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Third Fridays bring new art to Medford galleries

New art at the Rogue Gallery & Art Center in downtown Medford includes mixed-media paintings by Judith Ghetti Ommen. The artist uses Asian-inspired landscapes and playful teapot themes in her work. Her techniques include Chinese brush-painting, collage, pastels and drawing, and she creates richly textured images and strong designs.

Ommen moved to the Rogue Valley from Georgetown, Texas. She holds a master's degree in fine art from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc., and she's displayed her art at exhibits around the United States.

Ommen's exhibit will be presented through Jan. 8 in the Community Gallery at Rogue Gallery & Art Center, 40 S. Bartlett St. See www.roguegallery.org or call 541-772-8118.

Watercolor, acrylic, oil and pastel paintings, along with photography, collage and printmaking, by gallery members will be displayed through April 12 in the Members' Gallery. Look for many works by about 50 artists — including Sheri Dinardi, Stephen Henry, Charity Hubbard, Marilyn Hurst, Janus Innes and Paul Jorrizo — in this space reserved for members.

Rogue Gallery's annual members' exhibit, this year titled "Passages, Travels and Transformations," ends Friday, Dec. 18. More than 60 artists showcase their personal travels, transitions and travails through a mix of media — watercolor, acrylic oil, pastel, photography — and styles, such as portraiture, landscape, still life and more.

A reception will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18. Wine, cheese and snacks will be served.

Watercolor paintings by Rogue Valley artist Dodie Hamilton-Brandon, antique quilts, wearable art and gifts will be featured through December and January at Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main St. Call 541-770-3190.

Hamilton-Brandon's art is full of vibrant color and the sparkling quality of watercolor. Her subjects range from realistic florals and landscapes to mixed media abstracts, and she is best known for her renditions of the iris, her favorite flower.

A native of Missouri, Dodie grew up on a farm and was influenced by the sights of verdant fields, flowers and changing skies. She attended Northwest Missouri State University, graduating with a degree in art and English, subjects she taught for many years in California schools. During those years she worked in oils, acrylics and pen and ink.

“I moved to the Rogue Valley in 1982 and discovered watercolor as a medium for painting," Hamilton-Brandon says in a press release. "It flows and glows and is such a spontaneous way that I became totally involved in it. The results may be bad, good, or indifferent but the process itself is to me totally magnificent.”

Hamilton-Brandon taught her watercolor techniques to Rogue Valley students until she retired a few years ago.

Quilt artists Charlotte Wirfs and Karen Hanken and wearable-knits fabric artist Laura Lawrence will display their work in Art du Jour's Salon and Main gallery.

Wirfs is a contemporary quilter and a collector of antique and vintage quilts. She will display several of her priceless antique quilts, along with her own work, and she will discuss the history of these fascinating works from the gifted hands of quilters long passed.

“In America, woman often expressed their creativity in their quilt making, sometimes using scraps of fabric left over from their household sewing projects," Wirfs says in a press release. It has become a tradition to share with others, resulting in ever-changing ways to create beautiful quilts.”

Wirfs is a fifth-generation Oregonian who learned sewing through 4-H programs in Tillamook County. She made her first quilt while attending Western Oregon University and since has moved from making traditional quilt patterns to creating freeform quilts using newer techniques.

Hanken began using textiles in her art while she was a college student in Pennsylvania. Her attraction to textures and prints led her to unite them with paints, inks, dyes and pastels. She will display four of her award-winning pictorial quilts in Art du Jour's Salon.

“By incorporating the work of so many talented fabric designers, I have access to an incredible palette of color and texture,” Hanken says. “It is like having the depth of an orchestra backing up a solo performance.” She will give a talk about her quilting art and techniques in January.

Lawrence — creator of My Dancing Threads, a one-woman business she characterizes as “painting with yarn” — knits artistic fabrics and fashions them into capes, skirts, scarves, caps, legwarmers, soft jewelry and other one-of-a-kind creations.

“When people see one of my designs, they sometimes think I’ve bought ready-made fabric and simply sewn the pieces together to create the skirt, cape or whatever. When I explain that I make the fabric into the shape I want, with no need to cut and a minimum of sewing in order for it to flow as a seamless cloth, they’re blown away."

Lawrence uses a technique called short-rowing and can create garments with no sewn-in darts, pleats or seams. Also look for her alpaca hats and an array of crafted scarves and “soft-jewelry” — beaded and felt alpaca flower pins.

A reception for the artists will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, at Art du Jour Gallery. There will be live music by Rick Patsche.

'Joy of Sailing' and other mixed media paintings by Judy Ommen will be displayed through early January at the Rogue Gallery & Art Center.