Binghamton’s Art Scene: A Guide to Art Galleries, Museums and More
As a senior at Binghamton, some of the most enriching aspects of my education involve engaging with the local community, especially in the accessible and engaging context of the arts. The growing local arts community started as a fascination and progressed into feeling like home. If you’re looking to enhance your college experience, explore these art galleries, studios, museums and performing arts organizations at the University, in Downtown Binghamton, and throughout Broome County.
The “First Friday” Art Walk has been a monthly tradition since 2003 in which local galleries, restaurants and businesses collaborate for a night full of art, performance, and community bonding. The art walks show the area’s dedication to artists and its close-knit culture of expression. Here are several of my favorite art galleries at “First Friday” and beyond.
At the University
Binghamton University Art Museum regularly features artists and galleries with historical and contemporary work curated by University faculty.
The Broome County Arts Council’s Artisan Gallery hosts a variety of local emerging and prolific artists working in many mediums. They regularly display work produced in their Artists in Residence program, which supports and instills confidence in local artists looking to focus on their craft.
Orazio Salati Studio and Gallery, curated by a local artist, hosts various works, largely paintings, in an upscale, welcoming environment.
Cooperative Gallery 213 always hosts a variety of quality and intriguing work, including new member showcases. They are committed to both veteran and budding artists in the community.
Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts is home to works of contemporary realism and photorealism and other selected works from international artists at varying stages in their artistic journeys.
OBSIDIAN is a new gallery on the scene that hosts contemporary sculptures and paintings.
Africa House Art Gallery features immersive and transformative art galleries from Africa and the African Diaspora.
Equinox Press, a printmaking studio founded by Binghamton University Art and Design Professor Alexandra Davis, hosts art events for the community, working in various mediums.
The Fine Arts Society of the Southern Tier provides accessible classes, exhibitions and competitions for local artists wherever they are in their artistic journey.
Spool Contemporary Art Space is more of a hybrid gallery, hosting screenings and performances often in collaboration with Binghamton University’s cinema and theater departments.
Binghamton’s current art scene owes much of its success to the generational preservation of the area’s history. In my experience, education provides the foundation for a richer expression of self in the context of community and history. Here are a few of the local organizations in Binghamton that are committed to history and the arts.
The Bundy Museum of History and Art showcases the history of Binghamton and supports its artistic community through workshops, exhibits, and various events. The Museum has three campuses, including a music venue, coffee shop, radio station, photo lab, and two rotating exhibitions for local artists. It has an authentic 1930s barbershop and a clock exhibit, as well as a permanent installation based on Rod Serling, the local creator of the beloved TV show The Twilight Zone.
The Roberson Museum and Science Center is another community staple, hosting events, classes, and exhibitions for artists and their admirers. It also has a planetarium!
The Phelps Mansion on Court Street is a building preserved from the Gilded Age. It hosts tours and events with the intent to preserve the area’s history and support the arts community.
There is no limit to the kinds of artistic expression Binghamton supports. The community produces performances ranging from lively to contemplative, improv to opera. Here are some of the stages and organizations carrying forward the history of performing arts in Broome County:
At the University
The Broome County Forum Theater hosts performances from orchestras, comedians, broadway productions, and much more.
Tri-Cities Opera is one of the best opera companies in Upstate New York, with award-winning productions and a long-standing community reputation.
Know Theatre connects local and professional artists through acting classes and riveting productions.
Broadway in Binghamton is rather self-explanatory. Enjoy Broadway-quality productions without trekking to the big city.
The Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra is the pride of the Southern Tier, with performances, lectures and events sure to rekindle your love for music.
Endicott Performing Arts Center produces anything from Shakespeare to rock band impersonations, with many performances and classes to attend.
Goodwill Theatre’s Family Firehouse Stage hosts a variety of shows, from a capella to jazz performances.
As an artist and art enthusiast, many of the listed stages, galleries and organizations have provided entertainment, community, and fulfillment. They inspired me to experiment with my preferred forms of creativity, like drumming and poetry. Furthermore, Binghamton’s strong focus on visual and performing arts encouraged me to appreciate and branch out into other forms of artistic expression. However you look at it, Binghamton is a rich and plentiful place to enjoy and create art as a student.
Stephen Folkerts is an intern for the Office of Public Media and Relations, and a senior majoring in English. He hopes to work in ministry and publishing. In his spare time, he enjoys jazz drumming, poetry and basketball.
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