Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Thursday, May 5, 2016
CONTACT: Roy L. Williams, Director of Public Relations    
Birmingham Public Library                                               
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067                                                        
Central Library hosting new art gallery exhibit featuring Birmingham artist Merrilee Challis
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA—“Everything going forward must be either an elegy (for what we have lost) or a celebration (of what we have left). Or both.”
Those are the reflective words of Birmingham artist Merrilee Challiss. From May 7, 2016 through June 24, 2016, the Birmingham Public Library will showcase the artwork of Merrilee Challiss at the Central Library’s Fourth Floor Gallery, 2100 Park Place downtown. Enjoy energetic paintings and mixed media works of a pensive, psychedelic nature. Together these works make up Challiss’ New Ideal.
Come meet the artist at the opening reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 at the Central Library’s Fourth Floor Gallery and see why Challiss considers her work to be “meditations” of “imagined realms, abstracted from reality and real forms.”
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Merrilee Challiss is an artist based in Birmingham. She received her Bachelor’s in Art from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Master’s in Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 2015, she did residencies at Signal Fire, Portland, Oregon, and Starry Night Retreat, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. You can check out her work at 
“The paintings are failures of my attempts to represent energy and consciousness in its various stages, respective to the subject,” she said. “What is left of our world, despite our best efforts to destroy it, is still rife with wonder and beauty, fecundity and meaning. I see all natural systems, man, animal, and spirit as connected and constantly overlapping and co-existing on conscious and unconscious levels. I locate myself and my role as artist, in a meditative state, in the liminal realm between elegy and celebration, where the spirit and the unconscious trump our waking reality.”
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 19 locations and serving the community for 129 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.
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