Tag Archives: Artist

Trenton Through the Lens of Alternative Art

By Brie Wells

Tyrese Douglass and Gia Richardson, two young local artists, have chosen to share their vision for alternative art in Trenton through the medium of sketches. Tyrese, also known as “Reese,” was a born and raised in Trenton, and has been using art as a way to express himself since his childhood. Gianna Richardson, also known as “Gia,” developed her love for art when she was eight years old after moving from her hometown of Wilmington, Del. to Trenton, N.J.

The two met in elementary school and later developed a relationship in high school, where they began to collaborate on pieces while sharing a deep passion for art. The pair chooses to create art in their home, allowing their creative process to develop in the space in which they inhabit.

In settling on their art style, Reese developed the pen name “Starboy” and Gia penned herself “Stargirl TD.” The inspiration for both names sparked from personal values and experiences from their lives, which have led them to where they are today. A pen name is a descriptor that marks the designs of an artist; Both artists feel that their pen name is a perfect representation of who they are.

“It represents my name and my favorite number,” Richardson said. “The ‘G’ represents my first name and the ‘S’ represents my family name, and my favorite number is two.” Inspiration for the focus of their art often comes from their surroundings, the internet and whatever they can think of. Coming from a large family, four brothers and three sisters, Reese hopes to one day follow in his older brother’s footsteps and work in a museum as an art curator.

Both find solace in creating art to different types of music, with Reese preferring smooth jazz and Gia preferring rap music. As they prepare to create their own works, they both lean toward pens, mechanical pencils and markers to translate their ideas onto the page.

Both plan to go to art school and hone their craft as they continue to experiment with different mediums. Gia hopes to channel her creativity into tattoo artistry. With their hopes, both have become passionate about framing and showing their art to the world. “We want to show people how much we love art and all the different art genres we can do,” Richardson said.

Both artists continue to reside in Trenton and hope to share that the city brings so much joy to their hearts. They urge other aspiring artists “to never to give up.” Although only 19 and 20 years old, the two artists hope to continue to bring their art all over the world while paying homage to where their journeys began: Trenton, N.J.

Kimberley Lennon: A Face at ArtSpace

By McKenna Samson

Kimberley Lennon sat at the corner of a work table at ArtSpace, drinking juice from her cup as we began our interview. We began discussing the origins of her artistry. 

“I started doing art when I was five. I really discovered that it was a passion around nine. My Kindergarten teacher bought my first piece of art. She paid $50 for a crayon drawing of flowers. She told me that ‘I know you’re gonna get really big, I want to buy your first piece’…she made me sign it, too.” Lennon said. The support of her teacher, especially at a young age, encouraged her to continue to cultivate her talents and expand her art. 

In 2007, Lennon found herself, a single mother, in a shelter. She made her way to ArtSpace at Homefront. The mothers at ArtSpace were instructed to attend art classesfor stress relief, and that’s where Kimberley Lennon crossed paths with Ruthann Traylor, the Director of ArtSpace. Lennon loved the creative space, as it allowed for her and the other women to channel their emotions and experiences out into a creative, safe space. “It was just really nice to be around like-minded artists. From then on, it just became a wrap pretty much. From 2007 and now, I’ve been at ArtSpace.”

When Lennon is not adding to her expansive and diverse collection of paintings, she is exploring several other avenues of art.

“I don’t just paint…I do poetry, I do free verse. I write music…I do lyrics. I do photography, I sew. I crochet, I paint, draw. I do everything art. Primarily, I am focusing on painting, writing, and photography.” Lennon said, taking a sip of grape juice. She giggled, explaining that her art comes from a place of passion. Her inspiration for her art comes from a place of her raw creativity–her dreams.

“Most of the time, I dream up my art and it’s like an obsession,” she said. “I have to get it out of my head.” Lennon finds herself in different series; she shared that she painted The Purple People series and the Freedom series for some time before moving onto her current Reflective series. We shared a laugh as she noted that the Reflective series has caused her to do a lot of reflection on herself.

Towards the end of our time together, Lennon shared with me two of her favorite poems, “Dear Little Broken Mind” and “I Am,” the latter being a part of her Freedom Series. The intersections of her identity–race, gender, class, ability–all come together to form her poem, a deeply introspective poem. 

Lennon’s work has been in art shows, sold and many of her pieces hang on the walls of ArtSpace, allowing for any and all who come in, to see her signature work. Kimberley is constantly creating art, we are excited to see what work she’ll produce in the future!