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Exhibit Dates: January 18 – March 1, 2013

(Medford, OR) – January 4, 2013– Since ancient times, humans have created artwork depicting the human figure. The oldest known work of art is a female figure, estimated to have been carved from stone over 25,000 years ago. Artists today are still inspired by the human form, and artwork by nine local artists will be on display in the Main Gallery at the Rogue Gallery & Art Center from January 18th – March 1st.

As the first Main Gallery exhibit of 2013, Rogue Valley artists Kevin Christman, Keith Johnson, Inger Nova Jorgensen, Katharine Gracey, Janet Higgins, Denise Souza Finney, Christie Michelle Stewart, Karen Staal, and Daniel Verner present painting, mixed-media, and sculpture depicting the human figure in innovative ways. The exhibition opens Friday, January 18th at 10:00 AM with an opening reception open to the public and free of charge that evening from 5:00 – 8:00 PM during Medford’s Third Fridays.

Each artist addresses the human figure and places them in a context beyond simply realistic depiction of the human form. Please be advised: the Figuratively Speaking exhibition contains paintings and sculptures that depict nudity.

Kevin Christman’s sculpture and wall hangings depict the human figure “as an allegory for biological and spiritual inward movement,” he states. Born in Saint Cloud, Minnesota and moving to Los Angeles at the age of twenty, Christman worked for Northrop Corporation and MacDonnell Douglas Aerospace as a research and development engineer before studying Fine Art at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. After apprenticing with various artists in Los Angeles and Santa Fe, New Mexico, Kevin moved to Ashland, Oregon and now works from his studio in Talent.

Keith Johnson creates mixed media paintings and drawings from his Jacksonville studio and says, “My paintings are born of the world around me and through some mysterious journey, are transformed into images caught in time onto canvas or paper.” Johnson is represented by galleries in Oregon and London and his artwork has been seen throughout the United States and Europe. He studied Advertising Art and Industrial Design and earned a MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Printmaking and Painting. His paintings are the results of letting go and allowing the art to develop its own life and its own voice.

Inger Nova Jorgensen paints the human figure on canvas and says, “The paintings depict the transparent state, where we allow our true selves to stand and wholeness to emerge. If we can connect in this way with ourselves and others, we may be able to gain a deeper understanding where peace can grow, having the potential extend into communities, and to the world.” Jorgensen has a degree in Fine Art from Humboldt State University and owned Bohemia Gallery in Ashland. She currently paints and sculpts at Talent Studios and is inspired by her musical endeavors as well as recent trips to paint during International Painters Week in Domburg, Netherlands.

Katharine Gracey explores the figure with whimsical oil paintings that, “take the viewer into a surreal space that is inspired by the European lifestyle,” she says. Raised in the Midwest, Katharine started painting at an early age, absorbing the peaceful farm life of the Great Lakes. After earning an art degree from the University of Wisconsin, she pursued painting as her main focus, specializing in watercolor, acrylic and oils. She lives and paints in Jacksonville.

Janet Higgins presents sculpture with saturated color and she says, “My work is often figurative, an influence from my ballet days, and tends to express my sense of humor.” Originally from the Bay Area in California, Janet and her family have lived in Grants Pass for 19 years. She has a degree in Fine Art from UC Berkeley and lived in Hong Kong with her husband and 3 children for 9 years. She is a partner in a local arts group, AMBUS, and teaches sculpture at Rogue Community College.

Denise Souza Finney paints the human figure with an emphasis on gesture. Souza Finney states, “I prefer to show the gesture of a pose and have more interest in the qualities of the paint and what it brings to the gesture. I strive for simplicity in my work and a relationship of color combined with a sense of movement that will create a strong emotional picture.” She lives in Ashland with her family, is a practicing yogi, and paints in her studio, a converted 100 year old barn surrounded by gardens.

Christie Michele Stewart is a classically trained artist whose finely crafted paintings merge the natural beauty of life with qualities of dream and narrative. After studying at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, she moved to Chicago to continue her studies at the Ravenswood Atelier, and then settled in Oregon. Her artwork has been seen in galleries in Chicago, Oregon, and Connecticut and San Antonio, Texas.

Karen Staal specializes in oil paintings of the human figure. While her portrayals are somewhat realistic, she states of her paintings, “They are more than realistic. My goal is not to depict people exactly as they are, but to interpret them by creating new harmonies with line, shape, and color.” Staal holds a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and also earned a degree from the Kendall School of Design. She studied painting at American University, Ridgewood Art Academy, and Southern Oregon University.

Daniel Verner presents paintings that are post-modern and of a representational narrative style. He states of his process, “Art transforms the artist. The experience of creating art exposes our essence, giving birth to a new consciousness. That revealing event leaves us with an even greater essence.” His work evokes a response or conversation with the viewer. He is self-taught and works from his studio in Ashland.
This exhibit is sponsored and curated by the Rogue Gallery & Art Center. All exhibitions are open to the public and offered free of charge. The Rogue Gallery & Art Center offers a variety of exhibition opportunities for local and regional artists. For more information, please visit or stop by in person during open hours.

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The Rogue Gallery & Art Center is the Rogue Valley’s premier non-profit community art center founded in 1960 to promote and nurture the visual arts in the Rogue Valley. The Art Center showcases emerging and established regional artists, presents fine crafts by area artisans, and offers a broad range of visual art classes and workshops for all ages. RGAC is located in Medford at 40 South Bartlett Street. The hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We are open every third Friday until 8:00pm.

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