Artist uncovers unexpected beauty in the ordinary

May 3, 2022
(Originally printed in the Independent Tribune)

When I asked our curator months ago what kind of artwork Anne Pell Harkness would be exhibiting in her upcoming solo show in The Galleries, I was surprised when she said Anne painted everyday subjects like telephone poles and chairs. I'll admit I wondered how she could make them interesting to look at for longer than a glance.

I got my answer a few weeks later when a small van pulled up to the arts council and the petite driver flung open the side door and began doling out oil paintings of all sizes to the assembly line of staff leading into The Galleries.  I saw glimpses of telephone polls and chairs like I'd never seen them before - not as mundane everyday objects in life, but as captivating, imaginative and interesting creations.

Anne excels at finding the beauty in subjects others might find plain or ordinary. A North Carolina native, her work has appeared in national and international shows, galleries and museums, and she's been featured in American Art Collector Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, International Artist Magazine. Her use of lines, shapes and colors hint at her former career as a graphic design director in NYC, but she'll tell you there's more to her process than a practical and applied know-how. 

"Great art is more than just technical skill," said Harkness. "It has to draw the viewer in, tell a story, or emote a feeling we want to keep experiencing." 

We invite you to see this extraordinary exhibition, which runs May 4 - July 16 in The Galleries of the Cabarrus Arts Council, 65 Union Street S in downtown Concord. 

Anne Harkness

The Cabarrus Arts Council thanks

Atrium Health
Mariam & Robert Hayes Charitable Trust
Independent Tribune
City Of Concord
Kannapolis City
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Mt Pleasant Logo
Cabarrus County
Corning Foundation
Embassy Suites
Fifth Third
Hilton Garden Inn
Explore Cabarrus
Lux Air
Market Street Studios
Art Works