July 29, 2016 / Celebrated Allentown artist Ann Elizabeth Schlegel relocated her studio to a new space at 740 Hamilton Street this summer. Her studio is the second opening this summer of City Center arts spaces, joining The Creativity Lab at Three City Center at 515 West Hamilton Street, which opened in the beginning of July.
This brings the number of dedicated City Center art spaces up to five, with The MEZZ Gallery in the Renaissance Allentown Hotel, Gallery 724 at 724 Hamilton Street and Gallery on the Walk on the ArtsWalk rounding out the list. These spaces feature many local and regional artists and curators, and they welcome the public with rotating shows and special events throughout the year.
Ann Elizabeth Schlegel’s studio on Hamilton Street
Ann Elizabeth Schlegel is internationally recognized for her painting, and she frequently has exhibitions in France and Germany. She is a recipient of the Arts Ovation Award for outstanding achievement in the visual arts and has received special recognition by the Pennsylvania State Senate and House of Representatives. Schlegel’s former studio space was a fixture for years at its original address just a few block down on Hamilton Street, which is why staying downtown was so important to her. “My new location is a beautiful show space with wonderful lighting for painting, and it allows me to feel very connected with my community,” she says.
You can find Schlegel in her new studio most days between the hours of 9:00am – 6:00pm, if not out front painting. “I love to take visitors around this wonderful space, and the kids make my day when they stop to ask questions.”
The Allentown Art Museum and City Center Lehigh Valley have partnered to bring this new art venue to Three City Center at 515 West Hamilton. The lab allows passersby to witness the creative process firsthand and participate in art-making themselves. Starting on July 1 and continuing throughout the summer, Lehigh University architecture professor and artist Anthony Viscardi will work on a monumental three-dimensional mural that the museum has commissioned for installation in its Trexler Hall this fall. Shadow Landings: An Immersive Art Installation is scheduled to open in the museum on November 2, 2016.
“The Creativity Lab of the Allentown Art Museum is a new and unique space on Hamilton Street that provides for the engagement of an artist with the community,” says David Mickenberg, president and CEO of the Allentown Art Museum. “The first of its kind, CL is an experimental and creative environment where Anthony will be able to conceive and build his 55-foot mural while working with, and getting input from, the community.”
Located at 724 West Hamilton Street, this gallery offers collections from a local artists and is run by the owners of RE:find at City Center. Contact RE:find for more information about gallery hours or to make an appointment to see current collections. (RE:find itself is located about a block away on Seventh Street, across from the PPL Center parking deck, if you just want to stop by during store hours and ask to see the exhibitions.) The gallery is closed on Mondays.
Gallery on the Walk
Located on The ArtsWalk at City Center, this gallery is also run by the owners of RE:find at City Center. This gallery is a modern space that is ideal for showcasing a variety of art mediums. Contact RE:find for more information about regular gallery hours or to make an appointment to see current collections. (RE:find is located half a block away on Seventh Street, across from the PPL Center parking deck, if you just want to stop by during store hours and ask to see the exhibition.) The gallery is closed on Mondays.
Exhibitions in the MEZZ Gallery, on the mezzanine of The Renaissance Allentown Hotel are a partnership between the hotel and the Allentown Art Museum. The shows are always open to the public and change quarterly. Past shows include works by Allentown photographer Peter Gourniak and internationally recognized Allentown painter Rigo Peralta.
More to see outside along The ArtsWalk at City Center
All summer long, the creations of Francis Beaty, contemporary sculptor and painter, are on display both along on The ArtsWalk at City Center and in the ArtsWalk pocket park. For more information, contact RE:find’s Gallery on the Walk: 610-841-4866.
Allentown’s pedestrian-only ArtsWalk links the Allentown Art Museum, Baum School of Art, the Arts Park and Miller Symphony Hall to PPL Center, the Renaissance Allentown Hotel and City Center’s three office towers, with stops along the way for shopping, dining, relaxing and entertainment.
The ArtsWalk extension’s whimsically patterned path is reminiscent of Van Gogh’s painting “The Starry Night,” and its storefronts are designed to make visitors feel like they are walking through a cozy historic town. Visitors can also check out 16 different “art posts” throughout the walkway and park. These sculptures are freestanding industrial I-beams covered in artwork, including reproductions of works by master painter Cezanne, inspirational messages, and works by local cartoon illustrator Zach Heffelfinger, local painter Ann Elizabeth Schlegel and local photographer Peter Gourniak.
The ArtsWalk at City Center also features piped music and wall space for two future murals, as well as a new pocket park with seating, a fountain and a separate dog-relief area.
Cheesesteaks with a side of art?
In addition to these dedicated City Center art galleries and spaces, Vince’s Cheesesteaks at 806 Hamilton Street displays artwork in its restaurant by local art students and staff from the Baum School of Art and their affiliated local programs.