The Pastel Society of New Mexico’s 31st Annual Enchanted Colors

From April 22 through June 18, 2023, the Millicent Rogers Museum is hosting the Pastel Society of New Mexico’s Enchanted Colors, the society’s prestigious and juried exhibition open to national and international artists. Now in its 31st year, Enchanted Colors features more than 70 paintings at the Millicent Rogers Museum with the full exhibition and sale of artworks available for viewing in an online platform. The exhibition offers local-to-global perspectives of pastels, as pure pigment giving form to the fleeting views of life, seen both near and far, and even in virtual and overlapping contexts. 

This year, three jurors and distinguished artists, Ray Hassard, Ned Mueller, and Sally Strand, scored the entries for the competitive exhibition, with 70+ paintings of the total exhibition garnering both in-gallery and virtual showing and more accepted works shown online only. Ann Huston, a noted pastelist based in Taos, will be designating this year’s awards from the paintings shown at the museum. The awards will be announced during the opening reception on Saturday, April 22, 2023, from 3 to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, with refreshments served. The reception offers a moment to meet some of the featured artists.

Highlighted works include Sarah Blumenschein’s Lemons with Glass Bottles, which conveys the power of pastel to evoke reflections and the weight of water. Katherine Irish’s As This Day Fades records a deep sunset of pinks and purples–the kind one hopes for and so often experiences throughout New Mexico. Gary Ozias’ Cliffs of Santa Elena communicates the depth from mesa to valley and the birds that soar playfully in the steep juxtaposition from land to sky. These views and the entire exhibition connect sights seen both locally and globally.

In association with the exhibition, Mike Mahon, one of the society’s Signature Members, is offering a 3-day pastel workshop, “Painting with Control and Spontaneity,” at the museum from May 31 through June 2. Registration and tickets must be purchased online.

The Pastel Society of New Mexico is a nonprofit arts organization formed in 1989 by a small group of artists seeking to promote the appreciation of the soft pastel medium as well as to contribute to the growing arts community in New Mexico.

Check out the full exhibition online!

Click here to download the updated catalog with the awards listed! 

31st Annual Enchanted Colors 

Ann Lewis, Keeper of Roses, 13 x 13 in.



Gary Ozias, Cliffs of Santa Elena, 16 x 20 in.




Sarah Blumenschein, Lemons with Glass Bottles, 12 x 16 in.




Gary Ozias, Cliffs of Santa Elena, 16 x 20 in.




Katherine Irish, As This Day Fades, 15 x 30 in.