Deja Views: ‘Vision-Sound Revisited’ looks at Allentown’s 1980s arts scene with exhibits, concert, discussion
The Lehigh Valley will be experiencing a sense of déjà vu when the 1980s return this summer to Allentown.
“Vision-Sound Revisited: Allentown’s ’80s Art Scene,” June 14 - Aug. 2, is a collaboration between the Muhlenberg College Martin Art Gallery, The Baum School of Art, The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, and The Cigar Factory Alternative Gallery.
Focused on the years 1978-1988, events include concurrent exhibitions of work by 12 area visual artists of the era, sound installations of vintage WMUH-FM broadcasts featuring community programmers and local band recordings, and a concert by area bands and performers from the 1980s.
“Vision-Sound Revisited: Allentown’s 80’s Art Scene” is curated by Lisa Baas, Raymond Barnes, Cheryl Haughtney and Scott Sherk, in collaboration with Paul M. Nicholson, Director, Martin Art Gallery.
According to Lisa Baas, “Vision-Sound Revisited” was inspired during a renewed friendship with Haughney.
“While walking to the movies one night and reminiscing about old times and how creative it was, we decided to organize this show,” she recalls.
Baas, Haughney and others were founding members of the Lehigh Valley Community Broadcasters Association, Inc., which was based at Muhlenberg College’s radio station WMUH.
“Cheryl had a track record of being an organizer with the Lehigh Valley Community Broadcasters Association, Inc, which led to the founding and creation of the local National Public Radio Affiliate WDIY 88.1 FM,” Baas says of her colleague.
They recruited Shannon Fugate, Baum School executive director; Kristine Kotsch, Baum director of exhibitions and collections; Raymond Barnes, Scott Sherk, Paul Nicholson, and several others to lend their assistance to the arts community project. Haughney’s husband John Lotte created the logo and supporting graphics.
“Vision-Sound Revisited” launches with a reception, 6-8 p.m. June 14, Martin Art Gallery, Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown, for a retrospective exhibition of visual works by Linda Cummings, Ray DiCecco, Mark Klee, Jessica Lenard, John Lotte, Frances Metcalf Weaver, Kenn Michael, Ted Ormai, Barnaby Ruhe, Barbara Tiberio, Jett Ulaner Sarachek, and Greg Weaver. Vintage event posters and memorabilia will be on display with audio streaming of WMUH-FM broadcasts from the era. The exhibit continues through Aug. 2. Information: muhlenberg.edu; 484-664-3467
The Baum School of Art , 510 Linden St, Allentown, hosts a display of recent work by nine artists from the retrospective exhibition: Cummings, DiCecco, Lenard, Lotte, Michael, Ormai, Ruhe, Tiberio, and Ulaner Sarachek from July 13 - Aug. 2. A sound installation featuring audio streaming of vintage WMUH-FM broadcasts is also part of this exhibit. A reception will be held 5-7 p.m. July 20 at the Baum School. Information: baumschool.org; 610-433-0032
A concert featuring artists from the 1980s will be held at 8 p.m. July 15 at the Alternative Gallery in the Cigar Factory, 707 N. Fourth St., Allentown. The lineup, as of press time, includes Ronnie Rock’s TrendSetters, Dave Goddess and Friends play Daddy Licks Unplugged, The Heard, as well as The Creatures Shadow (members of the Creatures). Sally Sattelight and Neil Hever emcee with WMUH programmers spinning discs between sets. Tickets are available at the door. Beer and wine will be available. Information: thealternativegallery.com; 610-462-3282
The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley presents a panel discussion with Geoff Gehman, and the curators and artists, 5 p.m. July 20, in conjunction with Hamilton District Main Street Program‘s “Destination Arts: Third Thursdays.” Information: allentownartmuseum.org; 610-432-4333
“The 80’s art scene was a renaissance time of artists, musicians and regular folks that came together to create a vibrant era worth honoring and remembering,” Baas says.
“Allentown is still trying to find its identity and come alive again,” says Baas, adding, “Remembering one’s past can help you figure out your future.”