Friday, October 4, 2013

The Crisis Ministry Hanover Street Garden Summer 2013

The Crisis Ministry Hanover Street Garden

In 2012 the BHOH Community Garden was created in partnership with the Urban Mission Cabinet Inc., The Crisis Ministry and Isles.  Many other others volunteered time, talent and treasures to make this a wonderful share garden.

The basis of the garden would be to share 50% of the produce with the neighborhood through the programs of the Crisis Ministry.

Carolyn Biondi addressing the crowd #1

Carolyn Biondi addressing the crowd #2

Carolyn Biondi addressing the crowd #3
Fast forward Fall of 2012 the physical action steps to create the “Crisis Ministry Hanover Street Garden” begins. 

July 2013, the following are excerpts from the opening presented by Carolyn Biondi, Executive Director [ED] of the Crisis Ministry.


We are pleased to have everyone here to share in the celebration of this wonderful effort to make our garden on Hanover Street a reality.  Jarrett Kerbel former ED, Mark Smith Hunger Prevention Director, landlord Rev. John Allen and Admin.  Maria Newman had dreamed for several years about a green space that would beautify our neighborhood and provide produce for our neighbors in need.

Several partners moved to make that dream a reality:
·      Christen Foell and Bobby Hackett from the Bonner Foundation who provided the funds and support the work of the Crisis Ministry.
·      Jacque Howard and the Rev. Karen Hernandez-Granzen from the Urban Mission Cabinet Inc. who partnered on the Bethany House of Hospitality Community Garden and brought inspired ideas and key partners to the effort on Hanover St.
·      Jim SimonMarty Johnson and Isles Youth Build Institute students, who lent their expertise of urban agriculture, sweat equity and volunteer connections to the project.
·      Artists Will “Kasso” and Jim “Luv One” Kelewae from SAGE Coalition NJ who painted the Richie Havens inspired mural and Wils “Wheels” Kinsley for the bicycle wheeled market cart.
·      Heather McNeil-Nazareth of Mercer County for soil consulting.
·      Christine Thomas of Thomas’ English Gardens for design work.
·      Pineland Nursery for perennials.
·      Hlubik Farms for vegetables and herb plants.
·      SAGE Coalition’s Gandhi Garden for shrubbery and ground cover.
·      Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton University Varsity Club, NRG-Energy, Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopol Church of Hamilton and Janssen Pharmaceuticals for volunteers.
·      Crisis Ministry Board Chair Fred Van Sickle and Boardmembers who provide leadership and vision for the Crisis Ministry in new efforts like this.

Wils Kins with hat, Fabricator of the Bicycle Market Cart

Recycled bicycle parts

Muralist Will Kasso sharing about the Richie Havens inspired mural

Websites of our partners'

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Elissa Horan of "CARE Trenton"


CARE Trenton
Elissa Horan

It was a hot day in the summer 2011 as a team of volunteers worked to cleanout the “manse” of the Bethany Presbyterian Church.  This facility would become the Bethany House of Hospitality.  On that day I met Elissa Horan.

Elissa whose family owns and operated the Horan Funeral Home a block away on Hamilton Ave. for many decades saw some activity in the neighborhood and came over.

It was a typical hot NJ summer day with heat and humidity forcing even the coolest of people to leave puddles while standing still let alone doing manual labor.  In between my demolition of the kitchen I was checking on the volunteers and met Elissa.  

The firm handshake and mini-smile signaled to me a no-nonsense woman.  After 4 hours and two 30yard containers of trash, the dozen or so volunteers met on the steps for a time of sharing and praise.  Standing next to me was Elissa and proudly I say standing with me! 
Later that day we met with others at Trenton Social for lunch and the friendship took off.

During the lunch we shared our backgrounds, thoughts on Trenton, projects and visions.  At that point we knew we were kindred spirits.

Since that initial meeting and chat over food we have partnered on several projects all with bettering Trenton in mind.  Elissa created the organization CARE Trenton.  The focus of the org is to cleanup, beautify and to make Trenton better.  This began when Elissa started cleaning around the outside of her home and the home she grew up in by picking up litter and organizing trash for pickup.  This progressed to cleaning around the block and soon other residents were getting involved.

CARE Trenton would then grow to organizing cleanups around the city with a simple idea that having clean, litter free streets would benefit everyone.  Since the vision is to make Trenton better for everyone, CARE Trenton has partnered with several other groups who have the same vision.  In the 2+ years I have known Elissa, CARE Trenton has organized cleanups at Columbus Park, Hamilton Ave, Roebling Wireworks, Franklin Park, Roma Bank Triangle, Sacred Heart Triangle and Villa Park.  Partnering organizations have included TCCA-Trenton Council of Civic Associations, Villa Park Civic Association, Chambersburg Civic Association, Old Mill Hill Society, Berkley Square Civic Association, FPNEBA-Franklin Parks NE Block Association, 1st Baptist Church of Trenton, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, TCNJ-The College of New Jersey Bonner Center, several local small businesses and many others.

l-r Carol Rogers, Jim Halliday, Robin Erfe, Gabrielle from Social, me and Elissa Horan
In the spring of 2013 a resolution was presented to Trenton City Council by Councilwoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson to recognized CARE Trenton as an official organization whose focus is to make Trenton cleaner, safer and more beautiful for everyone.

As the vision of CARE Trenton is seen by others you can expect more collaboration and partnering all with making the City of Trenton Better!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Anthony Fearron MaddTronix


Anthony Fearron

Anthony Fearron or DJ MaddTronix as he is also known made an impression on me similar to an allergic reaction to a honeybee sting.  Why that analogy you may ask?  

Consider this,
·     Honeybees have specific jobs they must do.  Anyone who has been around Anthony will attest to his focus on creating in every capacity.
·     A sting by a honeybee will surely bring back thoughts of each encounter.      
·     Honeybees are severely misunderstood, underappreciated and unnecessarily feared.

In my opinion Anthony Fearron the “ARTIST” fits all of these.  His work has intense depth with his technique of layering.  His creative spirit provides him the freedom to let the energy dictate what to do next.  Focusing on a singular direction in Anthony’s work is futile, try changing the perspective by rotating the piece!

The Long Island, NY born Fearron graduated from Deer Park High School.  He shared one of his life experiences when friend Pete Shipman introduced him to Jimi Hendrix’s version of the “Star Spangled Banner.”  

Long Time Friend and fellow Artist Karey Maurice Counts (L) and Fearron (R) WIMG Studio 2013

Fearron recalls the moment by saying, “My life had changed at that moment.”  Another statement from Fearron mimics my personal experience when I met Hendrix.  Several people of color didn’t get it and nixed the thought of outside the box thinking, some said, “He’s a white boy, he plays rock n roll etc.”  That didn’t deter me or Fearron and THANK GOD!  Anthony finishes this segment by saying "From that moment I would listen to everything under a stone" referring to music.

MaddTronix rattled off several genres of music and experiences that went with them including House, Disco, the Tramps, New Wave, Semi-Punk, Industrial, Techno, Gothic, Dup-Step, Jungle, Trip-Hop and Glitch for example.  Two stories he shared included how “Ministry’s” Land of Rape & Honey impacted him.  His self-proclamation that he is one of the 1st African Americans into the Industrial/Gothic scene.  He backed this up by saying he was at first Long Island show of Ministry.  This performance took place at the club “Spy’s.”  The other testimony to Tronix and his art and music was his time on the air at WRSU-88.7FM on the campus of Rutgers University.  The link is a collaborative with Daizo from 12/2006.

Tronix gave some info about his time on the air at WRSU from 1996-2007 during the years of the Melody Circuit.  During that time Trenton and New Brunswick had a 4 to 5 bar/club circuit happening.  Those of us from Trenton would start at Mundy’s, Perry’s Clubhouse, Perry’s Club14 then to City Gardens followed by a trip up to New Brunswick’s Roxy(sp) and The Melody.  While we reminisced we laughed about creating a Melody-2 circuit, hmm stay tuned!

10 words on the mind of “Tronix”
1.   wonderful
2.   gift
3.   tomorrow
4.   impression
5.   faith
6.   hope
7.   Bora-Bora
8.  Paris
9.  Japan
10.     Bliss

Anthony spent some time in Japan spinning music and gathering inspiration for painting.  His artwork is in England, Paris, Japan and throughout the USA. 

SOME of his work can be seen at the Exit7A studio on W. Front St. in downtown Trenton as well as 

The Euphemia Gallery 200 North Main St., Hightstown, NJ 08540 609-443-8300

Anthony, like the other many talented men and women in the Trenton art scene has big plans with high expectations, and I believe in him!  Beside his appreciation of the works of Basquiat, a viewing of  Jackson Pollock and Michaelangelo’s work at MOMA inspired him at the age of 10 and motivates him to succeed.   

Here are a couple of quotes to give you some more insight about Anthony Fearron/MaddTronix;
“Everyone has ability, but very few accept it or use it.”

“This is not just the battle but working through it to see victory.”

Tuesday, March 19, 2013



Karey Maurice Counts
Red Balloon Studios

Trenton, Ewing or NYC you choose either way KMC wants respect!  Not in the arrogant way the text may suggest but to understand the current state of art in Trenton had several people who led, paved or blazed the way.  KAMO as he is also known has various terms that describe his craft one of them is MDNP-Multi-dimensional Neo-Pop artist.

                                                TOOLS OF THE TRADE

We met several years ago in his 
Trenton studio located in the 
Conduit building on Broad Street.  
At that time he was creating 
mixed media pieces with a focus 
on spray paint.  Going back further 
Karey shares about his exposure 
to blueprints, maps and how he 
navigated the streets of Trenton 
as a courier. 

L-R Vanity Sabelnik, TC Nelson, Karey Maurice Counts
During our conversation shortly after        
his opening at Trenton Social he 
shared about growing up in Ewing 
and his early life in art.  His experiences 
traveling to the “village” in NY and 
hanging in the art scene that gave him 
exposure to other artists who are 
now household names like Keith Haring.  

As his talent grew and because of his relationship with the art scene in NY Karey no doubt recognized and adopted the belief in the following statements he shared with me.

“Art is a business and all artists should look at it this way, a lack of respect for this will devalue the artist and all of their work!”

“Artist should consider a contract including details on purchase, sale, rental and where it can be shown.”

“Keep a database of work created with complete documentation.
This will help to protect your legacy.”

KAMO wanted me to make it very clear that art is a market and people would be wise to look into owning original art.  He gave an example of how it bothers him that parents will spend $100 for sneakers that are mass-produced and then thrown away.  He suggested they consider spending $50 on the kicks and $50 on some art!  I know if Karey had his way the term starving artist would be erased from our lips along with bullying and racism.

Karey also shared his interests in several genres of music especially house.

KMC with WTSR DJ Ms. Sue/Ms. Sue
So nice they named her twice!
A few of KAMO's friends

Other interests include traveling, European and Mediterranean countries, Miami, mountain biking and spending time with friends.  He closed our time together with a “nugget” by sharing he has more photographic work then anything, of course it’s cataloged and in storage.  Maybe he will let me see some of those items the next time.

Karey Maurice Counts is a conscientious man with a focus on sharing and acknowledging the past.  His physical limitations have slowed his movements but not his craft!  Take a look at his work and get in touch.