OUR AMERICA artists mingle with Museum members at preview

June 27, 2016


                              Smithsonian exhibition opens with Latin music, food, festivities

Allentown, PA--The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley hosted an evening preview of the summer exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art on Saturday, June 25th, the eve of the public opening. Our America is a traveling exhibition of works from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., that will be on display at the Museum through October 2, with free admission through Labor Day thanks to the generous support of the Allentown Art Museum Auxiliary and the Keystone Savings Foundation.

Museum members, sponsors, and special guests were welcomed outside, on the Museum’s patio, by the Latin-flavored sounds of the band En Sequencia. Inside, cocktails were ordered and hors d'oeuvres were circulated by a catering team directed by Museum Café manager Karen Hunter, including special Latin-themed menu items such as brie and papaya quesadillas, arepas, pork carnitas taquitos, chicken chilitos, chipotle churrasco beef kebob, vegetable empanadas, Island shrimp canapes, mini Cubano sandwiches, Caribe crudité with taco ranch dip and Mexican artichoke dip, shots of gazpacho in cucumber cups, fresh-cut fruit and berries with Tequila dipping sauce, and a salsa bar with kiwi and mango salsas, Ranchero salsa rosa, guacamole, blue-corn tortilla chips, and toasted plantains.

After opening remarks from Museum president David Mickenberg, Our America artist Freddy Rodríquez led Kress Society members upstairs for a first look at the exhibition, including his three colorful canvases Danza de Carnaval,Danza Africana, andAmor Africano. Also attending were three other Our America artists: iliana emilia garcía, Juan Sánchez, and Ken Gonzales-Day, who were in town to talk to guests at the preview and also to take part in the opening-day panel discussion called“Where Is Latino Art in American Art?” This night, guests made their way through the two-floor exhibit, taking in the array of mediums and styles of art crated by seventy-one modern and contemporary artists with roots in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and other Central and South American countries.

Also opening on Saturday night was the exhibition Our Strength Is Our People: The Humanist Photographs of Lewis Hine,running through October 2 as well.

Sponsors of Our America are Air Products Foundation, the Amaranth Foundation, the Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation, the Century Fund, the County of Lehigh, the Estelle Browne-Pallrand Charitable Trust, the Harry C. Trexler Trust, the Julius and Katheryn Hommer Foundation, the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation, the Rider-Pool Foundation, Rodale, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and our Museum members.

Preview-night guests included Museum Board chair Dolores A. Laputka, Esq.; Museum trustee and treasurer Alex Torok and his wife, Ruth; Museum trustee Rita Scheller and her husband, Joseph; the Honorable Charles W. Dent, U.S. Representative,and his wife, Pam; Norberto Dominguez, owner of Bloom Workforce and founder of the Hispanic American League of Artists (HALA); Tony Ortiz, TV producer and host of RCN’s Nuestro Valle; Miriam Huertas, Senior Vice President, Allentown Initiatives, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, and musician Mike Krisukas; Mike Stershic, president of Discover Lehigh Valley, and his wife, Sybil; photographer Lydia Panas and Ed Baldrige III; Allentown artist Rigo Peralta; Easton artist Angel Suarez-Rosado; artists Scott Sherk and Pat Badt; painter Ann Elizabeth Schlegel, gallerist Anita Shapolsky, interior designer Elizabeth O’Brien; Dr. and Mrs. Harold Goldfarb; Charles Marcon; Nancy Odorski, incoming president of the Society of the Arts (SOTA),and her husband, Anthony; Loran and Walt Staehle; Jeff and Arjana Etchason; Mr. and Mrs. James Bartholomew; Rick Daugherty, executive director of Lehigh Valley Active Life Center; and Louise and John Howard.


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