on the grounds
The 1719 William Trent House
A celebration of 300 years of Trenton History
On display June 22 – November 3, 2019
Wednesday through Sunday 12:30-4 pm
Once settlers from across the ocean began to inhabit the lands of the Lenape on the banks of the Delaware, Trenton has been home to immigrants: both to those who came here willingly, seeking jobs and opportunity for a better life, and to those who came here under duress. The William Trent House, its inhabitants, its surroundings and its circumstances represent that history. It is the history of the town, of the state, indeed of the nation.
As part of the 300th anniversary of the House and to help us shine a light on her whole story, the Trent House Association has invited four sculptors to display works that evoke the immigrant experience during the 300 + year history of the William Trent House and surrounding area.
Works by Peter Abrams, Peter Drago, Kathryn Graves and David Robinson are on display.
Pete Abrams is an artist working primarily in metal fabrication using found and upcycled materials to create beautiful functional objects. He has been working in and around Trenton for over 20 years being the founder of Trenton Atelier (2007- 2015) on Allen street: the original incubation of Sage Coalition. He is the creative mind behind the B-Home (2002 – present), founder of the Hive, a creative collective on North Clinton street and the artist behind Modern Metal Work llc,. He currently is living on a farm and has expanded into agri-sculpture, combining his fabrication and found object skills to create functional structures for chicken coops, planters and on-going experimentation inspired by agricultural life. He is investigating under utilized-spaces that can operate as a community gathering and experimentation place and hopes to be part of the re-vitalzation of this wonderful vibrant town of Trenton.
Trenton sculptor and 2015 recipient of the Paul Robeson Emerging Young Artist Award at the mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University Peter Drago says of his piece Guardian: The reclaimed tools used to create Guardian embody the lifestyle of immigrant culture in this country. Immigration symbolizes starting over. Beginning again requires rebuilding, reusing and recreating life though the use of tools.
This lifestyle and struggle of rebuilding generated by hard work can be understood by common laborers.
Tool use transformed New Jersey into the Garden State and the City of Trenton into a once world-renowned industrial center.
Bucks County, PA sculptor Kate Graves makes cast and fabricated metal sculpture in bronze, iron, aluminum and steel. Her Returning Sturgeon to the River series uses many materials at varying scales to represent the seldom-seen presence of this magnificent 150 million year old species in the Delaware River, calling attention to its brush with extinction at the hands of humans and industry.
“My artwork is informed by local natural and built environments, including the needs and desires of their inhabitants. My interest lies in observing generative and destructive cycles of civilization and culture. I document buildings, trees and animals that are held in the flux of unseen forces, seeking to capture evidence of the interpenetration of nature and time.”
Permanent public art commissions include a fourteen foot tall, outdoor “Butterfly Tree” sculpture in bronze and stainless steel at the D&R Greenway in Princeton, NJ; three seven foot tall steel interior “Healing Tree” sculptures at Capital Health in Hopewell, NJ; a stone table on the Princeton University campus, and three life-sized, figurative cast bronze memorial sculptures. Five bronze castings of abandoned Trenton buildings, her ZERO TOLERANCE AREA series, are installed at Hobler Park in Montgomery Township. Graves’ nine foot cast bronze sculpture of a Sturgeon is currently sited at Ferry Street Park in New Hope, PA, where it has an excellent view of the Delaware River.
David Robinson is one of the premier builders of rustic gazebos and landscape work in the country. After six years as field supervisor for restoration in Central Park, New York, he founded Natural Edge in 1986, where his unique way of working with cedar and osage orange logs has won him national acclaim.
While working on the reconstruction of the many rustic structures that were in the original Olmsted and Vaux design for Central Park, Robinson came to appreciate the charm and beauty of these structures. He saw that the warmth and character of the rustic work gave people a feeling of pleasure and often triggered memories of places from their past.