Arts Around Town: ‘8 x 8’ art worth every inch for Allentown Academy of the Arts

Author: , WFMZ.com Arts Reporter
Published: Nov 07 2013 11:23:34 AM EST   Updated On: Nov 07 2013 11:25:45 AM EST
8 x 8 art show

The Allentown Academy of the Arts has a good friend, and that’s the academy’s arts alliance advisory board, which organizes one of its largest fundraisers known as “8 x 8.” The event features 8-inch-square canvases of art created by students, teachers and alumni of the William Allen High School arts program, along with artists from the community. The fourth annual show and sale will be held Wednesday from 4 to 6:30 p.m., at Muhlenberg College’s Trexler Pavilion in Allentown.

More than 50 works representing various styles and media will be available at the show which, to date, has raised approximately $8,000. Though most of the work is paintings, some artists have chosen to mount handcrafted jewelry or pottery on an 8-by-8-inch base. Participating artists include Rudy Ackerman, Nancy Bossert, Lee Butz, Fran Ackley, Claudia McGill, Jon Roylance, John Gaydos and Dana Van Horn.

The event also will include performances by the William Allen High School Chorale and the Double String Quartet.

The Academy of the Arts, William Allen’s magnet school program, offers studio instruction to Allentown School District students in theater, dance, visual art, and music. According to Kathy Alvaro, retired Allen arts teacher and president of the advisory board, proceeds from “8 x 8” benefit the Arts Academy in ways such as bringing visiting artists into the school, and funding student workshops and trips to art museums and performances. Alvaro said whenever financially possible, proceeds also help supplement the high cost of the school’s spring musical and chorale trips, and provide additional supplies and equipment towards maintaining the quality of the arts program.

The Allentown Academy of the Arts Alliance is comprised of members within the community, educators, artists, and a student representative. Shari Kaucher, Allen visual arts teacher, serves as academy coordinator. Joan Gaydos, retired Allen art teacher, continues to assist wherever needed. She has served on the board in various positions since 2000, as arts coordinator, vice president, and president.

Alvaro said among the goals of the board is “to assist the academy in ways such as soliciting community support, providing guest artists, enrichment experiences and workshops in all art areas, recognizing outstanding Academy students and assisting staff through volunteering and in technical assistance, to name some. Most importantly, to help students with opportunities that many of them otherwise would not have the chance to engage in.”

For Allen senior Neysha Merced, art academy student representative, “the academy means freedom from the pressures of the usual school day and an opportunity to excel in what I love.”

Allen senior Lily Curry, Visual Art Academy student, views “8 x 8” as “self-expression. It gives students the chance to showcase their artistic abilities that would otherwise be hidden. It is a privilege to be surrounded by so much talent.”

For further info: allentownsd.org

 

ARTS ROUNDUP

Works by visual arts students at Kutztown University are on display through Sunday at the 37th annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. Kutztown is one of only four colleges in the country and the only public school invited to participate. Other schools are Savannah (Ga.) College of Art and Design, and The University of the Arts and Moore College of Art and Design, both in Philadelphia.

The 2013 juried show features nearly 200 of the finest craft artists in the country who have been selected from more than 1,000 applications.

Kutztown offers a bachelor of fine arts degree in crafts. The craft show offers students an opportunity to showcase their creative products through a rigorous jury process. Students will show in the categories of ceramics, fibers and metals.

Participating students include: Ceramics, Joel Johnson of Delta, Ben Mitchell of Allentown, and Alex Simms of Hanover; Fibers, Lizz Berry of Douglassville, Mary Martuscelli of Lords Valley, and Mary Wagner of Bethlehem; Metals, Allison Cole of Roseto, Sarah Emert of Stroudsburg, Emily Shaffer of Mechanicsburg, and Dan Wisner of King of Prussia.

This year’s emerging artist category features KU alumnus and ceramicist Theo Uliano of Huntingdon Valley, a studio technician and instructor at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia. His work displays loose, satirical cartoons and drawings, commenting on everyday life on functional ware. Uliano completed his master’s degree in fine arts in ceramics at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University. He was an artist-in-residence and assistant at Lisa Naples’ Studio in Doylestown.

For further info: pmacraftshow.org

***

Lehigh Valley filmmaker Zeke Zelker, of Forks Twp., Northampton Co., presents “The Great WTYT 960 Billboard Sitting Contest Live!” in a theatrical production of his web series tonight at 7:30, at the State Theatre in Easton. The series is a companion piece to Zelker’s latest film, “Billboard an Uncommon Contest for Common People.”

The play features four characters – all strangers – sharing a 10’x40’ catwalk that’s 20 feet in the air in front of a billboard. The challenge is to win a mobile home and $96,000. As an interactive event, the theater audience will be able to correspond with the characters via social media and affect the story outcome.

Zelker’s story was inspired by a 1983 radio contest in Allentown where people remained on a platform for months to win grand prizes.

For further info: billboardmovie.com

***

In observance of Veterans Day on Monday, the annual “Salute the Troops” concert will be held Sunday at 3 p.m., at Northeast Middle School auditorium in Bethlehem. The concert features The Allentown Band, with Conductor Ronald Demkee, Steve Reisteter, clarinet, Katherine Christopher, soprano, and members of the Northeast Middle School Band, with Conductor Brian Rupnik. The school is located at 1170 Fernwood St.

Emile Guida will serve as narrator for Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address delivered on Nov. 19, 1863.

The concert is sponsored by the Bethlehem Morning Star Rotary Club, with proceeds benefiting the Victory House of the Lehigh Valley veterans program and the club’s other charitable activities.

Katherine Christopher, born and raised in Bethlehem, began her arts career at Pennsylvania Youth Theatre. She received a 2003 Freddy Award nomination in the category of best supporting actress for her role as Anita in Freedom High School’s production of “West Side Story.”  A graduate of Bucknell University and Manhattan School of Music, she has performed with the New York Grand Opera Company and also in Italy.

For further info: morningstarrotary.org

***

The Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, with music director Allan Birney, presents a “Kaleidoscopic Sounds” program with piano soloist Dudana Mazmanishvili on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church, 3231 W. Tilghman St., Allentown. Mazmanishvili will perform “Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22” by Camille Saint-Saens. Also performing will be the Camerata Singers and soprano Kathryn Aaron, vocal soloist, with “Miserere in C Minor.” Selections will include music by Wolfgang A. Mozart and Czech Baroque composer Jan Dismas Zelenka.

Mazmanishvili performs widely in Europe and her native Georgia, as well as in the United States. She has performed several times as a recitalist for Music at Wesley, a concert series produced by Birney.

For further info: PASinfonia.org

***

The legacy of Harry Chapin’s music is alive and well, as brother Steve Chapin and his band pay tribute in a performance on Saturday at 8 p.m., at the Sellersville Theatre, Sellersville. Steve Chapin is joined by Chapin band alumni Big John Wallace (bass guitar/pyrotechnic vocals) and Howard Fields (drums), as they perform recreations of Harry Chapin’s most well-loved songs as well as Steve Chapin’s own tunes. Casual, onstage conversation will reveal memories of personal experiences each had on the road and in the studio with Harry Chapin. Big John’s son, Clark Wallace, and Steve’s son, Jonathan Chapin, join in with such songs as “Cat’s in the Cradle,” “Taxi,” “Mr. Tanner,” “Better Place to Be,” and “W.O.L.D.”

New York folk singer-songwriter Harry Foster Chapin was killed in a car crash in 1981. He was committed in the fight to end world hunger. His 1975 Broadway musical revue, “The Night That Made America Famous,” featured songs he wrote for the musical as well as those from his previous albums.

For further info: st94.com

#