Sep 8, 2007

Greg Weaver Art Scene

For about ten years, mid 70's to 80's, Allentown was graced with a one man art machine. Greg Weaver studied at Carnegie Mellon and then returned to the Valley to become artist, promoter and inspiration to dozens of local artists. His large studios, which moved from one low rent location to another over the years, became hubs for innovation and social activity. He was very prolific with his work, and generous with his encouragement. A typical monthly bash involved perhaps a poster by Mark Beyer( now an internationally known underground comic) performance by a jazz group such as Gary Hassey,(Greg also had a band) and perhaps a new showing by a local artist, such as Barnaby Ruhe. The loft parties were always mobbed, by many of the same people who now attend the Museum social events. This art "scene" cost the taxpayers nothing, it was done by artists, and it was real. Greg suffered from diabetes, and eventually lost his sight. Although blind he continued to produce art and inspire people until his death. Several of his works are in the Allentown Museums' permanent collection and his memory is in the hearts' of his friends. The image here is from Mark Beyer, representing an invitation to a Weaver event.


Dottie said...

Michael, I agree, the Greg Weaver art scene was a lot more real because it was created by the artists themselves. My husband attended those events, I was still in college at that time, but I have artist friends who remember Greg and have been influenced by his work.

I find a real disconnect between the art patrons and the artists in Allentown. For example the artists themselves become excluded from events and auctions run by the arts organizations because the tickets for these events are so expensive. I even helped plan one of these events and was not even comped a ticket. Some friends invited us to be their guests, and that's the only way we could have attended the event. In a real art scene the artists, musicians, and writers, and even patrons all exchange ideas and learn from one another and it's a great thing. It's not about money or social status.

Anonymous said...

Frances is werking diligently to hold a Retrospectif on 19th street at the Hava Java coffee=haus...
Apprise me much~i'll be there