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Art exhibits, free concert planned for Third Friday

Downtown Medford galleries will showcase a mix of paintings, pastels and photography for its Third Friday Art Walk, while a group of performers is launching a Summer Performance Art Concert Series to complement art walk events.

"I've had a heart to promote the arts and music and do more events in downtown Medford," says Shelley Kristen, organizer of the Artisan Well group of singers, musicians, dancers and painters who have teamed up for the concert series. "We're going to be doing it at least through the summer."

The Bohemian Club, 123 W. Main St., will host the first Summer Performance Art Concert Series, which will start with a $10 pulled pork and coleslaw dinner at 6 p.m., followed by a free performance by dancers, live painters and the Shelly Kristen Band at 7 p.m.

Kristen, lead singer, keyboard player and songwriter of her self-titled rock, pop, soul, gospel and blues band, says the painters will create artwork in front of the audience. Artisan Well is searching for more dancers to join the group, especially hip-hop dancers, she says.

Kristen says she would like to add to the vibrancy of the Third Friday Art Walk and help boost attendance.

From 5 to 8 p.m. the third Friday of every month, Medford galleries stay open for the art walk.

Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main St., will host receptions for featured artists Phyllis Gustafson and Anne Brooke.

Gustafson's oil and pastel paintings — displayed on the back wall of the gallery — feature regional landscapes.

Her oil painting "Storm Passing" portrays purple and white storm clouds blowing over a bluff with windswept grass in the foreground. Her pastel piece "Queen Anne's Hill" captures the delicate white clusters of Queen Anne's lace flowers growing beneath tall trees. "Wild Gold" shows the golden yellow blooms of a twisting brush growing from arid, sun-baked land.

In a side space at Art du Jour Gallery, Brooke has clever paintings that give a nod to art history. "After Gaugin" is a still-life painting with red and green apples, a blue pitcher and a painting on the wall in the background. The painting of two women is done in the style of Paul Gaugin, an 1800s stockbroker who famously traveled to Tahiti to create vivid, colorful paintings of people and lush island scenery.

Brooke's painting "After Seurat" combines images of a pointillist painting, oranges and a book about Georges Seurat, known for painting with dots in the 1800s.

Art du Jour will also host artist and instructor Richard McKinley, who will be on hand to meet guests and sign copies of his book "The Landscape Paintings of Richard McKinley." Frequently featured in national art magazines and known for his paintings of scenes at national parks, McKinley was inducted into The Pastel Society of America's Hall of Fame in 2010.

The Rogue Gallery & Art Center, 40 S. Bartlett St., will display landscape photography by Tom Ommen in its back corner space through July 10. Shot mainly in Texas, Utah and Oregon, his landscapes cover Western landscapes, nature and picturesque architecture.

Ommen's work ranges from an Ansel Adams-style black-and-white photograph of rock outcroppings at Bandon Beach and canyon lands saturated with southwest colors to delicate, finely textured woodland mushrooms.

"Into the Woods," an exhibit that features three West Coast artists who explore designs and forms of nature will be displayed in the main gallery. The exhibit includes Donna Leavitt’s large graphite drawings of exquisite trees, sculptures derived from natural materials by Lewis Meyer Jr., and the tranquil oil paintings of Judy Weiner.

Regular Art du Jour Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 541-770-3190 or see artdujourgallery.com for more information.

Regular Rogue Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Call 541-772-8118 or see www.roguegallery.com.

An image of rock outcroppings at Bandon Beach is among photography by Thomas Ommen displayed at Rogue Gallery & Art Center.