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Jean Lester in her art studio.

Jean Lester works out of her home and studio in Ester, Alaska, just outside of Fairbanks. She studied painting in San Francisco after leaving her native Canada, and has lived and painted in Alaska since 1970. She is well known for her images of flowers, people and landscapes done in her own intuitive expressionistic style, and her paintings hang in private collections in the United States, Japan, Switzerland, and Canada.

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Artist Statement:

Painting is a large part of the meaning of my life. It is my dialogue with the world, giving depth and understanding to all aspects of my existence, an integral part of my essence. Every time I start a painting, it turns out differently from that which I had intended. It seems to take on a life of its own and often takes me on a wonderful journey that stretches my capabilities and broadens my whole life. I now leave many pieces unframed and untitled. My paintings are a salute to life and I neither want to contain nor define my vision, nor limit the imagination of my audience. I hope to engage an emotional as well as visual interaction.

– Jean Lester, March 2013

Lester is also known for her unique oral history books about notable Alaskans, in which she presents their life stories, told in their own words, along with her sensitive portraits in oils and pastels. Faces of Alaska: Voices Across the State, from the University of Alaska Press, is the third and final in a series that includes Faces of Alaska and Faces of Alaska from Barrow to Wrangell. Her most recent book is Jorgy: The Life of Native Alaskan Bush Pilot and Airline Captain Holger "Jorgy" Jorgensen.

Her work can be seen by appointment at her gallery in Ester and on her website.