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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...3/30/17

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 03/30/2017

"I'm a fine art painter but I've had a huge career in collaborative art. I do these paintings called "Finger Smears," I sort of coined that term I guess," said a smiling Kelly Sullivan; the owner of "Kelly Sullivan Fine Art" in Lambertville, NJ. "Collaborative art", she went on to say, "Is Where hundreds of people paint on one canvas and I orchestrate them from beginning to end." 

Petite in size, Sullivan stands tall in the world of art, possibly only outdone by the 88" x 68" acrylic on canvas titled, "Rock and Roll Voodoo" which hangs above the desk of her third floor studio. This particular painting was finger smeared and signed by all of the Rolling Stones,"I've had over 80,000 people stick their fingers in paint for me over the past 20 years, including all of the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, Harrison Ford, William Dafoe, Carol Burnett and a ton of sporting figures. I do these pieces to commemorate events all over the country." 

Living in California, Sullivan was doing what she could as an artist to keep her passion for painting and art alive as she worked towards the goal of success. "I was in my twenties and working in San Francisco,"  she said with positive reflection. "I tended bar at a place that got this catering job and I had just started doing finger smear events around the city for friends of mine. This was around the time they had started to cut funding for arts education, which I think is really a dangerous and terrible thing. So I produced this hands on arts festival and I got it sponsored by Haagen-Dazs and they gave us a ton of ice cream and hardly any money so I had to come up with a way to have all of these different studios function on ridiculously low amounts of money. I actually ran the painting studio myself and I had enough money to buy one big canvas and no brushes and that's how it started. Then I started doing it for friends of mine that produced events in the city and they were really well received, they were fun! Then I had a meeting for one event that I was doing for free and the PR director for Macy's was sitting next to me at the bar and she slid me her card and said, "Call me, I think we can do something," so the Macy's flower show in San Francisco was my first paying job. It was the first time I realized that someone would actually pay me to show up and finger paint for them (laughs)!" 

Originally from Hunterdon County New Jersey, Sullivan spent seven years on the west coast and in the process started her collaborative art empire, met her spouse, moved back east and opened up a fabulous studio; all  while realizing that success comes in various forms and that money doesn't necessarily equate with it. "Well you know, the fact that there needs to be an income attached to it is a bit of a drag sometimes. Making money is not my end goal, it's just a fact of reality. If I want dinner and I want healthcare and I want stability, then money has to be part of the equation. The end goal is the same as the current goal, it's to live an inspired life and to create a better environment for myself and the people that I love and I use art as a vehicle to do that."

One of the avenues that she's using to create the "Better environment" through art is a project called, "Mighty Fingers Facing Change," which she has begun to take international. "I'm working on taking it around the world," she explained. "We work through existing organizations and all the girls do a piece of art about themselves that they keep and then they all participate in one canvas that goes from place to place to place. Then in each location, the girls all create a piece of art like a post card or something that we take to the next location. I had a stack of cards from Uganda that we took to the girls in India, then the girls in India made a stack of cards that we'll take to the girls wherever we go next which may likely be Australia or South America." 

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Not only is art the motivation but community outreach also comes into play when she travels abroad. "When we went to India and Uganda, it was a little more robust of a project. We were there for a couple of weeks and we incorporated writing, in Uganda we incorporated a writing program into it, a sewing program into it, we actually started the art department there so we had enough supplies for this brand new school that we helped finish building. We built desks, we actually taught some basics of art and then when we went to India we were in two different locations. We built a permanent art room at an orphanage so that the girls had access to it moving forward. There was a budget committed to it to make sure that it stayed funded and then we worked with country girls and village girls way up north and did a similar project with them." 

"Collaborative art is powerful and the way that I create it I think is fun," she stated in confident tones. "People remember it and it means something and then when the piece winds up as a piece of permanent art..." 

Then as her voice trailed off, she turned her attention to a curious shopper and upon returning, stated the wonder of art as it relates to one's individual tastes and personalities. "Most people that come in here don't even realize what they're walking into," she said with a laugh. "They wander upstairs and they're like, "Wow," so I think, honestly, most people that come to a place like this, that are willing to wander around in a place like this; they want to find something. They're looking for a little piece of magic or something special or something unique and out of the ordinary that they're not going to find at Target or someplace like that. I think the people that shop in this type of place have a unique sense of design and curiosity to begin with. Those that actually make it up to the third floor, the hearty ones have a unique sense of design and curiosity and most of them love it." 

Sullivan has an eye towards technology as well and is currently developing and testing a web application which simulates a blank white canvas on which a collaborative of people can add their personal touches and much like the physical canvas, they can paint in the virtual world either alone or as part of the collaborative. "You can start a painting simultaneously here and all over the world. You can launch a public project and anybody that has access to the internet can log onto it and join in. This is gonna be crazy cool! We want this to be a free application. We want people to be able to use it and spread art and do more art together, it has a very calming effect when you sit there and touch it and you see the marks. It is calming and fun and it can be done with five people or with 5,000 people or you can just pick a template and do it all by yourself. This has a whole lot of potential and a lot of uses in a lot of different segments like non-profits, school institutions, or corporations, or families. Art really is a universal language so we are not limited by trying to fit it into some segment of humanity. We want it to be free for the most part but it costs money to maintain so we'll be looking for sponsors along with an upgraded version to come later and we plan on getting artists to contribute the templates and they'll benefit from that as well." 

Sullivan is not your typical fine artist as one can tell from her diverse background. When asked what she feels separates her from the rest of the pack, her answer was quick and poignant. "Funny thing about being in the creative field is that it's totally unique to the individual. Anybody that leads this creative life and chooses to make a career out of the arts finds their way in a lot of different ways and just because you have success one day doesn't mean that you'll have success the next day. Somebody said to me, "Oh you're really talented" and I thought to myself, I'm not talented I'm tenacious; tenacity is the talent. The work just develops if you continue to practice it and do it. The work just gets better and better and better, it's just the way it goes. So the ability to work and continue to practice is what the talent is. There is as much time spent on the back end of the business to maintain this career as time spent at my easel and I need to balance both to make it work." 

Sullivan has made it work very well for her despite not always having the total backing of worried parents and family members who, like any other, only want the best for their children. Sullivan laughs a bit now when she looks back at her father in particular as she was still developing her talents and formulating her passion for art. "My dad was worried that I was going to be living in a refrigerator box on the streets of New York City if I kept up this art foolishness," she explained with a hearty laugh. "Now? Now I'm their daughter the artist (laughs). I wouldn't trade it for anything and I'm happy I've stuck with it all of these years. I'm happy that I was tenacious enough to stick with it. I feel like I've gotten to a point where I've studied enough where I have creative freedom to push colors and compositions in different directions. It's gotten to the point where it's more fun for me now. I don't have to worry about whether it pops or the colors go together, I'm definitely having more fun with it." 

The Kelly Sullivan Fine Art Studio/Gallery is located at 28 N. Union Street on the third floor of "The People's Store" in Lambertville, NJ and to find out more about Kelly, Finger Smears and all that she has to offer in the world of art; please visit

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That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!

This week's event listings

Backstage at Championship Bar 
931 Chambers Street Trenton
Fri. 7 p.m. Sunday Best, Dan Ex Machina, Funeral Students, Kold Blooded, (TBA). All ages, $10
Bill's Olde Tavern
2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton
(609) 586-0192
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke Contest (Cash prizes) 
Ages 21+ 
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33 Hamilton 
(609) 245-8887
Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam
Bowman's Tavern
1600 River Road New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2972
Thurs. 6 p.m. Debra & Patrick
Fri. 8 p.m. Bob Egan
Sat. 7:30 p.m. Dave Dales Trio
Sun. (12 p.m.) Ottmar (6 p.m.) Lorenzo
Mon. 6 p.m. Andy Prescott
Tues. 6 p.m. Fermenters Trio
Wed. 6 p.m. Lorenzo
Candlelight Lounge 
24 Passaic Street Trenton
(609) 695-9612
 Sat. 3 p.m. Orrin Evans Jazz Birthday. $10 (cover charge/$10 Minimum includes buffet) 
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
(609) 298-9182
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night
Wed. 9 p.m. Quizzo Trivia 
City Streets 
510 Highway 130 South East Windsor
(609) 426-9400
Fri. 9 p.m. Kindred Spirit
Mon. 9 p.m. "Malibu Mondays" w/ DJ Brett Gash
Tues. 9 p.m. Trivia w/ Jessie and Chelsea
Wed. 6:30 p.m. "Wine Down Wednesdays" w/ Rich Genoval 
Main Street Hightstown 
(609) 241-7103
Check Web Site for Programming
Dadz Bar & Grill
744 Main Street Lumberton
(609) 267-4344
Thurs. 10 p.m. "Pong Tournament"
Fri. 10 p.m. The Drunk Monkeys
Sat. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Dubbs
Sun. 4 p.m. Curbie Ciamarra
Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Superstar Entertainment
Dempster's Pub
437 Pine Street Mount Holly
(609) 261-0500
Thurs. 8:30 p.m. DJ DNIAL
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Chris
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
(215) 788-2855
Thurs. 8 p.m. John Rodden
Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour" feat. Gino Turchi 
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. David Dzubinski (9 p.m.) Gypsy Mother
Sun. (11 a.m.)"Sunday Brunch" feat. Keli Vale (4 p.m.) Jeff Selby
Wed. 8 p.m. Joe Robinson
Fran's Pub
116 S. Main Street New Hope, PA.
Fri. 8 p.m. Gyrl Band
All shows age 21+
Freddies Tavern
12 Railroad Avenue Ewing
(609) 882-0978
Sat. 8 p.m. Gyrl Band
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Joe Vadala
Grover's Mill Coffee House
Princeton-Hightstown Road Princeton Junction
(609) 716-8771
Thurs. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Anker
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA. 
(215) 862-9897
Fri. 8 p.m. "Journeyman" A Tribute to Eric Clapton feat. Members of the John Waote Band and More. Doors at 6 p.m., $20
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Lauralea & Tripp Fabulous. Ages 21+, Doors at 8 p.m., $7
Sun. (1 p.m.) The Midnight Sun Orchestra (8 p.m.) The Levin Brothers. Doors at 6 p.m., $30 
Mon. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Wed. 8 p.m. "Local Original Music Series" Hosted by Pat Foran 
Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn
15 East Broad Street Hopewell
(609) 466-9889
Fri. 8 p.m. Open Mic.
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
(609) 737-4465
Thurs. 6 p.m. Vince DiMura
Fri. 6 p.m. Hopewell Valley Vineyards Jazz Ensemble
Sat. 6 p.m. (TBA)
Sun. 2 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. (TBA)
Wed. 6 p.m. "Farm-to-Table Dinner" w/ local artist Avery Williamson. $65
Hurricane Jacks Bar and Grill
7759 New falls Road Levittown, PA
(267) 914-4517
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Fri. 8 p.m. Undercover the Peoples Band
Sat. 9 p.m. (TBA)
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Iron Plow Vineyards
26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus
(732) 306-9111
Fri. 6 p.m. Grouser Girls
Sat. 1 p.m. Gregg Parker
Sun. 1 p.m. "Jazzy Sunday"
Ivy Tavern 
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
(609) 888-1435
Fri. 9 p.m. Gunsmoke
Sat. 9 p.m. Kindred Spirit
All shows 21+
John & Peter's 
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-5981
Thurs. 9 p.m. Room For MoJo
Fri. 9 p.m. Albert Savage
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night  
Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
Killarney's Publick House
1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton
(609) 586-1166
Thurs. 5 p.m. Dave Murray
Laurita Winery
85 Archertown Road New Egypt
(609) 752-0200
Thurs. 6 p.m. "Girls Night Out" Chocolate and Wine
Sat. (12 p.m.) Vintage British Car Show (1 p.m.) Rick Winow (6 p.m.) "The British Invasion Years" (Check availability as of publication this show was SOLD OUT)
Sun. 1 p.m. First Call
Wed. 6 p.m. "Girls Night Out" Zumba and Wine 
Legend's Tap
318 High Street Burlington City
(609) 386-3001
Fri. 7 p.m. Brian Foy
Mamma Rosa's 
572 Klockner Road Hamilton 
(609) 588-5454
Thurs. 6 p.m. Open Mic. Hosted by Richard Schneider 
McStews Irish Sports Pub
5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA
(215) 949-9570
Thurs. 10:30 p.m."Beer Pong" w/ DJ RV & MC Slim
Fri. 10 p.m. Fish Out Of Water
Sat. 10 p.m. "Metal Night" feat. Starskream, SoLow, Pravada
Tues. 7 p.m. Quizzo hosted by Mike
Millhill Basement
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-1600
Tues. 10 p.m. "Local Artist" Hip Hop, Experimental EDM and Bass Music Showcase 
New Hope Winery
6123 Lower York Road New Hope, PA
(215) 794-2331
Sat. 8 p.m. Suzanne Westenhoefer. Doors at 7 p.m., $25
Nook's PourHouse
2043 Route 130 South Florence
(609) 447-0927
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia Tuesday w/ Quizoholics
Olde Liberty Tavern
2114 Liberty Street Trenton
(609) 396-2262
Sat. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Road Hamilton
(609) 838-7979
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21 +
PANJ Radio
Bridge Street Lambertville
(609) 460-4673
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. M.A. Tappan
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton
(609) 585-8008
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Tom Reock & Ernie White
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Bears Choke
Plumsted Grill 
457 Route 539 Cream Ridge 
(609) 758-5552
Fri. 9 p.m. John & Maggs
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 424-3766
Check web site for upcoming eventsRHO Waterfront50 Riverview Plaza Trenton
(609) 393-7300
Thurs. 10 p.m. "College Night" feat. DJ Nater / DJ SoWavveyy. Ages 21+
Sat. 8 p.m. "Dance and Dinner Buffet" feat. Boss Radio AM Gold (BRAG). Doors at 7 p.m., $25
Small World Coffee
14 Witherspoon Street Princeton 
Sat. 8:30 p.m. Mr. Chris & Alley
South Rio
120 South Warren Street Trenton
(609) 943-2123
Thurs. 7 p.m. "All You Can eat Crabs." Music, Drink Specials, Sports on TV
Tues. "$2 Tuesday"
1867 Sanctuary 
101 Scotch Road Ewing
(609) 392-6409
Sat. 8 p.m. Joe Holt. $20
Sun. (3 p.m.) Luiz Simas. $20 (7 p.m.) "Songs of Love and Light" feat. Glassbrook Vocal Ensemble
Tara's Tavern 
1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown
(609) 286-2300
Fri. 10 p.m. Audio Pilot
Sat. 10 p.m. El Ka Bong
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main Street Hightstown
(609) 426-9345
Fri. (7:30 p.m.) Charnett Moffett. $25 (Upstairs) (9 p.m.) Funk Point 5 (Main Bar)
Sat. 9 p.m. (TBA) 
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 
Temperance House 
5 South State Street Newtown, PA
(215) 944-8050
Thurs. 7 p.m. Blues Open session w/ Steve Guyger

Fri. 7 p.m. Jeff Corbett
Sat. 7 p.m. "Love For Life" Karaoke Party
Wed. 7 p.m. Live Jazz w/ John Sheridan & Friends
The Cool Cricket
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro
(609) 291-9110
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Sat. 9 p.m. Unleashed
The Dubliner
34 North Main Street New Hope, PA
(215) 693-1816
Fri. 8 p.m. Seamus Kelleher
Mon. 7 p.m. "Monday Night Session"
The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street Bordentown
(609) 291-7020
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 8 p.m. (TBA)
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 921-8555
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Rockin' Ron
Fri. 10 p.m. Papa DeLux & The Main Street Groove
Sat. 10 p.m. The Ruckus
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv
Wed. 10 p.m. "Wednesday Wheel Night Spin To Win Karaoke" w/ DJ Rockn Ron
The Pines Tavern
6217 North Radcliffe Street Bristol, PA
(215) 788-1659
 Sat. 9 p.m. The Mix
The Raven 
385 West Bridge Street New Hope, PA
(215) 862-2081
Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Dance Party
Mon. 7 p.m. Ghosha
Wed. 6 p.m. Dena Underwood
The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 324-0880
Fri. 8 p.m. billy Hector Experience. All ages, Doors at 7:30 p.m., $15 (advance)
The Roost 
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
(609) 208-0050 
Fri. 9 p.m. (TBA)
Sat. 9 p.m. Ernie White
The Sticky Wicket 
2465 South Broad Street Hamilton
(609) 439-0007
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke
The Sun National Bank Center 
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 656-3200
Check website for upcoming events
Tir Na Nog 
1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton
(609) 392-2554
Fri. 9 p.m. Oliver McElhone
Sat. 9 p.m. Billy Walsh
Sun. 3 p.m. "Irish Sessions" w/ Kathy DeAngelo & Dennis Gormley
All shows  21+
Trenton Buzz
702 Pine Street Trenton
(609) 392-6000
Fri. 8 p.m. Live Band & Open Mic. 
Trenton Social
449 South Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-7777
Thurs. 8 p.m. "Audio History of Funk and Soul" w/ Professor DJ Tangency
Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Night w/ Benny
Wed. 6 p.m. Dick Gratton 
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-8300
Fri. 10 p.m. Red Means Run ($5 cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. Fooling April ($5 cover charge)
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Stage Night (Sign ups at 6:30 p.m.)
All shows 21+ 
Triumph Brewing Company (Princeton, NJ Location)
138 Nassau Street Princeton
(609) 924-7855
Fri. 10 p.m. John Savage Band
sat. 10 p.m. Rich Scannella Group
All shows 21+
Wildflowers Inn
2572 Pennington Road Pennington
(609) 773-2392
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock 
Mon. 9 p.m. "Moonshine Mondays" Trivia
Ages 21+

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.



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