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Let's get metaphysical

Jordan Pease's collection of ?alien? figures have similar features, playing on common conceptions of extraterrestrials. / Bob Pennell — — — — Ashland gallery's out-of-this-world exhibit lands next to earthly library

They're hee-ere ' the little green men are everywhere.

They're on T-shirts and pins, in the form of plush dolls, action figures, candles and candy dispensers.

The odd faces with oblong eyes even adorn a roll of toilet paper.

Rows upon rows of alien-themed curios ' roughly numbering 1,000 pieces ' have welcomed visitors to this Ashland gallery over the past month. But the artist, Jordan Pease, says he hopes visitors can look past the alien prototypes to explore more serious topics found next door in the Rogue Valley Metaphysical Library.

It's much more than UFOs ' what we're doing here, said Pease, also director of the metaphysical library.

Formerly tucked in Pease's Medford residence, the metaphysical library's collection of 2,220 books, 750 videos and 40 audio books has a new home next to Nuwandart on A Street in Ashland. The library and gallery host discussion groups and lectures open to the community on Tuesday nights.

Library visitors can browse shelves for topics ranging from crop circles to Taoism, in addition to books on UFOs and extraterrestrials. Pease collected many items at conferences, and still others were donated.

Videos ' many on conspiracy theories and government cover-ups ' are by far the most popular with library members, Pease said. The prophecy section also has drawn more interest in recent months, he added.

With world conflicts coming to a head, people seem to be more interested in metaphysics and alternative philosophies, said Clint Housel, a 53-year-old Ashland resident and library member.

Now is the time they're really primed to explore new ideas, Housel said. People are waking up.

Library visitors range from those with a mild interest in UFO phenomena to lifelong students of metaphysics, said 61-year-old Michael Brein, of Ashland.

I consider myself a rational skeptic, but I think there's some substance to the subject matter, Brein said.

Veronika Petrics, a 59-year-old Medford resident said she finds many like-minded people at the metaphysical library.

You don't have to belong to a spiritualist church to have companionship, she said.

Yet library staff say they don't preach a particular party line. Instead, they want to welcome all points of view. For that reason, Pease's alien memorabilia ' as well as crystals, incense and other mystic symbols ' won't have a place in the library's stark decor, Pease said.

That cheapens it, and it's weird, he said.

The Rogue Valley Metaphysical Library has more than 200 members around Jackson County, Pease said. Yearly memberships are &

36;20, but most funding comes from private donors. The library is largely operated by volunteers, he added.

Nuwandart will host Pease's installation ' titled They're Here ' through Tuesday. Art of Contact, an extraterrestrial-themed exhibit of oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings by Berkeley, Calif., artist Cedar Carrier, will run through Friday.

The Rogue Valley Metaphysical Library is open from 2 to 6 p.m. every day except Saturday when hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit on the Web.

Jordan Pease?s collection of ?alien? figures have similar features, playing on common conceptions of extraterrestrials. Mail Tribune / Bob Pennell - Mail Tribune images