Turning the corner on mid-July, this third Decan of Cancer correlates to the image of the Ryōgoku bridge in Hokusai’s Mt. Fuji cycle. Ryōgoku was once home to the mansion of Kira Yoshinaka, an early 18th century master of ceremony, whose alleged demand for bribes from his student, Asano Naganori, set off a chain of events that became a cornerstone of Japanese lore. When a frustrated Asano drew his sword and attempted, but failed, to kill Kira, he was obliged to commit seppuku, taking his own life and leaving behind 47 ronin (samurai without a master). After plotting revenge for more than a year and successfully avenging their Master, the 47 ronin surrendered to the Shogunate, knowing the fate of ritual suicide by disembowelment also awaited them. But while this tale ends on a gruesome and tragic note, this incident, known as the “Ako Vendetta”, is also considered emblematic of valor, honor and persistence to a cause. To this day, there is an annual festival held at Sengakuji Temple commemorating the event, but unfortunately there is no contest in which dogs dressed as samurai are awarded cash gifts.
Friday, July 12
City of Trenton Bastille/Barkstille Day Celebration: Waiter’s Race, French Cuisine/Entertainment, Vendors and Costume Awards for Marie Antoinette and Franco-Fashionable dogs. S. Warren btwn. E. State and Lafayette sts., Trenton, 4-8 pm, Free and Open to the Public. trentonnj.org
Ellarslie Openings: The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie, Cadwalader Park, Trenton, Free, 6 – 7 Members & Artists, 7 – 8:30 pm General Public ellarslie.org
Ren and Stimpy, A Day at the Museum: Back in 1988, before Trenton resident Frank Sasso became an animator, he worked for a television broadcast equipment manufacturer in Paramus, NJ. When the company decided to expand their services, a spot opened up to lead their art and animation department. Since then, he has been the chief remote penciller for Stimpy from the children’s television series, The Ren & Stimpy Show. Sasso is also an award-winning podcaster and is a contributing member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) in which he holds 3 “Member Excellence” commendations for his industry articles to the organization and is a long-standing member of the American Cinema Editors (ACE).
Our Town, Works by Mel Leipzig: Trenton legend and retired professor of art at Mercer County Community College shares his unique view of colleagues, students and dozens of people he has known in his adopted city.
Janet Purcell….25 Years Covering the Arts: The Trenton Museum Society honors the art and writings of Janet Purcell with a solo exhibit. Every Friday for more than 25 years the “Good Times” section of the Times of Trenton featured a review of the arts in the greater Trenton, Mercer and Bucks county area by writer Janet Purcell. On display in the Malloy Gallery are examples of her diverse artwork as well as samples of her writing: the three novels she has written, her numerous articles in DesignNJ, and several of the hundreds of memorable weekly art reviews she has written for Good Times, now numbering well over fifteen hundred..
Saturday, July 13
Live Calligraphy Demonstration and Artist Talk with Mariam Rajput: In Conjunction with her solo exhibition, The Kitab Series, Award Winning artist Mariam Rajput will be presenting a live Arabic calligraphy demonstration portraying the delicate composition of Arabic lettering. As portrayed in her new collection of works, there is a characteristic expression of the Islamic spirit that brings life to classical expressions of Islamic art. Mariam will introduce variations of traditional Arabic scripts, the function and quality of each one and the dense writing techniques used to create them; including Maghrebi calligraphy, an art of Arabic lettering used in the early 13th century in the middle east. BSB Gallery, 143 E. State St., Trenton, 1-4 pm, Free and Open to the Public, facebook.com/events
Summer Sol Splash: Bringing together the spirit of art and music, Sol Splash is a an evening full of positive music, amazing art and good vibrations! This live music and art show features 3 live reggae bands (Coastal Envy, Newness, Highbration) and 20+ national artists and live art demos. Coopers Riverview, 50 Riverview Plaza, Trenton, $15.00 (comes with a free drink), 8pm. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org, coopersnj.com
Sunday, July 14
Mel on Mel: Mel Leipzig discusses his unique artistic vision. Participants are invited to stay and chat with the artist until the museum closes at 4 pm. Seating is limited, reserve your seat in advance.1:30-4pm $15, $10 members
Live Painting: Mel Leipzig will be painting on site in the galleries July 13 – July 21, and September 5 – 7, 2019. Visitors to the exhibit can meet the artist and observe him at work. The completed work will be revealed at the close of the exhibit on September 8, 2019. The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie, Cadwalader Park, Trenton, ellarslie.org
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Photo/Artist Credit: Production cell of “Stimpy” from the collection of animator Frank Sasso, chief remote penciller for the cartoon series. “Ren and Stimpy, A Day at the Museum“ is on view at Ellarslie from July 12- Sept. 8.