March 4 – 30, 2023 | Annex studio

An AIR at the Bush Gallery provides the ideal environment for creative work and a chance to meet the public. Reactions from visitors are valuable to the creative process. The spacious studio room is also an inspiration and is very quiet.


John Eells has been painting since before Oil Painting 101 at Colgate University in New York State.  His painting activity has intensified over the last nineteen years to become his main life activity.  Underway he has taken drawing, painting and sculpture courses from private teachers, colleges and art schools and has studied under such noted artists as James Russell, Christine Cohen, Patricia Osborne, Bob Burridge, Sue Siskin, Mirna M. White and Marsha Connell.  In 2005 he was a painting guest of the Thunderbird Foundation at the Maynard Dixon Ranch in Orderville, Utah.

John paints in a variety of styles in watercolors, oils and acrylics.  His subject matter runs from the mythic and abstract to the realistic and representational.  He is obviously unwilling to be tied down to any particular means of expression.

John likes to “leave tracks” in his paintings in the form of unerased pencil lines, creases in the canvas, ghost images to remind the viewer that he/she is looking a hand created work of art.

John’s paintings hang in wineries, bed and breakfasts, businesses and private homes.  He has shown in juried shows at the Mendocino Art Center, the Main Street Gallery in Lakeport, CA, MBG’s “Art in the Garden,” and “Winesong” in Ft. Bragg, CA, the Salem Art Association Gallery, the SAA Clay Ball and The annual Something Red exhibition in Salem, Oregon among others.  He has taught watercolor painting and abstract painting.

John is a resident of Salem and a new member of the Salem Art Association and Artists in Action.

“The viewer participates in the creation of each work by involving his or her own sensations in the encounter.  One may feel that she or he is in the presence of something beautiful or something strange or something indescribable.  There is no requirement that he or she feel what I felt as I was creating the painting. The viewer is also free to feel nothing. How could it be otherwise?  But perhaps feeling nothing is also feeling something. Please feel free.”

Slide 1

The Salem Art Association is offering several categories as part of the 2024 Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program in the Annex at the Bush Barn Art Center. This residency offers a dedicated studio space for artist(s) to experiment and create new work.

Slide 1
About: Artist-in-Residence (AIR)

The Salem Art Association’s Community Arts Education program hosts an Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program in the Annex. This program aims to serve artists by providing a flexible space for artistic development and experimentation.

Slide 3

AIR studio space is located in the Annex at the Bush Barn Art Center. Completely renovated in 2016, the studio is geared primarily toward printmaking but can accommodate artists working in a variety of media. Separated from the studio by two, large sliding doors (which can be left open to encourage public interaction while working), is a large gallery which is made available for the AIR to display their process and/or finished work, or host workshops, lectures, etc.

Slide 3

Please feel free to contact Kathleen Dinges Rice, Artists Resources and Outreach Director, at anytime with questions. She can be reached at 503-581-2228 x312 or

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