Peg Johnston mines her family’s archives for images of Binghamton to create a narrative about the city’s evolution in the last half century. “Binghamton has gone through major changes, losing a significant part of our downtown and half of our population. I want to tell that and other stories about my hometown in a visual way,” comments Johnston, a photographer who often does installations at the Cooperative Gallery. Included will be some of the photographs of Robert Johnston, now deceased, and a former gallery member. In addition to recently digitized photos from the city of her childhood, Johnston explores Urban Renewal, documents several decades of protests in Binghamton, and looks forward to the future.
All images have been digitized and are in black and white. “I feel that memories are best represented this way, and all of my father’s photos were originally in black and white. But these images are "contrasty" and sometimes grainy, not the fine prints my father would have produced. I want to generate images for the Facebook generation, images that swim into your consciousness,” explained Johnston.
Binghamton: A Photographic Memoir will be on display September 4- 27th, 2014 at the Cooperative Gallery 213 State St. The opening is on Thursday Sept. 4th from 6-8 pm. On the First Friday Art Walk Sept. 5th, the gallery is open from 3 pm to 9 pm. A panel discussion on the “Evolution of Binghamton” will take place at the Third Thursday Art Discussion Sept. 18th at 7 pm with Roger Luther of the Preservation Society, Mark Bowers, planner, and other speakers to be announced. Finally, a closing reception will show the locally made video “Rust to Roots” by Kevin Hannagan Sat. Sept. 27th. All events are free and open to the public.
The Cooperative Gallery is a popular stop on the Art Walk and is regularly open Fridays 3-6 pm, Saturdays 12-4 pm, and by appointment with the artist. The website is www.cooperativegallery.com and events are also listed on the www.binghamtonbridge.org site and on www.Facebook.com/cooperativegallery213.
The Bob Johnston Memorial Photo Competition co-sponsored by the Cooperative Gallery and the Two Rivers Photography Club is scheduled for January 2015.