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'In Our Nature' exhibit opening at Chesterton Art Center
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'In Our Nature' exhibit opening at Chesterton Art Center

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"In Our Nature," an exhibit by local artists Mary Ann Pals and Larry Jensen, opens Thursday at the Chesterton Art Center.

The exhibition, which runs through Oct. 30 at the gallery at 115 S. 4th St. in Chesterton, features nature-themed works: Pals' pastel paintings and Jensen's mixed media pieces. An opening reception will take place from 2-4 p.m. Sunday where Pals will paint a fall scene using Ludwig Pastels and Jensen will show off the various woods he uses in his work, as well as his latest book.

"Mary Ann Pals is a pastel and charcoal artist based out of Chesterton," the Chesterton Art Center said in a news release. "Pals regularly exhibits her work in area, national and international shows and art fairs. She is a member of two nationally recognized pastel societies: Great Lakes Pastel Society and Chicago Pastel Painters. She has also received Master Circle status from the International Association of Pastel Societies. In 2008, she was honored to have her pastel painting of a Lake Michigan sunset chosen by Indiana's Lieutenant Governor to hang in the Indiana Statehouse for one year."

Pals' paintings draw from her experiences traveling, hiking, bird watching and taking photos for reference.

“Nature says it best," she said. "I just embellish the tale.”

Jensen has been working with wood since boyhood, when his father taught him how to build a small barn from orange crate slats and he and his grandfather built a table for his Gilbert chemistry set. He later built a table for his future wife with wood scavenged from a dulcimer maker while they were visiting the Smoky Mountains.

He's been woodturning since buying an old lathe while visiting a friend in Milwaukee in 1994.

"Recently he has merged wood and epoxy resin tainted with colorful, texturous powders: blue corn meal, coffee grounds, pastel chalk," the Chesterton Art Center said in a news release. "In 2009 he was accepted as the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s Artist-in-Residence. For the required exhibit he created the book, 'Turning Timbers,' showing art turnings from 41 trees indigenous to the National Lakeshore. Now, in 2019, he has created a companion book, 'In My Nature,' using the same format as the original — 41 trees, plus 5 additionals."

For more information, call 219.926-4711 or visit chestertonart.com or facebook.com/chestertonartcenter.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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