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Music and art harmonize to transform 18 violins, deemed beyond restoration, into unique artwork at the Williams Center for the Arts.

Each violin has been given new life by a different regional artist using decoupage, paint, sculpture, and trompe l’oel, also known as illusionism, a style of painting in which subjects appear to be three-dimensional.

An opening reception will be held 5:30-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, in the Williams Center lobby. The collection will be on view Feb. 1-19.

As part of Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra’s (LVCO) 25th anniversary celebration, the first violin was submitted by Glenn Ossiander, former president of the orchestra, who moved to California but continues to support classical music in the Lehigh Valley. His instrument features graphics he designed for the 25th season brochure.

Other pieces include works by landscape artist Milan Melicharek of Orefield, Pa., who, inspired by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, created winter and summer scenes on one instrument, while another violin became the canvas for a portrait of painter Eric Armusik’s wife and muse Rebekah from Hamburg. Sculptor Martha Posner of Martins Creek wrapped a violin in fiber to fashion a mysterious female form. Other violins have been remixed into a “Violinsect” by Dana Van Horn, instructor at Baum School of Art, or a mosquito-like form entitled “Harmonic Lift” by Nathan Marzen of Allentown.

For more information about The Painted Violins, call LVCO at (610) 266-8555.

The Williams Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday; 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, as well as noon-5 p.m. the first Sunday of each month for First Sunday Easton; 7:30-9:30 p.m. on the evenings of Williams Center performances; and by appointment. For more information, call the gallery at (610) 330-5361 or email Additional information about the Williams Center gallery program can be found by visiting its web site.

The Williams Center gallery is funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Directed by Donald Spieth, LVCO is known for spirited performances of music from the traditional repertoire and works from contemporary composers. Allentown Arts Commission and the City of Bethlehem have recognized LVCO for outstanding achievements in the performing arts and for its contributions to the cultural life of the area.

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