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Featured in Design NJ

From the February/March 2014 Issue 
Graffiti as Art
Writer: John Zeaman 

Historically considered vandalism, this form of self-expression can rise to the level of art

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Graffiti artist Leon Rainbow’s latest mural, at Clinton and Hudson streets in Trenton, is a cityscape based on a picture he took of the city’s Roebling wireworks complex. The style is influenced by patterns that emerged while he was doing watercolor and acrylic canvases.Courtesy of Leon Rainbow

Leon Rainbow is a Trenton graffiti artist. At one time, that would have meant someone who spray-painted his name on trains. But although his work looks a lot like the aerosol “bombing” that was done in New York City during the 1970s and 1980s, Rainbow is too young to have even seen the original work. Continue reading

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Stay Up

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Stay Up!
An exhibit of customized model water towers and interactive demo area @ Art All Night.

Invited Artists:
Digit
Naval
Chris RWK
Fern
Pike
Tre
Derk
Grope
Mad
Lank
Billy MF Brown
Kasso
Demer
Uhm
Mek
Ras
Falco
Rain
Bark
Enos
Jesse Vincent
Jim Lemyre
Maxx Moses
Isaias Crow
and More TBA!

Stay Up is a part of Trenton’s 24 hour arts extravaganza, Art All Night
June 20 & 21, 2015. The Historic Roebling Wire Works Building, Trenton, NJ.

The interactive Demo Area

There will be around the clock demos by some of the areas amazing artists.
Buy a water tower created by boundless brooklyn.**($20 a portion of the proceeds goes to Art All Night)
Bring your supplies or use some of ours.
Create your own watertower masterpiece! Take it home and brag to your friends

**water towers are limited to 50 to reserve one contact leon.rainbow@gmail.com

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Art Served Up Trenton Style

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Art Served Up Trenton Style – an exhibition featuring work by the Trenton Artists Workshop Association and the SAGE Coalition
Prince Street Gallery, formerly located in So Ho, is located at 530 W. 25th Street, 4th Floor, New York City. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For gallery information call 646-230-0246.
A public reception celebrating the opening of the show is set June 18 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Sage:
Addison Vincent, Andrew Wilkinson, Dave Orantes, Demer, Jesse Vincent, will Kasso, Jonathan Conner, Leon Rainbow, Luv One, Dave Mek Klama, Dean Ras Innocenzi, Wills Kinsley
Tawa:
Priscilla Snow Algava, Joanne Amantea, Elizabeth Aubrey, Bonnie Randall, Katie Hector, Aubrey J. Kauffman, Mary Leck, Mel Leipzig, Terri McNichol, Mark Schreiber
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Subway to Gallery 2

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Opening Reception:
Friday April 10th, 2015 5:30pm-8pm
DJ Its Just Ahmad on the 1’s and 2’s

April 10 – June 10 2015
St Francis Hospital
Chambers Street Lobby
601 Hamilton Avenue
Trenton, NJ

Artists:
Andrew Wilkinson
Billy Brown
Demer
Gentrifried
Jamaila Hernandez
Kasso
Lank
Leon Rainbow
Mek
Ras
Ricardo Barros
Uhm

Check it out on Facebook

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5-day Art Challenge by Leon Rainbow

This 5 day artist challenge was originally took place February 2-6, 2015. Posted on facebook and instagram.

DAY 1

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So I have been nominated to do this 5 day artist challenge by Ricardo Basilio Coke and Kortez Robinson…. so here goes the first post..I am going to theme by medium..Today I am going to post the art of body painting.. This one of my favorite body painting images love the shadow in the background. Did this shoot a few years back with photographer Nikki Riley model: Jerzee Continue reading

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VICIOUS STYLES ART CLASS 2015

This Graffiti Art Class (originally developed by Pose Two) was created to teach and explore the history styles and techniques of the art form called graffiti. This class will follow a similar format and be taught by members of the Vicious Styles Crew.

Instructors: Leon Rainbow, Will Kasso, Joe Base, Demer, Mek, Snow, Ras, Delve, and Surprise Guests!

Indoor: Hive 307,40 Muirhead Ave Trenton, NJ 08638
Outdoor: Terracycle, 121 New York Ave, Trenton, NJ 08608

When: Saturdays, 9:00am – noon

Cost:  $180  session 1-3 (pre-registered) , $70 1 session (pre-registered) / $20 each class (day of)

(DOES NOT INCLUDE COST OF PAINT AND OTHER ART SUPPLIES)
Some Supplies may be donated, we will have blackbooks markers., etc for sale on site.

TO ORDER AND MORE INFO CLICK HERE

Continue reading

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HV Stampede Oxen

Jersey Strong (as an Ox)

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The “Jersey Strong (as an Ox)” design is a play on words combining the “Jersey” Strong Slogan that was recently used as an rallying cry post-Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey with the cliché  “Strong as an Ox”. I took the style energy and colors of graffiti tied to the slogan Jersey Strong to give it a new narrative. From a design standpoint the design is a perfect harmony of warm and cool colors. Each side uses the exact same colors and similar lettering to tie both sides of the ox together.

The word Jersey and the state’s silhouette is filled in greens to represent “The Garden State.” I used the purple dimension and warm orange backsplash to set the green piece off the background. I added strategically placed cyan chips to move the eye to other parts of the ox.

The Strong is basically the exact opposite of the Jersey piece. It uses blues in the fill of the piece to represent the shore. The orange dimension and green black splash helps to give the piece depth. The purple chips finish the “Strong” design.

The design is “Jersey Strong”…are you?
via Hopewell Valley Stampede Site

Inside Ox
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The “Inside Ox” piece shows what the ox’s view could be on a farm. This piece incorporates a warm abstract design in the background and black and white foreground images. This helps to give the imagery in foreground importance.

I chose to paint the skull of the ox to literally show “inside ox”. The birds on the barbed wire fence represent the viewer of the farm. The legs are in opposite colors to help separate them from the rest of the design. In this design I combine an urban style with rural imagery to make the design interesting and current. This design asks the viewer to go inside of themselves to see “Inside Ox”.
via Hopewell Valley Stampede Site

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Trenton Instigator: Meet Graffiti Artist Leon Rainbow

Reprinted From Mercer Me Blog: Trenton Instigator: Meet Graffiti Artist Leon Rainbow
By Sarah El Miniawy Hefni

I drive by Hopewell’s Blue Bottle Café everyday. The graffiti work underlining the entrance to the restaurant catches my attention every time. Its location being at odds with the seeming quaintness and serenity of the town, not to mention that it’s a fine dining restaurant. But isn’t that what graffiti does? Intervening in ways that make you look or think twice?

Leon Rainbow copyright Andrew Wilkinson.

It turns out this isn’t an unsolicited intervention. The owners, Rory and Aaron Philipson, had actually commissioned it some years ago, and the same Trenton-based artist, Leon Rainbow, has just refreshed it.  This authentic attention might stem from the fact that he was given free reign to create the work on both counts.  The work is the first thing you see when you drive into the town from the east, perhaps coinciding with the changing face of a more diverse and youthful Hopewell.

Leon’s work came to MercerMe’s attention elsewhere, at the artists’ designs showcase for Hopewell Valley Arts Council’s Stampede. He is contributing by working on two oxen. In his design statement Leon explains “The Jersey Strong (as an ox) design is a play on words combining the Jersey Strong slogan that was recently used as a rallying cry post-Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey with the cliché Strong as an Ox”. Curious and excitable as we are at MercerMe, we had to find out more about him.

For the most part of my interview with Leon, we spoke about his community driven work and it became very clear to me that he is quite the social instigator. He moves on from one project to the next, often juggling many at the same time whilst staying loyal to key projects and spaces that he has been part of from the onset.

Leon has just wrapped up a major solo exhibition of new work at the Trenton Social titled Politically Incorrect. On his website he explains that the exhibition unintentionally coincided with political turmoil in Trenton. “I am an artist first, but what’s been going on in city politics adds a new dimension to the work… You look at City Hall, then at us painting the truth out in the streets and you wonder, who’s really politically incorrect here?”

Seeds by Leon Rainbow

Coming up next in Leon’s busy calendar is the Jersey Fresh Jam, “Trenton New Jersey’s Premier Urban Arts Festival” on Saturday August 9th. The event has been going from strength to strength Leon proudly explains. Now in its ninth year, it presents no less than fifty graffiti artists, live painting, live music, vendors and much more, from 12 till 6pm at the Terracycle Complex.  Later on this year, Leon takes part in a group exhibition titled Subway to Gallery: the Street Artist, at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton from September 18th till November 13th.

Last but certainly not least, Leon speaks to me about a project that clearly occupies a special place in his heart.The S.A.G.E Coalition Inc is a coming together of local artists, collectives, organizations and spaces on a quest to beautify the inner city. He particularly mentions an ongoing strand in the project named Windows of the Soul, “aimed at bringing life to blighted urban neighborhoods [with] artwork in the windows of abandoned buildings in local neighborhoods”. The Coalition also curate exhibitions at Gallery 219 in Trenton.

Thank you Leon for opening our eyes to the vibrant world of Trenton urban art, we can’t wait for the Jersey Fresh Jam!

Trenton NJ Graffiti Muralist Graphic Artist