Planet Princeton

New Pop-Up Gallery ‘Art Attack’ Opens in Downtown Princeton Friday Night

Some paintings by Princeton artist Chris Harford that are ready to be hung on walls at the Art Attack Pop-up Gallery at the corner of Spring and Tulane streets.
Some paintings by Princeton artist Chris Harford that are ready to be hung on walls at the Art Attack Pop-up Gallery at the corner of Spring and Tulane streets.

Princeton resident Pete Abrams is never short on ideas. He turns large burlap coffee sacks into giant pillows. He takes tires discarded by a manufacturer and fashions them into attractive planters. He builds small dwelling structures from discarded pallets. And perhaps most of all, he loves to take vacant spaces and turn them into places where artists and community members connect.

Art Attack is located at the former YogaStream space on Tulane Street.
Art Attack is located at the former YogaStream space on Tulane Street.

His latest project is Art Attack, a pop-up art gallery and gathering space on Tulane Street at the corner of Spring Street and Tulane, in the space formerly occupied by YogaStream.

This Friday night, Art Attack will be open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.. The launch will feature the work of more than half a dozen local artists, including Princeton resident and native Chris Harford, Tom Sheeran, Silvere Boureau, Wilko, Jon ‘Lank’ Connor, Leon Rainbow, Will ‘Kasso’ Condry and others.

A piece by Chris Harford. The bird was made with stamps.
A piece by Chris Harford. The bird was made with stamps.

Art will be for sale at the pop-up gallery, and 30 percent of the proceeds will go to the S.A.G.E. Coalition, a non-profit that was founded in Trenton to create inner-city beautification projects. S.A.G.E. is a diverse group of artists, engineers, and musicians and teachers dedicated to the rebirth of Trenton and other struggling urban areas. The goal of  the coalition is to remind people in economically depressed neighborhoods that unity, pride, creative problem solving and civic engagement can help neighborhoods thrive.

Art Attack is actually not a new project. Abrams hosted the first Art Attack on Palmer Square seven years ago, and donated a third of the proceeds to HomeFront. Art Attack was a pre-cursor to the popular annual Homefront ArtJam pop-up gallery on Palmer Square.

While arranging artwork on Tuesday afternoon, Abrams recalled the first Art Attack event. He approached David Newton of Palmer Square to pitch the idea of using an empty storefront for a pop-up gallery. Newton said no, but Abrams didn’t give up.

Pete Abrams loves to build things from reclaimed materials. He also has a passion for the arts in Trenton and Princeton.
Pete Abrams loves to build things from reclaimed materials. He also has a passion for the arts in Trenton and Princeton.

“I nagged him until he said yes,” Abrams recalled. “I can be annoying that way.”

The first Art Attack was a success, and a few thousand dollars was raised for HomeFront. Abrams was involved in other arts projects in Trenton for several years, and recently decided to revive Art Attack.

He convinced Judy King to allow him to use her vacant space after YogaStream moved to a new site next to the AvalonBay apartments on Witherspoon Street. Now he hopes to convince the band King’s husband plays in, Gravity Hill, to perform at the space.

Abrams envisions the space as a place where people can celebrate art, music and community. Planned events include live painting, dueling DJ’s, a bike church, and an art exchange — as long as the space remains available.

“We’ll experiment for a month and see what happens,” Abrams said. “There’s a lot of talent in this town that we can highlight here.”

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • Euphrates Clinton

    Well Boozey,
    If that is your real name, I have known this legend in his own mind for longer then I dare.
    His aristocratic parasitism holds no sway with me. Be forewarned, danger lurks, we must think of the children.

  • Boozey Bilgewater

    Someone get that internet troll some troll food and lace it with Roundup. Peter Abrams is more than just the Little Engine that could. He is an industrial locomotive, only faster than a speeding bullet, shot from the hand crafted, sustainably harvested, sling shot of an onrushing artist in residence Amtrak train car. He is not annoying. He is swooned wherever he goes by the art starved masses and other static cabooses left to rust in the train yard of life. He has a full head of hair and is always winning.

  • Euphrates Clinton

    “I nagged him until he said yes” Abrams said “I can be very annoying that way”
    Understatement of the year

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