Salem Convention Center Acquires Major Painting by Jon Jay Cruson

August 15, 2016

The Salem Convention Center has acquired a large landscape painting by Jon Jay Cruson for its collection through a unique partnership with the nonprofit Oregon Artists Series Foundation.  Cruson’s “Distant Horizon,” a 48” x 48” acrylic on canvas work, has been installed on the west end of the first floor, where it can be seen when the center is open.

Since 2006, the Oregon Artists Series has facilitated the support of art throughout the Convention Center: the Mayor’s Art Annual exhibitions and purchase of works from it; acquisitions and loans of exterior sculptures installed south of the building; and collaborations with the Hallie Ford Museum of Art which loans contemporary works from its collection at Willamette University.

The purchase of “Distant Horizon” marks the Convention Center’s first art acquisition in 2016.

“The Convention Center hosts events that bring people from across the globe to Salem. We’re thrilled to have a painting that so beautifully reflects the landscape of Oregon as this one,” said Chrissie Bertsch, General Manager. “Our partnership with the Oregon Artists Series Foundation helps us identify artists and works for our facility.”

Jon Jay Cruson was born in the Sacramento Valley, California.  He attended school in Oregon, receiving his BS and Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Oregon. He spent a year in Vietnam during the late 1960’s fulfilling his military obligation.

For several years Cruson taught painting and lithography at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and Treasure Valley Community College. In the early 1970’s he gave up teaching and began pursuing painting and print making as a full time career. His work caught the eye of Betty Gray who began exhibiting his prints at Salishan Lodge, developed by her husband, John Gray.  

Cruson has work in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Chrysler Corporation in Michigan, and throughout Oregon. In Salem, Cruson’s work can be seen at the Oregon State Capital, Salem Public Library, the Oregon Supreme Court Building and SAIF. He currently lives and works in Eugene and is represented by the Mary Lou Zeek Gallery.