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New exhibits highlight Third Fridays

Downtown Medford's Third Fridays art walk happens year round. Look for new artwork at the Rogue Gallery & Art Center and Art du Jour Gallery.

The Rogue Gallery's 2014 Members Exhibit, titled "The Sky is the Limit," will open Friday, Nov. 21, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Main Gallery of the center, 40 S. Bartlett St., Medford.

The title captures the idea that there are no limits to artists' ambitions, aspirations or possibilities. The annual members' exhibit holds one piece of artwork from more than 60 artists and includes watercolor, acrylic, oil and pastel paintings, statues and more in abstract and traditional expressions.

 "While we will no doubt have some amazing landscapes in the exhibit, there also will be artwork that explores the idea of limitless potential and possibilities," says Kim Hearon, the nonprofit gallery's executive director, in a press release.

Wine, cheeses from Rogue Creamery and snacks from Harry & David will be served at the reception. Call 541-772-8118 or see www.roguegallery.org for information.

Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main St., will showcase landscapes and seascapes by Oregon Watercolor Society member Penny Simmons. Simmons' painting technique includes light brush strokes and hues that give her paintings soft appeal. Also a member of the American Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society, she is the newest member at Art du Jour Gallery.

Simmons' first experiences with painting were spent on the sun-drenched porch of her parents’ home in New York. After dipping the tip of her watercolor brush into a pan of paints, she would barely touch the rim of a glass and then watch the paint drop into the water, seeing the colors flow together down to the bottom. Over the years, Simmons' love for the vibrancy of watercolor has led her to develop skills with such regional artists as Anne Brooke, Dodie Hamilton, Judy Morris, Ted Nettel and Mary Whyte.

In 2007, Simmons attended an Intensive Studies Seminar in Taos, N.M., studying with such celebrated American artists as Skip Lawrence, Fran Larsen, Katherine Liu, Alex Powers and Christopher Schink.

“I painted from my core, pulling joy and pain, sorrow and grief, all which is evident in the paintings that resulted,” she says in a press release.

Her art stands as a counterpoint to the gallery's showcase of Martin Ball's vivid, fractal flame artwork, displayed in Art du Jour's Salon. Ball uses computer-generated fractals and creates complex images that can appear realistic or abstract. He blends multi-layered compositions with Photoshop and other image-editing software.

Ball's artistic expression extends to the music he plays on various instruments from different cultures. He plays many styles on six- and 12-string guitars, mandolin, bass, keyboards and synthesizers, percussion, Native American flute, harmonica and didgeridoo

Art du Jour's Third Fridays reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Call 541-770-3190 for information.

Artist Alex Fox's acrylic painting, 'Nebula,' will be part of the Rogue Gallery's Members Exhibit, opening Friday, Nov. 21.