Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Emancipation of Paper: An exhibit of work by Yodi

A show featuring the work of the tireless Allentown artist Duane "Yodi" Vaden opens this Friday, July 3, at Home and Planet in south Bethlehem.

A reception will be held from 7-10 p.m. at the gallery at 25 East Third Street, Bethlehem.

On display will be masks and puppets made by Yodi who is known throughout the region for his work with the Street Theatre Alliance and area youth. There will also be an outdoor display of puppets not featured in the show.

Yodi recently coordinated the "Hamilton for Rent" show that is still ongoing in the storefont windows at 955 W. Hamilton Street, Allentown. He coordinates Artists in Action, performs stiltwalking and shares his large, handmade puppets at various events. He has exhibited and volunteered with the Chen Arts Group.

Visit the Home & Planet website for more info on "The Emancipation of Paper" or visit the link to Yodi's site on the right side of this page.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A few photos from the Closing

Marilyn and Susan led the group in a poetry exercise. Who knew there were so many talented writers in the group as well...

A couple local artists hanging out at the show. More than 50 people came to the closing and many, many more signed our book during the three weeks the show was open.

My apologies I did not take more photos worth posting. I really enjoyed socializing with everyone and celebrating our third show. Can you even believe we've managed to orchestrate three art shows since the group first met just 14 months ago? Let's work towards many more.


Thanks to everyone who helped to make our Velocity Show at the Allentown Art Museum a huge success. Thanks to Takeshi, the gracious and talented piano player who provided background music for our opening reception. Hundreds of people attended our opening, and the closing was very well attended. Thanks to Marilyn Hazelton and Susan Weaver for coordinating the written and spoken word element of the event. It was a great way to get connected with the art work and the artists. Responding to works of art is so important for children and adults because it really fosters appreciation of the arts and encourages life long learning. I hope we can do this again!

Special thanks to our coordinator Sarah Fulton, and her husband Matt Lewis, for putting this show together and dedicating so much time to Chen Arts.

Rafa and Akiko will be sending me some pictures of the event that will be posted at a later date. The above picture is one that Gianni took at the opening.

Thanks again to everyone.

Angie Villa

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Documentary Review

Here's the Morning Call's Go Guide review of "On Joy & Sorrow: The Glass Prism Story." The documentary screens at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival tonight (June 25) at 9 at Arbol Cafe and tomorrow (6/26) at 9:49 pm at Exit Skate Shop.

New documentary tells the story of a '60s Scranton band
By Amy Longsdorf
June 25, 2009

Even though he was too young to experience the psychedelic band the Glass Prism in its prime, Jim Thorpe resident Bob Ross has been a fan of '' Scranton's answer to the Beatles'' for decades. The Channel 13 cameraman was still in high-school when he discovered the quartet's first album, a trippy synapse-scrambler that blends progressive rock with lyrics culled from the pages of Edgar Allan Poe short stories.

''What I always loved about the Glass Prism is that, lyrically and musically, they did things differently,'' says Ross, 43. ''You don't get any more unique than recording an entire album of Poe lyrics.''

Last year when Ross noticed that Glass Prism was re-uniting for the first time in decades for an appearance at Philadelphia's Edgar Allan Poe House, he got the idea to document the band's resurrection as well as its rise and fall.Ross contacted long-time collaborators Sarah Fulton and Matt Lewis -- owners of the Allentown-based film and video production house Post Sputnik -- and the trio set off on a mission to spread awareness about the psychedelic Scrantonians.

The end result is ''On Joy & Sorrow: The Glass Prism Story,'' a terrific, hourlong documentary that uses vintage photographs and fresh interviews to tell the story of the group that signed with RCA Records in the late '60s and enjoyed considerable chart success with ''The Raven'' before imploding over a management snafu and a poorly received second album.

The documentary will screen as part of the Second Annual Philadelphia International Film Festival at 9 tonight at the Arbol Cafe, 909 N. Second St. A second screening will be 9:49 p.m. Friday at Exit Philadelphia, 825 N. Second St. For ticket info, see http://www.piff2009.com .

As for the band's reaction to the movie, Fulton says they were ''blown away. They seemed to be moved by it, seeing their youths played out on the screen ... I think they really appreciated the story we told."

"Gilgamesh" Update

From Ethel:

Below is the wonderful review by the Morning Call, of GILGAMESH that opened last Friday. Pana Columbus, who many of you will know, is the principal writer for Circle of Stones Theatre Company. She is the founder of the company.
This epic story is adapted to Allentown. It is very creative. Let's support Pana and let's support Allentown!
The show is Friday, Saturday at Symphony Hall (6th Street between Hamilton and Linden)8:00 PM. There is a Sunday matinee at 2:30 PM. Tickets are $22 adults. $18 students and seniors. Tickets are easy to get by calling 610, 432-6715 or online www.allentownsymphony.org
It would be great for them to see you in the audience. Treat yourself to something great after work tomorrow.

REVIEW: "Gilgamesh"
By Steve Siegel Of The Morning Call June 23, 2009

"Gilgamesh," as presented by the Circle of Stones Theatre Ensemble atAllentown Symphony Hall, is an epic drama of transformation. In story,music, dance, and song, it tells the tale of a king's return to grace,a people's regenerated optimism, a city's rebirth.
As an original stage adaptation of the ancient Sumerian legend ofGilgamesh, a great king who ruled the city of Uruk in Babylonia somefive thousand years ago, it is an ambitious and stunningaccomplishment. As a vehicle attempting to draw parallels betweenUruk's transformation and the revitalization of Allentown, it is lessso.
The play is staged much like a classic Greek drama, with past,present, and future superimposed. It is in two acts, each bookended bya scene on a contemporary Allentown street, where two youths (JoseRodriguez and Jocelyn Caballero) meet General Harry Trexler ( GeorgeMiller) who tells them the Gilgamesh tale. While Miller does acommendable job as a fatherly and caring Trexler, his character seemsno more than a segue into the ancient world of Uruk, where the realaction takes place. Our suspension of disbelief is somewhat taxed bythe implication that the two worlds are related.
Uruk and its people are splendidly evoked by simple costumes, modestsets, and dramatic lighting. The huge space of Symphony Hall is usedto great advantage -- the proscenium's sheer height gives the stageddrama epic proportion, and a flower-adorned curtain at the rear of thehall gives a feeling of intimacy.
Much of the play is done in Greek chorus style, where actors are alsonarrators who comment on the action at hand. The actors, many who playmultiple roles, also perform as musicians, at times joining musicdirector and keyboardist Scott Eggert in the orchestra pit. Eggert'soriginal score is an engaging, eclectic mix of recorded electronicsounds, African drums, Asian gongs and singing bowls. The storytellinginvolves many classic devices, such as depicting a voyage by a shadowplay, where characters appear behind a screen illuminated from therear.
Gilgamesh (Tom Byrn) not only rules Uruk, but also the stage. In thismammoth role of an ambitious and arrogant king who is transformed intoa gentle and loving leader, Byrn is superb. He can bellow like a lion,then whimper like a child. He can mix dramatic tension with slapstickcomedy -- his raft-building exploit in one scene is hysterical; hisgrief over the death of his friend Enkidu (Kris Yoder) is deeplypoignant.
Yoder is convincing as the civilized wild man who befriends Gilgameshand shares his exploits. The two form a sort of dynamic duo whosegrowing regard for each other becomes critical for the ensuingtransformation. Part of that transformation involves a meeting withUtnapishtim (Wayne Turney), the Mesopotamian Noah, who combinessadness with humor in relating the tale of the great flood, and a run-in with the goddess Ishtar (Rachael Joffred), whose wrath as a womanscorned is frightening.
The outstanding choreography by Sarah Carlson performs a magic thatspecial effects rarely achieve. Fantastic characters come alive bysheer skill of movement. Scorpion people scamper about menacingly,stone men plod heavily, a snake woman sheds her skin. Dance numbersrange from the wildly erotic to the serenely classical, with one sceneeven performed en pointe.
In between the acts, prominent Allentown citizens from the audiencestand up and speak about the Allentown of the past and what it can bein the future, while on stage large photographs of Hess's departmentstore, The Traylor hotel and the Boyd Theatre are displayed.
It would have been enough, I feel, to let the quality of theproduction speak for itself -- that is, as long as there is supportfor arts and culture of this level in Allentown, the city willprevail.
"Gilgamesh," 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, SymphonyHall, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown. Tickets: $22; $18, seniors andstudents. 610-432-6715, www.allentownsymphony.org

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chenster's film to screen at festival Next Week!

"On Joy & Sorrow: The Glass Prism Story," a documentary by Sarah Fulton, Matt Lewis and Bob Ross, has been accepted to the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and will screen two times:

Thursday, June 25 at 9 pm at Arbol Cafe

Friday, June 26 at 9:49 pm at Exit Skate Shop

Visit the festival website to order tickets in advance.

"On Joy & Sorrow" is a 56 min. documentary about the 1960s psychedelic rock band "The Glass Prism," which rose to rock 'n roll fame using the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe as the lyrics to its first album. But like so many bands of the time, the Glass Prism was quickly snuffed out. Now the guys are back and ready to rock again.

The three of us collaborated on this film for 18 months and finally completed it. We're thrilled that it has been accepted to this festival and hope to see some of you at the screenings.

Other info about the film can be found at: On Joy & Sorrow
Info on the band can be found at: Glass Prism Band

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Seeking Outdoor sculpture/art/form artist

A good friend of mine is looking for someone who does outdoor sculpture/art/forms for his property.

"While replacing our sidewalk we went ahead and tore out the arborvitae in
the front of our house. A landscaper suggested pretty bushes, etc., that
don't at all fit our sensibility and we were thinking one good piece of art
could set the right tone . . ."

Contact: Bill -- Bill.Strickland@Rodale.com

Monday, June 8, 2009

2010 Fellowship Application Available

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
Individual Artist Fellowship Guidelines & Workshops!

The 2010 Pennsylvania State Fellowship guidelines and applications are now available. The funding categories available for 2010 include:

Drawing/Artists' Books/Printmaking
Media Arts - Documentary or Narrative
Music - Classical Composition
New Technology/Other Genres (visual arts)

All applications must be submitted online. Applicants can click here to access the PCA Individual Artist Fellowships Application. The deadline for 2010 applications is 4:30 pm on Monday,
August 3, 2009.

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts has scheduled workshops throughout the state to inform artists about the Fellowship application process. No RSVP required. Each workshop will last approximately 90 minutes.

Contact Us



Art in Transit - A Funded Opportunity for Artists

SEPTA is looking for an artist to install a permanent gateway at the 63rd Street Station on the Market-Frankford Line. Here are the details, and the link:

Application link is HERE.

Project Name: SEPTA 63rd Street Elevated Station
Budget: $140,000
Location: 63rd and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA
Deadline: July 1, 2009

SEPTA invites all artists living in the Greater Philadelphia area to apply for a public art commission. Artists are asked to envision permanent artwork that will serve as a dynamic gateway for the tens of thousands of pedestrians, shoppers, residents, motorists and SEPTA riders commuting through or passing by stations each day.

The Art In Transit Program is designed to incorporate art elements into renovation and construction projects for selected stations and public transportation facilities. The program allocates up to one percent of the construction budget of capitally funded projects for the design, fabrication and installation of permanent artwork. The purpose of the Art in Transit Program is to create a more inviting and dynamic transit environment for regular and new riders and to foster a feeling of pride within the surrounding community.


Friends, please consider supporting the Arts in Lehigh Valley by attending a performance of Gilgamesh. A packed house is HUGELY important in that is shows the excitement and real interest for arts events such as this one in Allentown. At a time when we are seeking support for Luminarium, 808,... etc. the success of a production of this magnitude is critical. 6 nights at Allentown Symphony Hall-It's big time!
The success of the Peace parade and Velocity has been astounding and eye opening... By showing our support in attendence for events such as these we call to action the ideas of the arts as a catalyst for change in our city.
  • Fri June 19 @ 8pm
  • Sat June 20 @ 8pm
  • Sun June 21 @ 2:30pm

  • Fri June 26 @ 8pm
  • Sat June 27@ 8pm
  • Sun June 28 @ 2:30pm
  • Ticket Prices

  • Adults $22
  • Students/Seniors $18
Buy tickets online here: allentownsymphony.org

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Velocity" Opens Sunday

Here is the coverage that appeared in Friday's Easton Express-Times. Thanks to reporter Melinda Rizzo for the positive article:

The Chen Arts Group's upcoming show "Velocity" aims to pick up where last year's show titled "Momentum" left off.

"We are hoping to continue to build our own momentum and get the word out about what our artists are doing right here in Allentown," says Chen Arts Group spokeswoman Sarah Fulton.

The new exhibition opens Sunday and runs through June 28 at the Allentown Art Museum. It is the third group show by the city's only artist-led, community-based organization, according to Fulton.

By showcasing their work in a museum setting, the artists can add to their portfolios as well as providing the public a showcase opportunity.

"Having the opportunity to see their work hung in a museum with proper lighting and (arrangements) lends credibility to any artist's portfolio," says Karen Barlow, registrar and community group show organizer for the Allentown Art Museum.

"It also brings recognition to their work and provides a great space for the community to view it," Barlow says.

There will be pieces available for sale at the show, Fulton says.

Barlow says the Allentown Art Museum makes its Community Gallery available to civic and community arts organizations as well as school districts throughout the Lehigh Valley. A fee is charged for the space and the booking group is responsible for the show, Barlow says.

"We believe it is part of our mission here to make art available to everyone," Barlow says.

The Chen Arts Group exhibition will be located in the Community Gallery in the lower level of the museum.

Fulton says "Velocity" features mixed-media work by more than 30 Lehigh Valley-based artists in styles that include pop art, woodcarvings, photography and impressionist pieces.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Opening Friday:

Hamilton For Rent utilizes vacant storefronts in the 900 blk. of Hamilton Street. Artists will be setting up their windows from 3-5 p.m. Friday, June 5. Please come by to meet the artists, watch the work in progress, and take in this new vision for downtown Allentown.

Show runs indefinitely. Other downtown storefronts will be utilized as they become available.

Thank you to Christine for introducing this idea to Allentown. It is modeled after a similar event taking place in south Philly. Also, thanks to Yodi for coordinating this plan, and thanks to realtor Ron Coleman who represents the buildings used in the first phase.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Third Group Show Opens Sunday!

The Allentown Chen Arts Group presents:

The show opens Sunday, June 7 at the Allentown Art Museum's Community Gallery with a reception from 2-4 p.m. Opening features light refreshments and live piano music. This is also Free Day at the museum, so you have no excuse not to come and see the outstanding work.

Thirty-five artists are participating in this show, which is our third collaboration. Works range from photography and classical painting to pop art, glass, sculpture and more.

The show runs June 7 through June 28. There will also be a closing reception on 6/28 from 2-4 p.m. Tell your friends and family. Please come out and support our local artists.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Jazz Cabaret at Symphony Hall

The Paul Merrill Quartet will be Upstairs at Symphony Hall on Friday, June 5th at 7:30 PM.

The concert will include classic standards and originals, featuring repertoire from the Miles Davis and Gil Evans collaborations.

Trumpeter, composer, and educator Paul Merrill has performed and collaborated with Vincent Herring, Terell Stafford, Maria Schneider, Brian Lynch, Rufus Reid, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Alexander, Carl Allen, Kevin Mahogany, Darmon Meader, Claudio Roditi, and Steve Gilmore, among others, while recording and arranging for Schanachie and I-town Records.

He has recently been awarded a third commission with the Commission Project (TCP) for Chad Lefkowitz-Brown and his compositions continue to be performed by many college and high school ensembles.

Currently pursuing a DMA in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music, Merrill remains active as a clinician, Area All-State director, improvisation teacher, freelance trumpeter, and member of the Central New York Jazz Orchestra.

Tickets are $20. Refreshments and cash bar provided. Call 610-432-6715 to reserve.
If you have a party of 6, you can reserve a table.

(text paraphrased from event email)