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Upcoming Local Events

Tuesday, November 21st

Saturday, November 25th

Thursday, November 30th

Wednesday, December 6th

Saturday, December 9th

Sunday, January 21st

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“EVERYONE HAS A HOMETOWN”

February 15, 2016 by pegjohnston

PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST 2016

Sponsored by PAST Preservation Association of the Southern Tier   May 3rd to May 29th

Broome County has been home to many and has a rich history. In the "Everyone Has A Hometown" Photography Contest, sponsored by the Preservation Association of the Southern Tier, we invite you to submit original photographs that highlight and celebrate the historical, architectural and cultural uniqueness of Broome County. Through this competition we hope to advocate, educate and encourage civic engagement. All entries will be on display at the ART Mission and Theater gallery beginning on May 6th and throughout the month of May.

Deadline: Tuesday, May 3rd, 3:00 to 6:30

Entrants may bring their framed photography to the ART Mission and Theater, 61 Prospect Street, Binghamton (www.artmission.org). All photos must be of Broome County. Applications will be available at the ART Mission, at the PAST Salvage Center, 21 North Depot Street and PAST’s web site (www.pastny.org).  Each photo requires a short application and a $15 entrance fee. Students in high school or middle school will have a $10 fee. Make checks payable to PAST.

Photos need to be framed and ready to be hung.  A 3x5 card needs to be attached to the back of the frame and be filled out with the title of the picture, the location, and the photographer’s name, email address and phone number. Note: The photographer does not have to be from the town that they photograph.  Judges will use the number assigned to the frame to determine winners.

Download application below.

Mural Fest April & Path Through History

March 3, 2015 by pegjohnston

Save the Date!  Mural Fest scheduled for April 26th, along the riverwalk, with mural painting, interactive art, musical entertainment and much much more.

Also note Path Through History June 20th, a Sat. We will be doing a mural tour downtown as well as lots of other historical tours and events.

 

A Bad Idea Part II Metro Center Parking

February 17, 2015 by pegjohnston

A Bad Idea Part IIA Guest Viewpoint was recently published in this space regarding the questionable conversion of the MetroCenter Plaza in downtown Binghamton into a ten space parking lot, at what amounts to about $35,000 a space.  Much has happened since that initial piece.

Members of the Commission on Architecture and Urban Design (CAUD) were the first to raise concerns about this project.  Other concerned citizens also raised meaningful points and voiced these in person at City Council Meetings.  As a member of the City’s Planning Commission at the time, I also voiced my concerns. We were all told by the Administration that CAUD approval was not needed, that our claims were inaccurate and untrue.  Good citizens raising questions were told Traffic Board review and approval was not needed, that our concerns were inaccurate and untrue.  Taxpayers watching the city’s spending habits were told that the Mayor could use unspent Bond Funds from another Capital projects without any other approvals, that our objections were inaccurate and untrue.  We were told that the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) was not applicable, that our concerns were inaccurate and untrue.

How time changes circumstances.  Since these concerns were raised, the Administration has now engaged CAUD, sought approval from the City’s Traffic Board, acknowledged the need for new bonding authority to fund this project and committed to compliance with SEQRA.  All of this begs the question, what was the Administration trying to do before these issues were raised?

I think the answer is pretty clear.  The goal was to circumvent the existing process, those checks and balances that are in place to ensure good governance, and deliver a quality project that benefits the public’s interest.  This was an attempt by the Administration to force this project through the process hoping no one would notice.  The ultimate goal of the project the benefit of a select few at the expense of the many.

So what can we say to this?  At the February 18th City Council meeting, Council members will have to decide whether to borrow the funds and ultimately build the project.  Is spending $350,000 of our tax dollars a good investment for ten parking spaces?  If we are going to bond, and borrow from our future, shouldn’t it benefit more of our citizens?

A colleague pointed out to me in an e-mail that it took three years of strong advocacy to get $25,000 invested in the ball park and bathhouse at Columbus Park. West End Park will get tens of thousands of dollars in investments this coming year, but largely because of a state grant. It took eight years to reach agreement to borrow $100,000 to tear down the First Ward Pool. Through the Design Your Own Park, resident groups on the North Side and West Side worked tirelessly for a few years to get $20,000 in public investments in new park spaces.

Neighborhood parks are used by thousands of our city's families, kids, and individuals every year! Is Council really going to approve borrowing $350,000 to build a ten space parking lot in the heart of our downtown, two blocks from the City’s three parking ramps, all of which are in dire need of repair?

Obviously if the City is to borrow there are better uses that will have a broader impact on our citizens and help build community.  We all, as citizens need to be paying more attention to what goes on in City government.  Go to the City’s website, review City Council, Planning Commission, and Zoning Board agendas and minutes.  Even better, reach out to your Council representative before the February 18th meeting and tell them to think twice about spending so much money to convert the MetroCenter public courtyard into a ten-space parking lot. Tell them to say no to “David’s Dead End.”

Good government needs you!

Mark D. Bowers is a resident of Binghamton’s West Side

Virtual Reality Mural

November 29, 2014 by pegjohnston

Welcome to the Birthplace of Virtual Reality, at the entrance to the Water St. Parking Ramp. Design and execution by Bruce Greig.

Virtual Reality Mural

Time Clock Stencil

November 26, 2014 by pegjohnston

The Birthplace of Virtual Reality mural project also includes stencils for each level of the parking ramp, correlating with the history of this site. The Time Clock, the Player Piano, the Blue Box flight simulator, and the Parking Ramp Dancer.

Time Clock Stencil

Virtual Reality Mural Project Celebrated; Community Meeting Planned

November 11, 2014 by imc-editor

            The Dept. of Public Art is celebrating the completion of their mural project at the Water St. Parking Ramp and looking forward to the next public art projects.

A follow up to the successful Third Thursday meeting will be held Tues Dec 2 7pm at Lost Dog Cafe. The brainstorming from the meeting yielded many ideas and new faces and energy. One major focus is the role of public art in blight remediation, using "movable murals." Another idea is to use trees, gardens and landscaping, including an arboretum of mixed species in the flood plain along the river.

            More about the Virtual Reality Murals: “Punching In” commemorates the Bundy Time Recorder made by the Bundy Time Recording Co., the first to locate at 183-185 Water St, became IBM and led to the computer. “Punching In” on Level 2 C was painted last summer as part of a Mural Arts Training workshop.

            The next business, the Automatic Musical Co., produced player pianos with robotics, another innovation necessary for virtual reality. The complicated robotics are captured in an air brushed mural designed by local artist Zach Wilson and painted by Bruce Greig, also on Level 2 C.

            The Link family bought out that company and added organs to the line and Ed Link Jr. invented the flight simulator there and established a flight school on the property. The mural (on the basement level) depicting the tiny “blue box” or flight simulator shows the magnificent flight of a jet with the caption: “On this site Ed Link invented the flight simulator which transformed how pilots learn to fly.”

In the 1980’s, the American Dance Asylum mounted the Parking Ramp Dances which pioneered blending multi media, video feedback, and dance performances. The 4th floor stencil is of ADA choreographer and dancer Lois Welk.

COMPUTERS + ROBOTICS + SIMULATION + VIDEO FEEDBACK =VIRTUAL REALITY!! 

The “Welcome to the Birthplace of Virtual Reality” mural greets people at the entrance of the Water St. Parking Ramp and shows a “Matrix” like virtual reality grid with computer code. In addition to the flight simulator mural, it was designed and painted by master mural artist Bruce Greig.

            Each level of the ramp represents one of these innovative technologies: time clock, player piano, flight simulator, dancer, and is also a different color, helping people remember where they are parked.

            The Dept of Public Art is a group of volunteers, artists and activists who promote public art and execute public art projects. DPA is sponsored by the Center for Gender, Art, and Culture and the Virtual Reality Mural Project was supported by a grant from the Chenango Arts Council and the Hoyt Foundation. For more information email binghamtonbridge@gmail.com.

 

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Week One of Parking Ramp Mural Project

September 14, 2014 by imc-editor

Week Two at the Parking Ramp witnessed 20+ volunteers of the APO Service Fraternity descend upon the parking ramp and leave behind lots of color in the stairwells. Part of the overall Virtual Reality project is to improve directions. Each level has a different color and symbol stenciled on each level.

It was a great weekend for public art!! The Dept of Public Art started work on the Water St. Parking Ramp, the Jablons and several helpers worked on mosaics on the planters on Water St. and Kady Perry, Bruce Greig and others began photographing for murals of children on the Flood Wall. The public seemed to appreciate the art too--spare change and dollar bills were donated freely to the DPA, "enough to buy 2-3 gallons of paint" according to organizers. "We are really heartened by the outpouring of support from people using the parking ramp. It is clear that people appreciate what we are doing to improve the ramp," commented Peg Johnston.

Here is a video of Day One, by videographer Mark Urban:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ26nqa2LuE
 

Video of Day Two, also by videographer Mark Urban; Music by local favorite Dan Pokorak:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PbTjfs_Dag
And there is such a need for improvements. Volunteers, cleaned the stairwells, scraped loose paint off walls, and put color blocks on each level. Artists painted stencils for each level too. The orange first level is the Bundy time clock, which became IBM and led to the computer; the next is green and is the Player Piano level; the blue level is for the Blue Box, the flight simulator that Ed Link invented on the ramp site, and finally the pink Dancer level that represents the Parking Ramp Dances sponsored by the American Dance Asylum.

If you are interested in volunteering, sign up here: www.tinyurl.com/DPAVolunteers.

Many more photos on the Facebook page Dept. of Public Art.

 

 

1940's Binghamton Tenements

September 11, 2014 by pegjohnston

1940's Binghamton Tenements

Cono Trono

September 11, 2014 by pegjohnston

Cono Trono
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