ArtsWalk mural installation has begun, will be up by mid November


October 28, 2016

                                                 NEW MURAL GOING UP IN DOWNTOWN ALLENTOWN
                                                                       Installation has begun on ArtsWalk

Allentown, PA—Artists have begun installing a colorful new mural on a public parking deck along Allentown’s ArtsWalk. The mural design—a stylized sunrise that will span the south- and west-facing corners of the deck at North Church Street—was chosen from proposals submitted this summer, with Amber Art and Design of Philadelphia having their proposal selected. The project was approved by the city’s Public Art Committee and is being made possible by City Center Lehigh Valley, which provided $40,000 for the mural’s creation.

The ArtsWalk Mural Project was initiated to make art more accessible to the general public and to enhance downtown Allentown for residents and visitors. Arts programming will continue to occur in the pocket park across from the mural and on the ArtsWalk itself.

Many of the mural designs submitted were fascinating, well conceived, and beautiful,” says David Mickenberg, president and CEO of the Allentown Art Museum and chairman of the Public Art Committee. “The one proposed by Keir Johnston and Willis Humphrey, two of the artists of Amber Art and Design, a collective of five artists in Philadelphia, was the most stunning and could have the most visual impact on the ArtsWalk. We think that it will be one of the strongest presentations of public art in downtown Allentown and will be the beginning of some great public-private partnerships in the commissioning of art in our community. The Public Art Committee is especially grateful to City Center for their support for art in the public environment, to the Parking Authority for their permission to use the garage corner façade for the mural, and to the City for their continuous encouragement.” The Public Art Committee also includes sculptor Dan Kainz, Muhlenberg College associate professor of art Margo Hobbs, independent curator Deborah Rabinsky, Allentown-based painter Rigo Peralta, and Peter Lewnes, Main Street manager for 7th Street.

Allentown’s pedestrian-only ArtsWalk begins across from the PPL Center on Seventh Street, near the recently opened Queen City BBQ, and runs east past Strata Flats apartments to Sixth Street, then alongside Miller Symphony Hall and through Arts Park to end at the Allentown Art Museum on Fifth Street.

“City Center recognizes the important role that accessible art plays in creating a vibrant urban community,” says City Center Vice President, Director of Project Design & Corporate Branding Jane Heft. “We’re thrilled to have a new mural on the ArtsWalk for residents and visitors to enjoy along with City Center’s six gallery and studio spaces for local artists, including Creativity Lab in collaboration with the Allentown Art Museum, MEZZ Gallery, Gallery 724, Roey’s Paintbox, Gallery on the Walk, and Ann Schlegel’s studio.”

The mural covers two corner wall surfaces that measure 17 feet 8 inches wide by 67 feet high (west) and 17 feet 8 inches wide by 62 feet high (south). It is being installed in sections of nonwoven polyester sheets that were painted on in Amber Art’s studio and then transported to Allentown and adhered to the wall. Touch-ups will happen on site to follow.

Installation is expected to be completed the week of November 14-18, with the top 30 feet completed by November 7.

Artist rendering of completed mural         Artists Willis Humphrey (left) and Keir Johnston
                                                                            working on the mural in their Philadelphia studio


Media Contact:
Chris Potash
(610) 432-4333 ext 125
cpotash [at] allentownartmuseum [dot] org

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