Trenton urban artist Leon Rainbow and assistant artists Sophie Ban and Radek Selski lead a 2-week immersive mural project called “The People’s House” at Drumthwacket (The Historic Governors Mansion). The project was a collaboration with Artworks in Trenton and the Drumthwacket Foundation in Princeton. The workshop will bridge the communities through art. The project will took a dozen young creatives ages 13-18 years old from Trenton, brought them to Drumthwacket. The students learned about urban art styles and techniques and the history of the Governor’s Mansion. The students worked with the artists to create murals from start to finish.
Tour and Design
After an exclusive guided tour of the grounds at Drumthwacket, the students returned to Artworks, brainstormed with the artists and learned about street art. The artists worked with the students to create concepts and solidify them into amazing designs. The students returned to Drumthwacket and painted the murals on panels which were installed in the garden at Drumthwacket for a 3-month period. The project was finished with a special reception with Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy at Drumthwacket on Saturday, October 26th, 2019.
“Raritan River Ways” was created by Leon Rainbow in New Brunswick, in Elmer B. Boyd Park overlooking the amphitheater entrance and Route 18. The mural was created as a commission from the City of New Brunswick in response to coLAB Arts‘ oral histories collected from individuals who have been boating, fishing, and stewarding the Raritan River for decades.
Spectra, providers of Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality and Partnerships services at CURE Insurance Arena, commissioned two murals on the concourse as part of the venue’s 20th Anniversary Celebration. The developer of the CURE Insurance Arena, Ronald Berman—perhaps most known for building the Roebling Market shopping center in the former Roebling company’s properties off South Clinton Avenue—will be memorialized in the first mural. The second mural will serve as an ode to the site’s former use by John A. Roebling’s Sons Company. The artists, Leon Rainbow and Dean “Ras” Innocenzi, are renowned graffiti artists and muralists based in Trenton, NJ who creatively combine graffiti, street art, and other artistic forms into innovative projects. Working with Phil Miller and the MCIA to form a vision for the murals, the artwork will highlight and memorialize Mr. Berman along with John A. Roebling’s Sons Company’s historical roots of industry in Trenton. Special Thanks To Radek Sel and Ryan Fabritz for your help on these murals.
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.
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.
Graffiti-inspired street designs were painted to help slow traffic and protect pedestrians at two busy Brunswick Avenue on Saturday, August 10, 2019. Neighbors have identified these intersections near Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and Rivera Community Middle School as hazardous.
Similar “streetscape” or “tactical urbanism” projects in other cities have successfully slowed traffic and improved pedestrian safety by vibrantly highlighting crosswalks and slightly narrowing traffic lanes.
Designs were created by Trenton mural artist Leon Rainbow following a community design workshop at Lincoln Homes, was hosted by Trenton Health Team and Street Plans, an internationally recognized urban planning, design and transportation planning firm.
Volunteers should check-in at Brunswick Avenue and North Montgomery Street. Street Plans staff worked with THT and two teams of volunteers to complete the streetscape mural project.
Brunswick Avenue was selected for this project as part of a community effort supported by The BUILD Health Challenge, a national initiative funded by BUILD Health, to create a safe and healthy corridor from the Battle Monument Park to Capital Health Regional Medical Center.
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.