A Sunday off is a rare occasion for me. After a busy adventuresome week, I was looking forward to the day off with my dog. And that’s kind of what I got. He might think twice next time he jumps in the car with me. After a two hour walk along the canal, we went to visit my Oma in Princeton. On the way home, we connected with my mother and planned a foray into Trenton.
SAGE Coalition is a non-profit organization in Trenton all about making art happen. Sage is an acronym for Serious Artists Gaining Exposure. From their website:
The S.A.G.E. Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in Trenton NJ dedicated to initiating, planning, and establishing inner-city beautification projects.Formed in 2012, SAGE Coalition Inc. has its roots in legendary Trenton arts groups such as the Vicious Stylez Crew, SAGE Collective, and the Trenton Atelier. Since then it has grown into a diverse group of visual artists, engineers, fabricators, musicians and teachers dedicated to the rebirth of Trenton and all other struggling urban zones. From molding wax to steel, creating everything from murals to 3d models and building bikes or beats, SAGE Coalition is a potent mix of talented artists who are invested in urban renewal. Our goal is to remind those in economically depressed neighborhoods that unity and pride can thrive through creative problem solving and civic engagement.
Sunday was mostly about the music and hanging the art submissions but I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to make art happen. I brought a box of art supplies from my house that included a wide array of paint brushes, a random collection of acrylic enamel paints, road maps from various US States and 2 old signs from my mom’s old store.
My mom and I were going to paint a mother daughter piece. In other words, I would paint and she would provide the vision. As I was painting, I collected an audience of kids. One girl said to me, “How do you do that? I’d be scared to paint. I’d be scared I’d mess it up.” Wow. The crazy thing is that I have the same excuse some times. I told her that I just poured some paint on the paper and worked from there. I shared my paint brushes and gave her a map to paint on. Next thing I new there was a crowd of young artists painting on these state maps that I had rescued from the trash.
It was a joy to be painting. Watching the children politely sharing and smiling while they painted was euphoric. Seeing this dismal street that I wouldn’t walk down alone even during the day transform with the positive energy from the art and the people making the art happen was uplifting. Congratulations Will Kasso and your team. Keep it up! Trenton definitely needs more art and more positive energy!