet, Pollock Pines, CA

Urania founded IAPS in 1994, with the help of her husband Bob, and served as its President until 2009. Her legacy is stamped in art history through her efforts to unite pastel artists worldwide and encourage the renaissance of the luminous medium of pastel in the modern world. "Early in my artistic life, I saw the need to network pastelists from all parts of the nation and yes, the world. This union was needed to establish a mighty voice to educate galleries, buyers, art magazines and the general public in the qualities of dry pastels." Listed in Who's Who in Art, Urania's work has appeared in American Artist, Artist's Magazine, Art Revue (cover '95), The Pastel Journal, and International Artist, plus ten how-to art books. Urania Christy Tarbet's love of art came early in life, influenced by her famous cousin, Howard Chandler Christy, whose work hangs in the White House, National Capitol and Smithsonian. Exhibitions of her work have reached from France, Taiwan, and New York to San Francisco, with collectors worldwide.

Richard McKinley President: Richard McKinley, Oregon

Richard McKinley, PSA-HF, PSWC-PL, is represented in several national galleries and has over 40 years of teaching experience. He is a 2010 Hall of Fame inductee of the Pastel Society of America, a Distinguished Pastelist and 2012 Pastel Laureate of the Pastel Society of the West Coast, an honorary member of the Degas Pastel Society, and holds many other artist/signature memberships. He has been featured in numerous national and international art publications and since 2003 has been a frequent contributing editor to Pastel Journal. In 2010 a book compiling years of his published materials titled: Pastel Pointers, Top Secrets for Beautiful Pastel Paintings, was released by North Light publications.

Shirley Anderson Vice President: Shirley Anderson, Arkansas

Shirley Anderson is a co-founder of the Arkansas Pastel Society and served as President (2006-2007). She is also member of the Lone Star Pastel Society, The Pastel Society of the Southwest, Brush Strokes of Hot Springs Village, and the Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs. Shirley along with three others owned and operated Gallery 726 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, from May 2009 through April 2013. Her work can be seen at the Artists Workshop Gallery, Central Park Fusion Cuisine Restaurant in Hot Springs and the Art Group Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 2007, Shirley released, along with three other artists, a book of her artwork entitled The Monday Studio.

Lisa Rico Secretary: Lisa Rico, California

Following a career in marketing and public relations, Lisa returned to her love of art. After experimenting with numerous mediums, she found pastels and fell in love. Most of Lisa's work features women and children whom she met while traveling to war-torn countries. Several years ago, she served three summers as a volunteer art teacher in Rwanda, exposing young girls to art. A Signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Society of the West Coast, Lisa serves as IAPS' Communication Committee Chair and Editor of its quarterly magazine, The Globe.

Joe Baker

Treasurer: Joe Baker, Massachusetts

Joe Baker is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America and of the Connecticut Pastel Society, and he taught pastel at IS183 - Art School of the Berkshires - in Stockbridge, MA from 2013 - 2021. Joe brings to the IAPS Board more than 25 years of experience as a computer programmer and software designer. He developed the current IAPS website incorporating modern database features and created the IAPS convention registration system. Joe is now retired from other computer work, including the online show submission system ShowSubmit that he created and ran before selling the business in late 2021. Prior to his software career, Joe was for many years a violin and gamba maker; his instruments are played on three continents. In addition, he has been working as a professional musician for over 40 years and works his small family farmstead.

Richard McKinley, Shirley Anderson, Lisa Rico and Joe Baker are profiled above.

Becky Neideffer Director: Becky Neideffer, Arizona

Becky Neideffer is founder of the Tucson Pastel Society and has served as its President since 2010. She is a member of the Pastel Society of America, the Colored Pencil Society of America and District 212, and the Tucson Colored Pencil Artists Association. She has used all mediums, but prefers soft pastels, colored pencils and scratchboard. During her working career, she served two terms as an elected Clerk of Courts, worked with court computer systems, and published Programs for Arts in Arizona. She has an Associate of Science in Computer Analysis and Programming. Her hobbies include genealogy, knitting, crocheting, sewing, gardening, and cooking.

Nancy Nowak Director: Nancy Nowak, Georgia

Nancy Nowak earned her BFA degree at Cleveland Institute of Art in Enameling and Oil Painting. After owning both a calligraphy and printing business, she rededicated herself to her art. Nancy has won numerous national awards, and has been featured in Pastel Journal Magazine along with receiving 1st place in the Pastel Journal Magazine's Top 100 (2016) for her landscape. Nancy has achieved IAPS Eminent Pastelist status, is a Signature Member of Pastel Society of America, and Member of Excellence in the Southeastern Pastel Society. She's an active plein air painter and teaches classes and workshops.

Judy Richardson Director: Judy Richardson, Oregon

Judy is proudly a life long resident of Oregon. Judy began painting following her career as a Kindergarten teacher. Upon retirement she began her art education with the Ashland Academy of Art and has continued with Richard McKinley as her mentor. Her work has been included in national and international exhibitions, IAPS  and PSA. Her work received an award in the PSA Enduring Brilliance 50th Annual Exhibition.  She is represented by Art & Soul Gallery Ashland and has presented several featured shows there. She is  the Vice President/Exhibition Chair of the Pastel Artists of Oregon.

Kahne Smith Director: Kahne Smith, Texas

Kahne Smith is a plein air and studio artist, working in pastel and oil. Music, writing, and philanthropy are her other passions. Kahne's formal art education was undertaken at the MFA Glassell School of art in Houston, TX. She has studied with many master painters, including Richard McKinley PSA_MP & HFH, PSWC-PL, Albert Handell PSA-MP & HFH, Elizabeth Mowry PSA-MP, HFH AND PSWC-PL. and Charlie Hunter, American Tonalist Master. Kahne's paintings are held in corporate and individual collections throughout the world.  She is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, NRA member of the Salmagundi Club and Degas Pastel Society, and associate member of numerous pastel societies.  Kahne's book, "Perception" is a collection of her artwork, with a 2nd book scheduled for completion in 2024. She is currently working on many projects, including "This Land is Your Land", an exhibition and celebration of the American Landscape.

Rae Smith Director: Rae Smith, New York

Rae Smith is a PSA Hall of Fame Artist and PSA Master Pastelist. A former president of the Pastel Society of America, Rae currently serves on the PSA Advisory Board, and the Board of Allied Artists. She is a Fellow of AAPL, and a signature member of Noyes Museum, CPS, CLWAC, Audubon Artists, and Hudson Valley AA. Her pastel and oil paintings have been exhibited throughout the United States as well as Japan, China, France, Italy, Russia, Taiwan and Canada, and have won numerous awards. Rae's work has been included in books and magazines such as: Best of Pastels 2, Pastel Application Techniques for Beginners, Il Pastello Contemporaneo in Europa, The Pastel Journal, Pastel Artist International, American Artist Magazines. She is listed in Who's Who in American Art, and The Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers. She teaches at the Katonah Art Center and The Brigantine Community Center and is represented by Accent Gallery, Ocean City, NJ.

Jimmy Wright Director: Jimmy Wright, New York, NY

Jimmy Wright, PSA-Master Pastelist, is the president of the Pastel Society of America. Recently his pastels were on view in curated exhibitions at Leslie Heller Gallery (NYC), Forum Gallery (NYC), Nassau County Art Museum (NY), Brattleboro Museum (VT) and Art Cologne (Germany). His work is in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. DC Moore Gallery (NYC) and Corbett vs. Dempsey (Chicago) have presented several solo exhibitions of his work and represent the artist. He is on the editorial boards of The Pastel Journal and The Artists Magazine.

Doug Dawson Advisor: Doug Dawson, Denver, Colorado

Doug Dawson has received awards from: The Pastel Society of America, American Watercolor Society, Knickerbocker Artists, The National Academy of Western Art, Southeastern Pastel Society, Pastel Society of West Coast, Pastel Society of New Mexico, Audubon Artists, Kansas Pastel Society, Pastel Society of the Southwest, and the International Association of Pastel Societies. To honor his achievements he was given the title of Master Pastelist by the Pastel Society of America (NY) in 1985, and in 2008 he was the PSA Hall of Fame Honoree. He received the title of Master Circle by the International Association of Pastel Societies in 2005. He is one of the Founders of the Art Students League of Denver, CO.

Alan Flattmann Advisor: Alan Flattmann, New Orleans, Louisiana

Alan Flattmann is a PSA Hall of Fame Honoree and member of the IAPS Masters Circle. Four books have been published about his work, the latest: An Artist's Vision of New Orleans: The Paintings of Alan Flattmann. His paintings are in the collections of major art museums and corporations.

Liz Haywood-Sullivan Advisor: Liz Haywood-Sullivan, Massachusetts

Liz Haywood-Sullivan became the third President of IAPS in Spring 2013 and stepped down from that post at the conclusion of the 2017 Convention. After a career in design, Liz turned to fine art and pastels in 1996 and since then has been devoted to the medium. A Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America since 1998, she also holds Signature memberships in the Connecticut Pastel Society, and the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod. She is a member of the Salmagundi Club of New York, Academic Artists Association, and the American Impressionist Society. She received her IAPS Masters Circle in 2011. Her award-winning paintings are represented by Vose Galleries of Boston, and are in private, corporate and museum collections nationally. She conducts workshops on pastel painting and art business, does demonstrations, and is dedicated to education in the arts. She is the author of the 2013 Northlight book, Painting Brilliant Skies and Water in Pastel, and six instructional DVDs.

Claudia Seymour Advisor: Claudia Seymour, Wilton, Connecticut

Claudia Seymour is a widely collected artist in oil and pastel. From 2007 through 2013 she was president of the historic Salmagundi Club in New York City, a period of great growth and renewal for the organization. Claudia is a Master Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America and has been awarded Mater Circle status by the International Association of Pastel Societies. She is also an Associate Member of the Oil Painters of America. Her classic still lifes in oil and pastel have been shown in nearly 200 juried national and international exhibitions, and she has won numerous prizes, including first-place and best-in-show awards. She works only from life, creating scenes that portray a timeless elegance and serenity through her concentration on radiant light and her choice and arrangement of antiques and ceramics, natural objects, fabrics, flowers and plants, and other materials. Claudia is a juried member of the Allied Artists of America, American Artists Professional League, American Women Artists, Audubon Artists, and Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. She is represented by Handwright Gallery in New Canaan, Connecticut, J.M. Stringer Gallery in Vero Beach, Florida, Susan Powell Fine Art, Madison, CT and Gladwell and Patterson, London, England.

Pat Suggs Advisor: Patricia Suggs, San Jose, California

Pat Suggs, PSA, MC-IAPS noted pastel artist, is a resident of San Jose and a third generation Californian. She served over 20 years as the IAPS Treasurer. Pat received her formal art training at the Leighton Fine Art Academy in San Francisco. Suggs has concentrated on the art of pastel over thirty years and has traveled the world. A full-time painter, she is known for her florals and landscapes. Suggs is a signature member of the PSA & PSWC, and she was inducted into IAPS Master Circle in 2005. She is listed in Who's Who in American Art and her work is shown at Los Gatos Museums Gallery, Los Gatos, CA.

Duane Wakeham Advisor: Duane Wakeham, San Francisco, California

Duane Wakeham, Pastel Society of America Master Pastelist and Pastel Society of the West Coast Distinguished Pastelist, was elected to PSA Hall of Fame (2000) and named PSWC Pastel Laureate (2009). He serves on PSA Board of Governors, IAPS Advisory Council, and Editorial Advisory Board of The Pastel Journal. He earned degrees in painting from Michigan State University and Stanford University, taught drawing and painting at Stanford, and art history and oil painting at College of San Mateo. Publications include American Artist, The Pastel Journal, Pure Color, Best of Pastel, and Margot Schulzke's A Painter's Guide to Design and Composition. He was revision author of three editions of Mendelowitz's A Guide to Drawing.

Susan Weber Executive Director: Susan (Red) Weber, Kingston, Massachusetts

Susan (Red) Weber has been working in the arts since her days as an organizer of the Folk Festival at the University of Chicago, where she received her B.A. in Philosophy. Her work in silk painting can be seen at galleries in Charleston, Nantucket and Cape Cod. Susan has been so enthralled by all the beautiful paintings that she is now beginning to work in pastel. She recently left her private counseling practice, and is thrilled to be working for IAPS. Susan lives in Kingston, MA and is raising two delightful children.

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