Artist works to breathe life into the inanimate

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"Travelogue," by Don Gray.

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"Nine Stones" by Don Gray.

A show titled "Heaven & Earth: The Art of Don Gray" will be displayed June 4-Sept. 10 in the Memorial Building on the Whitman College campus. There will be an opening reception 4 p.m. June 4 on the third floor of the Memorial Building.

Don Gray's earliest inspirations came from the landscape of his childhood in rural Northeast Oregon. Gray exhibited widely in the Pacific Northwest, becoming known for meticulously rendered realist landscape and figure paintings. Over the years, his work has expanded to include energetic combinations of abstraction and representation. Gray has painted numerous murals and exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country. This prolific artist has taught college-level courses and workshops and illustrated over twenty books. He keeps an online journal (www.dailyartwest.com) where he posts small daily paintings and commentary.

According to a news release regarding the exhibition "Heaven and Earth," the artist said, "This series grew out of my noticing boulders placed around the edge of a small gravel parking lot at Ladd Marsh, in the Grande Ronde Valley of northeast Oregon. It occurred to me that the only reason we think of a rock as inanimate is because its lifespan is unimaginably longer than our own. I began to sense the 'life' in these stones, as a vital part of the living earth ..."

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