We were contacted by the Walter C Black Elementary School in Hightstown, NJ to create an obstacle course mural on their playground. The students’ raised money on an obstacle course fundraising event and they all voted to have their playground painted with fun activities. Led by Leon Rainbow a group of volunteers braved the cold weather to create this fun activities mural. Thanks to the Walter C Black PTO, Principal and District Superintendant for making this happen. Thanks to Radek, Ryan, Megan, Jessica, Diane, Jo, Robin and Rocky for all your hard work!
New intersection of Warren and Front on Ciclovia pedestrian / bike fest. Thanks Sgt. Woodhead for drone view.
When Will Kasso, first talked to me about doing a show at the Morris Museum I was instantly intrigued. I got really excited when I found out that we were actually painting directly onto the walls at the Morris Museum. For my piece, I chose to paint a traditional graffiti piece with my signature “Rain”, characters and background. I wanted to capture the essence of what graffiti is to me. When I arrived at the Museum I realized the walls were much larger than I expected. They had an aerial lift and plenty of paint so I knew it would be OK. I started high with my name and tried to put it at an angle to utilize more of the space. I used a roller and some bucket paint to fill in the purple background designs. When I started to add the characters I came up with the idea of having them represent the life of a graffiti art piece. The top eyeball guy is painting the piece the bottom character is painting over it. Then, My signature represents the process starting over it by someone tagging the wall after he painted over part of the piece.
Opening Reception, Thursday, September 19, at the elegant Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ is “Aerosol: Graffiti | Street Art | New Jersey | Now,” the first U.S. museum exhibition to showcase contemporary urban artwork painted directly from floor to ceiling onto a museum’s gallery walls. Co-Curated by Will “Kasso” Condry, and Morris Museum Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator Ronald T. Labaco. The exhibit will run until March 15, 2020.
Leon was contacted by Elizabeth at CityLife Health about creating a mural at their new North Trenton facility. It was a brand new health clinic on North Olden Ave. Once we sat down and talked we decided to make the mural version of their logo but with a Trenton twist. For the mural, he created his signature patterned background with their cross with a smile logo. He updated the cityscape to represent Trenton by adding several landmarks such as the Trenton Battle Monument and Statehouse Dome. Leon incorporated a silhouette of hands making the heart symbols to represent love and the community.
For its fifth year, the Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series activated Mill Hill Park—an easily-accessible, underused park in the state capital’s historic downtown core—building upon the progress of the previous four years, spurring economic activity and community participation, giving people of all backgrounds a place to connect and enliven their community through free, live music.
Leon Rainbow curated a great group of artists to repaint the panels on Front and Broad Street during the Levitt Amp Festival. Each week a different artist painted LIVE directly across from the concert series. We have several local artists as well as artists from Philly, NYC, Washington DC and California.
Presented by the Trenton Downtown Association, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting economic growth and development as well as arts and cultural activities in the capital city.
The Artist Leon Rainbow collaboration with Ras (Memorial for Luis Sanchez), Brendon Lopez, Jay Mack, Below Key, Mek, Acet, Isaias Crow, Jah, Elan, Sophie Ban, Ras, Luis Sanchez RIP, Lank (Memorial for Benjamin Porawski)
curated by Leon Rainbow
August 3 – August 31
Opening Reception: August 3, 7-9pm
Artworks Trenton, NJ
American Steel Forever is a celebration of American train art and culture. This goes back to the early 1900’s with Hobo Monikers, The 1970s-90 with NYC subway graffiti and the 1990s to present with the freight train movement. This exhibit will feature a selection of this rich history.
- HO / G Scale Model Trains painted/ weathered by artists
- Hobo moniker art
- Customized Railroad signs
- Original Artwork
A few months ago, I was contacted by the Princeton University Art Museum to create a special installation for their annual fundraiser. This years event was to be NYC in the 1980s themed. This was to coincide with the huge Basquiat Exhibit that they are having next year. I was given a lot of creative freedom. For the top, I wanted to use imagery of NYC icons with the abstract patterns that represent my work. For the bottom, I tried to create traditional graffiti lettering that represented the words Grit and Glam. The Glam was gold and smooth and flowing. The Grit was rugged and and had texture, drips and cracks.
About The Event
Saturday, February 2, 2019, for Grit + Glamour: A Basquiat Ball, the Museum’s Annual Benefit Gala. Inspired by an artist with whose work Princeton has had a long and very special relationship, the theme of this year’s Gala draws upon the creatively explosive downtown art scene of the 1980s in which Jean-Michel Basquiat and his circle—from Keith Haring to Madonna to Andy Warhol—shaped a dynamic street culture that changed both art and the wider American scene. It’s also a New York that has been lost to the past, and so Grit + Glamour: A Basquiat Ball also reminds us of the downtown that was, including its style, art, and music. Our sole fundraising event of the year, the Gala supports the wide range of education and outreach programs that the Museum offers—free of charge—year round.
When I was contacted by the people at the Cure Insurance Arena. I was so excited. After checking out the location we decided to do two 35ft x 12ft murals on the same stretch of walls near section 115. We talked about the vision and how the murals will incorporate the County as well as some of the performances that they have at the arena. Since their logo is blue we decided that the background should be warm colors and the foreground images would be blues and greys to make them jump off of the wall. The murals took about a month to complete. We are really pleased with the outcome which culminated in a workshop and press conference.
The “From Potential To Achievement” Mural was created at Christina Seix Academy in Ewing, NJ June 2018.
When I first talked with Dr. Connor from Christina Seix Academy, I loved his vision and the school was such a positive and creative environment. He showed me the wall which is 15ft x 15ft. They wanted to have student interaction as part of the project. The ages ranged from 5 to 13 years old. I came up with the concept of painting a tree with the “leaves” being handprints and symbols. We would use a material that we could cut in different shapes and collage into the mural. They gave me the title “From Potential To Achievement” and their “TRENT” Slogan to work into the design. It was fun to create a mural that incorporated so many styles and techniques. Thanks to Radek Selski for assisting me.
After seeing a call for art for the 48 Blocks AC Event, I thought it would be really cool to have a graffiti-inspired chair on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. I was accepted and I started to work out a concept. I wanted something that represented the traditional aspects of graffiti in a bright fun way. I reimagined the “Do AC” logo on the seat back with an Atlantic City skyline in the background. On the chair arms, I painted “Boardwalk Empire” after the hit show. The seat a tribute to Jersey. I tied it all together with a uniform background of chips and designs. The chair is installed on the boardwalk in front of The Ocean Club.
I curated the Murals on Front project. I worked with the Trenton Downtown Association to bring murals to the Levitt Amp Trenton Music Series. We had a different street artists paint live on Thursdays from 5pm to 8 pm each week during the festival from June 29-August 31, 2017. Many of the artists came before and after to finish their masterpieces. Each artist was given full creative control to create their best works of art. The murals were painted on the boarded up sections of the parking garage across the street from the park on front and broad. The murals will remain until the garage is developed or torn down. Participating artists are Bayron Calderon, Mek, Lank, Ras, Will Kasso, Luis Sanchez, HKS 181, Billy Brown, Naval, Leon Rainbow, and Patrick Forsyth.
Leon Rainbow paints mural with IYI(Isles Youth Institute)
“Trenton Makes” mural was designed by world renowned artist Mr. Leon Rainbow and the students of Isles Youth Institute Evening under the guidance of Stacy Heading.
In collaboration with the City of Trenton Recreation Dept, together we created the mural Trenton Makes in the foyer of the Westward Center located at 351 Prospect Street Trenton NJ.
This is just one part of the IYI beautification project. Over the summer, the students painted the inside of the gymnasium and NJ Youth Corp, painted the foyer along with the help of city staff Mr. Ron Clark and assistant.
The IYI beautification project is a service learning project that will allow our students to give back to the community where they live. During the beautification project they will receive volunteer hours, work experience, and increase their leadership ability. The beautification service learning project in hopes to establish a reduction in crime.
So I was contacted by Nina from Jet.com to create a series of murals at their Burlington, NJ fulfillment center. This center ships different types of food and produce, so the main focus of the stairway mural was fruits and veggies. I tried to give the feeling of them splashing down the stairs. The next mural was the main wall in their cafeteria. The cafe already has an modern feel so I wanted to keep it with the corporate colors purple and grey. Really tried to have it look like the logo was bursting out of the wall. This mural was difficult because it is 20ft tall and there was a set of lockers with a 4-5ft space between them and the wall. Both murals were difficult to capture, but I am very please with the result.
I was contacted by Latoya thru this website. I was excited to work on her game room in her Plainfield home. Upon arriving we had a lively discussion with her husband and then we got to work. We originally planned to do one wall but we decided on doing two walls both gaming themed. The first wall was a Pac Man wall which we created a Pac Man rendition of the Family. Latoya and her husband and 4 kids (3 girls, 1 boy), it was challenging to figure out what to have them each doing and what accessories to have. We used Facebook Live to get ideas for the last few. The second wall was a classic funky graffiti wall that says “Refuse to Lose” , keeping with the gaming theme. We used mainly MTN Water based spray paint paint due to the minimal ventilation. We were very pleased with the game room.
Artist: Leon Rainbow
Assistant: Chris Ponton
Masaya Nakamura, a Japanese toy and game entrepreneur whose company’s most enduring creation, Pac-Man, became a worldwide cultural touchstone, died on Jan. 22. He was 91.
We were recently contacted by a company based in Northeast Philadelphia “I Like Windows” to paint a logo in their office. After meeting with the client we found out that they were a window manufacturer and wanted the logo in their newly created office. The logo was difficult to replicate because it needed to be placed above a staircase. Once the logo was done we painted the other walls with abstract patterns and designs in grey scale and warm colors to emphasize the logo colors.
The client was so pleased with the office we came back and painted an old utility van. The van was parked in front of the location as advertisement for the business. Curb appeal is everything.
When we painted the Patterns of Life Trailer for Shelley Elle. She asked us to paint the staircase to her living room in her house. After a brief discussion we decided to create a politically charged piece. We talked with he about her political views. I talked with Luis and he wanted to have more of a creative role in this project so we decided to split the responsibilities. Luis worked on getting the custom stencils together and I worked on putting together the background and design elements. We wanted to have bright colors in the background and neutral colors for the main images to really make them stand out. We really like how the finished piece came together.
SAGE Coalition is the heart and soul of the capitol city of Trenton, NJ’s arts community. With its recent mural production, “City of Dreams”, it further reiterate that sentiment.
Sponsored by the ETC (East Trenton Collaborative) and designed by William Kasso, the idea came about while discussing different visions for a youth themed mural. Kasso, who has a long storied history in the production of youth murals, brought up the idea of a kid blowing bubbles over a city landscape. He then enlisted his longtime friend and frequent collaborator, Leon Rainbow, to co-produce.
Leon Rainbow drafted up an abstract surreal background, full of bright yellow, oranges and reds, along with a festive cityscape to balance out Kasso’s massive image of S.A.G.E. member, Rocky Kelly’s daughter, Dreamy.
The bubbles were created with the help of children during a after school art workshop sponsored by the East Trenton Collaborative and Habitat for Humanity. Kasso, Rainbow and Earlie Harrell lead a workshop of roughly 20 students to create dramatic images of bubbles with blue hues and abstract patterns.
The bubbles were installed within the mural using a high density adhesive called Nova Gel. Once the bubbles were placed, Rainbow finished off the background while Kasso continued to work of the image of Dreamy, which stretched from the top of the wall down. The entire figure measured about 25 ft once completed.
The two artist worked in unison while Cynthia Groya, a Harvard University undergrad, documented the process.
Rocky Kelly, S.A.G.E. holistic health guru, wrote the passage to sum up the vision behind the mural, which reads: “In the City of Dreams, a dream can be fulfilled as easy as a child blowing a bubble. It is the power of your intent that will determine how big or small your dreams become”.
The entire production took 4 days; capped off by Earlie Harrell…aka…Messiah, slapping on a few layers of clear coat to seal the wall.
Leon Rainbow and William Kasso. Many call them the dynamic duo of the Trenton Art scene. Each artist has created more works of public art in the capital city than any other artist before or since. Its a pleasure to watch these two artist work their magic…especially in a city like Trenton, NJ; a city struggling to regain its former identity of prosperity and glory.
“Trenton makes the world takes”. That statement is world renown..and so are its artists. The City of Dreams is not only a beautiful piece of public art, but also a vision of what could be.
S.A.G.E Coalition Inc.
I knew Debbie Schaeffer from Mrs.G’s Appliances for a few years and we always talked about doing a collaborative event. So in 2011, she contacted me about painting a fridge at an Breast Cancer Awareness event in October. We did a contest in the local schools and had the finalists come out and paint their designs on refrigerators. The event was called “Paint Fridge Pink” . It was a great event and it was really fun working with the art students at her Lawrenceville, NJ store. This year we decided to revisit the idea. We had an event at her new location and broadcast it Live on Facebook. I focused on the theme Peace, Love, Cure . The fridge will be auctioned off to benefit Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
The Danny DeGennaro Foundation and Music at Snipes Farm have partnered on The River Roots Music and Arts Festival on May 14th, 2016. When I talked with the guys from the The Danny DeGennaro Foundation about painting at The River Roots Music Festival I didn’t know what quite to expect. We wound up painting 8ft x 16ft wood panels that were next to the stage. We had it set up to glow in the blacklight. I love black lights. Kasso and Myself instantly decided to do a Jimi Hendrix Tribute. He painted the portrait and I did the lettering. I wanted to try something different so I used 60’s psychedelic posters as reference and went with the flow. it was a fun project and I love how it came out! Lori Johansson and Lank painted a satellite inspired space theme that also came out amazing.
I was referred to the Suri Family by photographer Ricardo Barros. After talking to the family they liked my series of abstract cityscapes. This was fine by me because that is the series that I am focused on and I really enjoy painting like that. After surveying the walls (one was orange, one green and three white) located in a large open room on the lower level of the residence. I was also asked to tie in a plum color that was on the cabinets. Great I knew the plum could work with the oranges and that I can add the green with blues on the complimentary side. After creating a few designs in photoshop I was able to go in a few weekends and evenings and knock the project out just in time for a big party they were having. I love working in these patterns and free flowing with the designs.
I got a call from an old friend Charmaine. I painted walls in her gym about 6 years ago. She told me that she was managing a new gym and wanted a mural to liven up one of the walls. The company sent me a mock up of what they wanted and I replicated it on the wall. This job was challenging because it was a relatively large wall 12ft x 15ft and most of the work needed to be done after hours so that I didn’t disturb the customers. Planning is very important when doing a project like this. I made sure I had all my supplies and I carefully masked the area around the wall to be sure not to get any paint where it didn’t belong. All in all it was a fun project and I’m proud of the results.
Featured on RobotsWillKill.com
At Terracycle headquarters in Trenton, there’s graffiti on everything. It’s not vandalism, it’s art. And once a year, artists from all over gather for Jersey Fresh Jam to use the exterior as a large and legal canvas.
Continue reading Featured on NJTV
The Miller Fortune mural was designed and created by Leon Rainbow for Miller. The project was painted in 2 phases. Phase 1 was painted on February 24, 2014, and the Final Phase was painted on March 4, 2014
Demer and Myself were contracted to create custom pieces for the 2014 Directv Celebrity Beach Bowl. We only had 2 weeks to put the project together. We faced many challenges Including weather (20s-30s), production schedules and time to the event. We had help from the great guys at Z Signs in creating and installing custom vinyl logos (not pictured) at the event. It was a grueling 3 days of painting to complete the murals but it was an incredible event . We are grateful to have been a part of it and able to share our work with the 6,000 attendees.
Abstract City piece
Behind the Scenes of Man Caves
Finished New York Piece Collab with Demer
Historically considered vandalism, this form of self-expression can rise to the level of art
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 Featured in Design NJ
Jersey Fresh Graffiti Jam Featured On CNN
“Business Owner Encourages Graffiti”
Click Here To See The Video
You’ve seen graffiti on subway cars and roadways, but is it art? One New Jersey businessman thinks so.
Wow, what an amazing week. I went to the protest last Sunday to see what was going on. It was very civil, and peaceful. I saw people i hadn’t seen in a while. It was both emotional and angry but the solidarity felt great! Rip George Floyd. Black Lives Matter!I got home and about an hour later i got a welfare text. Asking if i was downtown because the last live seemed to be hostile. So I went and checked it out on FB. I saw people live streaming burning police cars, and looting businesses. It was sad and disheartening but I couldn’t look away. The next day on my morning ride I went downtown to check it out. Things were amazingly pretty cleaned up. A lot of businesses were boarded up. It really took my breath away. There was so much negativity. Not the protest, the looting or the pandemic. It was just everything all together. It has been weird I have been going through the motions but everything has been so different and strange. So a few hours later I thought about the everything that was going on and the boarded up windows and it hit me … CANVASES!
I contacted my friends at the Trenton Downtown Association to see if I could get permission to paint some of the boarded up windows. I got a text a few hours later saying I can paint Delia’s Empanada Cafe boards. Next thing I know Sophie Ban was claiming the cobbler on Warren and got permission to also paint the Mill Hill Saloon and Eatery. So many things happened, and we are still going Kevin Ocasio got permission for Lalor market, Tamara Torres and Samuel J. Kanig got the Latino merchant’s involved. I say all that to say this “Thank You”. It has felt good to put out positivity out in the city and have everyone respond with so.much support!
Thanks to Sherwin-Williams for donating primer and thanks to everyone who has send support for supplies or helped work with businesses to make this happen. I would also like to recognize..Regina zillinski, janis lepelis, chuck gelb as well as everyone that shared the post or donated! To all the artists y’all did the damn thing this week! It is inspiring for me to see all the amazing pieces you created! This has really inspired me. I am an artist. This is Trenton. This is how we do! We are not done yet!
Isles, Community Planning & Development staff, worked with Leon to secure access to those boards when business were able to reopen safely and were discarding the boards. Spearheaded by Leon, the artists’ messages will be displayed in locations in the Old Trenton Neighborhood and the Trenton Historic Development Collaborative neighborhood.
Additionally, local youth will have the opportunity to design and create positive messages of their own to be displayed along with the artists’ works. The first youth aerosol painting workshop took place on August 14 with youth from Dr. Lawrence Boyd’s Help Self organization, Generation Summer Camp. This inspirational message
“Shine Bright Like a Diamond” is on display at the garden on Academy Street in OTN.
Streets Keep Callin’ is a mixed media installation that transforms the gallery into the street. The viewer is transported into a forgotten land of style, color, and texture. You can almost hear the train horns and factories humming. The installation combines photography, painting and various found objects into a multimedia environment. The installation was designed and conceptualized by Leon Rainbow. Stickers and Tags by Various Artists. Painted and installed by Leon Rainbow and Brendon Lopez. Created for the “Scrapped” exhibit at BSB Gallery in Trenton, NJ, March 2019.
Featured In Fall 2018