A small group of artists has posted a 1940’s picture of a young couple on abandoned structures around Binghamton in an effort to replace the depressing blight with visually interesting images. “We are calling this “The Happiness Project,” said one of the artists, who prefers to remain anonymous, “because the image is so fresh and joyous. We believe that neglected areas in Binghamton need an infusion of happiness and hope.” The artists envision a series of posted photographs that capture the same mood of happiness in diverse subjects.
Many cities have created an atmosphere of support and tolerance for public art often with the result of economic stimulation as people flock to see locally generated creativity in the urban landscape. Public art festivals have popped up in several cities bringing in tourism dollars and revitalizing abandoned buildings. The magazine Juxtapoz (May 2012) published an editorial in support of public art pointing out, “Art simply makes communities better, creating pride and thought provoking discourse.”
The Happiness Project artists further comment: “We see these Happiness posters as an improvement to dilapidated buildings and eyesores, not as a defacement of private property. While these structures are a hallmark of poverty and economic downturn, our spirits need not be impoverished. We are especially interested in local, historic images that remind us of our heritage and sense of place. If fellow citizens want to suggest locations for future enhancement or propose images we encourage them to communicate with us through the binghamtonbridge.org site, a progressive community news site that does not log IP addresses. We are not affiliated with any organization or group, but are individuals taking the initiative to make public art in Binghamton.”
Posters have, so far, been spotted on State St., Water St., Clinton St. and Glenwood Ave.