Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday's opening was a huge success and a total blast! Artists mingled with art enthusiasts, enjoyed some wine and a delicious bite from Deli Plaza, the shop owned by artist Mohamed Mansour, which donated trays of yummy treats for the event.
TWO pieces of work sold Friday night - a papier-mache head made by Yodi and a small cow painting by the late Greg Weaver.
On Saturday morning, a quick look at the sign-in book showed 136 people registered Friday night. And there were more people there than that...those are just the ones who chose to sign in!
Here are some images from Opening Night. These photos were taken right before the doors opened, so there are unfortunately no crowd shots. Enjoy! And don't forget, the "Momentum" continues Monday through Friday from 11-2 and closes with a potluck artist party (open to the public) on Saturday from 5-9 pm. Please come and support our local artists!
Kathleen and a Mr. Imagination piece work the sign-in table
Friday, December 12, 2008
After weeks of tireless volunteer hours, the show is hung and the doors are ready to open for our second show "Momentum." Kiki, Greg and Yodi have been at the Butz space so often in the last couple weeks it seems they must have sleeping bags stowed somewhere. When you get there tonight, you will see all the hard work that they and other Chen volunteers put into making this show incredible.
There's twice as much artwork as last time, and again, all of it high quality and inventive. In fact, some new pieces were made just for this show - as recently as last night!
Also, there's quite a buzz on Hamilton Street. Since the space is a big, glass box, downtown workers and people walking on the street have been able to view the progress and you can feel the excitement and interest building.
Hope to see you all there tonight from 5-9 p.m. Thanks to artist Mohamed and his business, Deli Plaza, for offering to cater tonight's event, and of course, Petey, for bringing wine. As usual, tasteful and tasty refreshments are being accepted prior to opening. It's not too late to donate!
Don't forget, the show continues Saturday 12-5, M-F from 11-2, and of course, the closing party Sat. Dec. 20 from 5-9. Great job everyone!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Arts group offers buffet of visual tidbits
By Geoff Gehman
Of The Morning Call
December 7, 2008
The Lehigh Valley's newest artist collective is named after its main
meeting place, a Chinese restaurant. The members are as diverse as a
Chinese menu: sophisticates and primitives, landscapists and
abstractionists, a puppeteer and a bottlecap sculptor. Their goal is
to make downtown Allentown as welcoming to area creators as, yes, an
The House of Chen Arts Group continues its democratic mission on
Friday, when it opens its second exhibition at the Butz Corporate
Center in Allentown. The show is a Chinese buffet of everything from
Rafael Canizares' architectural ceramics to Mr. Imagination's
mixed-media recyclables. It's curated by Kiki Nienaber, a German-born
art consultant who for 10 years ran a gallery for art, music and
poetry on Manhattan's Lower East Side before it was closed by
''We want to build a momentum with people who see and do things
differently,'' says Nienaber, who owns an Allentown home with her
husband, artist Gregory Coates, another Chen member. ''There's a
general need for inclusion and an outlet. Not just to show
necessarily, but to go to. Not a club but a big old tent.''
The tent poles were staked on the Internet, that virtual-reality
circus. Blogs were run by Angie Villa, a power-pop artist who performs
in the power-pop band the Villas, and Joseph Skrapits, an
impressionist painter who heads the Allentown Arts Commission. They
wrote about filling a void left by the deaths over six years of two
Allentown cultural centers -- Open Space Gallery and Theatre Outlet --
and reaching artists not reached by two active Allentown cultural
centers: the Allentown Art Museum and the Baum School of Art.
Skrapits and Villa began meeting kindred spirits in April at the House
of Chen, a popular restaurant for more than 30 years at Seventh and
Linden streets in Allentown. According to Villa, the Chinese-Malaysian
eatery was chosen because it's accessible, serves good food at
reasonable prices and needed help. As she points out, it started
losing business in 2007 after LANTA replaced bus stops along Hamilton
Street, a city artery, with a new terminal at Sixth and Linden
Pleased by the dialogue, the Chen members extended it to each other's
studios. The group allowed Villa to bond with old friends like
Rosemary Geseck, her senior art adviser at Moravian College, and new
allies like Coates, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation fellow who paints and
sculpts bicycle inner tubes. The group allowed Skrapits to promote the
commission's strategic plan, also launched in April, to devote more
energy to supporting artists as well as arts organizations.
With no budget to speak of, the Chen members made their first splash
the old-fashioned way: through synergy. They held their first show
over two days in October at the Seventh Street home of Peter Lewnes, a
glass blower who manages the City of Allentown's campaign to give the
garish Seventh Street strip a bit of Main Street's homey charm.
Lewnes' home became a gallery because it's roomy, attractive and, as
part of the Old Allentown House Tour, guaranteed a healthy audience.
Encouraged by the turnout, the Chen members made their second show
more ambitious. They doubled the number of participating artists to
more than 30 and quadrupled the number of days to eight. While not as
cozy as Lewnes' house, the long-vacant space in the Butz Corporate
Center is larger, more centrally located at Ninth and Hamilton streets
and more symbiotic. Next door to the Chen Group's temporary gallery is
the home of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, which opened last year in
the Lehigh Valley Visitors Center.
Exhibit No. 2 is more historic and symbolic, too. It has works by
Antonio Salemme, the late Williams Township resident best known for a
bronze bust from life of Paul Robeson, and works by Greg Weaver, the
late Allentown resident best known for paintings of melted, lopsided
cows. In the '70s and '80s, a few blocks from the Butz building,
Weaver ran a pair of lively arts lofts, the Valley's hippest
''Momentum,'' Chen Arts Group exhibition, 5-9 p.m. Friday, noon-5 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 15-19, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 20, Butz
Corporate Center, 840 W. Hamilton St. (by Ninth Street), Allentown.
Receptions on opening and closing days.
http://www.chenarts.blogspot.com , email@example.com.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The space is tough--wall space is tight and lighting is, shall we say, not optimal--but the Chensters are tougher. We have an incredibly imaginative and hard-working team, and solutions seem to be appearing as we need them; today we got a promise of a loan of theatrical lights for the run of the exhibit. Now, if we can just get those 4 20-amp circuits installed...
I know this isn't a Christmas show, but I'm beginning to think of it as "the miracle on Hamilton Street." Five years from now we may look back on it as the art show that changed Allentown.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Allentown Chen Arts Group presents:
MOMENTUM – Expanding the Dialog of Contemporary Art in Allentown
Following a successful premier art show, the Allentown Chen Arts Group is announcing its second art happening and gallery show at the Butz Corporate Center, 840 W. Hamilton Street, featuring even more original artwork by area artists.
Chen Arts Group held its inaugural show in October, generating buzz that is bringing the art community downtown for its second show, aptly titled Momentum.
This second show will run for an entire week and features photography, paintings, sculpture, glass pieces and more. Drumming, dancing and an interactive video display will be part of the event. Artwork will be offered for sale and contributing artists will be on hand to discuss their work with the public.
The opening is scheduled for 5-9 p.m. Friday, December 12. The show continues Sat. Dec. 13, from 12-5 p.m. The gallery will remain open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closing is set for Saturday, Dec. 20 from 5-9 p.m. Light refreshment and live entertainment will be offered during weekend hours.
The show is curated by Kiki Nienaber.
The Chen Arts Group is Allentown's newest independent community arts movement. The group formed in early 2008 and adopted the House of Chen, a Chinese restaurant in downtown Allentown, as a regular meeting place and namesake. The group strives to promote the work of artists living and working in and around the city and use the arts as a springboard to strengthen the Queen City.
The Chen Arts Group thanks the Butz family for its generous support of this show and the arts in Allentown, as well as the City of Allentown and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Daily updates on the group, its artists, and events can be found online at chenarts.blogspot.com.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The announcement says "the gallery is dedicated to encouraging the emerging talents of our youngest artists." It's essentially centered around the artwork and artistic development of children.
The gallery is housed at the Carbon County Cultural Project at 268 W. Broadway in Jim Thorpe.
The Stabin family also have their own private gallery, work space, and offer art classes. Their galleries are attached to the delicious farm-to-table restaurant, Flow, in the same building.
Visit www.thecccp.org for more info, or call 570-325-8284.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
One of our own Allentown artists has a great new sculpture installed in my soon to be former hometown of Jersey City. There's a great video slideshow of Chakaia and her Allentown studio.
I have to say how proud I am when I'm back in Jersey City and see her work in the Jersey City Museum as well as this great park. Jersey City had alot of the similar issues Allentown is facing and has cleaned up over the past decade - a major contributor to it's revitalization is the strong local group of artists and forward thinking city government. Both things seem to be ramping up for us here in Allentown...CHARGE!!!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Not to be missed!
Questions or directions contact Prof. Angela Fraleigh at email@example.com.