EMMA THE MULE
The story of Emma began in 2003 as part of the “Miles of Mules” project which spanned 165 miles of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor throughout five counties and featured over 170 life-sized fiberglass mules. Why Mules you ask? Mules represent the coal, canal and farming industries that link the past and present culture of Eastern Pennsylvania. Organizations and artists created a variety of mules that embodied the personality of their local communities. Learn more about the project by visiting http://buckscountyalive.com/mules/miles_of_mules.cfm
Emma found her home in Emmaus thanks to Joyce and Paul Marin who purchased her from the Miles of Mules public art project and later donated her to the Emmaus Main Street Partners. Joyce spearheaded the transformation from blank canvas to the Emmaus Triangle Community Quilt Pattern (designed by Kathy Delhagen) which Emma still wears today. Her original patches were painted in the carriage house at 500 Chestnut Street, Emmaus (now the home of Wesley Works). The carriage house doors were left open for members of the community to stop by and paint a triangle and all ages got involved! In 2009 with the help of Gene Clock and Fred Masenheimer, Emma received some TLC with a refreshed paint job. Emma’s latest restoration will be her third, with the same concept of community engagement.
Over the years Emma has been corralled at various locations downtown. Her long-term post has been the Clock Building at 332 Main Street. Earlier this year, Emma took a tumble and the good folks at The Emmaus Run Inn gave her a safe place to hold up. Thanks to Michael Irwin and Christopher Kline of Vinyl Press Signs and Graphics, and Jaboa Enterprises Inc, Emma was able to take a trip to the “spa” so to speak to get repaired and prettied up. EMSP connected with The Emmaus Arts Commission’s, Lauren Kuhn, who rallied the troops to revive Emma’s faded patches. Many thanks to Lauren and her family who were joined by fellow EAC Commissioners, friends, children, and neighbors to help complete the painting over 1000 triangles.( Mike and Linda Waddell, Ellen Wilson, Monica and Arianna Tranguch, Tara Santoro, to whom we can’t thank them enough for taking on that important task). EMSP would also like to thank Buss Paint and Wallpaper for sponsoring ALL of Emma’s paint! Now that Emma has had a facelift and a new base is being crafted to make her more mobile you’ll be seeing A LOT more Emma the Mule around Emmaus.
About the Chamber: The mission of The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce is to improve the economy and quality of life in the Lehigh Valley Metropolitan Area. We accomplish this through business-to-business networking events and marketing products, affinity programs and exclusive, money-saving member benefits, training programs, government affairs initiatives and public policy advocacy, and community development enterprises. With nearly 5,000 members who employ more than 200,000, the Chamber is the largest in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and in the top ten nationwide.
Many Thanks to Artists Lauren Kuhn and Lauren Beck for volunteering your talent and skills to the Emma the Mule Restoration Project.
Lauren Beck is a Lehigh Valley artist, specializing in the art of hand lettering and illustration. She has a diverse background in fine art from a young age and as a graduate of Kutztown University’s Art Education program. Her extensive knowledge spans many mediums, from watercolor and life drawing, to calligraphy and costume design – Lauren enjoys learning new techniques, and she especially loves sharing that knowledge with friends and students.
Lauren is a proud Lehigh Valley resident of almost 10 years, currently raising her family in Salisbury Township and working as an arts administrator at the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. She has a special place in her heart for Emmaus as the manager of her family’s former craft gallery on Main Street, where she was proud to represent over 60 local artists.
When Lauren isn’t creating, she can be found tackling challenging home renovation projects with her husband, Devon, or having epic dance parties with her two daughters, Ava and Emily.
Lauren Kuhn, Independent fine artist works from a small home studio in bucolic Emmaus, PA, where she works primarily in oil; favorite painting subjects are children and figurative portraits, especially opportunities to catch a ‘moment’ in lieu of a basic portrait. Lauren is the current vice president of the Emmaus Arts Commission, was named a 2016 Art Pop artist by Art Pop Street Gallery and Banana Factory (Bethlehem, PA), and she is excited to represent emerging and professional artists from the state of Pennsylvania at the Art of the State Exhibit in Harrisburg (State Museum) in the summer of 2017. She lives with her husband, three young boys, and two ‘studio dogs.’ In Emmaus, you can see her ‘public art’ in person at Turn the Page (a series of murals) and Lets Play Books (the third-floor stairwell), and in the Southside of Bethlehem (3rd street roadside planter). She also currently has paintings on display at Blick Art Supply (Allentown), Laura’s Custom Framing and Fine Art (Emmaus, PA), Artists of Yardley (Yardley, PA), and the State Museum of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA).
Facebook and Instagram: Art by Lauren Kuhn
Original paintings available on Daily Paintworks | Prints available on Fine Art America
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