J.J. L’Heureux is a visual artist based in Venice, CA who makes documentary style photographs as well as paintings and collages. She is an environmentalist who is interested in the micro and the macro. This has led her to photograph both near and far— the community around her Venice Beach studio as well as the exotic Antarctic landscape.
In 2000 L’Heureux made her first foray to Antarctica and returned every year thereafter accumulating a huge archive of digital images that range from close-ups of albatross and penguins, to expansive shots of the Ross Ice Shelf as well as more intimate pictures of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s hut at Cape Royds. L’Heureux initially traveled to Antarctica to photograph the patterns of ice and snow as source material for a series of abstract paintings. She was seduced and intrigued by the beauty of the white on white wilderness and realized there were more aspects of the landscape that attention must be paid to that she expanded her project to include photographing Antarctica’s environs, wildlife and history.
L’Heureux is a naturalist and true adventurer. Her numerous photographic series include images of penguins, seals and polar bears in the Arctic as well as photographs of the people she encounters on her expeditions. To travel so far and endure harsh conditions takes a seasoned traveler and if L’Heureux was not that before her first journey she has certainly become one.
In order to make the photographs she experienced Antarctica as a passenger on Russian icebreakers, participated as an art and photography lecturer on adventure cruises as well as on her own in a small motor sailor, the Golden Fleece, to circumnavigate South Georgia Island. L’Heureux also participated with the South African Penguin Study on Robben Island, South Africa, collecting data that the Marine and Coastal Management Unit of South Africa used to learn about the habits of this endangered species.
L’Heureux’s work has been included in hundreds of national and international solo and group exhibitions since the 1980’s. 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 has 4 solo exhibitions installed at museums in 2017 and currently is participating in several group exhibitions throughout the United States.