John Chehak, a former pharmacist, has been chosen as the cover artist for JMCP's annual issue featuring an artist with pharmaceutical, medical, or scientific background. Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he always knew he could draw and paint,but art was not his first career choice... In the early 80's he stopped practicing pharmacy...By the time he was in his late 40s, Chehak had begun to fully realize his artistic talents. Now that he is 10 years older, his work has come full circle. It is described on the Kavanaugh Gallery's Web site: "His muted colors and distinct choice of subject matter have attracted collectors throughout the nation. Many of Chehak's paintings emerge directly from his imagination. All of his work is original -- no prints or copies." A self-taught artist, he paints in acrylics on canvas or paper, and has recently produced 3-dimensional works in mixed media. Chehak says that painting helps him to express his emotions.
Although his subjects have included urban scenes in New York, Chicago, and New Orleans, he prefers the sedate, yet captivating, landscapes of the Midwest. Rural compositions of rolling hills, farmlands, red barns, and the like characterize his unique style. " I'm particularly fond of the symmetry and beauty of buildings and other structures, both urban and rural."
According to Sheila Macho, Cover Editor for JMCP magazine, "Chehak's Rooftops painting bears a slight resemblance to a Georges Braque Cubist landscape. Cubism was an early 20th century avant-garde art movement pioneered by Braque and Pablo Picasso that revolutionized European painting and sculpture. It is characterized by the process of construction -- of creating a pictoral rhythm, and converting the represented forms into the essential geometric shapes, which are the cube, the sphere, cylinder and cone. Even though the geometric shapes of the buildings in Rooftops form a multitude of angles, the overall effect is harmonious. Chehak achieved a sense of depth in this picture by gradually reducing the color saturation of the buildings as they recede into the background. The scene, reminiscent of an Italian village,appears to be impossibly crowed, yet believable at the same time. Perhaps the composition is a metaphor for urban overcrowding. Or it could represent the artist's state of mind -- his attempt to convey all of the feelings that he was experiencing at the time."
Chehak is currently represented by major art galleries in Iowa; Chait Galleries in downtown Iowa City and Kavanaugh Gallery in West Des Moines. His work has been featured on the University of Iowa's Website called the Daily Palette. In 2002 one of Chehak's paintings was selected by the Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack to hang in the governor's mansion. A complete series called "a portrait of a town" hangs at Schera's restuarant in Elkader Iowa.