In 1987, Małopolskie Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych (Małopolska Art Exhibition Office) made the decision to organise the first contest of pastel art on the national level.
The idea of organising "the 1st National Pastel Exhibition" originated from a combination of personal artistic tastes and more general artists' aspirations for such exhibition to take place. Works in pastel started appearing more and more often at official exhibitions and not only in commercial galleries as commercial art, light, easily understood and pretty in its nature, which was often considered a less important trend in artistic output of the majority of artists. One could also find works which were excellent and ambitious in their conception.
The above excerpt, from the Introduction to the catalogue of the first pastel exhibition, was written by Krzysztof Kuliś, then the manager of the Art Exhibition Office, the originator and the driving spirit behind the contest as well as its long-time curator.
In the subsequent years, namely in 1989, 1991 and 1994, the next National Pastel Exhibitions were held which attracted a growing number of supporters and won the recognition among the artistic circles. These factors enabled to transform the contest to the National Biennial Pastel Exhibition held in 1996. Winner of the first national edition of Biennial Pastel was Ryszard Miłek with his "Nocturne IV" work.
Subsequent editions of the National Biennial Pastel Exhibition were held in 1998 and 2000. Finally, in 2002, the contest acquired the status of the International Biennial Pastel Exhibition.
The awarded work from this Exhibition is in the collection of The City Museum in Nowy Sącz.
The 1st National Biennial Pastel Exhibition in Nowy Sącz, Poland brought to Ryszard Miłek the first top class award for his work.