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We Are Survivors

We Are Survivors Wall-Part 1

Music Raymond Strife x Darnell ILL-Omega Storey – “Never Cease”

When this crisis first started like many I was scared and it is uncomfortable to adjust to the necessary changes to our way of life. The #Covid19 virus crisis is like nothing I have ever experienced but I am grateful to have an outlet. #Art for me is not a hobby or a career it is a passion, a need. I express myself through art, I feel most comfortable in the moment creating art. It is the way that I deal with life! A thought hit me..we will survive. That we can adapt. There will be a brighter tomorrow.

We Are Survivors Wall-Part 2

“We Are Survivors” COVID-Inspired Street Art Conveys a Message of Hope and Resilience 

 Trenton’s acclaimed graffiti artist Leon “Rain” Rainbow responds to the coronavirus crisis with thought-provoking murals 

TRENTON, NJ, August 18, 2020 — Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, graffiti artists around the world have been using their powerful form of expression to brighten our streets with thought-provoking imagery. It took only one restless night of sleep to inspire Trenton’s Leon “Rain” Rainbow to do the same. 

“When the crisis first started, like many, I was scared. The concept for the original ‘We are Survivors’ mural just popped into my head one night,” recalls Rainbow, one of the region’s preeminent graffiti artists whose voluminous portfolio of work can be found on streets and buildings throughout New Jersey’s state capital. 

“Suddenly we had to make all these changes to our lives that were necessary but uncomfortable. I was grateful to have an outlet.”

That initial mural, a bold response to the coronavirus crisis, can be found near the intersection of Hudson and Clinton Streets. Trenton Downtown Association (TDA) was so moved by the wall that they stepped in to  sponsor the creation of two more, made possible with continued funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and NJM Insurance. 

“We are incredibly grateful to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for extending their support that allows us to promote community-based arts initiatives,” says Meaghan Singletary, Development and Project Manager for TDA. 

Rainbow’s work combines graffiti, street art and other artistic forms into innovative projects and events and speaks to a wide audience on so many levels.

“Art is not a hobby or a career for me. It is a passion, a need, how I express myself and deal with life,” says Rainbow. “We will survive (the coronavirus). We have shown that we can adapt.” The message he hopes his murals ultimately convey is that there will be a brighter tomorrow. 

You can see “We Are Survivors” at the intersection of Hudson and Clinton Streets in Trenton. TDA will be hosting an unveiling of Rainbow’s second mural in the series, sometime this fall, at the Sprout School of the Arts. 

The theme for the second mural is top of mind on every parent’s mind these days: the state of education in the age of COVID. It will illustrate the blending of arts and technology as we adapt to teaching and learning in the current climate. 

“By continuing this effort, we can encourage the ever-thriving creative community within Trenton to spread a message of strength and resiliency outward,” adds Singletary.

About the Trenton Downtown Association:

The Trenton Downtown Association (TDA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the capital city a more competitive location for business owners and an engaging center for workers, residents and visitors. Since 1986, TDA has offered programs that promote economic growth and investment in New Jersey’s capital city. Our staff is involved in business recruitment and retention, public relations, advocacy, marketing support, referrals, partnership development and job creation. TDA also hosts events like the Capital City Farmers’ Market, the Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series and Patriots Week to attract visitors to experience the current growth happening in the downtown. Through maintenance of a clean and safe commercial district, support for the arts and cultural heritage, promotion and public policy planning, the Trenton Downtown Association is leading the revitalization of the City of Trenton.

Press

Leon Rainbow’s Latest Creation Unveiled at Sprout U School of the Arts
Town topics

https://www.nj.com/times/2020/08/trenton-artists-mural-tests-positive-for-hope-amid-pandemic.html

https://www.newjerseystage.com/articles/2020/08/29/leon-rainbows-we-are-survivors-mural/

“We Are Survivors”
Town Topics

Drumthwacket Youth Street Art Project

The People’s House

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. 

The People’s House Video

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.

Painting The Murals

Finished Murals

The People’s House Reception

Photography and Video by Andrew Wilkinson

Raritan River Ways Mural

“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.

Completed Mural

Progress Shots

Ron Berman, Roebling Murals at Cure Arena

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.

See Article by The Trentonian

Check Out Article by NJ.com

John A Roebling Mural
John A Roebling Mural

We also created another Trenton Themed mural in the Lower Level of the Cure Insurance Arena Outside of the Locker Rooms

Jerome Cuzo Gonzalez Mural

The mural for Jerome Gonzalez is finally done! I gotta give a lot of shout outs on this one…my partner on this project Elan WonderGallery on Main, Somerville, NJ and Arts On Division for all their support, the folks Phoenix Cafe for the awesome canvas, everyone who assisted on the artwork, everyone who helped raise funds and to all of Jerome’s family and friends for hanging out and sharing memories of a great dude. #cuzomural

Complete Cuzo Mural

Photo by Arielle Figueredo

Wall Before Mural

Unity Tactical Urbanism Project

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.

Beautiful Broad Street Mural

Beautiful Broad Street Completed Mural- CLICK ZOOM

Wall prior to mural- CLICK ZOOM

When I heard that I Am Trenton was doing a public art grant for the Old Trenton Neighborhood, my thoughts drifted to the wall on the side of the Broad Street Furniture Store. This site captured the architecture from Broad Street Discount Furniture to the Mercer County Community College Fashion and Design school.  So I  decided to bring attention to the area, by designing and creating a mural of the buildings and businesses. The Mural will beautify the area and hopefully spark revitalization in this section of Broad Street.

Photo by Kenya Bulock (www.beekenny.com)

My friend Steve Zahirny and I smoothed out some rough spots of the wall with concrete.  I worked tirelessly for weeks primming and sketching out the buildings and patterns.  I base filled the sky and added patterns and bright colors to bring the mural to life.   I organized a community workshop, which taught aerosol application and techniques.  Light Refreshments were served by my wife Marie, and everyone had a great time. I outlined and detailed the buildings and sky. Finally, the mural was complete. My largest solo project to date, over15ft tall spanning 85ft.

Photo by Kenya Bulock (www.beekenny.com)

Thanks to my Assistants: Radek Selski, Sophie Ban,  and Marcus Mera.

Workshop supplies provided by TerraCycle and Liquitex

Special thanks to Amin and the staff at Broad Street Discount Furniture.

Mural created with support from the Old Trenton Arts + Community Program funded by I Am Trenton Community Foundation and Isles, Inc.

#BeautifulBroadSt #StreetArt #Mural #UrbanArt

Featured  On Trenton Daily

 

 

Perry St Billboard Mural

The mural concept is “Growth” represented by the sunflower. It is also depicts planting which is synonymous with planting seeds artistically and the neighborhood growth. I chose the sunflower because it represents light and positivity.

The mural was painted as part of an annual project for Isles Inc. The mural was painted live with Dj It’s Just Ahmad providing the soundtrack.

West Ward Anti Smoking Mural


Mural created at the West Ward Center in Trenton, NJ. Completed in June 2018. This basketball themed mural has a anti-smoking message. Trenton Makes You Strong..Smoking Makes You Weak!

TRC Custom Mural

Custom Graffiti Mural by Leon Rainbow for TRC (trcbadgerite.com). Mural incorporates company name and tagline with circuit board background for new corporate headquarters in West Windsor, NJ.