Saturday, November 28, 2009

ART MART On Channel 69 News!

Here is a link to the Channel 69 News coverage of Art Mart.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meeting Notes 11/21/09

Thanks to everyone who attended and spoke at our November meeting at House of Chen. We had a large turnout this month, and there was a lot to talk about. Thanks to Jenny at House of Chen for providing unique and delicious Malaysian cuisine. It's great to see so many local artists and community volunteers coming together to create a cool and very happening art scene in downtown Allentown.

ART MART is opening this FridayNovember 27th 5-8pm. Curator Greg Coates addressed the group, as well as Sarah, and event coordinator Diane Teti. The address is 813 W. Hamilton St. and ART MART will be open during the Holiday season Wed- Fri 11am-2pm and Fri- Sat 5pm-8pm.

Volunteers are needed to sit at the store, so contact Sarah at the e-mail if you are interested in helping. ART MART is on Facebook too, where you can check for updates.

Angie Villa spoke about THE ART OF GIVING art auction to benefit the Lehigh County Conference of Churches Soup Kitchen. The auction will be held at The Baum School of Art on March 19th. Artists can donate work, all proceeds will be given to the soup kitchen. Contact Sue Highet at 610-435-5054

Greg Coates spoke about UNSEEN: PAINTINGS BY CHRIS NEYEN a gallery show currently at Greg's studio at 614 Washington St. You can see the show by making an appointment with Greg. There was a great turnout for the opening. Show runs through Dec. 13th. Congrats to Chris!

Cathy and Jonathan Botch spoke about their online artist's website called Flashpoint Creativity, Inc. Address is

Diane Teti spoke about Word Wednesdays at The BrewWorks, and that artists can have digital images of their work projected on a screen during the event. Yodi and Kari Holmes are coordinating this event.

Marilyn Hazleton talked about the Spoken Word poems at our blog, and the city's upcoming Haiku Competition.

Joe Skrapits informed us that he is no longer an Allentown Arts Commissioner, and invited us to see the new home of the Salemme Foundation , which is located across the street from the Americus on Hamilton St.
Ethel Drayton-Craig spoke about Jazz coming to The Allentown Symphony, Fri. Dec. 4th, and The Arts Luminarium.
Ro Geseck spoke about her murals at The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, 4th and Walnut.
Don't miss the Hess's mural, it will be painted over when the exhibit ends on Jan. 10th. Ro's Civil War mural will be up until the summer.

Did I forget anything?

Angie Villa

Photo of PPL by Gianni Villa, taken the night of our meeting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Artists: Share Digital Images of Your Work

I had a recent chance to take part in Word Wednesday at Allentown Brew Works. There were 30+ people there and many of them came to share their poetry.

Yodi and Kari have a great event going on. That night, Kari was the perfect, personable hostess and Yodi and the musical ensemble (drummers and guitar, also open to public participation) provided great backup to the poets with chill musical interludes.

Prior to the break, the Word Wednesday crew shared digital images, projected on the wall, of artwork created by local artists. They want more artists to submit images of their work to be shown to the public in a digital slideshow at a future Word Wednesday event.

Please email submissions to:

Word Wednesday is held the 2nd Wednesday of each month in the cozy Silk Lounge, lower level, Allentown Brew Works, 812 Hamilton Street.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Poems from "Velocity" show - at long last!

Poet Marilyn Hazelton has compiled the poems written by artists and the public at the "Velocity" show closing in June. She requested that they be posted here. Thanks to Marilyn for leading us through a great creative exercise, and thanks to those who participated. Enjoy!

From Marilyn:

A Meditation on Writing from Art
To walk into a gallery, allow a work of art to extend an invitation, accept, and begin to interact with that painting, sculpture, or entire room adds an unusual layer to the art process and becomes it’s own form of art.
Artists and family and friends of artists added that artistic effort to the opening and closing receptions for “Velocity”, the Chen Art Group’s summer show at the Allentown Art Museum.
The resulting poems reflect the viewers’ visual responses and perceptions, as well as memories and reflections, evoked by the art.

The Poems:

Many thanks to Susan Weaver and Marilyn Hazelton for co-hosting the writing event at the Closing Reception of “Velocity”, to Wilhelm Schmidt for his assistance in typing many of the writings below, and to all who participated.

for the Chen Arts Show

Human murmurs, conversations

The walls stand quiet, waiting for attention.

“Hear us” the works say

“Interact with us.

Enter into relationship.”

Silent they wait as we turn to face them.

Georgine Miller

Balancing Act

After "Coffee Cups 5" by Glenn Lash

Glaze shimmers

on that twist

of dough

dunked forever

in a turquoise mug.


a clattering cup

tips a splash

of joe.

A doughnut

draws my gaze—

circled with an eternity

of chocolate icing.

It wears an upturned cup

like a

teetering top hat.

Poised on its lid,

a potter's spiraling



as a sugar rush.

I drink to this



to hedonism

and that


institution ...

the coffee break.

Susan Weaver

Memories from the front line.

Inspired by Lee Leckey’s painting “Center Front”

Veil concealing ghosts of recent past.

Center, drive, round and round, crosses, lines.

How did they begin,

Forms, fields, patches, life?

Penetrating, one by one,

Repeating actions memorized.

Waning, waxing, taking center front, interrupted,

Memories run off.

Leading, one by one,

Eyes toward unpredictable future.

One by one,

Circles, ground, sky.

Rafael J. CaƱizares-Yunez

Glimpses and Reminiscences

I see my salvation walking towards the enemy

Waiting to strike in the name of God

Although the enemy is the devil, he has taken a deceiving look

In the eyes of a peaceful soldier, the deadly swan is the worst enemy

But, in the eyes of a human, it is just a swan

In between the rivals is the sign of Jesus’ mother

Who is defending the rights of all human race

Kamilah Velez

For “3 Piece Man”

a sculpture by Heather Haas

Tripartite -

arc and trough

of skin and bone,

the negative space

carries weight, emotion,

defines life

thinly suspended

by a rod of steely resolve.

We are often cut thus.

Perhaps this stark white shell

is a cocoon

already shed,

the true self


Ann Corbett Burke

Alley in Autumn

After "Emmett Street, Allentown" by Joseph Skrapits

Narrow houses crowd

Emmett Street

like neighbors talking

over the back fence

before winter closes in.

To a wall of aqua blue

the phone pole's shadow,

a compass needle,

points up the alley,

collects my eye

from its


by a swath of fence

painted persimmon

in afternoon sun.

An oak tree waits

for wind to drift leaves

and open a view


past peaked roofs

that will change beyond return

this half-street moment,

this autumn brilliance


on the artist's canvas.

Susan Weaver

for “Emmett Street” by Joe Skrapits

Florence! Oh skip it

And all the cousins would laugh

The headless house man


no more peanuts please

Bill Villa

“Surf’s Up”

for a sculpture by Wilhelm Schmidt

Roots soaring

after the storm,

wings of wood swirl

upward from the vortex.


I see a hole

nearly hidden:

the eye

of dark disturbance,

an epicenter

from which is flung

pure joy.

Ann Corbett Burke

Surf’s Up

for a sculpture by Wilhelm Schmidt

Wild whorl wings

Movement caught trembling


In polished wood

Shape glanced sidelong

Eye seizing





Paul Blaney

Zero Gravity

For “Escape Velocity” by Sereno Jacob

Shivering, thunderous metal plates

Meet the Stratosphere.

In only moments sky will be gone.

Free of ground.

Free of air.

A blank page, as black as all nights.

A chance to start new.


For “Hyper View” by Rick Hildenbardt

You are wild you are free

You herd together for life support

Your life is carved from the land

Along comes man

And you are now only a memory

Carved in wood on a wall


or “Cotterman’s Tornado” by Ryan Fulton

A naked boy quietly contemplating the stars

Gazing toward the heavens

+ knowing that they’re ours

Peering eyes, fixed on the skies

Before the Mexican temple

At home + at peace

Sarah Fulton

For “Untitled Cow Drawing” by Greg Weaver

Just A Few Squiggles

Comical simple tail to head drawing

A squiggly cow, makes you join smiling

Across the meadow frolicking

On a lark, just sailing

Ears and tail compelling

Care-free romp tale-telling

Heard from stories trailing

Cathy Botch


for” Solastaglia”

Button dropped, and then again found

Now contained, still, no sound

Worn with pride, in a far off place

Released from threads, hanging in space

Newly used, in the past for closure,

Semi-revealed, a partial exposure

Once held in fingers, young and old

Suddenly art, impossible to hold

We live, we pass, but once we come through

In art, as in life, we are created anew

Graham Lustig

for “Shy Geoff” by Yodi

Splatters and squiggles of paint

Fly like confetti in a parade

Or streamers at a childhood celebration

As Geoffrey watches Yodi

Play with paper

Angie Villa

for “The Patriot Act” by Georgina Miller

Forlorn expression looking back

The eyes must say what the mouth can’t

Face recessed in white and red

While blue muzzles what is said

Zehra Follweiler

for” Marley’s Trail”

Beauty is all around us

In nature

In animals

In creativity

Beauty created by God

Dog hike. Straight trees and

Flowing blades of grass. Get lost

On the path, enjoy the journey


Lake Erie Sunset

For a photograph by Jeff Williams of the same name


of ice

and fire

reach for light,

like a hand rising

into the play of winter.

Beyond this,


other eruptions

between sheets

of frozen beach,

a slim slice

of water


ice peaks

rising and falling

in conversation

with God


as sky.

Marilyn Hazelton

Show Opening Friday

This season is proving to be busy for area artists. Take a look at the next show opening in Allentown...

From Kiki & Greg:

Gregory Coates and Kiki Nienaber are proud to invite you to view new works by Chris Neyen at C.a.N. studio (that’s Coates and Nienaber) . (Address is 614 Washington St., Allentown.)

Please come meet old and new friends and celebrate this exhibition, entitled UNSEEN at the reception on Friday the 20th of November 6-9 pm.

We hope to see you then. Best, Kiki

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Art Mart coming soon...

A small group of us met Saturday at the former Allentown Opera House at 809-813 Hamilton. After viewing the two spaces available we decided to open the gallery at 813, where Greg Coates has been curating a window project called New Museum.

We plan to clean out the space and prep it for use as a gallery and shop called Art Mart. Please contact me if you would like to volunteer to help with the clean-up. We will also need volunteers to sit in the gallery (in pairs) on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11-2 and on Fridays and Saturdays from 4-8 throughout the holiday season. Contact:

Art Mart will feature original artwork and handmade items for sale in a show titled: Holiday Gifts.

Pictures will be posted soon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Hess's Exhibit Features Mural by Ro Geseck

That busy, busy, Chenster Ro Geseck has completed a cool retro mural for the new Hess's Holiday Exhibit at The Lehigh Valley Heritage Center. If you yearn for that magical Hess's holiday experience, strawberry pie at The Patio Restaurant, and Hollywood on Hamilton, then you must travel back in time this Friday Nov. 13th at The Lehigh Valley Heritage Center, 4th and Walnut, Allentown. The opening starts at 7pm. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children, free for members. Stop by to say "hi" to Ro at the opening. Just look for the gal wearing beaucoup funky pins on her sweater. The exhibit is open through Jan. 10th. Don't miss this!

Angie Villa

Monday, November 9, 2009

Downtown Gallery Show Planned for the Holidays

Here's the latest on the show planned for 809 W. Hamilton. Send your submissions ASAP:

New Museum Director, Gregory Coates, will curate a show titled "Holiday Gifts."

Greg is seeking artists who feel they can participate in a show which will take on the look of a "gift shop" by submitting art objects they have made or other objects they feel would fit this description. The items would be displayed (and offered for sale, unless otherwise specified) at the gallery at 809 W. Hamilton, which is in a great location across the street from Allentown Brew Works.

This gallery will be promoted to holiday shoppers - so think of things you have created that are likely to sell. That means paintings, sculpture, photos, cards, handmade trinkets like jewelry, pins, hats, scarves, bags, etc., etc....All artists are encouraged to decorate ornaments that can be offered for sale as well.

Again, Greg is requesting that artists send him 3 jpg images so he can view possible selections. Send images to
Deadline for submission is Nov. 16. Set up will take place the following week, with an opening tentatively set for Black Friday, Nov. 27.

Volunteers will also be needed to help clean the space, hang work, and staff the gallery. Contact me at if you'd like to Volunteer in some way.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chen Artist's Work on Display

Wilhelm Schmidt has two sculptures on display in the Lehigh Art Alliance show at Iacocca Hall, Lehigh University. The show is on until Dec. 12.

His work will also be exhibited at the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen's show, Nov. 14 and 15, at the Swain School, S. 24th Street, in Allentown.

Wilhelm most recently displayed some of his woodworking pieces at the Velocity show (June '09) and the "Hamilton for Rent" windows (summer '09).

Please try to attend and offer your support.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Artist Reception Nov. 13

Please come out and show your support for our area artists. This show is curated by Deb Rabinsky, a tireless volunteer with Old Allentown and the Chen Arts Group.
From Deb:

Berrisford Boothe, John Harry,
Curlee Raven Holton, Rick Hildenbrandt,
Peter Lewnes, James Gallucci, Ed Meenely,
Joe Skrapits, Rigo Peralta, Ryo Tokita,
Rafael Canizares-Yunez, Yodi Duane Vaden,
John Clark - Home & Planet

When: Nov. 13, 2009 time 7-9 PM
Where: 221 North 8th Street

Hosted by Mr. & Mrs. Nelson A Diaz

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"ART of Giving" to Benefit Soup Kitchen

From Sue Highet:

"The ART of Giving
On March 19th an Art Auction will be held at the Baum School of Art beginning at 6PM. All proceeds will benefit the Lehigh County Conference of churches Soup Kitchen. Please mark your calendar & make plans to come to this wonderful event! What a great way to give and receive. More information will be coming as we approach the date of the event. You may contact Sue Highet at 610-435-5054 with any questions."

Chensters, if you would like to be a part of this worthwhile event, you can donate your art work for the auction. It is for a very good cause: to feed the homeless. And if anyone is interested in donating food or beverage for the opening, or if you can help in any way, please contact Sue.

Angie Villa

Monday, November 2, 2009

Federal Arts Funding Increase

From Americans for the Arts:

Congress passed a $12.5 million funding increase as part of the FY 2010 Interior Appropriations bill for both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). President Obama is scheduled to sign this bill into law by October 31, which concludes National Arts and Humanities Month. The nation's two federal grantmaking cultural agencies will now each have budgets of $167.5 million, their highest funding levels in 16 years. As so many state and local governments have had to cut arts budgets across the country, this well-timed federal appropriations increase for the arts is a welcome infusion of funds.

Enacted FY09
FY10 Final Interior Appropriations Bill
FY09 vs. FY10 Difference
$155 million
$167.5 million
$12.5 million increase
$155 million
$167.5 million
$12.5 million increase

The FY 2010 Interior Appropriations bill (H.R. 2996) was passed in the House by a vote of 247­­-178 and in the Senate by a vote of 72-28. Please play your part and send a quick e-mail to your members of Congress at the Americans for the Arts E-Advocacy Center and let them know how much the arts will benefit from this funding increase.

What's Next:While the NEA and NEH's budgets have now been finalized, many other federal programs such as the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are still operating under a continuing resolution until December 18, 2009. We will keep you posted on these legislative updates in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, please save the dates of April 12-13, 2010 for National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC. With the incredible advocacy success that we had this year that included $50 million in the federal economic stimulus bill for arts jobs and now the $12.5 million increase in NEA and NEH budgets, we need to keep building on this positive momentum. Come join us.

Help us also continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already an official member, you can join the Arts Action Fund today -- it's free and simple.