Round the Clock Community Spirit

Posted on by Dodge

Michelle Knapik, Environment Program Director


I introduced Art All Night (AAN) last Monday and here I am this Monday trumpeting the event – and this from the Environment person at Dodge, no less! But it goes to show you the draw and diversity of AAN, and it spoke to me of the ingenuity of the folks at Artworks who brought this event to life.


One step inside the Roebling Wire Works and it was clear that this was sacred space; it was a sprawling (in a good way), multi dimensional, multi-entry point community gallery. The art – all night – was issued as a larger than life invitation toward rebuilding, rebranding and reinvigorating Trenton. The spirit of celebration – of people, of expression, of political commentary, of youth, of seniors, of neighbors, and of visitors – was palpable everywhere.  I ran into a colleague who said that she and her husband were having the perfect urban experience. They had taken the Riverline from Bordentown and were basking in the mix of people and art forms. They observed and appreciated the fact that this event drew from the surrounding neighborhoods as much as it drew from the region. They were intrigued, stimulated and wanting more of this for Trenton.

I think the best thing I can do to draw you into this experience is to stop writing and walk you through an event photo sampler. And it was a bit like the chocolate sampler, every time you took a bite there was a new infusion of flavor, and you never knew what you were going to find next. I’ll simply save you from having to look at the bottom of the box to get the ingredients.

The photography submissions were simply spellbinding.  This one drew me in like that one chocolate that that stands alone in color or form in the box.


The paintings were like the collection of cream filled chocolates – each one distinct and surprising.

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There were four long corridors of paintings (remember, there were 900 pieces of art), and the oversized windows framed a number of them.


The scuplture stood out like the caramels, and you really had to sink yourself into the pieces.







And maybe I’m reading this wrong, but this one seemed to have headline news all over it:


Then there were those whimsical cordials – many made by the young, and all for the young at heart.






At other points, you were looking up or down at engaging large and small format multi media displays.



And let’s not foget the live demonstrations.


The iron pour was a spetacular event.





There was also clothing on display and there were models wandering about, though there was not necessarily a direct correlation between clothing and models!




Part of the spectacle was the buzz among the people and their relationship to this place.








Most of art was not just on display, it was for sale, so there was an opportunity to support working artists, and many of the artists donated a percentage of their sales price to support AAN gatherings.  This coming Thursday, art purchasers will be invited to attend a reception wherein they will be able to meet the people behind the name and number on the art they selected.  I’m thrilled that I will be able to meet the two painters and one photographer who will forever connect me to AAN.  Here’s one untamed piece that will soon hang in my house:


Participants will be riding the AAN wave for some time to come – and many are already anticipating AAN 2011 – but we know we can get our arts and community fix at Artworks throughout the year.  Were you an all nighter?  What motivated or made a lasting impression on you?

4 Responses to Round the Clock Community Spirit

  1. Polyjuana says:

    Thanks for the tribute to what was a truly gratifying experience for those who participated.
    For the Abominog crew, the positive response reaffirms our committment to “sweat equity”, as well as to the adaptive re-use of the detritus of industrial culture. The opportunity to share this process was just one aspect of the ongoing urban experiment – Art All Night has become a much needed catalyst to bring out the best this area has to offer.

  2. Anne says:

    Definitely an all nighter! Can’t wait to meet the photographer of the piece I purchased. The iron pour was mesmerizing – and done in ninety degree heat – those artists were just amazing. The band known as Jac – rock with accordion, mandolin, violins and stand-up base… well maybe it wasn’t rock but i’ll look to see them again. Saw folks I haven’t seen in years, and my tailer from Chambersburg who I’ve never seen without a tape measure around his neck; had out-of-town friends unexpectedly ask to stay the night at my house because they just had to come back for more. So many fleeting and lasting impressions…

  3. Ttown says:

    Paul Plumeri stole the show as always. Its amazing how this guy could unite the younger and older audiences. Awesome!

  4. Lisa says:

    Michelle, it was such an amazing pleasure to meet you, tonight! Thank you again for seeing the beauty in my painting and envisioning it in your space. It was so special to me to see you and connect with a smile, only to find out you were the one who bought my painting! The full circle of events to get to this place is amazing and I’ll never forget it. I can’t wait to start my new life, focusing more on my art. This was the place to plant the seed. My next goal is to be in another live gallery, and perhaps even ha shown ve more than 1 piece! I am just feeling so overwhelmed with joy and feeling very fulfilled.


    Lisa A. Snyder

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