Painter, photographer, explorer 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 by the wildlife and pristine environment. Penguins, all types of seals, and the unique varieties of birdlife found in the Southern Ocean and its environs became living models for her in the wind-swept setting of the vast, icy wilderness that is Antarctica. Since that initial trip, Ms. L’Heureux has returned to Antarctica every season where she continues to collect images for her extensive digital database.
From February to March 2013 Ms L’Heureux undertook her 13th expedition to Antarctica. She was able to fly into the Taylor Dry Valley and study the Canada Glacier, one of the only “ moving, without movement” glaciers as it stays in approximately the same place because as it moves slowly forward it evaporates at the front in the extremely windy, dry and extra cold air. The expedition crossed the Ross Sea, Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea before leaving the Southern Ocean.
In January 2011, Ms. L'Heureux had been in the Ross Sea, with the Scott Family Expedition in memory of Admiral Robert Scott, the Antarctica explorer who died in 1912 while returning from his historic trek to the South Pole.
In June 2012, Ms L’Heureux participated on a joint venture with the London Zoo in an on-going attempt to preserve a highly endangered, and barely known, Spoon-billed Sandpiper in the Kamchatka Region of Russia and then continued up to Wrangel Island in the Arctic.
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).
Ms. L’Heureux’ travels have resulted in two books. The photographs of penguins in the Good Day Book came from many 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 animated and personable wildlife that inhabit the Southern Ocean.
Ms. L’Heureux has exhibited extensively in galleries and museums in the United States and abroad. Recent selected solo exhibitions include The Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Texas (2013), The Athy Heritage Centre Museum (Shackleton Museum), County Kildare, Ireland (2012), The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa (2012), The G2 Gallery, Venice, California (2011), The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana (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, California. 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.
The Good Day Book and Faces from the Southern Ocean are available at
The G2 Gallery, 1503 Abbott Kinney Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90291; 310.452.2842 and Amazon.
Ms. L’Heureux websites are www.jjLHeureux.com and www.penguinspirit.com