St. Tammany Art Association Announces Degas Pastel Society National Exhibition Opening Dec 5th

St. Tammany Art Association presents a new exhibition on display
December 5, 2020 – January 30, 2021:
Degas Pastel Society 18th Biennial National Exhibition

Covington, LA – St. Tammany Art Association (STAA) presents a new exhibition, “Degas Pastel Society 18th Biennial National Exhibition,” on display December 5 through January 30, 2021 in the Miriam Barranger Gallery of the Arthouse. The exhibit will kick off with an opening reception on Saturday, December 5, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, guests to the reception are required to register in advance for timed tickets to ensure limited attendance and adequate space for social distancing. These free tickets can be obtained by visiting www.sttammany.art

From its inception in 1984, the Degas Pastel Society has played an important role in the Renaissance of pastel painting worldwide. Their exhibitions showcase some of the best pastels that are being painted throughout the United States and abroad.

The Degas Pastel Society remains dedicated to the promotion of pastel painting by presenting exhibitions of outstanding work. The hope is that all who view this exhibition will gain a greater appreciation of the beauty and brilliance of pastel painting.

History of The Degas Pastel Society

During the summer of 1983, seven artists gathered to plan the first pastel-only exhibition to be held in New Orleans. The purpose of the exhibit was to present to the public, a show of artistic excellence utilizing the pastel medium which until recently has suffered from public misunderstanding and neglect.

Encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the Premier Pastel Show held at the International Trade Mart (now the World Trade Center) in November 1983, they decided to organize formally and did so on April 23, 1984.

The Society is aptly named in honor of Edgar Degas (1834-1917), the artist most widely recognized for transforming pastel from a sketching tool into a major artistic medium. Pastel painting blossomed with his touch and his works have inspired countless artists.

A juried exhibit
The exhibition was juried by Lyn Asselta, who has exhibited her landscape paintings throughout the U.S. and has been included in invitational exhibitions in France and China. She taught workshops in Canada, Curacao and across the U.S. Lyn recently achieved Eminent Pastelist status with the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS). She is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America, a member of the Salmagundi Club, a Member of Excellence in the Southeastern Pastel Society, a member of the Eastern League of Professional Artists, and is the founder and past president of the First Coast Pastel Society based in northeast Florida. In 2009, Lyn was selected as an Artist in Residence at Acadia National Park in Maine. Her work has been featured in several magazines including Pastel Journal, Pratique des Arts, and Plein Air Magazine. In 2018, she published her first book, Seeing the Landscape, a compilation of her prose and paintings.

The exhibit will be judged by Don Marshall, a native of New Orleans who began his professional career in the arts as the first Director of the Contemporary Arts Center in 1977. Under his leadership the center grew into one of the largest multi-disciplinary Alternative Arts Centers in the country, curating over 30 exhibitions. As Director of Le Petite Theatre, Marshall founded the Tennessee Williams Festival in conjunction with a group that was organizing a New Orleans Literary Festival. As an educator, he has served as the Director of the Cultural Resource Management Program at Southeastern Louisiana University and Director of the Arts Administration Program at the University of New Orleans.

In 2004 Marshall became the Executive Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation. Since then, he has worked to expand programming that fulfills the mission of the organization to promote, perpetuate and support the music, arts and culture of Louisiana. 

Free demo
In conjunction with the exhibit, a pastel demo will be led by Degas Pastel Society Board member, Alan Flattmann, on Saturday, December 12 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. The demo is free, but advance registration is required at www.sttammany.art. More demos are from Degas Pastel Society members are scheduled for January. Visit our website for more information.

The St. Tammany Art Association is located at 320 N. Columbia Street in downtown Covington. Current gallery hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 11am – 4pm. All exhibitions are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

St. Tammany Art Association is supported by the generosity of members, volunteers, sponsors and by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs, St. Tammany Parish Government. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works.