A space never truly feels complete until you add the most important piece – art. That can be said of the new residents-only dog park that opened on Hall Street next to Center Square Lofts East, which has a brand-new mural created by artist Matt Halm. Halm’s name may sound familiar to anyone who has lived in Downtown Allentown for the past few years. He’s the creative mastermind behind the staircase mural at 520 Lofts titled “Dare Mighty Things.” If you’ve seen that mural, you might be familiar with Halm’s style of bringing together art and history in one cohesive piece. Check out the top elements to look for when you visit his new mural, titled “Unleash,” at the dog park.
Incorporating the Old with the New
“For the dog park mural, it was interesting because it was connected to the dog park and apartments, but we also wanted to keep the existing sign on the wall. So, I was given the challenge to keep the original sign ‘Lafayette Radio Electronics’ on the wall while incorporating the idea of a dog park,” says Halm. When you have those challenges, it makes for a more unique piece. Halm overcame those artistic obstacles with ease and incorporated the Lafayette Radio Electronics sign into the mural along with other images of the past, like of Lehigh Valley Dairy.
All Eyes on the Dogs
It wouldn’t be a dog park mural if it didn’t feature its number-one visitors – dogs! Halm wanted to have big imagery of the dogs incorporated to give it a “city-park” aesthetic. “There’s a vibrant posterized half version of a dog on the one side, and on the other side is the dalmatian, which has a cool pattern too,” says Halm. You can also see an outline of a red dog playing in the middle of the mural, tying the two dogs together.
Bringing it All Together
Halm wanted this mural to have that city-park feel by tying in some natural design elements. He brought in artist Casey Gordon to add pattern designs into the mural, which incorporate nature in the piece in an interesting way. “I made an abstract collage of a park while mixing in old advertising and Casey’s hand-painted patterns. It was a challenge but very fun,” says Halm. The end result is the perfect balance of art for four-legged friends and their owners to enjoy when they visit.