Northern Indiana Pastel Society Meeting

Monday, August 21 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Salvation Army Kroc Center
900 W. Western Avenue, South Bend, IN

Against the backdrop of the exhibition of more than 70 of his paintings, NIPS member Walt Gunn will speak about how creating art has aided in his recovery from a spinal cord injury.


WORKSHOP: 4 Keys to Better Landscapes

Pastel Painting Workshop with Mark Vander Vinne

Saturday, Oct. 14 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. With lunch break.
Sunday, Oct. 15, 1-5 p.m.
South Bend Museum of Art
120 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. South Bend, IN 46601
(Located inside the Century Center)
$120 for art museum members, $150 for others.
Register through the website or contact the museum at 574-235-9102 or

To create powerful paintings, you must design and plan your work using four fundamentals of art. In this workshop, you will learn how to capture the viewer’s attention using compositional elements, a simplified value plan, impact with color and strong design. This workshop will give you a better understanding of what makes a good painting, and how to achieve it.

This workshop is presented by Northern Indiana Pastel Society. Back by popular demand, this will Mark’s third workshop for our society.



Walter Gunn: From Paralysis to Recovery

July 21 – September 14, 2017 | Salvation Army Kroc Center
900 W. Western Avenue, South Bend, IN 

Reception: Thursday, August 3 | 6 – 8:00 p.m.
Gallery Talk: Monday, August 21 | 6 – 8:00 p.m.

In November, 2015, NIPS member Walt Gunn suffered a spinal cord injury and was told he would not regain the use of his arms and legs. With focused determination and the support of family and friends, Walt incorporated painting into his daily therapy, creating the more than 70 pastel paintings in the exhibition that reflect his journey of recovery.

Kroc hours are 5:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Monday- Thursday; 5:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Fridays; 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturdays; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free




South Bend Civic Theatre
Oct. 20–Dec. 23, 2017

Fernwood Botanical Gardens Gallery
Spring 2018.

Larger works show well at Fernwood.

MoonTree Studios, Donaldson, Indiana
October 2018




Northern Indiana Pastel Society
Members Exhibition

Salvation Army Kroc Center, South Bend
900 W. Western Ave., South Bend
May 15 – July 9, 2017

Members with art in the show, please remember to pick up your work on Monday, July 103-6:30 p.m.

The reception and awards presentation took place on Thursday, May 18.
Judge Kathryn Barbin, framer and art faculty at IUSB and Ivy Tech, provided the following statement:

With such an abundance of wonderful images it can be difficult to choose just a few standout pieces. So many artists here have presented works that show skillful handling of the medium, an interesting subject and composition, and even a bit of that elusive “je ne sais quoi”. What makes an artwork remarkable? The answer to that of course is that it’s always a subjective matter to judge art. It’s part idea, part technique, plus that little something inexplicable. Here is a summary of the pieces that I thought were particularly remarkable.

“Crystal Lake View” by Mary Meehan Firtl captures the sparkling quality of a breezy summer day using strong diagonals, crisp natural colors, and rich gritty texture.


“Still Beautiful” by Ti-Patrice Lavers demonstrates how effective and striking a limited color range can be. Rosy tints and soft greys gently warm this black-and-white portrait, with its eye-catching asymmetrical composition.



“Field Day” by Rose Mary Mireles depicts a summer field thick with red and pink flowers. It sweeps away, transforming into a citrusy green field in the distance.  Examined up close, its loose, understated strokes suggest more than describe, resulting in an airy buoyancy.


“Mia on a Summer Day” by Diann Nelson skillfully juxtaposes warm and cool accents to create a charming portrait. Strategic cropping creates an effective combination of positive and negative shapes, while vivid pinks and magentas pop against a neutral blend of textured ochres.


“Cascading Water” by Jude Phillips, despite its name, is a very solid-feeling, somewhat abstract study of rocks: warm versus cool, sunlit versus shady, advancing versus receding. Interestingly, the water itself is rendered in the same dry dusty tones as the sunlit boulders, as it descends from the shadowed violet thicket above.


“Healing in Japan” by Yukako Sakaue contrasts a massive, solidly anchored diagonal tree braced against a backdrop of turbulent rushing water. Brilliant aquas and blues churn and flow, while a few deft strokes of soft orange at the lower right indicate where a ray of dappled light breaks through.


“Fruit and Fabric” by Paul Wieber is a still life that feels more like a rolling landscape: boldly striped undulating fabric envelops and sets off an array of fruit and objects. A smart dash of orange accentuates the point where apples and oranges meet.





Membership Exhibit | Dec. 2, 2016 – Feb. 2, 2017
Spencer Gallery | 
Mishawaka IN, Downtown Library

This exhibition of members’ work featured 37 works by 27 artists and was the 4th NIPS exhibition of 2016, which marks the 10th anniversary of the organization. Mark Rospenda, curator of the South Bend Museum of Art, served as judge. Awards were presented to Barbara Gentner Stephenson, Kathleen Wolfe, Peg Luecke, Shana Dines and Rosie Mireles.


Northern Indiana Pastel Society at South Bend Civic Theatre Gallery

Sept. 16 – Oct. 31, 2016


Peg Luecke, South Bend Civic Theatre

25 works by NIPS members were featured in this exhibition, our eighth at South Bend Civic Theatre.