In December of 2001, a group of curious and eager pastel artists was invited to an exploratory meeting held by Sandy Jackoboice, a first-year winter resident of Naples FL. Sandy recognized the need for a formal group of practicing pastel artists who would work toward furthering appreciation of the soft pastel medium. Our goals included the sharing of ideas, organizing shows and other activities and friendship. She also proposed that we consider becoming a Pastel Satellite Group of the Great Lakes Pastel Society in Michigan. Sandy was co-founder and first president of Great Lakes and had intimate knowledge of the process of forming a Pastel group. Joining Great Lakes would afford us additional opportunities for showing our work, participation to their newsletter and networking with a larger organization.
Our first meeting in January of 2002 was as a pastel satellite group. It was proposed that we form our own independent group to be the Southwest Florida Pastel Society. We presented our first slate of officers and it was unanimously accepted. Other positions filled quickly. Sandy once again stepped forward and recommended that we join IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) in which she was very active. By December of 2002 we had 40 members. As we are a seasonal destination, we meet monthly from October To May. Since that time our membership has steadily grown to approximately 100.
Over the ensuing years we obtained a 501(c)(3) status. We have instituted a children’s pastel workshop, the Sam Platt Scholarship Fund for two high school seniors annually, plein air outings, and workshops with nationally and internationally known Instructors, and an online national show.