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Third Friday art walk in Medford

Love it or hate it, abstract expressionism has been a dominant force in the art world for decades.

The Rogue Gallery & Art Center will honor the art form with "Abstract Expressionism: Celebrating 70 Years of Throwing Paint" through Aug. 4 at the nonprofit art center, 40 S. Bartlett St., Medford.

Some date the famous movement to 1946, when art critic Robert Coates titled a group of artists' work in America as abstract expressionism. The focus of the art world shifted from Europe to America, with New York as the epicenter.

During Medford's Third Friday art walk, visitors can create their own abstract art at the Rogue Gallery.

"They're not just seeing art but making art," says gallery coordinator Kate Marrocco. "People can take whatever they create home."

A Third Friday reception will be from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Rogue Gallery, and appetizers will be served.

The new exhibit showcases abstract expressionist-inspired art by 30 regional artists. Anna May's painting "Mark" is an ode to the meditative, luminous paintings of Mark Rothko. In her piece, a rectangle of pale lavender and pink, a thin stripe of orange and silver, and a bar of orange seem to float on a field of deep purple.

On the other side of the abstract expressionist spectrum, Allen Smith's "Woman VII" recalls Willem de Kooning's slashing, aggressive paintings of women that reject all notions of beauty.

Other works show the continuing influence of abstract art, including Tom Ommen's photograph "Barnacles," which captures the abstract patterns created by hundreds of multi-colored barnacles clinging to a surface. Anna Hinkle's "Geometric Situation of Life" mixes patterns, colorful organic forms and straight lines in an original composition.

The gallery will host free screenings of documentaries on the subject of abstract expressionism at 2 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 3. The July 20 film is "Joan Mitchell: Portrait of an Abstract Painter," the July 27 film is "Robert Motherwell & the New York School: Storming the Citadel" and the Aug. 3 film is "Rothko's Rooms: The Life and Works of an American Artist."

Call 541-772-8118 or see www.roguegallery.org for information.

Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main St., will host a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. for its gallery members and painter Sheri Dinardi, whose portraits of sunlit maidens and women in garden settings will be displayed. There will be live music by Minstrel Streams, along with appetizers.

Call 541-770-3190 or see artdujourgallery.com for information.

Also on Third Friday, Jym Duane Photography, 17 N. Bartlett St., will feature photographs by Susanne Wood. See www.jymduanephotography.com.

'Jubilation,' by Rogue Valley artist Marilyn Hurst, is part of a new exhibit of abstract expressionism at the Rogue Gallery.