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Gallery View: Masonic Temple tours added for annual “Art in The Park”

The organizers of “Art in The Park” say the annual event in Allentown’s West Park has grown so much that there’s a wait list for exhibitors.

This year, “Art in The Park” attendees can get an inside look at the nearby Masonic Temple, noting its 100th anniversary, where a one-day only exhibit of special items will be held.

“Art In The Park” returns to West Park, 16th and West Turner streets, Allentown, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sept. 16. The event is free and open to the public.

With 126 artist exhibitors, 18 arts-related community groups, and 10 music performances, the 2023 arts event is set to break records as it fills Allentown’s oldest park, which opened in 1908.

In their second year as “Art in The Park” co-chairs Alan Younkin and Michael Schelp are excited about how the annual event has grown.

“We have dozens and dozens, almost 50, on the waiting list because so many artists wanted to exhibit here,” says Schelp, “We just don’t have the space.”

“Art In The Park,” founded in 1971, is in its 52nd year. Across the street from West Park, the Allentown Masonic Temple, 1524 W. Linden St., is offering free tours of its Lodge building to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its groundbreaking. The facility, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, will be open from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sept. 16.

The Masonic Temple will host “Centennial Celebration,” a one-day-only exhibition highlighting rare books, artworks and ceremonial objects from the Temple’s archives, many of which have never before been seen by non-Masons. The exhibition is curated by Temple historian Dr. Theodore W. Schick.

In West Park’s tree-canopied setting, a variety of works, including original ceramics, drawings, glass, jewelry, paintings, photography, sculpture, weaving and art made from recycled or re-purposed materials will be on display. Eight artists will demonstrate how they create their works.

“We are also excited about our musical entertainment lineup,” says Younkin. They expanded it from a few musicians to 10 groups for 2023. Some will perform in the band shell and others will be stationed throughout the park.

Performing will be the Allentown Band, Allentown Symphony Youth Orchestra, Church of the Mediator Choir, Civic Theatre of Allentown, Community Music School Lehigh Valley Berks, Miller Symphony Quintet, MunOpCo Music Theatre, Repertory Dance Theater, William Allen High School Dance and William Allen High School Marching Band.

“Art In The Park” is presented by the West Park Civic Association, which is dedicated “to Preserve, Protect, Enhance and Promote West Park and our Neighborhood.”

Food and drink vendors will be for sale on site.

The event is held rain or shine.

Information: http://westpark-ca.org/west-park

Gallery View” is a column about artists, exhibitions and galleries. To request coverage, email: Paul Willistein, Focus editor, pwillistein@tnonline.com

PRESS PHOTO BY ED COURRIER From left, “Art In The Park” co-chairs Alan Younkin and Michael Schelp at West Park where the event has been held since 1971. The Allentown Masonic Temple, seen in the background of the photo, will be open for tours Sept. 16.