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New exhibits open for Third Friday

An annual members' exhibit titled "Icons" will be displayed through Dec. 21 in the main gallery at Rogue Gallery & Art Center. More than 60 regional artists interpret the theme of "icons" in this non-juried show, drawing from historical personalities, religious symbols, geographic locations, mythical ideas and whimsical subjects.

The annual exhibit is one of the most popular of the year at Rogue Gallery and includes watercolor, acrylic, pastel and oil paintings, as well as sculpture and photography.

A reception for the artists will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at Rogue Gallery & Art Center, 40 S. Bartlett St., Medford. Wine and appetizers will be served. Call 541-778-8118 or see www.roguegallery.org.

Local artist Mary Jo Heath gained experience in a variety of art media during her many years teaching art in public schools, she says in her artist statement.

"Of all the media that I have tried, pastel is the most immediate, the most expressive and the most forgiving," she says. "The pastels become an extension of my hand as I interpret what I see and how I feel about the subject matter. It could be the light, the composition or the challenge of something I have never painted before. Sometimes the subject matter becomes a vehicle for a more abstract expression. Whatever the inspiration, pastel says it best for me."

Heath celebrates the 100th birthday of the National Park Service with her pastel exhibit at Art du Jour Gallery. Look for many renditions of lovely park scenes through November at the gallery.

Heath rose to the challenge of depicting scenes from national parks and monuments several years ago. Traveling with friends to the different locations, she uses photographs as a reference for her paintings.

Look for works titled "The Grand Canyon," "Arches," "Yosemite," “Yellowstone,” “Hurricane Ridge" and others. Heath will be on hand to discuss her work and her love for national parks at an artist's reception to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main St., Medford. Call 541-770-3190 or see artdujourgallery.com.

Visitors to this month's Third Friday art walk will also see Southern Oregon's wildlife through the lens of fine art photographer Dan Elster in the Salon gallery at Art du Jour.

Mostly self-taught, Elster's subjects are wild — no captive or staged shots. This point is important to him.

"My photography is my art form, my form of expression," he says in a press release. "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. I want people to be aware of what’s around them.”

Elster's images show owls that reside in Lithia Park and river otters that frolic in a pond near his home in Ashland, a bull elk watching the waves break on the Oregon Coast, and an osprey catching a surfperch. His work relies on hours of patiently waiting and an artist's eye for dramatic light.

The reception will include the guitar, keyboard and flute music of Minstrel Streams. Appetizers, wine and cider will be served.

'Open Door,' collage by Charlotte Whirf at Rogue Gallery & Art Center.
'Circus Day Memories,' acrylic by Zalpha Hutton at Rogue Gallery & Art Center.