Beneath the Mattress featuring Anna Kell & Liz Parrish | November 20th – December 19th

Converge Gallery is excited to announce the unusual pairing of two local artists: Anna Kell & Liz Parrish as they explore what is “Beneath the Mattress.” “Beneath the Mattress” is a playful exhibition featuring monsters, discarded materials, cats, ghosts, mattresses, and found objects.

The two artists were selected to show together by Converge Gallery director John Yogodzinski. “I feel that visually, these artists will exhibit well together,” Yogodzinski stated. “The subject matter is interesting and the visual contrast of Parrish’s monsters, which are often small and painted on found objects, will accentuate the large mattress canvases and visual installations that Kell has planned for the gallery space.”

This is Liz Parrish’s third major showing at Converge Gallery and Anna Kell’s first exhibition here in Williamsport.

Anna Kell

ak-7Anna Kell is an Assistant professor in the Department of Art & Art History at Bucknell University. Originally from Columbus, Indiana, Kell has a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Florida.

What connects all of her work is an investigation into the way nature is represented in our
cultural commodities. Kell builds her paintings and installations out of images of idealized nature: Victorian wallpapers, found paintings and prints, needlework, puzzles, posters, labels, patterned textiles from clothing, upholstered furniture, carpets, floral mattresses and even lampshades. These domestic ephemera become a visual vocabulary revealing the discrepancy between our cultural reality and an illusion of “the natural”.

Beyond the depiction of nature, Kell is interested in the way cultural possessions reveal the
desires and values of their owners as they relate to sex, class, and aesthetics. She collects objects from second-hand stores and yard sales in the unglamorous, rural places she has lived. Though the objects she works with are collected in specific locales, they extend beyond the local to demonstrate the influence that mass-production has with the unique culture of any particular place.

In her recent paintings, she has preserved and embellished existing stains and discoloration on found, discarded mattress fabrics. Undoubtedly for most people a stain signifies something unpleasant, something one is not supposed to see or acknowledge. Kell is interested in this automatic, negative reaction that people have to something very natural and physical. By reframing these accidental marks as the main imagery in the work, she hopes these stains can be read as painterly marks that have value and which speak to our connection to nature and history.

Liz Parrish

DSCN1345Liz Parrish is a contemporary painter whose work depicts a highly imaginative and personal realm. This surface reading belies their sophistication. Here the earthly and the celestial mesh in medieval-like hybrids. But, these are contemporary depictions of the human condition alive with anthropomorphism. Parrish takes us into the future through a timeless doorway where we get a whiff of Albrecht Durer’s eternal turf. Alas, this is as real as it gets.

Her work is characterized by playfully rendered animal hybrids that are strange as well as comic. After years of work, Parrish has refined the contours of her half-real, half-imagined creatures to tap into the essence of what makes a person care about an animal. Despite the cartoonish elements of her work, there’s an immediate connection to the real world, whether it’s through the incarnations of her almost mythologized household cats or the sometimes war-like, cannibalistic, and mischievous content in her scenes.

Beneath the Mattress opens on Friday, November 20th. The shows run until December 19th. An opening reception is planned for Friday, November 20th at 6pm.



About Converge Gallery

Converge Gallery was founded in 2011. The gallery, already internationally recognized for its ambitious program, has been extremely selective and focused on both emerging and notable mid-career artists with an increasingly more conceptual direction oriented to display the most challenging and innovative art.

What we are trying to do, without any pretense to define art, is to elevate the discussion about art, reality and perception. Converge Gallery’s goal is to sell the meaning and cultural context of an artwork along with the individual point of view of the artist that, encouraged to aim for a certain level of aesthetic value, clarity of content and vision is also required, as well as the ideal collector, to have an extensive knowledge about the intricate dynamics of contemporary art.

The greatest achievement for us would be to extend the boundaries of art beyond art itself and generate a dialectic exchange between artist and general public by interacting with the other disciplines with the objective to determine a wider understanding of what is happening here and now.

The gallery is located at 140 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, PA and gallery hours are Tuesday thru Saturday from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.

For all press inquiries, photo requests and a PDF catalog of the exhibition, please contact John Yogodzinski, Director, Converge Gallery : Web: Tel: 570.435.7080 Address: Converge Gallery 140 West 4th Street, Williamsport, PA 17701, USA