The Allentown Arts Commission and RE:find celebrate the opening of a new 1,650-square-foot gallery space in downtown Allentown with the inaugural group exhibition Transformation Decoded: Unimagined Possibilities, curated by ARTHAUS Gallery Director Deborah Rabinsky and operator Jon Clark. The exhibition presents work from artists representing diverse communities, and centers thematically on how these artists grapple with cultural identity and life’s transformative process through icons and mythos. The public is invited to the Grand Opening Celebration on September 17, 2020, 1-8 p.m. in the new ARTHAUS Gallery located on the ground floor of Two City Center at 645 W. Hamilton Street, Allentown (Seventh & Hamilton Street). A ribbon cutting will be held at 4:30pm.
“We are thrilled to open our new ARTHAUS Gallery in the center of downtown Allentown with an exhibition that features a dynamic group of local artists and collectors who reflect the incredible diversity and creative vitality of our region,” says Commission Chair Jane Heft, “We are hoping ARTHAUS will provide a platform for local artists to engage in a civic dialogue and to creatively explore the issues of our time. We look forward to continuing this important work in this welcoming new space.”
The exhibition will feature work by established Lehigh Valley artists and collectors including Kacper Abolik, whose mission is to simplify the outrageous world around us through his paintbrush; Khalil Allaik, known for futuristic, hybrid forms that combine aspects of the organic, the anthropomorphic and the abstract; and Bruce Waldman’s “The W Art Collection” featuring contemporary Cuban artist Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal, who’s unique art is rooted deeply in Afro-Cuban religion.
“The arts are powerful,” Director of Allentown’s Community and Economic Development Department, Leonard Lightner said in a statement. “A diverse arts community engages us, inspires us, and has the power to bring our city together in conversation of the challenges and successes of our times.”
Bruce Waldman of The W Art Collection said, “I am deeply honored and touched to have befriended Santiago Olazábal whose work evokes an emotion that drives deeply into the core of my being. His work is not only visually compelling but has a long-term emotional impact. When I put on a businessman’s hat, I believe Santiago’s work will not only be appreciated by students of art and religion in the future; but expect his art to substantially appreciate in value as well.”
“Jon and I have been working with many local artists throughout the years, many of them have asked us to help them promote their work. When the opportunity arose with City Center, we knew the time was right,” says Deborah Rabinsky, Gallery Curator & Director. “Our goal is to place our community artists’ work amidst artists from all regions of the world.”
The gallery will also feature local artists’ works in jewelry, pottery, blown glass and more.
About the Allentown Arts Commission
We support the Arts + Artists in Allentown. As the agency that champions the arts, we believe that a creative cultural environment is essential to the city’s well-being and we strive to integrate the arts into all aspects of city life. The Allentown Arts Commission supports the City by advocating for innovative arts policy, creating access for equitable participation in the arts, enlivening the urban environment, and fostering & enriching arts engagement for all residents.