Lewisburg, Union County-The Downtown Art Gallery will present "Pentimenti," a solo exhibition by Anna
Kell, assistant professor of art at Bucknell University. The exhibition, which
begins Jan. 16, may be seen through March 22. Admission is free during gallery
Kell asks viewers to consider how nature is depicted in their homes and
question what stories these objects may tell, saying "What does nature look like
in your living room? Are there roses on your wallpaper, or seashells on a
After a more traditional start painting images of nature as she saw it, Kell
began to question this idea of "nature." Rather than looking at reflections of
herself in the way a rock eroded or a plant grew, she realized that the
unnoticed representations of nature in everyday objects might have something to
say about society in general.
"I am assuming that if I examine them in a certain way, they will tell me
something about the culture in which they are made" said Kell.
The title of the exhibition, "Pentimenti," comes from the Italian word for repentance. In an
art context, "to repent" has been used to describe the alteration of a painting,
evidenced by traces of under painting from a previous version. The act of
"pentimenti" reveals the impulse of change or superimposing another's hand on an
existing work of art.
Kell contemporizes this historical tradition, painting over ornate patterns
already found on the surface of fabrics, such as a mattress covers, highlighting
what is already there. She also takes notice of stains and other markings from
the object's past, incorporating these in the final product.
The discarded mattress or scraps of wallpaper tossed aside are considered
opportune for Kell, who connects with these objects from an anthropological
"Anna tells a beautiful story from traces of the forgotten," said Pam
Campanaro, gallery associate. "I met with her for a studio visit a few months
back and was taken aback by the methodical nature of her work.
"She incorporates her hand as a painter into the life of the found, stained
object. The final product is a glimpse into what the object used to be as
discarded trash in nature and how it exists now."
An opening reception will be held Thursday, Jan. 24, at 6 p.m. in the
Downtown Art Gallery, located at 416 Market St. in Lewisburg. Kell will give
opening remarks. The public is invited to engage with the artist and continue
the dialogue surrounding her work. Refreshments and light snacks will be served.
This event is open and free to the public.
Future public programming for "Pentimenti" will continue the discussion of the discarded object in nature. Kell will lead a walking tour through Lewisburg on Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. to uncover objects in the community of interest to tour participants, followed by a workshop on the contemporary pentimenti, allowing participants to alter the found objects. To participate, contact Pam Campanaro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Info from Kathryn Kopchik)