Peg Johnston and Marty Doorey both were given the Mayor John J. Burns Award on October 13th. Doorey is a lifelong Democrat activist known for canvassing for candidates all over the Southern Tier. Johnston is the founding director and now co-owner of Southern Tier Women’s Health Services, our local abortion clinic. She is also active …
During the month of May there was an exhibition of some exceptionally engaging work by Peg Johnston. She is one of the founding members of Cooperative Gallery 213, an innovative artist run exhibition space that was seminal in creating the arts district in Binghamton, NY twenty one years ago. A brilliant eye for objects, images …
Roots of Activism: Elisabeth Freeman, Suffragette, Civil Rights Worker, Militant Pacifist A Zoom Presentation by Peg Johnston with guest Marguerite Culp-Kearns; Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at 7 pm for approximately one hour. During the early 20th century, Freeman was a fiery advocate for the women’s trade union movement. She spoke out against the lynching of …
Smartphone Photo Contest & Exhibit at Cooperative Gallery
When the first-ever local Smartphone Photo Contest and Exhibit opens at the Cooperative Gallery 49 photographers will show 121 photos snapped on their phones. The state of emergency cancelled First Friday but the gallery is open Fridays 3-6 and Saturdays 12-4. According to Peg Johnston, curator of the show, “Smartphone photos are ubiquitous on social media and at all gatherings, and I am impressed with both the sheer beauty and often the serendipity of the images these people have captured.”
Joshua B. Ludski will be the judge for the contest and there will also be voting for a People’s Choice Award. Cash prizes will be awarded at 1 pm on Saturday March 17th. Proceeds from the entry fees will split between cash prizes for winners and a donation to the Dept. of Public Art. Participating photographers will gather for a Gallery Tour including brief presentations by entrants. The public is welcome.
Peg Johnston has been a member of the Cooperative Gallery since its inception in 2000 and has mounted several installations and curated exhibits including the “TRASH Eco Art” exhibit, “Binghamton: A Memoir,” and the “Book as Art” show. In 2016 she received the Heart of the Arts Award from the Broome County Arts Council.
The Cooperative Gallery, a popular stop on the First Friday Art Walk, located at Artists Row –State of the Art, at 213 State Street in Binghamton, is open on First Friday 3- 9 pm and regularly Fridays from 3-6 and Saturdays from 12- 4 pm. A free weekly e-newsletter is available by signing up at www.cooperativegallery.com or on Facebook at Cooperative Gallery 213.
Photo: “Phones at the Ready” a photo of the Carnegie Library at the Luma Projection Festival by Peg Johnston
Broome County Arts Council Announces 2016 Recipients of the Heart of the Arts Awards
The Broome County Arts Council announced the recipients of its 2016 Heart of the Arts and Lifetime Achievement Awards during a news conference at 10am, Wednesday, August 10th. Nominated by the public and chosen by the votes of BCAC’s 100+ members, the following honorees are being recognized for significant recent or long-term contributions to the arts in Broome County:
2016 Heart of the Arts Awards: Peg Johnston, Department of Public Art and Emily Jablon, Jablon Studios,
2016 Heart of the Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Timothy Perry, Binghamton Community Orchestra, Binghamton University and Harold & Toby Jean Manker, Phelps Mansion Museum
Awards will be presented Monday September 19th at the 11th Heart of the Arts Award Celebration, DoubleTree Hotel Grand Ballroom, downtown Binghamton. The event starts at 6pm with cocktails at 5pm. Features include many exciting performances, wonderful food, an award winning high school art display, and a lavish award ceremony. All proceeds from the Heart of the Arts Celebration and raffle ticket sales go back into the LOCAL Arts Community (nonprofits and individual artists) through the United Cultural Fund, the locally-funded combined campaign for the arts in Broome County.
Tickets are $55 for general admission and $50 for arts council members.
For more information e-mail email@example.com or call 607-723-4620 or visit website: www.broomearts.org/hota/
The event is sponsored by IBM, SUNY Broome Community College, Visions Federal Credit Union, Curcio Printing, Excellus, and Jim Rollo State Farm as well as raffle sponsors Atomic Tom’s, Cooperative Gallery 213, Freshy Sites, Kapow! Art Studio, Orazio Salati Studio, TR Events, and Uncorked Creations ….. and sponsorship opportunities are still available!
2016 Heart of the Arts Award Recipients – Nominations Statements
Peg Johnston – 2016 Heart of the Arts Award
Honored for bringing public art to the streets of Binghamton and making “blight the inspiration for art,” Peg was nominated for her critical role in “sparking” and continuing an arts renaissance in Binghamton. She has made this endeavor possible as a founding member of the Cooperative Gallery 213 on State Street and transforming that “derelict” block into the “State of the Art.” As one of the founders of the Department of Public Art, Peg was a driving force that brought about the Water Street “Birthplace of Virtual Reality Mural Project.” This successful project involved 50+ volunteers and culminated in four murals and more than 100 stencils illustrating the history of this site. Her leadership in the Mural Fest 2015, placed on boarded-up properties throughout Binghamton. Moreover, her ongoing “Blight is our Canvas” project brings artistic inspiration and hope to the area through art. Peg is a photographer and installation artist, an exhibitor of regional and national photographers, artist promoter and mentor, and creator of a community that fosters and values creativity.
Emily Jablon – 2016 Heart of the Arts Award
Emily was selected for her love of the community which is exemplified by the creation of the mosaic public installations that bring beauty throughout downtown Binghamton. She offers her nationally renowned talent as a mosaic artist and support to at-risk and underserved populations, including individuals with disabilities, runaways, and the homeless. Emily provides guidance and training in mosaics art throughout project development. She initiated the “Confluence Arts Project” empowering individuals with disabilities to create art in their communities, and has generously given of her time to curate community art shows, and to offer classes at various venues for special needs participants.
Dr. Timothy Perry, 2016 Heart of the Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, selected for more than 30 years of contributions to the knowledge and enjoyment of music in our community and in our schools. To quote his nomination form, Tim is “a local treasure.” He has just completed 30 years at Binghamton University, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and Instrumental Conducting as well as Professor of Studio Clarinet. He is active throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, teacher and, along with pianist Pej Reitz, his frequent collaborator. In addition, he served as a U.S. State Department cultural ambassador performing throughout South America. But while citing all of Tim’s PROFESSIONAL accomplishments, his nominators chose to focus on his dedication to the AMATEUR musicians of Broome County. From 1994 to 2004 and again from 2013 through the present, Tim has directed the Binghamton Community Orchestra. Said one string player: “He’s brought the BCO from a reasonably good amateur orchestra to a whole new level — still a group of musicians who get together to make music just for the love of it, but also performing at a level on par with many professional orchestras….. He inspires musicians to play better than they ever dreamed possible.”
Harold & Toby Jean Manker – 2016 Heart of the Arts Award
Although the Mankers have been active in the arts community for many years as educators, performers, promoters, and board members, they are being honored for their diligent and successful accomplishment in registering and chartering the Phelps Mansion Museum as a “house museum” in compliance with the New York State Board of Regents. As Chair and Vice Chair of the Phelps Mansion Museum Board of Directors, they developed and implemented the museum’s strategic plan and recruited numerous volunteers and docents, while raising funds through grant writing. As Program Directors, they created the chamber music series, “Chamber Music at the Phelps,” originally known as, “Second Sunday at the Phelps” and collaborated with the Binghamton University Music Department which brings programs for voice students and student composers downtown to the Phelps. In addition they collaborate with other non-profit organizations in presenting public programs ranging from a Chinese New Year celebration to a Downton Abbey preview.
The Cooperative Gallery 213 is sponsoring the first Environmental Art exhibit June 2-25, 2016, titled TRASH! A Collaborative EcoArt curated by Peg Johnston. It opens Thursday June 2nd from 6-8 pm and First Friday from 3 pm to 9 pm. Many of the artists will talk about their art and working with specific materials on Third Thursday June 16th at 7 pm. All events are free and open to the public.
"This exhibit is filled with amazing art made from all kinds of materials from paper to plastics, fabric to scrap metal, styrofoam to recycled wood,” says Peg Johnston, an artist at the Cooperative Gallery in Binghamton NY. “I am fascinated with materials that most would call waste and creating art from them.” Beyond use of non-traditional art materials, works in this show will bring attention to the plight of our environment and our role in both creating and remediating environmental destruction.
Another event associated with the TRASH! exhibit is a free Writing Workshop and Reading by Andrei Guruianu, former Broome County Poet Laureate, on Saturday June 25th from 1-4 pm. Guruianu has recently published a new book, Dead Reckoning, Transatlantic Passages on Europe and America. His workshop will include collaging and writing from that art, and readings at the end. It is funded by Poets and Writers, a national organization devoted to offering encouragement and support for emerging writers.
The Cooperative Gallery, a popular stop on the First Friday Art Walk, located at 213 State Street in Binghamton, is open on Frist Friday 3- 9 pm and regularly Fridays from 3-6 and Saturdays from 12- 4 pm and also by appointment. Find us on Facebook at Cooperative Gallery 213 and sign up for our weekly e-newsletter on our website at www.cooperativegallery.com or on our Facebook page, Cooperative Gallery 213.
TRASH! A Collaborative ECO Art Exhibit Curated by Peg Johnston
June 2- 25th, 2016 at the Cooperative Gallery 213 Binghamton NY
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
“I am fascinated with materials that most would call waste and creating something new from them,” says Peg Johnston, an artist at the Cooperative Gallery in Binghamton NY. TRASH! invites other artists, both local and national, to join a first- ever exhibit of Eco Art in this area June 2- 25th, 2016. Works using any of a variety of waste materials from paper to plastics, fabric to scrap metal, styrofoam to recycled wood are welcome. Beyond use of non-traditional art materials, works in this show will bring attention to the plight of our environment and our role in both creating and remediating destruction.
Submit jpegs of your work to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15th, 2016. Accepted works must be received by May 26th for non-local works. There is no fee for entry, but the usual 20% commission to the gallery applies.
A series of workshops on Eco-Art media will lead up to the June exhibit: the first is "Cardboard Art" on Sunday March 6th from 12-4 pm, an exploration of cardboard as a sustainable and versatile medium. (Download flyer below) The second is a workshop April 9-10th with Bruce Greig on making sculpture out of styrofoam. Bruce has experience in set design after working on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and King Kong. The workshop will appeal to theater set designers. There is a $60 fee for the two day workshop. The third workshop is in Handmade Paper Making in May TBA.
Says Johnston about this collaborative exhibit, “This show builds on my long term interest in giving voice to environmental concerns which I have addressed in the Book as Art show and the “Plastic is Forever” waterfall of water bottles in the Gallery’s Off the Wall show. It was immediately inspired by picking up fast food container trash in my neighborhood.” A series of workshops are planned to explore the re-use of various materials to create art.
TRASH! takes its creative inspiration from several contemporary artists who are working in various media, all using materials found in the waste stream. El Anatsui of Ghana creates elaborate tapestries from flattened liquor bottle caps and other scrap paper. He says, “I have a desire to manipulate the material to get something else out of it.” He models a personal mission that encourages artists to look at everyday consumer products and see their potential as high art, as vehicles for expression that go beyond craft making or green initiatives.
South African Mbongeni Buthelezi states, “I collect rubbish and create something beautiful from it. I collect something that has no value and give it new life.” He recycles plastic into his artwork.
Bryant Holsenbeck of North Carolina says, “Americans continue to create more garbage, per capita, than any other culture, yet we are blind to our waste…. I collect many things, among them, bottle caps, credit cards, plastic bags, straws and lids, beach plastic and chop sticks. I use these everyday items to make work, which transforms the objects and surprises us.” She creates installations using massive amounts of discarded plastic and other materials as well as creating small animals, re-purposed books, and birds made of credit cards, all of which bring attention to our impact on the environment.
Mark Bradford, of South Central Los Angeles creates monumental works using layers of paper found on streets and from discarded materials. His work has been displayed worldwide and in prestigious museums.
Rosalie Gascoigne (1917-1999) used different materials in distinctive grid patterns and other assemblages. “Through the artist’s skill in making poetry of the commonplace and her intrinsic response to both her chosen materials and the particularities of the Australian landscape, we are able to witness her unique ability to evocatively capture and convey the essence of nature and the transitory and captivating effects of light, air and space,” according to a review of a 2009 show.
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.
Six years ago this month in 2009, the website binghamtonbridge.org was created by Stephen Schweitzer and Peg Johnston as a news site and calendar for the local progressive community. The newspaper called the bridge had been published for 3 or 4 years prior to that with decreasing frequency. Known for excellent political analysis and local coverage of progressive issues, the bridge finally could not afford the high cost of printing a newspaper.
Both venues were part of the Binghamton Independent Media Center, which is part of a global network of IMC’s. In some places, where freedom of speech is limited, the IMC’s are the only places where it is possible to speak out and organize.
Articles have been posted continuously on the bridge and a calendar has been sent out every week for all six years of its existence. Sometimes the bridge has been critical in getting the word out: when City Hall installed a digital “Cost of War” clock and critics dominated the mainstream media coverage, progressives were able to read posts from those who opposed the Iraq War. Another example was when Michael Libous, Senator Libous’ nephew, wrote an open letter about gay marriage. The Press would not print it, but when posted on the binghamton bridge site it became an issue that was covered by the media.
In the past two months, Peg Johnston and Shawna Stevenson have spearheaded a revitalization of the site. “It is our vision to have a place where progressives can communicate in an in-depth way about their activities and ideas,” said Johnston. “Grassroots activists can broaden their reach and deepen people’s understanding of their issues.” So far, Stevenson has changed the look of the site with a new banner of the many bridges in Binghamton, made the site more user friendly, and sorted out numerous technical issues. She has also streamlined the weekly e-calendar/newsletter to be more readable.
Next, the pair plan to recruit more “community reporters” to keep up the current rate of posts. Posting articles on the site can provide the “back story” for local organizing and provide history, background, national significance, as well as local initiatives. This is useful for folks who are not conversant in an issue, but want to understand it or possibly get involved. Groups can also advertise events and campaigns. Once an article is posted, a link or url is generated that can be shared with contacts via Facebook, Twitter, emails, or other outlets. These articles will last for years and can be found with the new search function on the site. “We want to build community through communication,” said Stevenson, “and help local projects increase their exposure.”
Registration to post on the bridge is simple with a valid email address, and posting articles and events easy to figure out. Click on the newsletter link on the right hand side of the site to sign up for the weekly e-calendar/newsletter. The site is managed by the Center for Gender, Art, and Culture, an umbrella organization for progressive projects. Donations are most welcome!