Monday, May 09, 2016

Central Library Hosting New Art Gallery Exhibit Featuring Birmingham Artist Merrilee Challiss

“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. Enjoy energetic paintings and mixed media works of a pensive, psychedelic nature. Together these works make up Challiss’ New Ideal: New Works exhibit.

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 or

“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.”

Merrilee Challiss


Susie said...

It's such a shame that the elevators at the Central Library are not working and that you have to request to be escorted to and from this exhibit. I truly am shocked that the elevators have not been working for quite some time!

Anonymous said...

First of all, let me thank you for visiting the Central Library and our new exhibition. Our staff is perfectly happy to escort patrons to our
4th floor gallery area until the necessary repairs can be made on our elevators--work will get underway soon. Typically, when our elevators go down, repairs can be made immediately. This time, the problem is more costly and, as a city department, it takes just a little longer to get repairs in this price range made.

We hope you will come back for another visit soon.

Angela Fisher Hall
Library Director