New exhibits highlight Third Friday's art walk

    'I Love That Dirty Water,' iPhone art by Meri Walker, at Art du Jour Gallery in Medford.

    Discover a new form of artistic expression when Talent photographer and printmaker Meri Aaron Walker presents her iPhoneography at Art du Jour Gallery; see the creative work of teens mentored by artists from Rogue Gallery & Art Center; and visit Ashland musician and artist Dan Verner's art installation, "Love America," at 30 NORTH Fine Art Gallery.

    Third Friday's art walk in downtown Medford takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. April 21.

    Walker, aka iPhoneArtGirl, is one of the early innovators of smartphone art, publishing her iPhone and iPad art daily around the globe, teaching others how to make serious art on their mobile devices and producing large-scale prints of her images on a variety of surfaces. She'll show a collection of images shot and processed on her iOS devices through May in the Salon at Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main St.

    "Seeing can be harder than it looks,” says the 66-year-old Walker on her website, “But if you know how to handle your smartphone's camera and use the best apps,  you can turn your iPhone into a full-featured ‘pocket studio’ where you make images that draw people into your story."

    Despite the apparent ease of making pictures with a mobile phone, her iPhoneography practice provides anything but instant gratification, Walker says. Capturing, editing and sharing mobile images is a rich pleasure, but it sometimes takes quite a lot of time to create any meaning.

    "The effort brings me a sense of joy and a depth of emotional and intellectual connection to my life — and to the lives of others — that I never imagined possible before I started using an iPhone to make 'serious' pictures."

    Walker has created iPhone art for the last six years, and she's been a photographer and printmaker for more than 40 years. She is a teacher and creativity coach and has served at colleges and arts workshops across the U.S.

    “The iPhone is the first camera and word processor to keep up with my way of seeing and the speed of my thoughts and feelings,” Walker says. “With it in my pocket, I’m reminded to keep my eyes and ears open as I walk around. The camera, microphone and art-making tools support me being with myself in my personal experience. Being my own witness. And then, when I’m ready, sharing it with others, right from my ‘camera.’ ”

    Walker's large-scale prints are available on canvas and plastic blocks — even shower curtains — and have appeared in exhibits around the globe. Six large canvas prints from Walker's Metamorphous Florals series are part of the permanent exhibit at the Transformational Medicine Building at Harvard Medical School.

    As a tribute to the arrival of spring in the rain-blessed Rogue Valley, and in anticipation of May’s three-day Art In Bloom festival in downtown Medford, Art du Jour will feature a display of floral paintings by gallery members.

    "Showers of Flowers" includes abstract art by Millie Clarke; abstract realism in watercolor by Susan Krempa; botanical illustrations in watercolor by Phyllis Gustafson; still-lifes and landscapes in watercolor by Marilyn Zuppan; abstracts in acrylic by John Lambie; impressions in watercolor by Kay Meyer; botanical illustrations in colored pencil by Dick Woods; realism in colored pencil by Ruth Heath; and realism in pastel by Mary Jo Heath.

    Smartphone artist Walker and the gallery artists will be on hand to discuss their work from 5 to 8 p.m. Look for guitar, keyboard and flute music by Minstrel Streams, along with appetizers, wine and cider. Call 541-770-3190.

    Rogue Gallery's Artist Teen Mentoring Project — a program that pairs professional artists with Rogue Valley high-school students for study and interaction — culminates with an exhibit of art by teens and their mentoring artists through Friday, April 28, in the main gallery.

    The students — Emma Bennion, Maia Bierwirth, Christina Cannon, Alyssa Dunham, Brieann Fitch, Matt Hearon, Alyssa Patterson and Sophia Von Haden — hail from Cascade, Eagle Point, Logos Charter, South Medford and St. Mary’s high schools, and the mentor artists are Jenny Calaba, Sheri Dinardi, David Masters, Nancy Jo Mullen and Silvia Trujillo.

    In the program, students learn new techniques to use in their work, how to present their work in an exhibit and gain insight to the life of a professional artist. The selected students spent 10 weeks with their mentors. The time, talent and dedication are evident in the quality of artwork on display that includes abstract, expressionism, impressionism and realistic styles in acrylic and oil, assemblage, pen-and-ink, charcoal and sculpture.

    A reception for the artists will be from 5 to 8 pm. at the Rogue Gallery, 40 N. Bartlett St. Refreshments will be served. Call 541-772-8118 for information.

    An extra bonus to this month's Third Friday art walk, 30 NORTH Fine Art Gallery opens its doors for three days to display Ashland artist Daniel Verner's "Love America" installation.

    The multimedia exhibit includes acrylic paintings by Verner, along with some of his smaller assemblages and found objects with texts addressing the theme of the show.

    Verner uses satire and humor to explore global attitudes toward taking resources from underdeveloped populations. An open discussion with Verner, authors and other visual artists will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at the gallery.

    There will be an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at the gallery, 30 N. Central Ave., and the venue will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 23.

    Verner will be present each day, and he'll perform instrumentals on the Greek bouzouki Sunday. Call 541-488-5245 for information.

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