Arts & Entertainment

Pink Dragon Take-Over of East Orange Train Station Using Art As a Weapon

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EAST ORANGE, NJ - There are times when words alone are not expressive enough to describe an event; and during those moments, the old adage, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ comes to mind. Such was the case during the second annual MACFest celebration in East Orange this past Saturday where Linda Street and her team at Pink Dragon Artist Syndicate, LLC, introduced live art exhibits.  

Prior to the event, Linda notified the press, sending news releases explaining the process of their proposed live art exhibit; but nothing said could adequately expressed the impact of viewing the artistry and passion demonstrated on location.

The Pink Dragon Artist Syndicate (PDAS) mission to change the world through art, culture, fashion and funk, kicked into high gear at the 2nd Annual East Orange MACFest Music, Art & Culture festival, on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at City Hall Plaza. The city’s festival and it’s hundreds of attendees, served as the perfect backdrop for the Pink Dragon Pop-Up. 

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The East Orange-based arts organization and consulting firm, celebrated their newly attained status in the NJ TRANSIT Adopt-A-Station program and launched the Art Is My Weapon public arts campaign.

The Art Is My Weapon campaign is a unique collaboration with renowned, international street artist TMNK aka The Me Nobody Knows, a native son of East Orange. Through projects, events and unique merchandise, the Art Is My Weapon concept will be propagated, along with fundraising to bring a commissioned art installation, exhibition and programming by TMNK to his hometown for the first time.

The PDAS Pop-Up booth was abuzz during EO MACFest, as team members enlightened and engaged festival attendees, promoting the campaign with branded give-aways, a raffle and original art from TMNK. The PDAS booth provided a gateway to the live mural painting exhibition, happening simultaneously at the adjacent East Orange Train Station.

This was the historic first occasion of public art at this East Orange landmark, originally built in 1883. Cellophane wrap was stretched across the station’s majestic pillars, to serve as four artist canvases. The featured artists: Kern Bruce; Angela Pilgrim; Taha Rogers; and Steve Green, were selected by Linda Street, ‘Chief Chick’ of PDAS. 

Using only brushes and aerosol sprays to create temporary paintings on this medium presented an exciting, new challenge for even these seasoned artists. It was also a rare opportunity for the public to share in an artist’s creative process and witness the evolution of each distinctive piece. The thoughtful development of the work occurred over the course of 5-6 hours.

The completed murals remained on display throughout the evening, to the delight of dozens of festival goers of all ages, who created a steady flow of visitors to this impromptu outdoor gallery! 

Activating “art as a weapon” transformed the previously ‘abandoned-like‘ station into a lively hub of artistic wonderment and appreciation. Under the NJ TRANSIT Adopt-A-Station program guidelines, the temporary installation was removed the following morning. Follow Pink Dragon Artist Syndicate on Facebook to see videos and photos from the event and to learn how you can support the Art Is My Weapon public art campaign.

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