Photographer, painter, adventurer and naturalist – these are the words that describe the artist J.J. L’Heureux. Ms. L’Heureux made her first trip to Antarctica in 2000 where she collected digital images of ice and snow for a white-on-white color field series of “landscape” paintings. During this expedition she became fascinated pristine environment, history and animals she discovered there. The Southern Ocean and its environs became living models for her in the wind-swept setting of the vast, fragile, icy wilderness that is Antarctica. After this first exposure to Antarctica she returned every year thereafter to continue building her digital database.
She has traveled as a passenger on Russian icebreakers, as an art and photography lecturer on adventure cruises, and on her own in a small motor sailor, the Golden Fleece. She also participated with The South African Penguin Study on Robben Island, South Africa, part of a project with The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB). As a “citizen scientist” she has collected air samples on Antarctic Expeditions to measure carbon dioxide levels for the GNS Science and NIWA Project funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Program. Ms. L’Heureux explores the Arctic Regions, especially the Kamchatka Region of Russia, by participating on a joint venture with the London Zoo in an on-going attempt to preserve a highly endangered, and barely known, Spoon-billed Sandpaper.
Ms. L’Heureux’ travels have resulted in two books. The photographs of penguins in the Good Day Book came from ten different expeditions that she made to Antarctica. Faces from the Southern Ocean, Ms. L’Heureux’ most recent book conveys the sense of intimacy she experienced when she first saw the ‘faces’ of the amazing wildlife that inhabit the Antarctica continent. She was captivated by faces such as those of the Wandering Albatross, the Elephant Seal, the Emperor and Royal Penguins.
Ms. L’Heureux has exhibited extensively throughout galleries and museums in the United States and abroad. Recent selected solo exhibitions include The International Wildlife Museum, Tucson, AZ (2014), The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Fort Worth, TX (2013), The Athy Heritage Museum (Shackleton Museum), County Kildare, Ireland (2012), The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IO (2012), The G2 Gallery, Venice, CA (2011), The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN (2010), North Museum, Lancaster, PA (2009), Fernbank Museum, Atlanta, GA (2008), and The Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, MO (2007).
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, J.J. L’Heureux lives and works out of her studio in Venice, CA. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California, the Academy of Art, San Francisco, California, the Parsons School of Design, New York, New York, and Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan. She also completed a one-year course taught in conjunction with the San Francisco Zoological Society and the University of California that led to her becoming a certified docent at the San Francisco Zoo.
Ms. L’Heureux website is www.jjlheureux.com