14 Nov

Converge Gallery & Johnny Romeo team up to present L.A. (Local Access) Residency

11/14/2017 - 11/25/2017
09:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Arthaus Projects

Internationally acclaimed Australian Pop painter Johnny Romeo and Converge Gallery, Williamsport, are proud to announce the launch of their latest joint venture, THE LA RESIDENCY (LOCAL ACCESS). Opening on November 3, THE LA RESIDENCY is an exciting new community art project that showcases some of Pennsylvania's leading artistic talent in a completely new and forward-thinking way. 


THE LA RESIDENCY is the creative brainchild of Johnny Romeo, and brings together an eclectic and dynamic line-up of 12 Pennsylvania based artists. The project features Chad Andrews, Daniel Berberich, Andrea Mcdonough Varner, Matthew Rose, Jeremiah Johnson, Kurt Hermann, John McKaig, Mark Loughney, Brian Spies, Tyler Coey, Liz Parish, and Mike Eagan, alongside Johnny Romeo and his Sydney based artist assistant Abigail Atienza. Curated by Romeo, the line-up of participating artists each represent a distinct and electrifying voice within the contemporary Pennsylvanian art scene. From the surrealism of Mark Loughney and Liz Parish, to the Pop collages of Matthew Rose, THE LA RESIDENCY draws on a diverse and thrilling cross-spectrum of art-making practices. A firm believer in supporting emerging talent, Romeo will also hand-select works from local college and university students to be featured in the show. 


Each of the participating artists have contributed 10 small works on paper to be exhibited. Given only 15 - 30 minutes to complete the works, THE LA RESIDENCY offers artists the freedom to remain as true to their style as the short time frame allows, while openly encouraging them to embrace immediacy and a gestural approach to art-making. The paper works exhibited are characterised by a liberating sense of looseness and urgency that sees artists moving out of their comfort zones, highlighting the artistic process at its most raw and spontaneous. 


Shifting away from the often personality-driven world of the art market, all of the paper works featured are unsigned and priced at $50. In making each artist essentially anonymous, Johnny Romeo and Converge Gallery have given the community the unique opportunity to engage with artworks on a completely intuitive level. THE LA RESIDENCY aims to democratize art, allowing audiences to develop their own sense of the value of works based on their own emotional connections and reactions to the pieces, without reputations and market-values dictating how one should feel and for what price. 


THE LA RESIDENCY aspires to capture the wide-eyed wonderment of discovery that we experience as children. All of the works presented are wrapped in a plastic sleeve that resemble those that cover comic book issues, an allusion to Romeo's own youth and his early love of characters such as Batman and Spiderman. By simulating this experience within a fine art context, THE LA RESIDENCY hopes to spark a sense of joy within audiences discovering artists and works for the first time. 


The name 'LOCAL ACCESS', in this sense, perfectly encapsulates the collective aims of Johnny Romeo and Converge Gallery. THE LA RESIDENCY allows local audiences to access and purchase art made in their own backyard, and engage meaningfully with the art world. Conversely, local artists are given the opportunity to access and develop relationships with fellow creatives, while showcasing the vibrancy of the Pennsylvanian art scene. 


THE LA RESIDENCY (LOCAL ACCESS) is a bold and ambitious community project that reinvigorates the way artists and audiences alike interact with art. Expertly curated and masterminded by Australia's leading Pop artist, THE LA RESIDENCY is a glorious celebration Pennsylvania's rich and vibrant artistic community.


The opening reception for THE LA RESIDENCY will be held at Converge Gallery on Friday, November 3rd from 6 - 9 pm. Johnny Romeo and several of the participating artists will be in attendance during the opening reception. Also scheduled for the opening is the official launch of "Plastic Fantastic: A Survey of Paintings 2007-2017," a full-color, hardcover book celebrating a decade of Johnny Romeo works. Copies will be available at the opening for $50 each. 


About Plastic Fantastic:

For the last 10 years, internationally acclaimed Australian painter Johnny Romeo has been one of the most exciting and dynamic voices in the contemporary world of Pop Art. Romeo's latest book, Plastic Fantastic: A Survey Of Paintings, 2007 - 2017 takes a look back at the artist's illustrious career over the last decade, charting Romeo's trajectory from rambunctious punk-pop misfit to the Neo-Expressionist Pop juggernaut he is today.

Over the course of 160 pages, Plastic Fantastic showcases some of Johnny Romeo's most iconic works to date. The book captures Romeo's electrifying fusion of Technicolor explosions, comic book aesthetics and street art edginess in all its glory, highlighting his penchant for appropriating familiar Pop iconography and transforming it into thrillingly original paintings.


Plastic Fantastic cheekily takes its title from Andy Warhol's road-trip from New York to LA in 1963. Much like Warhol's hedonistic jaunt through the seedy backwaters and wide-open plains of the United States, Plastic Fantastic is an adrenaline-soaked journey through the pure Pop psyche of Johnny Romeo. From his earliest works in Live At the Apollo to the glitzy Neo-Expressionist bombast of series such as Top of the Pops, the book reveals Johnny Romeo as one of the most vital forces pushing the Pop medium into new and exciting terrain today.


Ambitious in scope and presentation, Plastic Fantastic is slated to be a full-color, hardcover book release featuring essays from esteemed art critics. The book is a bombastic celebration of a truly stellar Pop visionary leading the global charge in Neo-Expressionist Pop art.

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 finding emerging or notable mid-career artists with a contemporary emphasis 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, cultural context, and the individual point of view of the artist. Both artist and collector are encouraged to approach a certain level of aesthetic value, clarity of content, and vision.

The greatest achievement for us would be to extend the boundaries of art, and generate a conversation between artists and the general public.

Converge Gallery is located at 140 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, PA and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm. For more information on the gallery, please visit www.convergegallery.com

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