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Depictions of Dayton farms, orchards to decorate governor's office

Artist and academic Richard Thompson is the latest artist to have works exhibited at the Governor's Office at the Oregon Capitol in Salem.

COURTESY PHOTO - Artwork by R. ThompsonGov. Kate Brown's ceremonial office will feature paintings by Dayton artist Richard Thompson from Friday until Jan. 31.

The collection, "Paintings from 97114" illuminate the farms and orchards in that Oregon ZIP code.

The paintings can be viewed at the Governor's Office at the Oregon Capitol in Salem, 900 Court St. NE, during regular business hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Thompson returned to live on his family farm just outside of Dayton in 2011. His homecoming following a 30-year academic and professional career in New Mexico, Texas and New York.

"The agricultural landscape outside Thompson's studio door — with its spread of fields bounded by forests, clusters of farm buildings reminiscent of still-life elements, distant blue mountains, and vast blowing skies — provides the inspiration and central focus for Thompson's recent works," according to a news release about the exhibit.

Thompson studdied forestry at Oregon State University and later graduated with a master's degree in painting and drawing from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, in 1972.

He worked as a professor of painting at the University of Texas, Austin, and was a dean and professor at the School of Art and Design, NYS College of Ceramics, Alfred University, in addition to other academic positions.

He has exhibited nationally and internationally.

Curator Amanda Hunt selected some of his works for the Portland 2014 Biennial. He also has artwork in collections of the Portland Art Museum, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem; the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene; and Maryhill Museum, Maryhill, Wash.

The Art in the Governor's Office Program honors selected artists in Oregon with exhibitions in the reception area of the Governor's Office in the State Capitol. Artists are nominated by a statewide committee of arts professionals who consider artists representing the breadth and diversity of artistic practice across Oregon, and are then selected by the Arts Commission with the participation of the Governor's Office. Only professional, living Oregon artists are considered and an exhibit in the Governor's Office is considered a "once in a lifetime" honor. Artists whose work has previously been shown in the Governor's Office include Henk Pander, Michele Russo, Manuel Izquierdo, James Lavadour, Margot Thompson, Gordon Gilkey and Yuji Hiratsuka.