Converge Gallery gives a sampling of upcoming exhibits for 2017

Converge Gallery will present its upcoming schedule of events for 2017, as it kicks off the year with “Wanderlust,” Jan. 6-28, at 140 W. Fourth St. After the resounding success of the inaugural preview exhibition in 2016, Converge Gallery has brought back this popular event which highlights the upcoming exhibitions slated for the rest of the year. The exhibition’s opening reception will be held from 6-9 p.m. Friday, with several artists featured in 2017 in attendance.

The Gallery will host a variety of group and solo exhibitions including several international, national, local and newfound artists. See contemporary art from the United Kingdom and France and check out the return of represented artists, Mathew Rose and Tyler Coey. Based on the success of “Selfie,” the Gallery will host its second annual juried exhibition in June titled, “Zeitgeist.” The theme will be current events from 2015 to the present.

“This group exhibition exemplifies the gallery mission of making innovative, contemporary artwork accessible to those in Central Pennsylvania,” said John Yogodzinski, director of Converge Gallery. “It is a great way to plan your year and see a wide variety of works in person while meeting some of the exhibiting artists.”

“Wanderlust” will showcase a few pieces from each of the nine exhibiting artists in 2017, including Polish artist Rene Gortat, street artist John Breiner, vector artist Abner Harris, “Selfie” award winner Kate Paul, represented artists Tyler Coey and Matthew Rose, Lycoming College alumnus Michael Bell, dark portrait artist Dillon Samuelson, and emerging artist Bryan McGinnis.

Curated by Faith Emrich, director of curatorial affairs, the exhibition will include information about Converge Gallery’s annual juried exhibition, “Zeitgeist,” and an experimental mystery exhibition, “The L.A. (PA) Residency.”

The 2017 program for Converge Gallery is filled with excitement, new energy and even a few surprises. With a new, focused gallery program and recently renovated exhibition space, the Gallery decided to generate an annual book as a new initiative. Serving as the inaugural edition, the collector’s book will showcase the 2017 exhibitions and will be available for purchase at the opening.

“This will catalog the different exhibitions that we show each year and provide gallery patrons with information and photos in order to excite you as every event arrives,” Yogodzinski said.

“I am so proud of the work our team has done with planning the year and putting this book together,” Emrich said. “I am proud that all of these wonderful artists are so excited to work with us, and I am glad to know that this book will be a way of commemorating the year and all of the achievements it holds once it is over.”

This year marks the return of some Converge Gallery favorites, including the street art inspired Tyler Coey and international collage master Matthew Rose.

“Tyler is ending a near two-year hiatus from art that began due to his life taking some unexpected turns,” Yogodzinski said. “He has returned to work with a new energy and vitality, and his new pieces utilize three dimensional canvases and cutouts, which add a bit of flare previously unseen in his art.”

An exhibition of new collages by Matthew Rose will showcase a newly curated body of work that is sure to play with one’s emotions. Yogodzinski believes the show will make people think about the English language and shed new light on ordinary, everyday objects.

“Rose has a playful nature to his found object work, and sometimes the simplicity of his collage is what makes it so strong and memorable,” he said. “We are excited to share these new works with you in September.”

In addition to returning favorites, the exhibition will be showcasing a few new artists that the Gallery discovered through its 2016 juried exhibition, “Selfie.” First place winner, Kate Paul, will be showcasing a focused body of work in May with her exhibition, “Some Infinities.”

During the month of October, the Gallery will examine the self-portrait again with its dual exhibition, “Two Faced,” which features the dark portraiture works of “Selfie” participant Dillon Samuelson and the more realist approach of Lycoming College alumnus, Michael Bell. Bryan McGinnis will close out the year in a very presidential way with his exhibition, “State of the Art.”

“I’m incredibly excited to showcase Kate and Bryan’s solo exhibitions as well as Dillon’s joint exhibition this year, and I truly can’t wait to see what our 2017 juried exhibition, ‘Zeitgeist’ brings to the gallery,” Emrich said.

Yogodzinski is excited to see what their juried show for this year will bring. Based on the success of “Selfie,” they decided to host a new juried exhibition this time focusing on current events titled “Zeitgeist.”

“Given the present political environment and the recent loss of many pop icons and influential people, we’re sure the show will be an interesting blend of mediums and media and is sure to spark emotions in everyone,” he said.

The gallery will be filled with color throughout 2017 thanks to exhibitions from Rene Gortat, John Breiner and Abner Harris. In February, the Gallery will be exhibiting the colorful, layered, almost sculptural works of Polish artist Rene Gortat. Gortat is pursuing a master’s in fine arts at Syracuse University and finds inspiration for his art in navigational street and subway maps.

With spring time just around the corner, the month of March brings an exhibition by New York City artist John Breiner, whose found object creations are fun, detailed, packed with color, and influenced by the streets and nature.

“Our April show transitions to the more defined lines and bezier curves of United Kingdom artist Abner Harris,” Yogodzinski said. “His subjects can be dreamlike and ambiguous, but they obey his own laws of cause and effect, often in reaction to other recent paintings of his.”

Yogodzinski is personally the most excited for their exhibit in November, “The L.A. (PA) Residency,” which he notes is more of a social experiment examining what makes art original or authentic than a traditional art exhibition.

“This Banksy-esque experiment pairs a famous mystery artist with groups of lesser-known artists to re-interpret and re-render existing works into brand new pieces of artwork,” he said. “Does this artistic process impact the validity of the works? Judge for yourself when this exhibit opens in November.”

“Cumulatively we have put together one of the most diverse, colorful and refreshing show schedules,” Emrich said. “This upcoming year is going to be full of excitement and I have no doubt that the time will fly by.”

Yogodzinski is incredibly proud of the team at Converge Gallery, as they have put together an amazing exhibition schedule for 2017.

“The momentum always builds with every exhibition, and after each opening night, I wonder, ‘Can it get any better?'” he said. “I’m confident that the answer is yes; and this year’s exhibitions will constantly transform the exhibition space and strongly resonate with the creative, art-loving community here in Central Pennsylvania. We can’t wait to share with you the amazing artists and exhibitions that we have planned for 2017.”