Chesterton Tribune



Opening Reception Sunday, October 6 for 'In Our Nature' art exhibit at Chesterton Art Center

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The Chesterton Art Center will host the Opening Reception for Mary Ann Pals and Larry Jensen on Sunday, October 6, from 2-4 p.m.

The exhibit titled, "In Our Nature" will showcase pastel pieces by Pals, and mixed media works by Jensen, all with a nature theme. The show will hang at the Art Center from October 3 through October 30.

Mary Ann Pals, of Chesterton, is a pastel and charcoal artist. She 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. Pals 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. In 2013, she had a drawing published in the highly acclaimed art series, Strokes of Genius 5, and in 2018 she received Fourth Place in the Animal/Wildlife category of Pastel Journal magazine's Pastel 100 competition.

Pals enjoys teaching drawing and pastel painting to adults and teens. Artwork is her passion. She enjoys creating lifelike scenes that depicts natural beauty. She has traveled extensively with her family across the US, hiking, bird watching, and taking lots of reference photos. Her frequent travels provide her with a rich library of visual images and memories. “Nature says it best. I just embellish the tale,” Pals said.

Larry Jensen’s first wood project was a small barn his father taught him to build using orange crate slats. Later, he was given a Gilbert chemistry set, and his grandfather helped him build a table on which to do his stinky experiments. In junior high all boys were required to take shop classes, one of which was woodworking. There he used a lathe to make handles for a foot stool. These skills lay latent until his late twenties when Larry met his future wife and they went to the Smoky Mountains. There he scavenged a walnut board scrap from a dulcimer maker and fashioned a table for her, a present which she still uses.

Serendipitously, about 1994, while visiting a longtime friend in Milwaukee, Larry was asked if he would like to buy an old (circa 1934) lathe for a mere $100. That began Lars’ career of woodturning. Recently he has merged wood and epoxy resin tinted with colorful, texturous powders (blue corn meal, coffee grounds, pastel chalk). In 2009 he was accepted as the IN 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 five additionals.

During the reception, Mary Ann will do a pastel demonstration of a fall scene using Ludwig Pastels. Larry will have show 'n tell with samples of the various woods he incorporates into his work, along with a copy of his latest book.

The Chesterton Art Center is located at 115 S. 4th St., Chesterton. For a full list of upcoming events, please see the website at




Posted 10/1/2019




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