A new audio tour with stops in the Museum’s American galleries introduces a personal perspective on select artworks in the collection. The Community Voices Audio Tour, created by Museum educator Rei Ukon and set to launch on February 29, 2024, presents commentary by local residents who interpret works on display and share their own thoughts tied to their lived experiences. The tour also features regional artists discussing their works in the collection, highlighting the rich artistic presence in the Lehigh Valley. A goal of the audio tour is to emphasize the value in every individual’s experience, and to encourage visitors to explore the American galleries reminded that their own stories can relate to the works on view.

“The time I spent interviewing members of my community was by far the most rewarding aspect of working on this audio tour,” says Ukon. “Listening to everyone share what the art meant to them and how it resonated with their experiences reminded me of the power art holds in bridging communities together. I hope visitors enjoy listening to these audio stops and feel encouraged to let the art stir any memories and emotions within them as well.”

List of community members and the works they talk about (asterisks indicate artists talking about their own works):

Daniel Djuro-Goricelaya, artist and arts educator:  Saint Nicholas (1989) by Stephen Antonakos

Isabel and Olivia Forward, students at Salisbury Middle School: Oxen (1926) by Elsie Driggs

*Angela Fraleigh, artist and professor at Moravian University: And then we’ll walk right up to the sun (2016) by Angela Fraleigh

Kay Haring, oldest sister of Keith Haring: Retrospect (1989) by Keith Haring

Ann Hohe, president of the Allentown Art Museum Auxiliary, former librarian at Allentown School District: Lion Licking Paw (1886) by Henry Ossawa Tanner

*Rigo Peralta, Artist Doña Negra (2016) by Rigo Peralta

*Angel Suarez-Rosado, artist: White Fence (2003) by Angel Suarez-Rosado

Alex Thalassinos: Element (2008) by Sam Gilliam

Chloe Cole-Wilson, artistic director of Basement Poetry, programs supervisor at Project Silk LV: Element

Michelle Wilson, artist and youth advocate: Girl Balancing Knowledge (2017) by Yinka  Shonibare, CBE

Watch the video below to see how to begin!