Upcoming Events

“My Pastel Perspectives: The Medium and Methods of Soft Pastels”.

The Niles Art Association will meet on Tuesday, June 6 at 6 PM in the Community Room of the Niles District Library, 620 East Main St., Niles, MI.  Our guest speaker will be award winning pastelist Mary Meehan Firtl, presenting “My Pastel Perspectives: The Medium and Methods of Soft Pastels”. She will provide a bit of history on the medium, the Northern Indiana Pastel Society, as well as share her art background and show her process when painting in soft pastels.  Free and open to the public.  Show and tell are always welcome.




Call for Entries

New Horizons in Pastel: Northern Indiana Pastel Society Membership Exhibit
June 19 – July 29, 2023
MoonTree Studios
9638 Union Road, the Center at Donaldson, Plymouth, IN.

Receiving 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 10, 2023. Before delivering their art, NIPS members are invited to a reception 1 to 3 p.m. June 10 for a show by St. Joe Valley Watercolor Society in MoonTree Studios.

Closing reception with awards 1-3 p.m. Saturday, July 29. Art will be released at 3 p.m.
Appetizers and desserts are requested.

Gallery hours: 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Weekends by appointment.

Prize judge: Matthew Celmer, Director of MoonTree Studios

Click here for complete info and forms. Please fill out two forms for EACH (1) artwork. Attach one to the lower right back of work and hand in the duplicate form during receiving. Please print.

Entries marked #1 will be accepted, entries marked #2 may be juried out if space requires, but we hope all will be hung. Fee: $10 for the first entry, $5 for the second entry. MoonTree retains a 30 percent commission on sales. Artwork is covered by insurance at MoonTree. Northern Indiana Pastel Society will not accept financial liability for accidents or losses.

The art must be 80 percent pastel. There is no size restriction. The art must be framed under glass and installed with hooks and wire. Frames and mats must be in good condition and free of pastel dust. Content must be appropriate for a family gallery space. The art should not have been shown in a previous NIPS exhibit or at MoonTree.

Participants must be NIPS members. Dues of $25 can be sent to treasurer Sue Coultas, 519 Woodruff, Niles MI 49120. MoonTree is about an hour from South Bend, so carpooling is encouraged.

For questions about the show or help transporting art to the show, contact Cathy McCormick, 574-271-6919,


Recent Events

NIPS Meeting: Saturday, March 4, 2023

Program: Venture into Pastels

Dan Slattery, an award-winning watercolorist who recently started painting in pastels, displayed several recently completed paintings and shared what attracted him to pastel, and what he’s learned about the differences between the two mediums. “There is still much I don’t understand about pastels. Every picture I attempt is a journey into the unknown, each painting explores something new.” Dan is a former president of the St. Joe Valley Watercolor Society and the Northern Indiana Artists, Inc. He teaches watercolor painting at South Bend Museum of Art.



Holiday Potluck Luncheon
Friday, Dec. 9, 2022

Thanks to NIPS and the Friday Pinhook Pastel Group for hosting our holiday luncheon! Members and guests enjoyed the time with their pastel peeps, a delicious potluck spread, and a chance to view members’ works on display. A book exchange and gift of sample Terry Ludwig pastels rounded out the festive occasion!

Thanks to organizers Dee Thornton, Mary Firtl and Cathy McCormick as well as volunteers who helped with set up and clean up.

Happy Holidays to all!


Avon Waters Featured Presenter at Fall NIPS Membership Meeting

On October 29, NIPS member Avon Waters shared his experience of a two-year project painting the waterways of Indiana in preparation for his new book, “Indiana Waterways: The Art of Conservation.” The paintings are among 60 paintings created along with five other Indiana plein air artists to call attention to the importance of protecting the state’s water.

The exhibit is on display at the Indiana State Museum from Oct. 16-Dec. 11 and features stirring images of 25-30 different locations in the 62,000 miles of rivers, streams, and tributaries in Indiana. Learn more here.

Avon described his experiences in painting the waterways, organizing the project and how to purchase the book, which is available locally at CircaArts Gallery in South Bend.

He also shared a work in progress (pictured on tabletop easel) explaining his technique.


Upcoming Exhibitions

MoonTree Studios, Donaldson, Ind. | JUNE 13–JULY 31, 2023

Buchanan Art Center, Buchanan, Mich. | SEPT. 18 (HANGING) TO OCT. 29, 2023

Heartland Artists Gallery, Plymouth, Ind. | JULY 2024

Colfax Cultural Center, South Bend, Ind., | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2025


Recent Exhibitions

Pastel Viewpoints

Northern Indiana Pastel Society Members’ Exhibit

Colfax Cultural Center
914 Lincolnway West
South Bend, IN
Sept. 9 – Oct. 21, 2022

Twenty-four works by NIPS members were on exhibit.

Awards were presented to Sue Coultas and Shandelle Henson of Niles, Mich., Avon Waters of Converse, Ind., and Elizabeth Kuntz of South Bend. The judge was Justin Barfield, Colfax Cultural Center gallery curator.