TRENTON – The heart of Trenton sat at the intersection of Dye Street and South Clinton Avenue Saturday evening.
In the midst of heaping plates of fried dough, neon spray-painted canvasses and rap-rock fusion music, Trenton residents gathered Saturday for the annual event "Art All Night."
The festivities were just kicking off Saturday afternoon with local bands and artists displaying and presenting their work on three different stages in and around the Roebling Wire Works. The event, which celebrated its tenth anniversary this weekend, is meant to bring community members together for 24 hours of local art.
For many residents the event is a way to showcase the best parts of Trenton and celebrate their city.
"Trenton has been in such turmoil," resident Tyrisha Simmons said, mentioning the increasing number of shootings in the state capital in the past weeks and months. "This shows what's positive about the city."
Simmons said she planned to come back Saturday night with her girlfriends and sisters, adding, "We do this every year."
Those positive aspects were out in full force Saturday afternoon. Canvasses of local artists that were set up across the inside of the wire works building, poured over into the sidewalk outside. Everything from oil paintings of landscapes to towering boards of graffiti art was displayed.
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At some booths, art was in action.
Nicholas Toth, of JM Glassworks in Roselle, leaned on a fence outside of a makeshift glass studio booth Saturday, twirling a pair of glass blowing tweezers. He was talking animatedly about the tables behind him where artists used torches and tools to blow glass in front of an audience.
"Where we live, it's not an art district. We can't display (glass blowing)," he said.
But Art All Night gave them a venue to showcase their craft.
"There are likeminded people here," he said, nodding to the side at a large group that gathered to watch glass be transformed. "All different kinds of people are interested. A lot of people don't usually see the dedication and love that goes into it," Toth said.
His only complaint?
"I wish they did this (event) two to three times a year."
For at least one group of artists, the event was more than a celebration – it was a chance for something big.
Trenton band, "KC Slater and Shy The Duke," have only been together for a year but they have been "jamming" for a long time before that – ever since they were kids, band member Andrew Karis said.
They describe themselves as hip-hop meets rock meets R&B and they've had success playing some local shows, but Art All Night was the venue they've been gunning for, for a while.
"It all kind of came together," band member Chris Liverman said.
Anna Merriman may be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @anna_merriman Find The Times of Trenton on Facebook.
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