Friday, March 18, 2016

Time Magazine Article and CPSA's Response

March is always the month for CPSA's national governing board to meet for planning the next year and beyond. This year's meeting was March 10th - 12th in Houston. The meeting is always productive, with more ideas generated than we could possibly implement and more issues to discuss than we have time (or brain power.) 

In particular, one issue piqued our interest when vice president, Kay Schmidt, brought a Time magazine to the meeting which included an article on the coloring book trend. It sparked a discussion as to whether we should respond with a letter to the editor on the fine art aspect of colored pencil to offer a counterpoint to the idea of "coloring".  

We have had inquiries as to how we feel about the trend and frankly we hadn't had a real chance to solidfy our CPSA stance. Last year our founder, Vera Curnow, worked with DC - 109 Metro Washington DC to develop a successful outreach project creating line drawings as the coloring pages for patients at the Montefiore Medical Center in NY.  In addition, several artists we know have been asked to develop basic colored pencil workshops for those working in coloring books, specifically seniors. So we don't want to dismiss the newest trend which seems to be a worthy endeavor for some, but the consensus was we should take every opportunity to share our ultimate mission for CPSA and the colored pencil.

As a result, we crafted a letter to the editor for Time magazine. The following is our response and we hope it will be published:

In response to Time's article “How coloring inside the lines came into fashion” by Sarah Begley.

As marketing director for the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA), a nonprofit for artists promoting colored pencil as a fine art medium since 1990 with over 1,500 members, I would like to address the issue of fine art versus the current trend of coloring books and coloring “inside the lines.”

First and foremost, we are of the opinion the coloring book trend is good for anyone looking for a pastime that is relaxing and therapeutic. The world certainly needs less stress.

Colored pencil seems to be a popular medium for working in coloring books: but as the society representing this medium, we would appreciate the chance to promote a different side of the versatile and vibrant colored pencil.

CPSA focuses on using colored pencil in a fine art discipline to produce original paintings and drawings across a wide spectrum from hyper-realism to abstracted works. We host two signature exhibitions annually (our 23rdAnnual International was held in Atlanta at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art in 2015), with jurors from well-known museums and galleries in the art world. These exhibitions showcase works created by our artists from concept to execution. Many of our artists are competing and winning awards at top levels in prestigious competitions, as well as having their work published in professional art publications.

Thank you for letting us make the distinction.

“Gravity” 18 x 29 inches, colored pencil by Jesse Lane (TX).

Cynthia Haase, CPSA
CPSA Marketing Director


Denise Howard said...

Well done!

Jonavon Herr said...

Well played!

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA said...

Thank you, Ms. Haase and CPSA, for putting forward the view of using the colored pencil for original art. One of my art teachers was opposed to coloring books because, as she believed, the printed lines hindered creativity. I agree. While the coloring book may serve a purpose as an outlet for stress, I think that using the colored pencil to create original art serves that purpose far better.

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA
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