About Us


The Great Lakes Pastel Society seeks to promote the use of pastels and increase the public awareness of creative pastel painting as a fine art medium.

The Great Lakes Pastel Society was established to:

  1. Promote, encourage and foster creative painting with pastels;
  2. Promote and encourage pastel artists in their professional growth and success;
  3. Promote instructive activities and exhibit opportunities to benefit pastel;
  4. Promote fellowship of pastel artists;
  5. Promote public awareness of pastels.


In early May, 1997, five of our charter members met in Grand Rapids with the idea of creating an organization to further the pastel medium. These five members, Carl Forslund, Sandy Jackoboice, Kathleen Kalinowski, Nancy Liszewski, and Jim Markle, within about 3 hours made the decisions and took the positions that were necessary to create the organization.

It was determined in that meeting that the organization would be a regional organization and be called the Great Lakes Pastel Society (GLPS). By mid-May, the 501-c-3 status had been applied for and by October the organization had grown to 31 members located in 4 states. All members who joined by July 1, 1997 are listed on the GLPS letterhead as charter members. These 22 members still appear not only on our letterhead but in each newsletter.

One of the early objectives was to become a member of the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS). Sandy Jackoboice and Carl Forslund were able to attend the first IAPS convention held in Denver and came back with even more enthusiasm and organizational information for the fledgling GLPS organization.

Carl Forslund organized the first GLPS Exhibit at the Grand Valley Artists gallery in November of 1997. Each member brought a painting to the show and Master Pastelist Larry Blovits critiqued each painting. This was the Society's first meeting and our first exhibit.

From this early start in 1997, the Great Lakes Pastel Society has grown to a couple hundred members in a dozen states and we welcome new members at anytime throughout the year.