The featured artists are competing for the top awards in the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) Detroit Chapter’s annual PLUS Competition. “This is a PLUS show, which means all work must contain an additional medium or element that disqualifies it from traditional colored pencil contests,” explained Angie Helt of the CPSA Detroit Chapter. “To compete, artwork must be at least 80% colored pencil on the surface. There will be portraits, landscapes, and abstract work.”
The Colored Pencil Society of America is a nonprofit organization for colored pencil enthusiasts working to promote colored pencils as a fine art medium by sponsoring exhibitions and workshops, educating the public, and being involved in product research and innovation.
The judge for the competition is Ralph Valdez, Executive Director of the Dearborn Community Arts Council. Valdez graduated from Detroit’s Cass Technical High School and the Parsons Schools of Design in New York, followed by many years working in the local arts community. He has served as Curator of Cultural Programming at Dearborn’s Arab American National Museum as well as host and producer at public radio station WDET.
The Farmington Hills Cultural Arts Division offers colored pencil workshops where Instructor Dean Rogers teaches layering, burnishing, and blending for still life and portraiture drawings. This annual exhibit is presented by the Cultural Arts Division, which coordinates art, theater, and music programming through classes, events, and activities.