New Bridge Group

A conceptual art group is being let loose shortly in Allentown, PA – the New Bridge Group. NBG has arisen out of the need to bridge artists and community together.

Allentown and the surrounding area have generated groups of artists and like all groups they go through changes. In 2008, The Chen Arts group was started to provide a place for local visual and performing artists to meet, network and collaborate. The intention was to have open group shows. For a time that worked—artists drifted in and out. In autumn of 2011 a buzz was heard about the future of Chen—changing from the unstructured open format to a more structured organization. In the meantime, the city embraced some serious structural changes and altered the landscape to provide for an arena and remove some older buildings—one is the House of Chen restaurant where Chen Arts group based its name.

Members E.A. Kafkalas and Alison Bessesdotter of the Chen Arts group ran head-long one winter evening into a local sculptor Steven Condra. Alison and E.A. invited Steven to exhibit with the Metamorphosis show. They explained that the next Chen show would be themed Bridges Outside the Box, representing a change that was needed to start a new movement in town. Steven was intrigued—because he had also formed an idea about bridging artists together—snapping together the free thinking 20th century German expressionists with a modern twist called The New Bridge Group. Synchronicity was in full force; it was the mash-up of their concepts about building bridges between artists and the community. The intent would be to create and maintain a vibrant and productive artist group in Allentown with a tribal feel. When asked what that means, Alison explains that the tribal concept is about creating genuine relationships with true freedom of information, and a future of limitless potential bound only by their imagination. Audacious—it may well be, but the New Bridge Group/Chen Arts wants to change the world view of art and the relationship to earth and community. Alison says “The time is right for this, the core is in place and the only thing we need more of is you.”

The 2012 Metamorphosis show was organized by E.A. Kafkalas who is quick to explain, “the success of the Metamorphosis show was truly an effort of everyone involved in the production—it was not the effort of one person.” The show opened with the sale of 9 pieces of work from a diverse group of artists at the 2 week event in January 2012.

Today The New Bridge Group/Chen Arts are planning the next show Bridges Outside the Box. The show runs from May 27th through June 10th at the community room of the Allentown Art Museum. For information on becoming a member or just to see what all the fuss is about, see the NBGArtists Facebook page or to find our next event.

Portraits by Barnaby Ruhe

On Valentine’s Day 2011 – Mom and I went to a party at the Salemme Foundation in Allentown, PA. Barnaby Ruhe was there and did our portraits. Barnaby did something mom and I really liked. He painted some illustration board on one side, and collaged some photos into the painting, then cut the board into random size pieces. When guests arrived at the party they could select a piece of board and Barnaby would do a portrait. Mom and I both did that, she chose a photo of Robert Rauschenberg and I chose a photo of a shark. I was feeling pretty sharky about then.

We have them setup on the bar near the front door and enjoy them as we enter the house.

Anyway, I just got them scanned and here they are:

Its for a Great Cause – V Day Banana Factory Bethlehem PA March 2011

Angela Sinkler has organized V Day at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem Pa for March 11, 12 and 13, 2011. The cast and crew are putting on the Vagina Monologues production and the proceeds go to V Day to end violence against women and girls.

My friend Kate Hughes, a myriad of talent and amazing woman is a cast member and asked me to donate a piece of artwork for a Silent Auction for the cause. This cause is particularly dear to my heart and I am really thrilled to help out. I also assisted as a volunteer for the show setup and to take tickets. So….drumroll…if you are attending one of the shows, Please visit the gallery for the silent auction and BID on this colorful and very detailed watercolor!

The piece I donated is 7″ x 10″ and pictured below:

View from the Volicorusinda-ferren ridge
View from the Volicorusinda-ferren ridge detail signature
View from the Volicorusinda-ferren ridge detail of the bricklayers box
View from the Volicorusinda-ferren ridge detail of sunanimbular ring

Chen Arts Group

Chen Arts Group has a show ‘Walking on the Edge’ at the Antonio Salemme Foundation in Allentown, PA from Jan 22 2011 through Feb 4 2011.

My work is represented there by 2 pieces:

Evil Eye Spell #212, vanadenite crystal assemblage inside the circle of the spell, amethyst for protection, chains of Nazars descend from the riverblue Binding, Magemusic Fanfare, Ariadne’s thought-catchers, anchored in the wisdom of Sulphurous seafoam. 24 X 36 Watercolor and Ink

Invocation III, psychic reverie, charm-unit of crystalline diadems, silver gilt sash binds dissident emotwrols. The ring of beryl green burgeons forth a fresh life, audacious aspects skyward flie, round down back around roseflower thrives to sing her wood thrushes song. 24 X 36 Watercolor and Ink