Artworks Trenton


Dr. Sketchy is group that provides models for art organizations and invites artists to draw and photograph. Artworks in Trenton hosted one of these events and the theme was Tarantino Movies – how great is that? There was even all the great music from the films playing while artists were drawing and photographers were taking pictures. I couldn’t help but think of Cindy Sherman’s series ‘Untitled Film Stills‘ (one of my favorite series’), where the artist put herself in front of the camera as a character from a film – a truly amazing series. In our scenario, we could work with models already in a character from Quentin Tarantino films. The extremely patient models allowed us to pose them and fuss with our lights and camera settings until we were getting the images we wanted.

I decided to try the bright back lighting technique by putting the flash behind the subject on full power and create a hazy glow. The flash is positioned close to the back wall and the subject so the light bounces off the wall and subject producing the glow effect to the image. Some of these effects can be achieved with filters – I just prefer to do it in the camera.


I was invited to create an installation in the ArtLab at Artworks in Trenton. The room was rather large and I wasn’t so sure about building something on-site. So I decided to paint all the walls with chalk board paint and invite the community to write something on the walls with chalk. I called the installation BEFORE I DIE…I WANT TO… which would prompt the visitor to think about what they would like to leave for others to read.

Much to my surprise the room was filled by the time the installation had to be replaced. There were some very funny, sweet, poignant messages left behind for others to see.

Graphology is study and analysis of handwriting, especially in relation to human psychology – and you can’t help thinking about character analysis with some of these messages. Hand writing is a self portrait in type.

Thank you to all those who participated.

Here’s the project blurb:
Before I Die is a community art project where people can share what is important to them by writing a message on the gallery walls. This installation is based on the New Orleans artist Candy Chang. “The wall creates a public space for contemplation and reminds us why we want to be alive in the world today”. Hopefully, participants leave behind declarations, wishes and dreams all to share and remember what is important to them.