Mar 19, 2010

The Chen Arts Group

I had a little to do with the background of the Chen Arts Group. My posts about the art scene in the 70's, started by Greg Weaver, got Angie Villa thinking perhaps she could start a group. It started at the House of Chen, because at that time I had joined forces with the owner to fight the Lanta bus changes. I promoted the first few Chen meetings on this blog. To turn that first meeting into the group which it is today, took a lot of work, which I had nothing to do with. All that work was done by Angie and others. I provide this short history for the benefit of Pancho. Who is Pancho? I don't know, currently he is the moderator of the Chen Art Blog, last week it was Angie Villa.

Back in Lanta battle days, I met Barba-Del Campbell. She helped Jenni, from the House of Chen, gather petitions at the then new Lanta terminal. Barba-Del came to rock, wearing the protest regalia from the 60's. I would pick her up in front of her apartment on 4th Street to drive her to the various meetings. Last week I thought it fitting to add my comment, in her memory, to those already on the Chen Art Blog. It never appeared, I should have known better. Ironically, the last time I submitted a comment there was in memory of Fran Weaver, Greg's wife. Angie Villa, at that time, turned that comment into a lewd insult. When I noticed that the Chen Blog had turned moderation off this week, I submitted a comment under the post on Barba-Del

my comment in tribute to barba-del was blocked from this site, prior to moderation being suspended. barba-del had many friends who will not attend on saturday, but never the less, will miss her.

Moderation was turned off to facilitate a discussion about a new group show for the group. The Villa's, around the time of the Lanta protests, started a then, normal enough blog, LV Somebody. Later they would confess to me that their blog was always intended to become a vehicle against their perceived enemies. That list has grown to include dozens of members of the community, myself included. Their blog is now recognized as a hate blog; in addition to venom, there are continuous implied threats of violence.
I don't know if the art group was started as another vehicle for them, but it providing legitimacy for their agenda. At their Museum show last year, Bill Villa followed Alfonso Todd out into the street and harassed him for not joining the Villa crusade. You're either with Villa, or you're his enemy. Todd is now portrayed as an uncle tom and whore. Many people who normally would attend art shows now shy away because of the Villa's. I thought this reality should be part of the group's discussion. Here's my first comment.

what you should be discussing; my comment last week to the previous post was prevented from appearing. ironically, the dynamic responsible for that happening also prevents more patronage of your shows and events. you, members of the chen art group, have been passively endorsing a source of increasing hostility by turning a blind eye; art should be more than two or three dimensions.

Pancho replied that my comment was off topic and future comments would be deleted. My reply:

pancho, at the museum show alfonso todd was followed out and harassed. others, including myself, were threatened if we appear at your shows. if you don't find this information relevant to the topic of group shows, perhaps it was the nile you crossed, not the rio grande (Pancho mentions that he crossed the rio grande in his blogger profile)

Pancho did delete my reply. It's ironic that the Chen Arts Blog is moderated. Prior to Bill Villa spamming every blog with his compulsive comments, moderation was not needed on the local blogosphere. I do not believe that worthwhile art can be produced without a conscience. Art is more than the ability to draw, Hitler could draw. Should the Chen art shows be a venue for Villa's to glare and intimidate viewers and patrons on their ever increasing hate list? Should the Chen Arts Blog be a place where they can pose as acceptable after spewing poison on their blog? Can the members of Chen really be artists if they cast a blind eye to all that?




Anonymous said...

I generally disagree with you on almost all of your posts, but on this I agree. Previously, I have supported Chen Arts events and programs, and I do enjoy the arts and going to shows and the like. But I won't go to their events because I have no interest in running into the Villas and being subjected to their sickness.

monkey moma said...

I am sorry to hear your posts about Barba-Del were altered or deleted. I am not surprised, but it is sad. One would hope grief for lost friends would allow for folks to "just get along."

Allentown needs an arts group, and I admire the cause of the folks who participate in Chen Arts. However, I also question the integrity of the group when they are associated with such outrageously offensive members. I know artists are typically very open minded, but I do not see how anyone can be open minded about some of the stuff I have read online. Hate and art do not go hand in hand, and I simply cannot understand why an organization dedicated to bringing art to the masses of Allentown would also support such unbridled hate and insanity.

If Chen Arts is going for obscurity and irrelevance in modern Allentown society, they should keep on doing what they're doing and allowing the local loony toons to call the shots. However, if Chen wants to make a positive difference in Allentown's present and future, they need to develop a spine and dump the baggage that holds them back from achieving bigger and better things.

Anonymous said...

Not to change the subject, however...

...GREG WEAVER kicked butt!

My mom used to be heavily involved in things like the Allentown Art Musuem before moving away 20 some odd years ago.

I remember Mr. Weaver quite well.

He used to come to the house.

He was truly a great guy.

Anonymous said...

Weaver lives on in his art. Long live Weaver! Long live Barba-Del!!

Pancho said...

I am one of several administrators of the Chen blog. I did not receive or delete your comment in return. However, if it is off the topic of where we may hold our next group show it would be deleted. Also comments made on posts older than 10 days are moderated.

michael molovinsky said...

pancho, i think the big issue at this time is the link i have provided to the villa blog, are you comfortable with that association?

as far as your blog comment policy; my original comment on the barba-del post was; " in addition to being a supporter of the arts, she was an advocate for social justice." (paraphrased) this comment should have been posted by angie villa. did you authorize her to reject comments from people on her hate list? (25 people long as of this morning)

Bernie O'Hare said...

On Wednesday, a 13 year-old boy was tragically killed when his bike went under a bus in Easton. I posted a small blog about it.

Villa, who should have some sensitivity to this issue, responded with spam linking back to his own blog.

To the uninitiated, that should tell you all you need to know about that couple.

michael molovinsky said...

although villa periodically defends himself as a grieving parent, two of the victims on his current 25 person long list have also lost children; no concern to villa. they comment their condolences for barba-del on that chen blog post, but angie didn't allow mine. this post was a long time coming. what that group does about the villa's is their business, but it's time to point out what they're enabling.

Third Baseman said...

Hi guys!

We gotta be careful here not to make that "You are either with us or against" charge against "CHARGE."

The Troll Twins play it alot, so that's a trap,all right.

But you gotta wonder why the Chen turds don't speak up against them. Or maybe some have, and quit the group. They aren't doing all the stuff they were doing. No more art shows. Whens the next meeting, can I go? I want to talk to Troll boy, and i have some friends who want to talk to him too..

michael molovinsky said...

third baseman, i published your comment with some hesitation. i don't think the villa's should be allowed to intimidate anybody at the chen shows, but like wise, i wouldn't want to anyone to be confronted at their meetings, even villa.

i have no doubt that the villa's use the group to legitimize their inappropriate behavior. i have seen angie defend herself against their aggression as a art group leader. villa's attack alone at alfonso todd should bar him from their events.

Chris Casey said...

I went to some Chen arts activities when it first started out. There wasn't much of a cache for writers so I looked elsewhere. I am a strong believer that you can't hold everyone liable for the actions of one or two. That is just not fair. Unfortunately the Villas have no qualms about injuring anyone if it suits their purpose. Eventually one of them will throw the other "under the bus" and we will all have to watch that. knowing Bill, he will place her on the enemies list at what, # 8? Probably behind the Morning Call at #7 and ahead of the allied Evil Fairy Tale characters Team Frosty the SnowmanSanta Claus/ Easter Bunny/ Tooth Fairy at # 9.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the honorabl mention, MM. The Villas are old news to me. I have moved beyond them and am glad many also are truly seeing them as they are. Again, with all of the energy they put out to attack and use "blog harrassment" tactics, i have to wonder why more isn't put into assisting the community, exposing the neighborhoods to more art events, and just, overall, attempting to take our area to the next level?

Alfonso Todd

michael molovinsky said...

to "still praying"; i found your comment very interesting, but have decided at this point not to publish it. i don't want to get involved in their internal or external politics from an anonymous source

Anonymous said...


You showed up there disingenuously in the first place. Looking for trouble. Be grateful nobody broke your jaw.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 10:47 is referring to me briefly stopping by at the tribute for barba-del, there was nothing disingenuous about that. it was impressive to see hundreds of people paying respect to this woman. although i did recognize some people from the art group, most were not; they were from all facets of allentown life. your comment makes my point.

Chris Casey said...


The reason the Villas don't put as much energy into spreading art in the community as they do their hate is because HATE is their primary agenda.

They Disingenuosly use the Arts and the Arts groups as cover. MM fairly points out that many people of stature that originally were in these groups have drifted away, not wishing to be connected with such B.S.

I respect those that have stayed with it despite pressure from the Villas, because I believe those other individuals are committed to the Arts and are hoping to see the flegling organization through the turmoil the Villas create.
Eventually the Villas will be publicly eviscerated by their own hand and those remaining likely hope to be able to pick up the few pieces and move forward.

I don't want to see my name on their top 25 enemies list, nor do I want to be on the list of "bounties" so I respectfully remain - Anonymous.

Chris Casey said...

I hope you don't mind me sharing that last comment with you, I removed the name of the Emailer and shared with their permission.
I agree with that perception.

That person is still with the group, and I agreed to protect the identity. I suppose it will be what Villa will attempt to subpoena me for next, now that his first attempt went SPLAT.

Anonymous said...

MM, I think anon 10:47 was not referring to your physical presence at any event, but your initial comment at the Chen blog. I think anon 10:47 meant to say that you started posting Villa comments, out of the blue, and sorta hijacked what was supposed to be a tribute to a dead woman.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:00am, the comment in question speaks of breaking jaws, it's pretty clear who it comes from and what it means. furthermore, my original comment to the chen art blog post on barba-del was not published, it said;

"barba-del added color and flavor to the city. in addition to being a supporter of the arts, she was primarily an advocate for social justice."

i have no doubt that angie villa rejected my comment, she also turned my comment about fran weaver into an insult last year.

Anonymous said...

Molovinsky: your original comment on Barba-Del was published (and you know that) but just barely. It drew a warning from a blog administrator because it came clearly looking for trouble, considering that you have a history at your blog of allowing comments from O'Hare that bash the Chen Arts Group, Joe Skrapits, and the Villa family. Your Barba-Del comment at the Chen Arts Group blog was deleted, along with your 2 additional comments, because you kept "upping the ante" of your provocations against the Villas in your subsequent comments which you were warned about after your first comment. In closing, you are wrong about "having no doubt" that your comments were deleted by Angie Villa. They weren't deleted by Angie Villa. I deleted them.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 1:37, i must assume that "I' is bill villa, unless you comment back with a correction and a real name. there was no reason what so ever, for angie to reject my comment on the barba-del blog the previous week, it said;

"barba-del added color and flavor to the city. in addition to being a supporter of the arts, she was primarily an advocate for social justice."

i submitted it to the chen blog because I felt by joining other comments there, it would add to the bulk of her memory. it was not published. after moderation was dropped for the art show blog, i submitted a new, different comment at the barba-del post. i then submitted a comment at the group show post, questioning whether the group wanted to be manhandled by you. pancho commented back that i was off topic. I replied i thought not, since the post concerned shows. although that comment was deleted the next day, the other two remained until you deleted them. as far as i'm concerned it should now be called


Loopy Lou Hershwhine said...

"i must assume that "I' is bill villa, unless you comment back with a correction and a real name." -Mike Molivinskli

Okay (correction), I did it.

But your still a horse's ass.

Just sayin'.

michael molovinsky said...

the way that you and angie use both the chen group and blog for your personal agenda. is less than artful.