Saturday, December 4, 2010

Art Mart is OPEN! Help Wanted!

Art Mart is up and running for the month of December. Please stop by when you have a chance. There is artwork by Chris P. Jones, Ely, Chris Neyen and Nicole Bogac, among others, plus handmade jewelry, knitted hats and scarves, floral hair clips, holiday greeting cards, cooking sauces, screenprinted shirts and other gift items. All items are locally produced.

Please support the shop and consider volunteering for a shift. Hours are tentatively set for Wed. 11-2 and 4-7, Thursday 11-2 and 4-7, Friday 11-2 and 4-8 and Saturday 12-7 as volunteer participation allows. To volunteer, contact Diane at

Art Mart is located at Holiday Inn at 9th and Hamilton in downtown Allentown. Visit Art Mart online at:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Opening this weekend....

Saturday, Nov. 27 at 8pm.
Opening reception for Lehigh Valley artist, Chris P. Jones showing many new paintings.
Show runs through Dec. 20
Art N Soul Studios
516 W. Hamilton St.

Notes from the 11/20/10 Group Meeting

Notes compiled by Michelle Bodamer:

Introductions: New attendees, Steven (artist) and Anthony (representation)
Steven Condra distributed invitations to his show Alternative Perception December 2, 2010 from 5:00pm to 7:30pm @ 514 Theater on 19th St. in Allentown

Walking the Edge Location Discussion: Salemme is first choice - most members felt that a place with heat would be best in January (This works out well since it's now at Salemme!)

Other group show potential locations discussed: Greg's space, Phoenix Square, Art Mart space, 514 Theater

The group would like to see a calendar of group shows set in advance (would we have this available online as well?)

Group Wish List: Exhibit/Group Show Calendar, Heather's Database of Chen Arts members, Facebook group page (I offered to create this and maintain it for the group, but wanted to ask you your thoughts first.)

Art Museum: The group discussed looking into securing the first available 2011 show in the community space planned in the museum when it opens

Walking the Edge Needs: reception, food, pick up/drop off, hanging committee
Large scale Allentown show: Georgine suggested an Allentown show that we plan in advance which could be open to all of Allentown, possibly contain more controversial work, etc.

Allentown/Easton collaboration: one meeting attendee suggested we collaborate with the Easton arts group to help each other promote shows and maybe do something together between the groups

Chen Arts Meeting attendees showed interest in having at least two shows planned per year, which would be planned out in advance

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Art Mart press release:

November 23, 2010


Art Mart, the valley’s premiere artist-operated and locally created holiday shop, is returning to downtown Allentown for the second year. The store officially opens Wednesday, Dec. 1 and will be open during the Downtown Tree Lighting from 4-8 on Dec. 2.

The shop is being graciously hosted at the Holiday Inn at 9th and Hamilton streets and will exclusively feature handmade, original goods by area artists and artisans.

You can find one-of-a-kind gifts such as knitted and crocheted hats and scarves, jewelry, hair accessories, home décor, original art and more. Demos by artists will be held on Saturdays throughout the season.

Art Mart is an independent effort of Diane Teti, Sarah Fulton and Yodi Vaden that strives to support local artists and advance downtown Allentown through its annual holiday store. Special thanks to Cathy Minnich, general manager of Holiday Inn, for hosting the shop for 2010.

Art Mart will be open from Dec. 1 through Dec. 31 as follows:
Wednesdays 11-2 & 4-7
Thursdays 11-2 & 4-7 (Dec 2 is City Tree Lighting - we will be open until 8)
Fridays 11-2 & 4-8 (Dec 24 and 31 there will be no 4-8 shift)
Saturday s 12-7

For more information please contact

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Buy Local this Holiday Season!

Art Mart is returning for the second time! Diane Teti, Yodi Vaden and Sarah Fulton (that's me) are working to bring this locally produced artisan's shop back for the holiday season. And appropriately, the Holiday Inn at 9th and Hamilton Streets has graciously offered to host us.

We are currently looking for artists/artisans/crafters with unique, reasonably priced handmade items to sell in the shop. Please contact me if you are interested in selling items there. We may need to look at a few photos to see what you're planning to sell.

Art Mart is tentatively scheduled to open Black Friday, Nov. 26. We will be open during the Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony from 4-7 p.m. (or beyond) Thursday, Dec. 2. Please join us in welcoming the holidays and commit to supporting the local economy buy shoppping for locally handmade, unique, original gifts this season.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Exhibit Coming to Theatre 514

Submitted via e-mail:

"Alternative Perception" Exhibition: Dec. 2 at Theater 514 on 19th Street, Allentown

Once again the Allentown arts community is stretching the boundaries of 'normal' with an exciting, debut exhibition of German-born artist and sculptor, Steven Condra - just in time for the Holidays!

Civic Theatre and the new, up-and-coming German-American artist invite all Chen Arts Group
members and their friends to attend the “Alternative Perception” exhibition, which will be Condra's first solo show in the US.

The exhibit will host an engaging sample of Condra's most recent abstract pen & ink work and sculpture at Civic Theatre's "Theatre 514" location on 19th St. from 5 - 7.30pm

With the help of Allentown's West Side Poetry and Word Wednesday poets, the “Alternative Perception” exhibition was created to foster tolerance and acceptance by exposing different views and opinions of Condra's work via the medium of 'Spoken Word'. Poets from the two groups will be bringing his art alive by expressing their thoughts and emotions about the pieces that speak to them the most.

An integral part of Condra's philosophy is giving back to the community in which he now lives, and a percentage of all proceeds from the event will be donated to Civic Theatre.

Come join us on December 2, from 5 - 7.30pm to celebrate an evening of abstract expression and a chance to meet new friends!

For more information, please contact Anthony Donnelly: 862-324-2593

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Attention! ----UPDATE-----CALL FOR ARTISTS: WALKING THE EDGE - The latest Allentown Chen Arts Group Show

Please see changes below in RED.

Walking the Edge is a theme show hosted by Art-N-Soul Studios.

Works should show living life on the edge or dangerous taboo topics, or artistic expression that is different or unusual.

Artwork must be submitted by Jan. 3, opening is January 8, and closing of show is Feb. 5. Opening and closing receptions have to be at 8:00pm after the shop closes.

Artists must respond by Dec. 12 with the size of the works they plan to submit. Works must be no bigger than 24" x 36". There is a 25% commission on sales that goes to the gallery plus a $5 fee to the Chen Arts Group to pay for publicity and promotion. One or two works can be submitted but we are asking for works to be completed within the last year and never previously shown at a Chen show. Works must be ready to hang and will be rejected if not wired to hang. The space is only about 18' x 24' but work is hung salon style so about 30 to 40 pieces can be accommodated. Small sculpture is ok also.

After I have a list of interested artists, I will send out formal submission forms, including liability waivers and specifications sheets for your artwork.

Heather Haas, Georgine Miller, Michelle Bodamer and I are working to coordinate this show. As the date draws nearer we will look for volunteers to help with other aspects. This show will take place in January at Art-N-Soul Studios 516Gallery at 516 W. Hamilton Street in downtown Allentown. Thank you to Adam for allowing the group to hold a show at this excellent space!

Please email Sarah at by Dec. 12 to participate.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Call for Artists!

From Lee Leckey:

Perk Coffee Shop in Emmaus is offering wall space to local/regional artists, rotated monthly. Contact Christi Dunning

Sidenote: Perk is located at 228 Main Street, Emmaus, PA 18049
(610) 966-0203

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day of the Dead on 7th Street, October 30

Day of the Dead Fest is coming to 7th Street on Saturday Oct. 30 from 5-9 p.m. The festivities take place in the 500 blk. of N. 7th (between Liberty and Allen).
This event melds American Halloween with Mexican "El Dia de los Muertos" for a fun, exciting, and sometimes scream-provoking evening for all.

Featured activities: A very scary Haunted House...Salsa Taste-Off Contest....Fire Performers...Mexican remembrance cemetery...fortune tellers...cosutmed ghouls and goblins (the public is invited and encouraged to dress up!)...local ethnic eateries...traditional more!
Also - Look for the large, Mexican-style skulls created by local artists and friends, including members of the Chen Arts Group. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Living Dead" show opens Fri. Oct. 23

Come out to 516 Gallery at Art-N-Soul Studios (516 Hamilton St., Allentown) for the 8 p.m. opening of "Living Dead." Artists from the Chen Arts Group will have work in this show, as well as many other talented area artists.

Here are the details:

Opens 8 p.m.
DJs Lebanezer Scrooge and The Purple K'nif spinning all night.
Costumes optional.
No cover, 21+ to drink.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chris Neyen's work showing in NYC!

The Paintings, Drawings and Mixed Media work of artist Chris Neyen will be featured in a show at Jason Groupp Studio titled Inside View,

Here are the details...

Opening Sat. November 13 from 2-6 pm, 526 W. 26th St. Suite 305, New York, NY.

Unique New York Style Loft/Art Studios in Allentown

Info submitted via email:

Perfect for art studio or apartment living on Chew Street in Allentown, Pa. One floor walk up with wide entry way. Five minute walk to center city restaurants and cultural district. Landmark old printing factory renovated to New York Style loft apartments. Building converted to 5 units.

Two remaining units available. One 1000 square feet and the other 2000 square feet. Hardwood floors, high ceilings, bathrooms and kitchens with laundry hook ups. Each unique and feature original windows that allow in a lot of natural light. Private entrance, on street parking and on the LANTA bus route.

For more information call Beth Cannon (Century 21 Pinnacle/Associate Broker) 610-972-2651.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Look at what's happening here....

Have you heard about Art Prize? It's an enormous event in Grand Rapids, Michigan (going on right now) that turns the entire city into a public art gallery.

Nearly 200 venues are participating by hosting the works of more than 1,700 artists. Each venue is open to the public, from banks and gardens to restaurants and religious centers. The entire city is in on the act. It's inspiring to look at what they're doing in Grand Rapids, for the benefit of the artists, the public and the city. I think it would be amazing to one day borrow that idea and pull off something similar here!

Top prize for the "winning artist" is $250,000, with another $250,000 in prizes doled out to multiple other artists.

Check out to see what's happening and to view bios of some of the artists and their pieces.
Pictured above: Salt & Earth by Young Kim

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Call to Artists

Cindy would like to get the message out to as many people as possible. She is part of the Word Wednesday Ensemble and has an art studio called Underworld here in Allentown, Pa.

Information follows:

from Cynthia Rodriguez:

All mediums: paintings, photography, and mixed media as long as they are wall art, they either must be framed or easily hung on the wall. Because of limited space, it is limit 2 pieces per artist. --- cafe gets 25% of each and any piece sold so price your art accordingly, but don't go crazy on the price. Not to censor but try to go easy on getting too graphic because this is a family establishment, this request is per the owners. The exhibit will be up for a month, and artists will be responsible for picking up their own art after the show ends (and not before then). I will be giving the exact date when it ends to all participating artists.

Also call to performance artists, interpretive dancers, poets, speakers! Preferably leaders of or those involved in the gay community, and GLBTQ youth from local colleges and high schools, especially those who have been harassed and/or bullied in school and would like to share their story in a safe environment.

For more information call Cindy at 484-239-2513 or email:

Monday, September 27, 2010


From Yodi:

Are you an artist? Into photography, layout and design, painting, mosaics, silk screening, framing and more!
I am inviting all artists to the first Artist Yard Sale: A Day of Abundance. It will be held at 951 West Chew Street in Allentown, Pa. A Day of Abundance will be a yearly event, the first Saturday in October.

Come see. You will find many things once gently used by local artists. Items include the following many assorted frames some with glass and many sizes/styles, matt cutter, silk screen setup, small geometric risers, canvas stretcher bars, tile and ceramic plates (suitable for mosaic work), free packing material (bubble wrap and popcorn) and more! Saturday October 2, 2010 from 12pm to 4pm.

For more information

Monday, September 20, 2010

Show Opening at Art-N-Soul

Saturday, Sept 25 at 8pm

Opening reception for: "The Pin up Art of Ed Mironiuk"

New Jersey artist Ed Mironiuk displaying pin up art from naughty to nice on canvas
giclee, and limited edition prints and art books. Show runs through Oct. 18. Refreshments served.

516 Gallery at Art N Soul Studios
516 W. Hamilton St.
Allentown, PA

Opportunity for Artists

This information was sent courtesy Joe Skrapits:

I wanted to let you know the next Party on the Deck is on Thursday, Oct. 7 from 5- 8 p.m. It again will be held at the Parking Deck behind the Farr lot on Linden St.

At the last event we had 3 artists who were selling jewelry, art, etc. This is something the committee would like to see expanded for this event.

Would you be able to help us get artists (of any type)?

It is free to exhibit/sell, but if a table is needed it will be $25.

They will need to set up by 4 o’clock the day of the event.

Let me know what other questions you may have.


Leslie L. Suhr
Main Street Manager, Hamilton District
Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce

Please contact Leslie directly to get involved.


Video of current Coates exhibit

Video of Gregory Coates' current exhibit at Cedar Crest College, courtesy Valley View on Service Electric TV2. Honne/Tatemae is on display through Sept. 24.

Meeting Notes from 9/18

There were only a dozen of us in attendance on Saturday, but we ended up having a very productive conversation about the group's mission, future and possible next show.

Ed Nowak said he likes the group the way it is and asked where we all picture it being in 10 years. None of us really had an answer but said we'd like to increase recognizability and notoriety for the group. We also agreed that we like having an open format to the group that allows anyone to participate at any dinner meeting or in any show.

Adam from Gallery 516 at Art-N-Soul Studios was present and mentioned that he would be interested in partnering with the group sometime. He is also planning some open shows that Chensters may want to submit work to.

Georgine Miller asked if we thought we could pull off another show in time for the holidays. Michelle Bodamer (who works in marketing) suggested that if we do something at Christmas that we should consider partnering to raise money for a charity. This would be a good cause and also gain positive attention for the group.

Sarah Fulton mentioned that Diane Teti is interested in coordinating another Art Mart for the holiday season. A new location must be found. Diane is looking into a space now.

Heather Haas and Ted Odoseey talked about making materials to promote the Chen Arts Group and create better name recognition. Heather suggested making t-shirts. Ted suggested buttons.

Heather will be working on an Artist Database cataloging personal info on local artists, their interests and skills.

Sarah will send out some emails and look into possible locations for our next one or two group shows.

Word Wednesday comes out of hiatus Oct. 13. Go to the Silk Lounge for a live poetry jam. Coordinator Yodi is looking for MC's and participants. See link on sidebar to get in touch with him.

"The Living Dead" themed group show opens Oct. 23 at Gallery 516 at Art N Soul at 516 Hamilton Street. Opening at 8 p.m. Costumes optional. Runs through Nov. 20.

Day of the Dead Fest is coming to the 500 block of Seventh Street from 5-9 pm October 30. The event will feature music, an authentic cemetery for remembrances, haunted house, fire performance, Salsa Taste-Off and more. Local ethnic restaurants will be open.

Lehigh Art Alliance show opens Sept. 16 from 1:30 to 4pm at Allentown Art Museum.

Please add any additions to the minutes from 9/18 in the Comments Section. Thanks.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Opportunities for Performing Artists

From Yodi at Word Wednesday:

Word Wednesdays Productions is creating a list of potential featured poets/spoken word artists and masters of ceremonies (MC’s) for our monthly signature production at the Allentown Brew Works. Our signature show is an open mic poetry reading in a black box stage production performed in the round. It includes a disc jockey (tech and sound), a master of ceremony facilitating and open mic, a featured artists and other guests, community poets and other inspired people. Each month there will be a different MC (unless other arrangements are made).
Featured artist must have a strong word based performance, and MC’s should be personable.

Word Wednesdays are the second Wednesday of the month at the Silk Lounge @ the Allentown Brew Works.

For more information visit us at
Word Wednesday’s Facebook Group or or email

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Poetry from the Emergence show

This exercise was directed by Marilyn Hazelton at the Emergence group show. Artists and guests wrote poetry in response to the art on display. They were read aloud at the closing party. Poems are also compiled by Marilyn.


Were you there?
did you see, feel, hear
the exuberance:
was not the energy palpable?

Much to drink in
this visual breaking of bread
with paintings all around
two even went round and round
one stretched from New York City
to Santa Fe

In various dimensions
I was taken apart
swept out to sea
carried back by a familiar melody
put together
in the cave of my ancestors
taken on a tour of American Pop Culture aboard
a Mexico City bus
and tempted to believe
I had found the Holy Grail

Edward Nowak

Time and Beauty
for “Modern Art”
by Georgine Miller

Grey eyes observing, pensive
Hair flowing freely
Questioning, wondering, alert
Unaware of time passing
And beauty expressed
in the freedom of youth.

Louise Muzio

Portrait of a Poet, Armando Passy (1945-2001)
After a painting by Joseph Skrapits

Like rifles
leaned against a bamboo hooch
your brows knit, Armando,
as if remembering Nam, 1968.
Again you finger those
save your ass rosary beads
as Phantom jets rain napalm
over water buffalo
rice paddies
Vietnamese flesh ...
and your own swart skin doubles the danger
of not-so-friendly fire from your platoon.

You watch through
eyes like charred shadows, Armando,
as if you see young Carmen's
lapsed wings and dark, outstretched eyes,
craving a hug from a street poet
at the Homework Club
the morning after
gunshots splattered a man's brains
on her kitchen floor.

You, bony shoulders in a white undershirt,
a frame unchanged perhaps
from “Count Spider” at fifteen,
toughened by St. Vincent's Home for Boys
and Brooklyn streets
one of The Seven Hustlers,
against the Apaches and Black Diamonds,
altar boy no more.

Setting aside your pen to sit for a portrait,
did you conjure
people and things lost?
the work remaining in a life
of poetry and purpose
urban repair and second chances?
or a benedicion for those departed
and those
you do not know how soon
you'll leave behind?

Susan Weaver

Italicized lines are from Passy's “More than One War” and “Hug Over Bullets.”

for “Aqua”
by Marco Calderon

The rain is the first I see,
But then — the tree!
Memories of when I was three . . .
Grandma, dark chocolate and me!



for “Interruption of Continuity”
by Michelle Bodamer

falling, twisting, rising . . . breathe
then I do it all again.
The madness draws me in a kiss of death then
salvation promised by a surge of hope.
Will it ever end? Will I find peace?

Sharisse Bruto

for Metal Paper
by Marco Calderon

A nameless shape
Something stagnant, moving.
A metal note, with writing inside.
If only I could unfold the paper. I’m
sure that its message would be profound.

Heather Haas

for Untitled
by Lee Lecky

It looks weather & wise
full of hope
joy rising, an adventure
behind each door
Never too old to start

Eileen Cressman Reeder

The Ocean
for “Interruption of Continuity”
by Michelle Bodamer

with its constant cycle,
never ending continuity, its same
routine stopped.
Orange and red, black and white
that don’t belong in the sea’s blue
interrupt and stop . . .
the constant flow.

G.P. & O.T. (Mrs. Chen’s nieces visiting from CA)

for Becoming the Butterfly
a photograph by Pete Hughes

I’m somebody, who are you? And
I can find something new
Standing here, behind this eye
I know everybody knows how to hide
But . . . I like to wait & look for another angle
Pull a loose thread & unwind its tangle
Pare down the bizarre, simplify the maze
Find a moment that’s special in an ordinary day.
Sometimes show a prism of colors, of
shapes & shadows
unseen by others

Noelle Gabovitz

A part
for “Martha Bloomgren Salemme”
by Antonio Salemme

Eyes serene or critical,
She sits and watches.
A wife apart.

Still, it’s her space,
No need to be buzzed in.
A part of this show.

Georgine Miller

My brother
for “Emperors of African Royalty”

My brother, so strong and tall
strong yet flexible like a bamboo
ready to bend but not break
as the winds of life blow.
Eager and willing to stand again
when the wind ceases.

Flexible enough to let the little breaks
mend and to grow as the sun shines again.
Just like an African Royalty, my brother is.

You make me proud TJ and I
love you very much!

Adetola Louis-Jacques

A Fractured Union
for “A Crack on Time”
by Ramon Peralta

One side left
One side right
The train passing it in the night

Between the “NO” there’s an “I”
engulfed in blackness to the sky

Colors of old fight back time
fight back scars, fight back blight

Zehra Follweiler

The Pod
for “Extraterrestrial”
by David Molloy

The extraterrestrial pod is Rad.
What lives inside?
Is it a pod that will open and
a strange creature comes out?
Is it a pod that has plant seeds
in it?
What’s it all about?


The Traveler
for “Viola, Traveler”

My tapestry bag full of stories
age old tales with love and glory
A simple life and well-traveled paths,
I worked hard to serve
but then I observed
my ultimate goal all along . . .
was to go back home to where my heart longs

Tracey Lopez

for “Tomatoes and Yellow Vase”
by William DeRaymond

Bright tomatoes, yellow vase
Dancing boys swirl and turn
Strokes shoot skyward from behind
Cezanne still come to life.

Michelle Neifert

Coy Allentown Girl
for “Linden St. & 9th St., 1902”
by Rosemary Geseck

She poses coyly in the snow covered street
Right in the middle of the street!
In downtown Allentown
(Try that now! Wow!)
9th and Linden – 1902
An unknown photographer, an unseen face
Father, Mother, Uncle?
says “Stand still, pose for the camera,”
and she smiles coyly in the
huge ice storm aftermath –
and digs her toe playfully in the snow –
The horses wait patiently
for their oats and cozy barn time
in the traces, their owner selling Fancy Cakes –
The tonsorial parlor on the
corner – maybe even had some
peppermint candy to match the
barber pole out front for the camera poser –
I wonder if she bought her
cape at Hess Brothers one block away? (opened 1897)
What was your name
coy, fun loving girl
digging your toe in the new fallen snow?

Rosemary Geseck

The Universal Truth
for “Elevation”
by Ramon Peralta

The color of blue, spirit true
As a third eye during Kundalini yoga
A chant, a trance
Floating of love, romance
One self is true, full of heat
The spine of Kundalini you cannot see
but you feel its energy
red for the heart. . .

So much energy, strong, high above
Wall and spirit, body become one
elevated away from our flesh and humanity
to connect and become one with higher power
of self and universe.

Amber Sorrentino

after Untitled
Encaustic mixed media on board
by Lee Lecky

Within this ancient art
of pigment held by wax,
I see all that circles are:
buttons, raindrops,
ancient coins, and
the blood-red ground
of being born.
I hear my mother’s cry of pain.
Floating inside the dream
of childhood, I feel those nails
pierce the hands and feet
of Jesus.

But hope rises, falls,
eases sideways, fades,
returning again,
like stages of love
through these slabs of rust,
red, turquoise,
chalk blue, hard beige,
stone grey, forest shadow,
green veined with gold:
history layered
in its small doorway —
inviting me
to enter . . .

Marilyn Hazelton

Monday, August 30, 2010

Garden Party for Allentown Public Theatre

From the APT e-newsletter:

We are selling just 100 tickets to our garden party on Sunday, September 19 from 3-7 pm at 1536 West Walnut Street, the gracious Queen Anne home and garden of Jason Custer, Tim Lewis and Matt Stitzer in West Allentown.

At the party you can count on live cabaret music and a sneak peak at our upcoming main-stage production of Hamlet, A Rock Experience. We'll have lots of food from local caterers and restaurants, wine and refreshments, door prizes galore, and the perfect setting for meeting and greeting. Josh Neth will close the evening with his one-man performance of The Tell-Tale Heart.
So get your tickets while they last! Advance discount tickets ($22) are available by calling 1-888-895-5645, by emailing, or at one of these locations:

KNBT Branches
835 Hamilton St., Allentown
1660 N. Cedar Crest Blvd, Allentown (in front of Target)
4200 W. Tilghman St., Allentown
235 Main St., Emmaus

Lawrence Roth Salon & Day Spa
1741 W. Liberty St., Allentown

Blown Color Studio
597 Main St., Bethlehem

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Upward Bound III comes to downtown Allentown on Saturday

Upward Bound III - Unity on Hamilton will be held Sat. August 28 from 10 am to 6 pm along Hamilton Street, between 6th and 7th streets.

This event features music, food and entertainment for all ages. The event is billed as a multi-cultural celebration. There will be live blues, reggaeton, R&B, hip hop and more. Entertainment is free. All are welcome.
For more info, contact 484-619-6541 or 610-241-8285.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gregory Coates exhibit at Cedar Crest College

The paintings, drawings and sculpture of world-traveled artist Gregory Coates (who makes his home in Allentown) will be featured in a show at Cedar Crest College titled Honne Tatemae.

Here are the details...

When: August 23 through September 24
Where: Miller Family Building Lachaise Gallery at Cedar Crest, Allentown

Closing Reception/Artist Talk is scheduled for 4:30 to 6:30 pm on September 22.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Event by 516 Gallery at Art-N-Soul Studios

Sat. Aug. 14 @ 2pm. In studio demonstration of vinyl toy customizing. Painting and sculpting techniques by Reading based artist, Rsin.
516 W. Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One Year Anniversary of Word Wednesday

From the organizers:

We are excited to announce the one year anniversary of Word Wednesday's. Local artist, Yodi Duane Vaden, and co-hostess, accomplished singer, Kari Holmes along with other valley poets will converge on the Silk Lounge of the Allentown Brew Works.

On August 11, 7:30pm, the Word Wednesday’s ensemble has an exciting evening planned. Many poets from the Wednesday Family will share some of their old and new works, debut new chapbooks, and a few special announces. Everyone’s invited to this open mic. Come join us!

Word Wednesday’s are the second Wednesday of every month. Next Word Wednesday’s is August 11, 7:30pm. The Allentown Brew Works is located at 812 Hamilton Street.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Images from Emergence

The Emergence opening on Saturday was a great success. The Antonio Salemme Foundation was packed with people excited to see the works of 25 artists who participated in the show. The above images were taken by Heather Haas, one of the show coordinators.

Emergence continues through Aug. 20. Stop by Salemme - at 542 Hamilton Street, 2nd floor - from 11 am to 2 pm Mon-Fri to view the artwork yourself. Some items are for sale and volunteers sitting at the gallery will gladly help you with any questions.

If you have some photos from the show that you'd like to share, please email them to me and I can get them on the blog:

Closing is scheduled for 7 pm Saturday, August 21 at Salemme. We hope you can join us!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Emergence Opens Saturday 8/7/10

Allentown Chen Arts Group presents "Emergence" - the fourth group show coordinated by volunteers.
Join us Saturday, August 7, 2010 at 7 pm at Antonio Salemme Foundation at 542 Hamilton Street, 2nd Floor, for the opening reception.

View a variety of work by 25 artists. A poetry response exercise will be conducted by writers Marilyn Hazelton and Susan Weaver.

This show is coordinated by E.A. Kafkalas, Heather Haas and Chris Neyen. Works were hung by a volunteer hanging committee.

The show runs Monday-Friday from 11 am to 2 pm through August 20. Closing reception scheduled for 7 pm Saturday, August 21.

Please come out and enjoy!
Above painting by Michelle Neifert.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Live Music at Allentown Brew Works on Friday

Details from organizer Joe Trinkle:
July 30 - Silk Lounge at the Allentown Brew Works
$5 cover
Doors @ 8
Ryan James Bradley @ 9:30
The Beings @ 10:30
Drink specials!

Come support live, local music and a rapidly-growing alternative music venue in Allentown! Ahghhh!

Notes from July 24th Dinner/Meeting

About 15 people attended the meeting on 7/24 at House of Chen. Some newcomers were welcomed. Hopefully we will see their work at a future show.

There were only a couple announcements to be made....

I announced an upcoming fire arts performance titled "In the Heat of the Night" at Union Terrace on August 14 starting at 8:30 p.m. The event will feature at least a dozen East Coast fire performers with poi, staff, hoops, fans, etc. This is an Idea Dome Production. All are welcome. Donations are accepted. Feel free to email me with any questions:

Ellen Kafkalas offered an update on the "Emergence" show. Postcards (featuring a nice, slick design by Chris Neyen) have come in. Ellen handed out stacks for distribution. Please spread the word about this show!

The opening will be held August 7 at 7 p.m. at Salemme Foundation, 542 W. Hamilton Street, second floor. About 28 artists are currently signed up to exhibit their work. The show will continue Monday-Friday from 11-2 until the closing at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 21.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Art in a Storefront for One Night Only!

What: The Glocal Cafe and Artist Lounge

Where: 513 N. Seventh Street, Allentown

When: Saturday, July 17, 2010 from 7 pm to midnight

Details: This is a pop-up store, or midnight gallery, for one night only. Enjoy live music by The Jubilee Family Band and Masculine/Feminine. Plus share your art, enjoy the art of others, join in a community mural...there will be coffee, baking, open mic, conversation and more.

Cost: Donations only.
This is a BYOB event.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Opening Reception this weekend at Art-N-Soul

Saturday July 17
Opening Reception: The Art of Jason Lynn aka Johnny

at 516 Gallery. 8-11pm Refreshments served.Art N Soul Studios, 516 W. Hamilton St., Allentown. 610-433-4850

"Rev Stilletto is the pen name of world infamous graphic designer and tattoo artist Jason Lynn. Left an orphan at age 3 from an ill fated plane crash and raised by wolves in the cold hills of Siberia. At age 13 he was mistaken as one of his wolf brethren and was wounded by russian poachers and left for dead. Now, unable to hunt and fend for himself the wolf pack shunned him and he was banished to of capitalism where he became a graphic designer. But the market is saturated, this land of opportunity lied to him, with his tail tucked between his legs he fled back to the motherland, where he was imprisoned for prostitution. But this cloud has a silver lining, inside the harsh prison environment of Russia, he learned the fine art of tattooing. Once his 25 year sentence was up, he moved back to The United States where he opened a tattoo studio, The House Of Madness & Ill Humors, in rural Hampstead, MD where he works still to this day. true story."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cubes on Display

Sorry it's taken me a couple weeks to get around to posting the photos of the Chen Artists' Cubes. Between the Allentown Freak Out and some much-needed vacation time this post was delayed.

Please take a look at the Cubes as they were displayed in the Arts Park on June 19. The cubes are now on display in the Community Room at Baum School of Art, 5th and Linden Streets - through July 8.
Thank you to Kiki Nienaber & Greg Coates for designing the display of the Cubes and thank you to Rudy Ackerman and the Baum School for displaying them for us. This project was funded with a PPA Project Stream Grant from 2009.
Rosemary Geseck

Kerri Ann Stevens

Matt Vassallo

Angie Villa

Gregory Coates

Heather Haas

Mohammed Bayoumi

Yodi Duane Vaden

Chris Neyen

Glenn Lash

Ryan Fulton & Dan Cotterman

Matt Lewis

Yodi leads the drum circle

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Notes from the June 26th Meeting

Below are the notes kept by Ellen at the last group meeting:

On Saturday, June 26, a small, but lively group met at House of Chen for our monthlymeeting. We welcomed some new members into the group. Jacqueline Meyerson,a pastel artist from Macungie and her husband Allen, a musician joined the group.Along with a newcomer to the valley Fauleyibi Tunji who brought some of his pieces toshow us—beautiful wood cuttings, silk screens and paintings. Also, Tony Dong of GDProductions attended his first meeting. Others in attendance were Heather Haas andher husband, Tracey and Rafael Lopez, Cathy Botch, Rosemary Gesek and Ellen AnnKafkalas.

Tony Dong brought up the proposed Arts Center on 7th Street that will be a joint venturebetween GD Productions, The Allentown Public Theatre and the Chen Arts Group. TheCenter will house two theatre spaces, a proscenium and three quarter stage, a café,gallery space and offices.Tony also brought up the upcoming 24-Hour Festival, August 13-14, where writers,directors, producers and actors will have 24 hours to create and perform a play. Therewill be salsa dancing, a drum circle, staged readings, painting workshops and anopportunity for artists to sell their work. Tony Dong will be sending Sarah the informationshortly to distribute to the group. You can also read a bit more about the project on theirwebsite

The upcoming Emergence show was discussed. A sheet for volunteers to man thegallery hours, along with a sheet for people to man the drop-off dates was passedaround. Artwork can be dropped off either Saturday, July 31st or Sunday, August 1stbetween the hours of 11 am – 4 pm. An email with all the details will go out to thoseparticipating a couple weeks before the show. The idea of a closing night reception, aswell as an opening night reception was brought up as several of the artists participatingwon’t be able to attend the opening night. The closing night reception was tabled untilwe know what kind of monies we have. The question of advertising arose. Chris Neyenis designing a poster that we’re hoping the City will print for free again as they have inthe past, Sarah is checking on that. We’re also hoping to have his design printed as apostcard that can be put out various places, and a digital image that can be posted onartist’s websites and email. Tony Dong said he would post it on their website.

Tracey Lopez asked if anyone was interested in participating in an Altered Book projectfor the upcoming show. It would be on display as one of the pieces. She is distributingone 8-1/2x11 chipboard to anyone interested. The page could be related to "Emergence"or not in whatever medium the artist chooses. An email request to distribute to the wholeChenarts Group will be sent to Sarah for distribution. Those participating would just bringtheir board to the next Chenarts meeting on July 17th, or send them back to Tracey.

Fauleyibi Tunji volunteered to do a Facebook page for the group, so artists could keep intouch with each other.The group adjourned. The next meeting will be held on Saturday, July 17 to coincidewith Malaysian night so expect some great treats.

**Note - due to a scheduling conflict with our host location the group meeting for July will be held on the 24th at 6:30 pm at House of Chen, 732 Hamilton St., Allentown.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chen Arts is happy to announce its next show

Saturday, August 7th through Friday, August 20th, 2010.  
Opening Night Reception will be Saturday, August 7th at 7 pm,  at the Antonio Salemme Foundation, 542 Hamilton St., suite 203, Allentown, PA.
Entry Requirements:
Submissions should not be larger than 24” x 30” framed. There is room for small sculptures or 3-dimensional works able to stand on a 12” x 12” pedestal.
Send 3 photos (file size no larger than 2MB) to If you do not have email, please mail the photos to E.A. Kafkalas, 112 S Madison Street, Allentown, PA 18102.
The entry fee is $10. Please make checks payable to Heather Haas. Mail payments to: 1014 Chew Street, Allentown, PA 18102  (or alternatively submit payments to Heather in person at the June 26th Chen Arts meeting.)
Deadline for submissions and payment is June 30th.
Depending on the number of submissions, we may only have room for one of your submissions. Paperwork is attached, and should be completed and submitted on the day you drop artwork off.
Volunteer Requirements:
In addition to the fee, all artists entering are required to volunteer for one (or more) of the following committees:
  • Receiving Artwork
  • Hanging
  • Opening Night Reception
  • Manning the Gallery
Let us know which committee(s) you are interested in serving on at the time of submission, and a phone number and/or email where you can be reached.

Thank you,
Emergence Show Coordinators
Heather Haas, E.A. Kafkalas, Chris Neyen

Allentown Freak Out opens Friday, features Chen Artist display

A first-ever “fringe” festival featuring avant-garde arts and entertainment comes to Allentown June 18 & 19 and all events are offered for FREE!

Allentown Freak Out
kicks off Friday, June 18 at the PPL Plaza Green Space at 9th and Hamilton Streets and continues Saturday, June 19 throughout the downtown from 9th to 5th streets. The event features nine live bands, fire performers and sideshow/burlesque acts, live theatre and comedy improv, art exhibits a film screening and fun for all!

Friday’s events include: Music by live DJ Unit 13, drum circle (open to public participation – bring a lawn chair!) at 8:30 p.m. at a fire performance by Red Hot Bananas at 9 p.m. featuring poi, staff, fans and hoop. After party to be held in Silk Lounge at BrewWorks at 10 p.m.

Saturday’s events include:
PPL Plaza Green: Noon to 11 pm - home to live bands: The Subtle Experience, Voodoo Automaton, Pleasant Corners, Eww Ya Boo and The Big Dirty. Happy Hooper Lehigh Valley hosts her Hoop Village all day. Tina Spinz and Red Hot Bananas perform with fire after dark.

Art-N-Soul Studios: 1 to 8 pm - The Great White Caps play surf punk music in the back lot. View an exhibit by all the artists to ever exhibit at Art-N-Soul's PushArt Gallery and watch a live graffiti mural in progress.

Allentown Arts Park: 1 to 5 pm - Allentown Chen Arts Group displays 13 cubes designed by 13 individual artists. Allentown Public Theatre performs family-friendly, interactive play El Coqui at 3 p.m. Bring the kids and get involved!

Allentown Brew Works: 7 to 10 pm - Come early to Silk Lounge to see Rock 'N Roll Circus, a 1968 BBC Production featuring live bands like the Stones and The Who, rocking out with a live audience under the big top. Film is followed by a live show by the Associated Mess comedy improv troupe. ABW is offering a Freak Out kamikaze cosmo for $5. Also enjoy tasty pub fare and microbrews.

House of Chen: Arrive at 8 pm for an evening of Free American Music, featuring Bob Lewis, The Locksmiths and Tavern Tan. See beautiful ladies (Bella Deluxe and The Darwin Sisters) perform sideshow and burlesque routines between the bands! House of Chen will feature a punch and a special kamikaze Freak Out shot at the bar.

Salemme Foundation: See a live performance of Edgar Allan Poe's The Telltale Heart by Allentown Public Theatre. This show will tickle your dark side.

Thank you to sponsors Pulse Weekly, Peter Lewnes, Post Sputnik and thanks for the assistance provided by Community Action Development Corporation of Allentown. Thank you to Easton-Express Times, Morning Call, WMUH and WDIY for publicity and the City of Allentown for printing.

Visit for complete schedule details, venue locations and information on free parking. Hope to see you downtown where we’ll be having fun and freaking out!
LED hooping, pictured above, is sure to take place at AFO.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Art in the Park Registration

Below is the entry form for Art in the Park taking place June 19 at West Park. Feel free to print copies.

Entry Registration Art-in-the-Park 2010
Detach and mail along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
Art-in-the-Park, 1640 W. Turner St., Allentown, Pa. 18102

Exhibitor’s Name:______________________Phone_______________Email_________


Do you want to rent display screens at $6 each?____How many? 1 2 3

$45 entry fee enclosed____________Total Enclosed $___________

Make checks payable to the West Park Civic Association

Category of work you will enter:
1) Oil/Acrylic____2) Watercolor____3) Graphic____4) Photography___5) 3D_____

I understand that the West Park Civic Association is not liable for personal injury or for loss or damage to art work or personal property.


West Park, Allentown, Pa.
Saturday, June 19th, 2010 10AM-5PM
NEW!! Raindate: Saturday, June 26th, 2010
Who May Enter
Professional and amateur artists are invited to exhibit their original works and someone must accompany the display. No commercial galleries or representatives.
Categories Accepted
Original works: 1) Oil/Acrylics 2) Watercolor 3) Graphic (drawings and prints) 4) Photography NEW CATEGORY 5) 3D (pottery, sculpture, jewelry, wood)
Jury of Awards
Over $2,500 in prizes and honorable mentions will be awarded in the above five categories.
Entry Fees and Dates
$45 per 25 foot space until June 11, 2010--$50 per space June 12-19, 2010
Two or more exhibitors may share one space, however the entry fee must be paid by each exhibiting artist.
Refunds will be given if the show is canceled.
Exhibitors are permitted to sell their works. No commission will be charged. All artists must register when placing their work in the park.
Display Screens
A limited number of “wire mesh” on wooden frame display screens are available on a first-reserved basis for a rental fee of $6 each. The screens are on two hinged panels, each 52”x 63”.
Regional coverage to promote a quality art show and coverage on the exhibition day. A program listing exhibitors will be distributed on the day of the show. Please phone Peggy Egolf at 610-434-0657 if you have any questions regarding the exhibition or eligibility of your work. A letter of instruction will be mailed to you upon registration receipt.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meeting Notes 5/22/10

A small but lively group of Chensters enjoyed exotic and oh so delicious Malaysian Cuisine at our May monthly meeting, thanks to Jenny Chen. Our beautifully framed Arts Ovation Award for emerging artist is hanging in the front of the restaurant. I passed around the other official documents and proclamations that go with the award, and Ellen will be scanning the documents so we can post them at the blog. Congratulations to the group.

Ellen, who is helping to coordinate our next group show, presented some details about the show.
It is scheduled for August 7th-20th, with an opening on Aug. 7th at 7pm, at the Antonio Salemme Foundation Gallery on Hamilton St. in Allentown. Thanks to Joe Skrapits for offering the space. There will be a $10 entry fee, and Heather will be collecting the money, which is due at the end of June. Artists can submit up to 3 works of art, through e-mail. We can hang the show salon style, and will be able to fit up to 40 pieces to hang on the walls, plus there will be pedestals for sculpture, and shelving available for displaying art work. We will be limiting the size of the work to 24"x36" We will need volunteers to sit at the gallery, and to accept the work the weekend before the show. If you are interested in participating, please attend the next meeting so we can discuss forming committees of volunteers. If you are interested in showing your work, please volunteer in some way to help with the show. There is a piano at the gallery, and Heather has offered us a pianist to perform at our opening. Thanks Heather!

We discussed possible themes and titles for the show, but decided that we need more artist input, and we should conduct a vote (through group e-mail)
Here are the ideas we discussed: Renewal, Ovation, Emergence, Revolution, and Action
More details about the show will follow through group e-mail.

Sondra, Executive Director of HALA (Hispanic American League of Artists) addressed the group. Sondra is on a planning committee working on turning the vacant Neuweiler Brewery building into an arts center. She is surveying artists, organizations, and business owners to determine what needs they have for space. She will be sending online surveys to artists. The city owns the building, and the DCED (Dept. Community and Economic Development) is working with arts groups like HALA, Arts Luminarium, and others to turn the abandoned building into a green , environmentally sustainable, multicultural home for the arts in Allentown. Ideas we discussed: a possible future gallery space, artist studios, a theatre outlet, fashion, bakery, location to shoot movies.

Hope to see you at the next meeting, and look for e-mails and updates at the blog.

Angie Villa
Fish photo by Gianni

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Inexpensive ads available for artists

Hi there everyone,

As you know, Matt and I are working with a team of volunteers to bring Allentown Freak Out to the downtown June 18-19.

We are busy working on our festival program booklet and selling ads to support the festival. Basically, the ads help us cover costs and pay performers (bands, fire performers, etc...) so the event can be FREE tot the public.

If you are interested in supporting this cause, while also advertising your artistic skills, please contact me to tak out an ad at:

We are offering business card-sized ads to working artists for just $30. The same size ad for a business sells for $50 and a half-page program ad sells for $100. Thanks for considering this offer.

Deadline for ads is June 1.

Hope to see you downtown at the Freak Out!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Art Opening at fun new bookstore in Emmaus

Here are the details for an art opening featuring the work of Michael Shoudt at the Blind Willow Book Shop in Emmaus:

(image from the store's blog)

Blind Willow Bookshop - 412 Chestnut St., Emmaus:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do we want to plan a group show?

Hi there. I recently sent out an email about holding our next group show at the Salemme Foundation on Hamilton Street. Please discuss dates, length of show, fees, planning, the comment section of this post.

Here are the basics:

Antonio Salemme Foundation is located at 542 Hamilton Street #203 on the second floor overlooking downtown Allentown.

The space is available for rent for a group show at $75 a week.

We may not be able to accommodate the 30-40 artists that we have in the past, but we could probably do 20 in this space. (I do not have the exact wall footage at this time, I am only estimating.)

Please discuss and decide if we should move forward. If someone would like to volunteer to coordinate this show, please step forward and send me an email at the address below! Thanks.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Arts Funding Alert from Citizens for the Arts in PA:

Dear Fellow Arts Advocates,

Will the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) be on the chopping block when the PA Senate finishes deliberations on the state budget?

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced Pennsylvania will end the fiscal year (June 30, 2010) with a deficit of over $1 billion. Without additional revenue enhancements, Rendell speculated that significant layoffs and furloughs are inevitable.

In reaction to the latest budget news, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Senate Appropriations Chair Jake Corman (R-Centre County) said that his caucus would push "for reducing spending to reflect the state's new "budget reality." He did not describe what cuts he would make."

We need your help and we need it NOW! The PA Senate is working on the state budget.

We need you to: Share this e-mail with friends, family and business associates and encourage them to advocate for the arts. Organize a trip to your State Senator's District Office ASAP (bring other arts advocates with you). Personal visits have the largest impact on public policy-makers. Share information about jobs supported by the arts with your senator (there are 62,000 full-time equivalent jobs that are supported by nonprofit arts organizations in PA) Make sure that you have at least one of the senator's constituents in your group.

These visits to your senator's district office are of vital importance to keep PCA funding in the FY 11-12 state budget. MAKE THAT APPOINTMENT TODAY!

Jenny L. Hershour
Managing Director
Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Looking Back

In light of the two year anniversary of the Allentown Chen Arts Group, I've been inspired to write my personal reflection of what the group has become and what it has accomplished in that time.

I guess I should give you some background. I am Sarah. The person who sends out the emails, handles correspondence and has coordinated some events. I create documentaries and short films with my husband Matt.

For more than a year now I've been the facilitator for the group, receiving regular emails from artists who want to share their art openings, events and collaboration opportunities with others. I also send out regular email reminders of upcoming meetings and write blog posts on topics that affect local artists and arts groups, such as state funding. I have enjoyed being the group switchboard operator, putting the people in touch with each other.

This is truly a group made up of individuals and I like the way remain unincorporated as an organization. We all have different goals and plans and styles of working. The group really doesn't have a mission or a grand goal, except to enhance the profile of the arts and artists in and around the community, and our numbers give us the strength to do that easier than one person alone.

Of the three group shows this group has pulled off, each one was as different as the locations and the coordinators involved. First, there was 16 & A Movie at Peter Lewnes' 7th Street loft. I think we pulled it off in less than two weeks, with Peter inviting artists in to transform his space into a gallery. The day of the OAPA House Tour, hundreds of people lingered and sipped wine and spoke with the artists. I know I was in awe of the local arts community coming together in a way it never has before through that show.

The next show, twice as many artists responded to the call for work. Greg, Kiki and Yodi spent days inside the Butz Building prepping it as a gallery. Joe and Antonio teamed up to make the electrical work fall into place. Rafa spent the night inside the space crafting an enormous vase out of newsprint. Yodi, always inspired, used hundreds of Chinese newspapers to craft the show's signature namesake piece, "Momentum." Kiki curated the show. The opening in that beautiful glass space was a hit. Hundreds of people stopped by that night. And for the following two weeks, teams of volunteers offered to sit in the gallery for a few hours each afternoon so the downtown residents and workers could come in and enjoy the exhibit.

Our third show, Velocity, at the Community Gallery of the Allentown Art Museum, is the one I coordinated. Not that I selected the pieces, that was done by a panel of artist volunteers. At the time, we were looking for a space to hold another show. Locations seemed lacking. Then I recalled the AAM space. It wasn't as "sexy" as our other locations, but it gave us access to a great audience. The arts enthusiasts that visit the museum daily to view world-renowned work would now be treated to a show by the Chen Arts Group. We had a terrific afternoon opening with a couple hundred guests in attendance.

(As of our most recent meeting - where we celebrated the 2-year anniversary - the group discussed locations for a fourth show. I plan to get in touch with the landlord to see if we can use it this summer. And of course, it would be downtown again.)

Aside from the group shows, there have been excellent individual efforts by people in the group or associated with the group to continue sharing work with the public. Yodi took the initiative to approach the owners of vacant downtown buildings to see if a small group of us could hang some artwork. The initial "Hamilton for Rent" exhibit was at 10th and Hamilton in the former gym. Yodi, Matt-Ryan-Dan, Greg and I created or displayed pieces. The show moved down the street and other artists joined in, like Rosemary Geseck and Chris Neyen. Heather Bush brought some jewelry to display. Eventually Greg Coates took a window in the 800 block, coordinated with the help of Diane Teti who has connections to building owners, and began a rotating display of his work and the work of others. This spurred Diane to move on her "Art Mart" idea and open a gallery/craft shop for the holiday season with the OK from the building owner. Greg coordinated the artists. A group of us got together to clean, polish and vacuum the space. We opened with a great turnout from the public and artists.

The Chen Arts Group is really home to a broad variety of interesting people. Many only turnout when a group show is announced. Others come to dinner religiously every month to hang out with their fellow artists but rarely show their work. Others never come to dinner but coordinate happenings and invite everyone else to participate. Not only does the degree of involvement vary, but the level of artistic training does as well. Some of the artists have exhibited internationally. Others teach. Some are still in school themselves. Or have recently taken a path into the arts and are excited to meet others who can offer support or even mentorship. We are an all-inclusive group. There is no official membership because everyone is welcome to participate at anytime, for as brief or as long as they like. How I got into facilitating I can't really recall. But I enjoy doing my part to raise the profile of the arts in Allentown.

We should all be proud of the Arts Ovation award being given to the group. While I was on vacation I know that Greg, Angie, Marilyn and Heather H. and Jenny Lim (owner of House of Chen) were videotaped for the award acceptance at House of Chen. Each person has a varied perspective on what this group has accomplished. I recall that first blog discussion among several of us who are still active founding members today. It's amazing we've stuck with it.

For a group whose basis of meeting revolves around Malaysian night at a Chinese restaurant, we've managed to accomplish some great projects, gain attention for ourselves, gain attention for others, and my favorite part, gain attention for the independent arts scene here in Allentown. I can say for certain after the last couple years of meeting everyone and corresponding with all of you that this group, and the separate individuals involved with it, has made a difference.

Stay tuned for a future group show. A location is in the works!

Also, don't forget...13 Chen artists will display their plexiglass cubes at the Arts Park during Allentown Freak Out, June 19.

And, keep your eyes open for the Allentown Chen Arts Group facebook page - coming soon. Stefan, a volunteer and newcomer to the group, has offered to maintain it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Arts Ovation information

Some of you have asked me for information on the Arts Ovation awards luncheon. Here are the details again:

The event will be held May 6 at Holiday Inn, 9th and Hamilton Sts., Allentown. Doors open 11:15 a.m. Individual tickets are $35.

Please make checks payable to "Arts Ovation." And send them to: Susan Rutt, 1852 South Wood Street, Allentown, PA 18103.

Deadline is April 30 (Friday).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Birthday and Congratulations!

This month marks the 2 year Birthday of the Allentown Chen Arts Group! (or is it Anniversary?) Thanks to all of the artists, supporters, and volunteers who have contributed to the success of this group. We have accomplished a lot in two years, thanks to our talented and dedicated volunteers. Let's keep the ball rolling and continue to produce high quality professional gallery shows and arts events in downtown Allentown.

Congratulations to the group for receiving an Arts Ovation Award from the Allentown Arts Commission. This award is for emerging artist/service to community. There will be an awards luncheon at The Holiday Inn on Hamilton St, May 6th. Tickets are $35.00. Please see The Arts Commission blog (link at sidebar) for more information, or contact Sarah if you are interested in attending. It would be great to see you there, because this award is for all of us. Thanks to the Arts Commission for recognizing our group.

Photo is from our first meeting. Please remember the people we have lost: Barba-Del Campbell, Bernadette Cozart, Fran Weaver, Craig from Art N Soul.

Angie Villa

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Welcome to Allentown Freak Out!

I want to introduce you to a new festival coming to downtown Allentown this summer called Allentown Freak Out. This event is a "fringe festival," which means it will feature avant-garde arts and entertainment. I am one of the excited organizers of this event. There is a committee of people from various backgrounds working to make this festival happen.

Allentown Freak Out will be held June 18-19 mainly along the Hamilton Street corridor from 9th Street to 5th Street. We have participation from Allentown Public Theatre, fire arts performers, Happy Hooper Lehigh Valley, drummers, and more. There will also be a film screening, indie bands, and art exhibits.

Allentown Brew Works, House of Chen, Art-N-Soul Studios, the green at PPL Plaza and Allentown Arts Park are committed to serve as venues.

Even part of the Chen Arts Group will be participating with an art exhibit at the Allentown Arts Park. Thirteen plexiglass cubes designed by various artists will be unveiled in the theme of Re-Urbanization. (This is the project I secured a PPA Project Stream grant for.)

We are looking for sponsorship of this event. Your business can receive an ad in the official festival program for as little as $50. We are also offering individual artist discounts so please get in touch with us at:

Pictured above: Fire hooping, one of the opening night performances planned for AFO.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Auditions Tomorrow (Sat. 3/27)

Allentown Public Theatre is holding auditions tomorrow, Saturday 3/27, for a play titled El Coqui. The story is based on Puerto Rican folklore.

Here's the info from the APT website:

Casting 3 men & 3 women for Allentown Public Theatre's Youth and Culture play, El Coqui. Seeking actors/singers with a strong ability in improvisation & movement, ages 14 and up. Guitar and indigenous percussion players as well as Bi-lingual, Hispanic/Latino and ethnic actors encouraged to audition. Please prepare a 60-second youth-oriented monologue, poem, or song to demonstrate skills sought. No accompanist. Bring instruments. Come prepared to participate in movement and animal improvisation.

Note: Auditions will take place from 12-5 p.m. at Theatre 514 (across 19th St. from Civic).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Arts advocacy update from Washington, D.C.

from Americans for the Arts:

Arts education advocacy has had an exciting few weeks in Washington! Several times this month leaders in Congress expressed concern and raised questions about the future of arts education with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Secretary Duncan has appeared before several Congressional committees to speak about education funding and federal reform efforts. We need to build on this momentum by raising these concerns in the broader public forum, like your local newspapers.

The questions to Secretary Duncan come at a critical time for arts education: The president's budget proposal calls for the federal arts education program to be consolidated with non-arts-specific education programs; Secretary Duncan has introduced a "blueprint" for reauthorizing education policy and has released new federal grants to spur reforms.

However, all around the country, including in Pennsylvania, we see arts education being challenged, reduced, and in many cases, being dropped from local school budgets.

In the past few weeks on Capitol Hill:

House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt (D-SC), based on questions posed by arts education leaders in his congressional district, asked Secretary Duncan about whether the arts were being put on the "backburner."

Senate Education Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) said that, "Not every kid's brain is wired for math and science and engineering...some are more artistic, more creative, in music and in the arts..." and questioned Secretary Duncan about how arts education will be supported within the White House's new education "blueprint."

House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) during the Secretary's testimony on his FY 2011 budget request brought up his personal interest in music and how providing the arts in schools can help keep students who might drop out otherwise engaged.

Secretary Arne Duncan responded each time that he has consistently heard about the "narrowing of the curriculum" during his trips around the country and how that the Administration is committed to strengthening arts education opportunities in the future.

Americans for the Arts is preparing a major effort this year to support arts education in upcoming education reform initiatives and funding. As part of our outreach timeline, we ask that you take action now by taking two minutes to visit our E-Advocacy Center and send a customizable letter to your local news outlets supporting arts education both in your community and at the federal level.

Next on the calendar is National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC on April 13, where we will be calling on arts education advocates from around the country to contact their members of Congress on these very same issues.

Help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today -- it's free and simple:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Arts Advocacy Rally in Harrisburg

From Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania:

Dear Fellow Arts Advocate:

House Bill 2279, commonly referred to as the budget bill, is expected to be voted on by the full PA House of Representative next week. In the current version, the line item for Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) grants is at $10 million. If HB 2279 passes in the current form, it will certainly be changed by members of the Pennsylvania Senate when it goes to the Senate Chamber after the House vote. Last year, the Senate voted to ELIMINATE the line item for arts grants and it could happen again this year. Help us prevent that from happening.

Join your fellow arts advocates at the 2010 PA Arts Advocacy Rally at the State Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday, April 26. It could be our only chance to let the members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly see how important the arts are to our communities, our economy, and to our schools.

For more information or to register for the rally, click on the link below. While we would like you to register for the event, it is not required for participation.

Click HERE to register.

Jenny Hershour
Managing Director
Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania

Monday, March 15, 2010

Group Show Discussion

I know many of you are interested in having a group show this summer. You may have heard that we are unable to use the community room at the art museum due to the expansion project taking place this year.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a new show location?

Please feel free to start a discussion in the comment section of this post. Moderation is down for the time being to enable the conversation. Thanks.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Goodbye to Barba-Del

We received the unfortunate news that Barba-Del Campbell, one of Allentown's most beloved residents, a true lady and lover of the arts, passed away over the weekend. Here are the details and a lovely photo of Barba-Del by Scott Snyder.

Received via email:

I reget to report the lost of art patron and Valley resident, Barba-Del Campbell. She was born Feburay 9, 1932 and died Saturday March 6, 2010 at Lehigh Valley Hospital, 6:30 am. She was an Icon in the Lehigh Valley.

A memorial service will be held at the House of Chen, 732 W. Hamilton Street, Allentown, Pa, on Saturday, March 20, 2010 from 1-4pm.

She will live on in all of our stories and the history of the Lehigh Valley.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Show at Touchstone, through 4/30

This show features work by Chris Neyen, a Chen group show regular.

Info from Liz Wheeler:

The Touchstone Theatre Gallery is delighted to be showing the work of Claire Marcus, Michelle Neifert, and Chris Neyen (through April 30).
For more info, call 610-867-1689 or visit

Touchstone is located at 321 East 4th St. in south Bethlehem.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

KU's Sharadin Art Gallery announces 2011 Installation Artist Residency Project

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Award: $ 10,000 project budget, housing and production assistants provided

Residency Dates: Jan. 10 - 27, 2011Exhibition on view: Jan. 28 - March 4, 2011

The Sharadin Art Gallery at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania requests proposals from artists, craftspersons, and designers for the production of an original, temporary, site-specific installation for our exhibition space.

The artwork will remain on view from January 28 - March 4, 2011. The selected artist (or artist team) will be awarded $10,000. The award must cover all material and labor costs associated with the production of the work, all travel expense to and from our site, all incidental costs, meals, and all artist fees and honoraria.

The university will provide housing one block from the gallery (Main Street Inn) for one artist -- all remaining housing costs for additional artists and/or support personnel must be covered from the $10,000 award.

A group of Kutztown University students will be available to assist with the physical production of the selected proposal. Application deadline is end-of-business, Friday June 11, 2010

Please see complete details at: