Works by Mary Jo Heath, an acclaimed pastel artist, will be featured at Art du Jour Gallery in downtown Medford, 213 E. Main St., during the month of November. Her exhibit, to coincide with the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, will feature several of her many renditions of our nation’s loveliest parks.
Heath is well known, having been a public school teacher for 30 years, and later for her landscapes of familiar scenes in the Rogue Valley. In 1994, Heath began working with pastels winning awards for her work. Heath says, “Of all the media that I have tried, pastel is the most immediate, the most expressive and the most forgiving. The pastels become an extension of my hand as I try to interpret what I see and how I feel about a subject matter. It could be the light, the composition or the challenge of a new subject.”
Several years ago that challenge became depicting scenes from national parks and monuments. After traveling with friends to the different locations, Heath would use photos for a reference to paint from. She enjoys using pastels to do this work as there is no brush to separate her from the scene she is producing. Her work is both accurate in its rendition and esthetically pleasing.
On August 25, 2016, The National Park Service turned 100! Heath helps with the celebration by exhibiting her works “The Grand Canyon”, “Arches”, “Yosemite”, “Yellowstone”, “Hurricane Ridge”, and others. Come to our Third Friday event Nov. 18, 5-8 to speak with Heath about these works and her love for the national parks.
Fine Art Photography by Dan Elster
Art du Jour invites you to spend some quality time in our Salon during the month of November to take in the fascinating beauty of Southern Oregon’s wildlife as seen through the lens of fine art photographer Dan Elster. Dan’s work has been featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Art Beat and in many fine-art exhibits, wildlife venues and shows throughout the Pacific Northwest. (For an OPB video about Dan, go to http://watch.opb.org/video/2365432159/. The segment aired on Southern Oregon Public Television on February 26, 2015.)
Dan is mostly self-taught. His subjects are completely wild (no captive or staged shots) and it’s important to him for people to know that. “My photography is my art form, my form of expression,” Dan says. “When I’m taking pictures of wild animals, I’m really trying to tell an animal’s story. It’s the drama in nature that inspires me. In the wild, every day is a struggle, just to survive.” Dan hopes his work will serve to remind us that we don’t own the Earth, we share it.
Dan and his family live in Ashland, a locale that provides a rich source of subjects for his camera. “I want more people to be aware of what’s around them,” he says, and with his camera he shows us the owls that reside in Lithia Park and the river otters that frolic in a pond near his home, a bull elk that he encountered watching the waves break on the Oregon coast, and an osprey catching a surf perch. His hours of patient waiting and his artist’s eye for dramatic light result in unforgettable images. We are proud to display Dan’s photography in our Salon through October and November.
Join us at Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main Street in Medford, on Friday, Nov.18, 5 – 8 p.m., to meet our featured artist Mary Jo Heath, to see the photographs of Dan Elster and to chat with artists about their work. The reception will include the soothing guitar, keyboard and flute music of Minstrel Streams. Appetizers, wine and cider will be served. Regular gallery hours are 10 – 4, Tuesday – Saturday. For more information, call (541) 770-3190.