John Van Dreal: Still Lifes and Figures

'Chair with Berries and Ribbon,' by John Van Dreal, 2006, oil on linen'Chair Dusk-lit Figure Seated in Subtle Rejection of Impersonation,' by John Van Dreal, 2006, oil on linen'Ribbon and Apples with Decanter #1,' by John Van Dreal, 2006, oil on canvas panelA small exhibition of work by Salem painter John Van Dreal will open Jan. 6 and continue through March 4 in the Study Gallery of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University.

Organized by Director John Olbrantz in collaboration with the artist, John Van Dreal: Still Lifes and Figures will feature 13 works created in 2006 specifically for the exhibition. Van Dreal draws on Old Master techniques to create still lifes, landscapes and figures.

Born in Colorado in 1962 and raised in Southern California, Van Dreal began painting when he was 7 with instruction from his father, an accomplished watercolorist. He received his formal art education at Brigham Young University, where he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in studio art and a master of education degree in educational psychology. In addition to his art, Van Dreal has worked for the past decade as a school psychologist with the Salem-Keizer School District.

Van Dreal has been featured in dozens of one-person and group exhibitions over the years and his work is a part of numerous public and private collections throughout the region, including the University of Portland, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, the State of Oregon and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, among others. He is a signature member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society.

Van Dreal paints from photographs and sketches, choosing to portray subjects such as still lifes, landscapes, and the human figure that have a rich history in Western art. A great admirer of the Dutch masters of the 17th and 18th centuries, he prefers oil paint because of its richness, luminosity and slow drying time, allowing him to work and re-work a piece until he is completely satisfied with it. Van Dreal has said he wants to create imagery that is evocative, intellectual and spiritual, rooted in the past but with a contemporary edge.

John Van Dreal: Still Lifes and Figures has been supported in part by grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State St. (corner of State and Cottage streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and, starting Jan. 7, Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed Mondays. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free, and Tuesday is an admission-free day. For more information call (503) 370-6855.