One Binghamton University class started a campaign to give the Binghamton area a face-lift and revitalize the community.
Gen 10, a group of Binghamton students originally known as “Generation 10,” is a student-faculty collaboration that creates public art to revitalize the communities within the Binghamton area. The name Gen 10 stems from the belief of “thinking like you’re ten [years old],” according to Alexander Angstrom, a member of Gen 10 and a senior double-majoring in management and studio art. The class is a partnership out of the Center for Leadership Studies.
The students in the class began the initiative reBOLD Binghamton, planning to showcase public artworks by local artists and Man One, an L.A.-based graffiti artist, throughout Binghamton. Part of this is Mural Fest 2014, originally planned for May 17. It has been delayed because of unforeseen difficulties, like problems obtaining a permit to paint a mural at the Rathskeller Pub on State Street.
“I believe that the community needs public art. I would very much like to see … the community getting involved in this impressive student movement,” said Adrian Perry, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry.
Mural Fest has garnered the support and contributions of Man One, a celebrated artist from the West Coast who transformed downtown Los Angeles through the use of graffiti art. Man One has gone to cities across the world to paint murals and has received awards such as the RIVIE award for artist of the year in 2008, and another award from the HeArt Project in 2009.
He was brought on board by an art professor at Binghamton University who attended an art convention in Los Angeles. Man One immediately agreed to travel to the city of Binghamton with the prospect of transforming a run-down city into a cultural hub through the use of public art.
“He just loved the promise that the city holds and the canvases the city displayed when he visited,” Angstrom said.
Man One visited the city of Binghamton back in March, where he illustrated pieces at Café Oasis and President Harvey Stenger’s office.
“He’s such a social person who connects so well with anyone he comes in contact with,” Angstrom said. “He’s really doing this for the city, for the people of the city, to transform lives.”
In addition to the artist Man One, the reBOLD Binghamton movement has caught the attention and garnered the support of CommuniKey and the Department of Public Art in Binghamton. Gen 10 plans to raise money through the use of a Kickstarter account and promote public art throughout Binghamton to get people to stay out of trouble.
“I get why they’re doing this and I think it’s a sort of noble thing to do,” said Raffaella Glasser, a sophomore majoring in environmental studies. “Hopefully getting people to engage in public artwork will keep them occupied and away from doing bad things.”