There are numerous galleries and shops where you can view the work of these local talents. The monthly art walks in Medford, Ashland and Grants Pass provide a fun, social environment for that. Information on those is listed at the end of this blog but right now I want to bring your attention to local artist Ryan Moon.

Ryan was born and raised in Medford, Ore, and he is about to blow up on the art scene! Catch him while you can. He has spent his whole career teaching and promoting other artists and businesses, but now is HIS time.

This 32-year-old’s first solo show is just around the corner, and it’s for a good cause. The Ryan Moon Gallery Event benefiting CASA of Jackson County is TONIGHT, Friday, July 29 from 4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Insurance Lounge in the Medford Center. A number of his pieces will be on display. Home Quest Realty is honored to help sponsor this event for such a great cause.

Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, of Jackson County is a non-profit organization responsible for recruiting, training and supporting the work of CASA volunteers. CASA volunteers do what no one else does—they donate their time to act as independent eyes and ears of the court and speak solely for the best interest of children and youth in the custody of the Department of Human Services (DHS).

What’s extra special about his first event benefiting CASA is that Moon spent a good portion of his youth being fostered by family and close family friends, when his mother was unable to care for him.

Moon works with oil on panel and glass, painting mostly portraiture because he is fascinated by the human element and the uniqueness of each person.

“People have guarded emotion,” says Moon. “It’s uncomfortable to hold eye contact in person, but not so if you are staring at a portrait. You can look into their eyes at length without the need to look away.”

He likes to incorporate a certain level of abstraction into his work. Moon says it creates an environment in which the viewer can reflect that it’s “just paint…crushed up rocks mixed into oil. When good abstract work happens, it becomes very subjective. People can relate and identify with it.”

That’s his goal. He wants people to be able to relate especially to the portraits he paints even if they don’t know the person he’s painted. Moon recalls one painting that his mother was quite moved by, even though she did not know the subject at the time. His mother said she could feel the sorrow of the subject, and Moon felt he had accomplished what he set out to express with his brush.

Naturally artists are challenged with creating the illusion that their subject is in a three dimensional space when they are working with only two dimensional materials.

“The abstract elements in my work create a certain amount of depth that I enjoy because there’s a disconnect from reality, and yet there is something that’s emerging from the chaos that is recognizable,” says Moon.

His work begs the viewer to lose themselves in it and enjoy it. Moon’s portraits have a way of showing the beauty of his subjects. His process is unusual. He does a fairly extensive underpainting and then creates his abstraction over it. That’s “the fun part,” he says. Most artists would be satisfied with the underpainting. Not him.

“The photograph is just a reference,” says Moon. “I get away from simply replicating it. I do the conceptual detailing after the portrait dries and then I build and find my way, giving my viewer just enough for their brain to interact with it on their own. It’s viewer participation, really.”

His incredible artwork was recently discovered by an agent who commissioned a few pieces from him and started driving him to come into his own. Now it’s Moon’s time to shine. This is an exciting time for him, yet also very uncomfortable. He was always told he could never make a living at art so it was something he just thought he could fall back on in life. Moon hasn’t ever actively pursued being an artist…until now.

Moon’s art has been featured in local galleries, as a book cover for Shipwrecks and Storm Clouds by Jim Wright, and in many private collectors’ residences across the states. Moon has painted many outstanding portraits as commissioned works and he also sells prints online. He currently teaches part-time as Art Instructor at Reach Charter School, runs a successful web design business and, of course, paints as often as possible. For more information, visit www.ryan-moon.com.

I am more than happy to sponsor the Ryan Moon Gallery Even benefitting CASA. Don’t miss it! The organizers are planning a night of art, food and fun.

LOCAL ART WALKS

Now, for some other opportunities to view local artists:

Third Friday Art Walk in Medford

Third Fridays in Medford celebrates all that downtown has to offer —shopping, dining, art and culture — a new experience each month

First Friday Artwalk in Ashland

An Ashland First Friday is an eclectic mix of visual delights, interesting conversations, intimate music and tasty treats. The collage of image and experience grows as you stroll the galleries in the Historical Downtown and Railroad Districts. Join us for the next Art Walk from 5 to 8 PM on the next First Friday.

Each month, the Ashland Gallery Association publishes an Art Walk Map detailing current exhibits. You can pick up a printed map in any participating gallery or download an online version.

 

First Friday Art Night and Roving Gallery Party in Grants Pass

On the first Friday night of each month (with the exception of January and sometimes the Friday of the July 4th weekend) downtown Grants Pass comes alive, remaining open after the shops’ usual hours and playing host to the local arts community. It's the Roving Gallery Art Party, aka The Art Walk, and from 6 through 9 pm, artists and artisans exhibit their works and wares while mingling with the art-appreciating public. Typically there is music in the air and refreshments are often served. Art exhibits continue to be displayed all month long. The Rogue Planet Network has been providing Grants Pass First Friday Art Night information since 2002.

More information, including a map, can be found at Rogue Planet's First Friday Art Walk Directory!

TIPS ON DISPLAYING ART IN YOUR HOME

New to the art scene and/or wondering what the best ways are to display it in your home once you’ve purchased a one-of-a-kind beauty? Here are some tips:

A Beginners Guide to Art in the Home

Expert Advice: 10 Tips on Displaying Art at Home