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.