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Windows of Soul Was All Love

Windows of soul was a daring move. People outside were afraid to come to East Hanover. People on the block were afraid of the crazy new artists. But it seemed all fears and doubts were smashed on both sides as we powered through three straight days of art and festivities.

We kicked it off Friday night with the opening of our brand new gallery. Inside the the art set the mood.. we set up each room to highlight a different style: photography, graphic art, pop art, and a chill black-light pad. It wasn’t long before the gallery was packed, the wine was flowing, and party spilled into the street.

Saturday was all about the art. The street was blocked off, and it was filled with canvases, cloth, boards and enough cans of spray and house paint to cover the whole block.. and that’s just what we did. Armed with a scissor lift and a bucket truck, we covered about 75% of the boarded up windows on East Hanover St. (that’s a lot.) It was a huge collaborative effort- The Sage Collective crew came out to rock some of the larger windows, while the higher ones were filled up with art submitted from all over the place. Local artists came out to paint live and run workshops, and the kids had a ball painting hundreds of feet of parachute cloth, plywood, and tires rolled out in the street. I was running a pendulum painting workshop. With a 10 foot tall tripod we painted a couple dozen wood panels throughout the day. Even the parking meters got painted. A few hundred people must have come through, and it seemed like everyone there was either making art or getting down with the DJ. On that end, ItsJustAmhad kept it all moving with a great mix of 80s & 90s hip-hop, house and funk. The barbecue was on-point, serving up some mean shish kabobs.

Sunday was all about the music, and we had some great acts come through, headlined by the soulful riffs and fiery lines of Dre Skuffs & the Blackout Kings. Black Collar Biz kept the show moving and performed a few classics, Ahmad spun in some Spongebob just to drive his son crazy, and Lyrik and I performed “Is this Love” by Bob Marley (yes, it was love that I was feeling.) All the while, Wills, Kasso and the crew kept on painting and installing art on window panels. By the end of the day only a few were left. Our neighbour Anne also got her deep-fry on, cooking up some fiery wings and showing some big love.

For me, this quick little story tells it all… On Sunday morning, in a classic last-minute brainstorm, Jon and I decided to build a stage out of a bunch of garbage we found in a warehouse down the street.Which looks very spacious and it was similar to that of Dry Storage Space Kelowna .Together we slowly toppled a stack of 300 pound shipping boxes and dragged two of them out of the rubble with ropes and found tools. Then Kasso and Wills stepped in to help, and we trucked both boxes, with a stack of old plywood, two blocks down the street with a hand cart and a dolly. At that point I still didn’t know if it could work. I had serious doubts. The performers were getting ready to start and I was beginning to think we were just getting in the way and wasting everyone’s time. Then Derrick from across the street showed up to lend us a hand, and so did an old friend who I haven’t seen in years. After we sawed and hammered it all together, The headlining band, which was waiting to do a sound check, stepped in to help lift everything into place. Together, we pulled off a stage which definitely did its job, and in my opinion, looked pretty sick. Throughout the day dozens of people performed on it, including myself. The whole experience was a lot like Windows of Soul as a whole.. It was a crazy idea, brought forth with stubborn determination and finally realized when a whole village stepped up to make it happen. During this event I was assisted (saved) multiple times by the help of friends, neighbours and local kids. The SAGE group may have set this up, but it was definitely the whole community which made it go. I want to thank everyone out there from the bottom of my heart.. it meant so much to me to see so many people come together so spontaneously and meaningfully.

On Monday afternoon, the last panel was painted, depicting a little bird sitting on a giant, hatching egg. I feel like that means something. All I know is that we’ll keep on doing what we love to do, for the good of ourselves and whoever wants to join us.

  • Related Projects:

    Windows of Soul

    A three day celebration for the arts in Downtown Trenton.
    Learn More »