I love New York City and have been creating work that captures the city, its people and its music. I grew up in New York City. My dad Albert Pels was a fine artist, my mom was a writer. I was an award winning art director with ad agencies in the city and then in upstate NY where I raised my three amazing children.
When I returned to New York in 2003, I returned to my first love, drawing. I’ve been painting and illustrating since then for the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications and galleries. Jerelle Kraus in her book All the Art That’s Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn’t) says Joan is a gifted quick sketch artist.
I also went back to school (School of Visual Arts) and discovered etching, monoprints and silkscreen printing. Etching is my favorite. I’m always sketching and started to sketch from life on etching plates at concerts and in jazz clubs or adapt my sketches to etching images (so musicians would not be reversed or left handed). I’m very excited that a series of my musician etchings are represented by The Old Print Shop.
FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), Harbor VA Hospital, privately and with special programs at Bard Graduate Center Gallery
The Society of Illustrators, exhibits including Solo Show, Sequential Show, Landmark Show, US Air Force Exhibits and more
Pen and Brush Incorporation of Artists on the Move, Taller Boricua Gallery and Borough Presidents Office
JVC Jazz Festival Special Event - Mood Indigo: Citibank’s Choices, Challenges & Triumphs
Society of Publication Designers, Spot Illustration and Society of Illustrators Annuals
Sacred Gallery - etchings
Monmouth Museum - etchings
Curate NYC 2013 - etching
Mehu Gallery Prints andDrawings - etchings and monoprints 2013-2015
National Veterans Art Museum - documenting patients, Harbor VA Hospital Prosthetic Dept 2015
The NY Society of Etchers @ National Arts Club 2014 & 2015 SAGA 2015
Society of Illustrators - Board Member
NY Cancer Society and Animal Medical Center - Organize & sketch dogs at fund raising events
Harbor VA Hospital - volunteer teach art and document patients in prosthetic dept
US Air Force - documenting missions
The Ink Well Foundation - working with children in hospitals
SAGA- Society of American Graphic Artists, new member 2015