The City of Allentown has a long history of public art and, much like the city itself, it keeps growing. The public mural scene in Allentown has expanded over the last few years resulting in over a dozen new installations that illustrate the city’s vibrant diversity, rich history, and community pride.With the implementation of the city’s new Public Art and Activation Program, that trend will continue resulting in more engaging murals, sculptures, and unique lighting projects. Check out a sample of mural art currently on display throughout the city. Exploring Allentown’s art scene is a great way to spend an afternoon in the All Inspiring City!

Allentown Mural - 'Welcome to Downtown Allentown (2020')

"Welcome to Downtown Allentown" (2020) by Mila Sketch

120 8th St., Allentown, PA

This project interests me because of its ability to reach people who may not be exposed to the arts. Art can offer alternative ways to view one's environment and provide inspiration. The artwork created for the Downtown Allentown area should be uplifting, interactive, and fresh…The design is destined to evoke feelings of pride and joy that locals would be eager to share with the guests of the city. The contrasting colors and beautiful layout of the mural will be seen as a highly visually gateway work of art at a significant enough scale to engage viewers who are walking and driving.

Allentown Mural - 'Reading is a Portal (2020)'

"Reading is a Portal" (2020) by Aaron Glassman and Celeste Byers

1232 ½ West Gordon Street, across from the entrance to the new Brigadier General Anna Mae Hays Elementary School

The mural explores the ideas of books as being a portal to imagination and learning, by featuring imagery of children and the magical worlds they inhabit thanks to reading.  The mural’s narrative is inspired by the school’s mission to have all students develop a love of reading and learning. Along with the school’s community liaison Amanda Madae, the artists worked directly with the school’s students via a bilingual online platform in which students shared their favorite books, characters and stories with the artists.  The ideas provided by the students were interpreted by the artists and are included in the mural.  

Allentown Mural - 'Unleash (2021)'

"Unleash" (2021) by Matt Halm

Hall Street Alley

This mural overlooks a dog park at the brand new Center Square Lofts in downtown Allentown. The dog park is open to all City Center residents and Renaissance Allentown guests. The mural activates this space and further beautifies the new park.

Allentown Mural - 'Some Things Are Better Unseen (2019)'

"Some Things Are Better Unseen" (2019), by ELLE

Allentown Arts Walk 603 W Linden Street
Photo Source: City Center Allentown

The sketch for the Allentown mural depicts a female so strong that she can not even be looked in the eyes- and so they are shielded. She is a culmination of history and future- a mix of Native American braided hair and stone sculpture, mythological goddess Medusa, and current super model Ajak Deng. Her silk jacket and luxurious fabric is borrowed from the painting The Adoration Of The Magi (Detail) By Maarten De Vos, 1599. The woman is surrounded by flowers, a pool of water and neon lights- her atmosphere suggests that she is in a future world, full of feminine power- perhaps even suggestive of Mother Earth. The viewer is invited to assemble the bits of the collage and create their own narrative to this piece. I would like the individuals of Allentown to take ownership of this painting, to create and incorporate the story of the artwork in with their own histories and narratives.

Allentown Mural - 'Soar (2019)'

"Soar" (2019) by Ernesto Maranje 

Sovereign Building (Allentown Arts Walk) 609 Hamilton Street
Photo Source: City Center Allentown

The red-tailed hawk was chosen for Allentown to symbolize the tenacity and freedom of the region. My goal on any mural is to engage the viewer with the unity of animals and plants. My sketches are not as detailed as a finished product because much of that conjoining on plant and animal is done by imagination on the wall to create a more organic process. The goal is to pull segments from each and form a cohesive, understandable, but ephemeral whole. To remind everyone of our connection and relationship with nature. A hawk native to the Allentown and greater Pennsylvania region rising powerfully out of the plants and physical garden below seemed like the perfect solution to this local while maintaining the theme of plants and nature within in my work.

Allentown Mural - 'Building Bridges Embracing Change (2006)'

"Building Bridges Embracing Change" (2006) by Michelle Angela Ortiz

640 W. Chew Street
Photo Source: https://www.loc.gov/item/2019689305/

The purpose of this mural is around promoting community engagement, artistic training, and historical awareness. The artist, Michelle Angela Ortiz, has traveled the world to promote this message in impoverished areas and those impacted by natural disasters. 

Allentown Mural - 'The Heart of Queen City (2019)'

"The Heart of Queen City" (2019) by Matt Halm 

33 N. 9th Street

The Heart of Queen City pays homage to Allentown’s nickname while highlighting the central part of the city. This mural is in the heart of downtown. This 40’ x 40’ sq. ft. mural was in commissioned by the Cultural Coalition of Allentown as part of their Artist-in-Residence program.  The initial section was completed in July 2018, and the final space was completed in 2019.  

Allentown Mural - 'Urban Nature (2020)'

"Urban Nature" (2020) by Monica Salazar

722-726 N. 4th Street

This mural was created as a part of the Allentown Arts Commission’s Art of Encouragement artist relief mini-grant program. The mural, Urban Nature, is located behind C-Town Market. It is a piece dedicated to our environment and its habitat. It’s a reminder of the beauty of nature that depends on us.

Allentown Mural - 'The First Nation (2019)'

"The First Nation" (2019) by Rosemary Geseck

Central Elementary School 829 W Turner Street
Photo Source: Cultural Coalition of Allentown

The Cultural Coalition of Allentown commissioned this piece with the vision of executing a downtown mural that depicts an extended family of the original people of Allentown: the Lenape Native Americans. The piece takes place circa 1750 in the woodlands of what is now the city. The artist, Rosemary Geseck, worked with the Lenape Museum to design the content of the piece and held workshops for the students of Central Elementary School, where the piece is located, to share more about the tribe’s culture and its impact on the city of Allentown.

Allentown Mural - 'Draw Your Own Path (2018)'
"Draw Your Own Path" (2018) by Pedro J. LeDee, Jr.
Union Terrace Elementary School 
Photo Source: The Morning Call

Draw Your Own Path is a surrealistic-style mural featuring several Allentown children, each with their own goals, interacting and sharing their dreams for the future. The groups and individuals represent characteristics we want our future guided towards: diversity, determination, reliability, cohesiveness, and acceptance. The overall message is to dream your own dream and live a life only you can proudly create. 

Allentown Mural - 'Wall on Hall (2019)'

"Wall on Hall" (2019) by multiple artists

Artists: Pedro J. LeDee, Jr. (City Life), Albert Negron, III (Hands on Love), Alex Ortiz (Allentown PRIDE), Corey Reifinger (Neighbors), Camille Stanley (Lo-Fi Streets)
Lehigh Carbon Community College 718 Hamilton Street

This project was created to express the individual vision of five artists, each producing one of five side-by-side panels. To encourage a wider perspective, artists worked with local schools, community organizations, and other groups to help them express how they see the community. Each panel within the larger installation is unified under a standardized palette of colors and represents the theme of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is expressed not only through the imagery represented, but also through the artists and their individual experiences in the creative process and connection to the community.

Allentown Mural - 'Portal (2020)'

"Portal" (2020) by Matt Halm

438 Turner Street

This piece was created in the midst of an uncertain world.  In the grips of a pandemic, our homes became our havens.  This mural explores the idea of shelter, physically and metaphorically.  As we continued to stay in, it was as if our domestic space became our whole world.  This mural imagines our homes as monuments, and our windows as portals.   In these strange times, our perspectives changed.  This mural examines how we look out at the world, and how the world sees in.  

Allentown Mural - 'Bird on a Wire (2017)'

"Bird on a Wire" (2017) by Matt Halm

446 N. 7th Street

This 20'x20' "parachute cloth" mural was commissioned by the Community Action Network of Allentown as part of the Main Street Program and was funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.

Allentown Mural - 'Tierra Pacifica (2015)'

"Tierra Pacifica" (2015) by Matt Halm

619 Chew Street as part of Citizen's Park

These two large murals are incorporated into a beautiful pocket park at 619 Chew Street. Sandwiched between two homes, the park is surrounded by colorful landscape murals on the walls of the adjacent homes. Along with the murals, new trees, benches, grass, and plants were added so neighborhood residents would have a lovely spot to visit and relax.

Allentown Mural - 'Old Allentown (2010)'

"Old Allentown" (2010) by Matt Halm

10th and Turner Streets, Allentown, Pennsylvania

This mural was made in conjunction with the Old Allentown Preservation Association, and uses local landmarks, architecture, and historical elements.  The theme of the piece is "Preserving the past to brighten the future."  

Allentown Mural - 'Allentown on the Rise (2016)'

"Allentown on the Rise" (2016) by Keir Johnston and Willis Humphrey

Allentown Arts Walk
Photo Source: City Center Allentown

This piece creates a stylized sunrise that spans the south- and west-facing corners of the parking deck at Church Street. The piece was installed in sections of nonwoven polyester sheets that were painted in Amber Art’s studio and then transported to Allentown and adhered to the wall. This creates a sun rising on the Allentown Arts Walk to brighten up the space and create an engaging public atmosphere.

Allentown Mural - 'Botanical Mural (2019)'

"Botanical Mural" (2019) by Nicole Salgar and Chuck Berrett

Allentown Arts Walk
Photo Source: Dripped On Productions https://www.drippedon.com/portfolio/ 

The flowers around this mural were inspired by the landscape and plants around the Arts Walk. The design appears to have grown around and frames the windows with flowers and leaves.

Allentown Mural - 'Plaza for the Spirit of the Arts (2006)'

"Plaza for the Spirit of the Arts" (2006) by Michael Webb

Allentown Arts Park (Rear of Miller Symphony Hall – 23 N. 6th Street)

Overlooking the Allentown Arts Park, this mural depicts a community enjoying a beautiful park. The piece is located on the rear of Miller Symphony Hall, home to the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.