Round the Clock Community Spirit

Posted on by Dodge

Michelle Knapik, Environment Program Director

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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And let’s not foget the live demonstrations.

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The iron pour was a spetacular event.

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

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

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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:

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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?

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