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Third Fridays showcases local artists

The diverse talents of local artists will be displayed during the 2015 Rogue Valley Biennial exhibit at Rogue Gallery & Art Center in Medford.

Art lovers who stroll through downtown during Medford's Third Friday Art Walk can meet the emerging and established participating artists from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, at the gallery, 40 S. Bartlett St. Their artwork will be featured in the main gallery space through April 10.

Artist Rachel Barrett also will have a solo show of female nudes painted in watercolors in the Rogue's Community Gallery through March 20. Barrett will be at Friday's reception.

Nearby Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main St., will show member artists' work in its main space, along with a fiber-arts exhibit with work by Laura Lawrence, Amy Navickas-Godard and Brooke Nuckles-Gentekos in the gallery's salon through March. The gallery is open during Third Friday and will host artists' receptions of its own.

Held every other year, the Rogue Valley Biennial is presented in different locations each time. Rogue Community College sculpture instructor Janet Higgins and Jacksonville artist and instructor Keith Johnson sifted through dozens of entries to select works to fill Rogue Gallery.

They chose three artists to each receive a $200 award for their intriguing pieces.

Using cast acrylic paint and clay, Max Reinhardt garnered an award for his sculpture of a small, old television — made obsolete by today's wide-screen, high-definition TVs — that resembles a crumbling fossil or archaeological relic.

The jurors recognized Laurie Brown for her wall sculpture of hundreds of obsessively rolled strips of white and black paper tied with thread, and Miles Frode for his colorful, exuberant mixed-media cubist sculpture of a human figure.

Other highlights of the exhibit include an ocean-themed, digitally altered photo montage of a dark ocean and rumpled cloth by Bruce Bayard, a crow painted on an abstract field of rusty red, white and grays by Margie Stevenson, Zeno Thanes' ballpoint drawing of a child in a dunce cap playing with a smartphone, and Carla Griffin's landscape painting of a weeping willow glowing in the sun against a backdrop of dark conifers.

Geri Mathewson created a brooding, surreal piece by pairing mirror images of the ocean and a rock, but then adding details like a single starfish that don't match the mirroring.

"Some pieces are traditional but have a twist. Some are really quite unique," says Rogue Gallery Executive Director Kim Hearon.

Barrett's side exhibit of female nudes done in warm hues and expressive brushstrokes includes fascinating goddess tales from around the world collected in a binder that accompanies the paintings.

"Each painting is named for different cultures and different goddesses," she says. "The nude is universal. Human beings are all the same under their clothes."

In one Inuit legend, a woman is tricked into marrying a bird who is not a good hunter. Her father kills the bird and tries to take her home in his kayak, but the bird's friends create a storm. Afraid of drowning, the father throws the woman overboard, then cuts off her fingers when she tries to cling to the side of the kayak.

Her finger joints that fall into the ocean become fish, seals, walruses and whales, and she becomes a mermaid and goddess of the sea.

At Art du Jour, Navickas-Godard is showing her fabric puppets and silk-screened wall hangings, Nuckles-Gentekos has abstract wall hangings with colorful yarn, and Lawrence has created intricate, shimmering scarves, alpaca wool hats, fabric jewelry and other wearable art.

Art du Jour Gallery's hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Call 541-770-3190 or visit artdujourgallery.com for more information.

Rogue Gallery & Art Center's hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Call 541-772-8118 or see www.roguegallery.org.

'Still Life with Television,' sculpture by Max Reinhardt, is one of the jurors' choices in the 2015 Rogue Valley Biennial exhibit at Rogue Gallery & Art Center. Mail Tribune / Bob Pennell