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June Jurcak to paint plein aire and display work at Art in the Garden

As they walked hand and hand through the flower beds, June’s focus was on the beautiful flowers in their perfect rows.

Grandma Lee had a little story to tell her about each flower. It was a magical time of her life, living next door to her grandparents in Michigan, while growing up.

June Jurcak, watercolor artist, will be present for the second year and work plein aire at the third annual Art in the Garden Festival, to be held on Saturday, Aug. 21 from 3 to 7 p.m. The festival will take place on the gorgeous grounds of Werner and Maryse Buck’s property, located in Continental Estates approximately 2.5 miles from the turnoff of U. S. 160 onto U. S. 84.

One of June’s major concerns when she and her husband decided to move away from their families to the mountains of Colorado, was whether her grandparents would be disappointed. Just as in the past, they were supportive of her and her desire to explore new territories. Her grandfather’s comment was that she should go and discover the world.

June remembers the family as being those who most influenced her desire to pursue art. Both her father and her mother enjoyed having June and her sister experiment with painting. They never fussed about the messes that often occur when children paint. Their presence and encouragement was always a stabilizing factor in her life, and enabled June to reach deeper into learning more. She considers herself self-taught since she did not have any formal training. Her mother would often take June and her sister to art exhibitions and museums which allowed her to obtain greater knowledge.

Watercolor is June’s preferred medium. The illusion of movement is more prevalent in this medium, which draws the viewer into a painting by capturing the eye and pulling the viewer time and time again into reexamining the scene. She especially enjoys painting flowers, insects and hummingbirds. The memories of the times she spent walking through her grandparents’ gardens remains a great influence on her passion for art and continues to energize her artwork. One of her desires is that viewers will discover the joy in the beauty and breath of her artwork.

June and her husband, with their two daughters, had enjoyed visiting the mountains of Colorado when they decided to move to Durango. After telling their family and friends about their plans to move, the owner of Design Works Gallery, who represents June’s work in Michigan, advised them if they were serious about the move they should consider visiting Pagosa Springs before making a final decision. She informed them she had numerous dealings in Pagosa. In addition, the Pagosa people were always courteous, friendly and easy to deal with. The Jurcaks took her advice about visiting here and, on the first day of their visit, found the ideal property and then purchased it, moving here in 2007.

June’s work is represented locally by Wild Spirit Gallery. She has produced a unique line of cards featuring birds and flowers that she originally started making as gifts. They are available at Higher Grounds and Joy’s Natural Foods.

June Jurcak is one of 15 artists who have been juried into the show and who will exhibit and sell their art at this year’s Art in the Garden. Thirty percent of all art sales will be donated to the community assistance fund to aid the poor, needy and elderly in our community. Along with the beautiful art, live music, and delicious samplings of gourmet French food , a French marketplace selling freshly baked bread and locally grown fresh vegetables will be featured. Tickets for this worthwhile cause will go on sale on July 1 at Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Nello’s and Community United Methodist Church.

For additional information about Art in the Garden, go to the website at