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LCAC's Gallery Is Back Open With A New Show

The Leland Cultural Arts Center (LCAC) has been very quiet since the beginning of the pandemic shutdowns, but that’s beginning to change with the gallery space opening to the public. In October, the LCAC will feature works by the Coastal Carolina Pastel Painters. The show will be in the LCAC’s lobby and open to the public Monday, 9 am-7 pm; Tuesday 9 am-5 pm; Wednesday 9 am-9 pm; Thursday 9 am-5 pm; and Friday and Saturday 9 am-3 pm.

We spoke Joy Rademacher and some of her fellow Pastel Painters about the group, its very first gallery show ever, and plans for the future.

Can you tell me a little about the Coastal Carolina Pastel Painters? How long have you been a group? Where are you based? How many members do you have?

We are a group of 23 in the greater Wilmington area. We started getting together in the fall of 2019 to form a group, and in the spring of 2020 we decided to formally organize as the coastal branch of the Pastel Society of North Carolina. Other than a preliminary get together in 2019, all of our meetings have been on Zoom.

This is your inaugural show (congratulations on that!), how does it feel to be opening as the first post-closure showing at the LCAC?

We have been planning the show for quite some time with the threat of possible cancellation hanging over us, so it feels great to have the show go on! Anne Van Blarcom Kurowski adds “I think it is exciting to be able to introduce ourselves to the area. Hope lots of folks see it.”

What sorts of works can people expect to see at the show?

Fifteen artists will each have two paintings, and we left it up to the individuals what they will display. Our group has artists who are very well-recognized and award-winning, along with some who are newer to the medium. Ten of us have been juried into the Pastel Society of America, and four of us are signature members. We have pastel teachers, learners and in between. What we would like people to know is that pastel is considered an expressive painting medium. It is pure pigment held together with a small amount of binder in stick form. When framed under glass, a pastel painting is considered quite permanent and lightfast. You will see as many different styles of pastel painting as there are artists.

How long have you been preparing for this? What has been involved?

The short answer is that we have been talking about it and organizing it for a few months. The philosophical answer is, we have been preparing for this with a journey over many years.

How has art helped you get through tis difficult year? What do you think art can do to help the viewer as well as the creator?

Jeri Greenberg, who lives in Leland and teaches weekly pastel classes at the Cameron Museum in Wilmington, says, “I love telling stories with my art. I want the viewer to decide on their own stories when they see my paintings hanging in galleries or exhibits. I take everyday scenes that perhaps others might not notice and paint them. I take the Ordinary and make it Extraordinary. We all have a story to tell. Perhaps one day I will paint yours. Art can change your mood, make you think, take you out of your own head and into a different surrounding. Art calms me, especially when the tension of wearing masks and social distancing is always present. It has brought together a community of creative people, and that’s a very good thing.”

Laurie Greenbaum Beitch says “I have been a plein air painter for over forty years. Just getting out and exploring the Carolina landscape lifts my spirits and makes me hopeful.

Terri Moore says, ”Art has been helpful in getting me thru this difficult year by giving me more time to practice and paint. By being able to spend more time on my art, I have improved, and spending the time painting has been very joyful, lessened any stress I might have had, and helped to pass the time much more enjoyably.”

What are the Coastal Pastel Painters’ plans for the future? Any next steps planned?

Pamela Cook of Leland says, “Next steps: once it is safe, we have mentioned facilitated discussions on specific topics of interest to our members: framing, mounting, marketing, painting techniques, etc. We’ll probably have more participation in our paint-outs and hold social gatherings. Because we are part of the Pastel Society of North Carolina, we have access to their resources and demos, a great bonus.

How can people interested in joining or find out more information?

Contact Jeri Greenberg at


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