Fall exhibitions attract a colorful opening-night crowd

ChrisPotash                                                                                                                                          (610) 432-4333 extension 125
cpotash [at] allentownartmuseum [dot] org

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                      

For Immediate Release--October 14, 2014


Robert Indiana from A to Z and American Pop: The Prints debut in upstairs galleries 

Allentown, Pa—More than five hundred members of the Allentown Art Museum turned out on a cool Saturday evening, October 11, to help launch the fall exhibitions season with a bang . . . or, rather, with Pop. The Museum’s upstairs galleries were filled with LOVE and HOPE—two of the iconic works presented in various media in ROBERT INDIANA FROM A TO Z, a selection of the seminal Pop artist’s most familiar word-art pieces and several early works organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles.

Red, blue, and green are Indiana’s signature colors, as seen in the LOVE stamp he designed for the U.S. Postal service in the 1970s and which sold more than 330 million, and those colors greeted visitors on the walls of Trexler Hall in an eye-popping array of dots in the Pop Art timeline designed by Bill Childs and team at Media Arts Group. Also in Trexler, visitors took selfies in front on the six-foot by six-foot 3D metal HOPE sculpture that dominates the room. Another active selfie spot was behind the Andy Warhol-inspired Souper Dress cut-out upstairs in Art Ways Interactive Gallery, with people Tweeting photos with the hashtag #AAMPOPart while grooving to 1960s hits from local band the Large Flowerheads, performing live thanks to WDIY.

Downstairs, before being serenaded by guitarist John Wesley Dickson and while enjoying hors d’ouvres by Karen Hunter Catering, Kress Society members were introduced by Museum president and CEO David Mickenberg to INDIANA guest curator Michael McKenzie of American Image, which also published the exhibition catalogue. Other honored guests included Aja and Kaelan Broad, the twin Vermont filmmakers who produced the video Robert Indiana: A-Z that will play on a loop in Scheller Gallery throughout the exhibition; Charlie Brouwer, the Virginia-based artist in town to dismantle the community sculpture “Rise Together Allentown” that was in Arts Park; Theo Anderson, the LV-based photographer whose exhibition Building the Arena, showing the construction of the PPL Center, opened in Payne Hurd Gallery; and Kay Walkingstick, an artist whose work is included in the new contemporary-art exhibition in Butz Gallery, Aspects of American Art: 1945 to the Present.

Outside, on the Museum’s steps, local street artists Max “Meano” Torres, Jessica Echevarria, andNRock spent the evening rendering their own Pop-inspired works, including a graffiti-style version of LOVE painted with spray cans that captured the new urban energy surrounding the Museum in a renewed downtown Allentown.

Sponsors of the fall exhibitions include Knoll, the Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment, RCN, the Audrey and Bernard Berman Endowment Fund, Klunk and Millan Advertisig, AlphaGraphics Lehigh Valley, FASTSIGNS Lehigh Valley, East Penn Manufacturing, Florence Flach Music Trust, Holiday InnAllentown City Center, ICONmagazine, Lehigh Valley Womanmagazine, and 69NEWS WFMZ-TV