Originally from South Florida, Meryl Pataky moved to San Francisco in 2002 to attend the Academy of Art University. She fell in love with the tactile nature of sculpture and pursued a BFA in the major. Meryl’s work consistently revolves around elements found on the periodic table. From silver and copper to neon, iron and carbon, Meryl creates a variety of abstract mixed media works that relate to her concept of universal connectedness. In doing so, Meryl combines technical expertise–from welding, to glasswork, to papermaking–with her own personal narrative; building complex pieces that invite the viewer to guess at what thoughts and experiences influenced her process.

Along with producing her own mixed-media work, Meryl also produces large-scale, public neon installations for various clients and institutions, most notably, Kaiser, and one opening in San Francisco’s Union Square this year.

A key component of Meryl’s neon practice is her workshops, where she teaches students how to create their own neon work.

Meryl founded She Bends out of a need for supporting womxn in the neon industry. Her goal is to put a face to this ubiquitous, but often anonymous art form.

Originally from New York, Kelsey is an art consultant, and art program and events producer, concentrating on social impact and womxn makers. She has worked with different venues over the past 10 years, producing multidisciplinary exhibitions, with an eye for artists pushing the boundaries of their practice and unique community engagement. Throughout her program work, Issel maintained private clients, for whom she builds art collections, manages art installations and designs spaces and events. This work has always remained an important piece of the puzzle for Issel, whose main passion is to build as many different on-ramps for art as possible.

Kelsey first started her work with She Bends at her gallery in San Francisco and has become increasingly involved with She Bends, enticed by this amazing community of womxn that even Juxtapoz Magazine deemed “Revolutionary.” She is now the Co-Owner of She Bends and has taken on the role of Director of Programs, to work more closely with Pataky to exhibit around the nation and expand the scope of the programs and business.