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Monthly Archives: July 2016

The Buddha Of Woodbury


Kasso just did a massive Buddha-themed wall down in Woodbury, NJ. Here are some pics, taken by the talented Habiyb Shu’Aib. The artist describes: “For those that have been following me via social media, know about the mural I recently completed in Woodbury, NJ entitled “The Buddha Of Woodbury.” In collaboration with the Woodbury FAF, who champions initiatives rich in arts, culture, and sustainable design as a catalyst for community development and economic revitalization. They execute these initiatives by creating engaging places and innovative experiences that transform the lives of the community. SAGE Coalitionand FAF first collaborated 4 years ago at their inaugural festival, were SAGE members demonstrated our artistic skills via live painting, welding, and music performances.”

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To the East… to WALNUT!!

There’s a little spot in Trenton, a couple blocks east of the train station, not far from the place Jay-z nodded to when saying, “East Trenton Grew Me..” But apparently not too close to there either, as Leon Rainbow found out the hard way. When he tried to quote that line in a mural in the neighborhood, residents there wouldn’t have it. “Put Wilbur Section Up!” they said. Man, do they love The Section.. and we love it too, after all, that’s where our candle-making-international-director-of-urban-affairs Messiah hangs out, and that’s where our resident-DJ-and-shade-tent-lender ItsJustAhmad hails from, and that’s where we did our last Windows of Soul street art festival. Recently, SAGE artists Áine Mickey and Graham Apgar have been going out there on a mission to turn the vacant lot at 131 Walnut Ave into a garden. It’s more of a park actually, a place for people to hang out and be around nature, and a chance for youth to be involved in making a creative change in their neighborhood. This project is all about the kids. It’s an after-school/summer program for all those uppity youngsters of all ages, who wander around Tha Section from 7 to 9pm on summer nights (perfect time to get to work!) We’ve already planted a dozen trees, and we’re building a B Home, a fire-pit and some planters. The program is made possible by the Arts Council of Princeton, who have been kindly helping us find some funding for it. Áine is currently building our relationship with them, so we can do even bigger things on this block in the future. She’s also our in-house documentary photographer.. check out her what she’s captured so far:

Soul of the Message 2016 Made it Rain

The spirit of the late Prince was probably in the air at SAGE’s Soul of the Message 2016 Event, which we held on April 22nd and 23rd right here in Trenton, NJ. Every spring we host this show to bring emerging artists and musicians into the spotlight and kick off another summer of creativity. This year we started with an art show at Casa Cultura, a new downtown arts venue focused on latino culture. As you can see from the pics, the art was really poppin, with many new faces and styles.


On Day 2, we brought the scene to another new venue, the Orchid House, on East Hanover St, which is a start-up project of a few local artists and Entrepreneurs, who are turning a previously dilapidated building into a cafe and concert space. In the backyard, we hosted a graffiti jam, bringing in muralists from the tri-state area to bless the walls, and over a dozen musical acts to break in the new stage. Also, as a sideshow, we brought some new life to the old Gandhi Garden down the street, with a comedy show. Just to be out there, on that infamous drug trafficking block, in a garden with a big Gandhi face smiling over us… doing a comedy show.. That was all the material the comics needed. I think everyone, for whatever reason they were there, had a good laugh. Shout out to Black Collar Biz for keeping the wider community in mind and setting that up.

And of course, there was Prince, his face stenciled in perfect minimalism on the Orchid House Door, as if to challenge any young musician entering (there’s a music studio in the works on the third floor) to live up to his genius. Around the corner, a larger tribute was in progress. When leon Rainbow showed up with a paint sprayer and half a dozen cans of purple paint, we knew it was on. Kasso, Lank, Rain, Bale and Uhm went in late into the night, painting a massive tribute wall. The mural was so prominent that it made the front page of the Trentonian the next day, bringing some positive press to the Orchid House and the Arts in Trenton… the power of art at it’s finest.