As college students, our lives are a constant repeat of class, meetings and attempted gym sessions. We insist on spending our weekends on campus, only going Downtown for State Street and often disregarding some other great local events Binghamton has to offer. The First Friday Art Walk provides students with the opportunity to explore and experience the culturally vibrant city beyond State Street.
During the first Friday of each month from 6-9 p.m., the streets of Downtown Binghamton transform into a bacchanal of open galleries, store discounts and community festivities. First Friday offers a chance for students and the residential Binghamton community to enjoy art exhibits that showcase local and well-known artists with the comforts of free food and wine.
You don’t have to be an art enthusiast to enjoy First Friday. Great food and cool artwork are only a few of the fixtures every month. Many local restaurants and cafes offer free samples and menu discounts to patrons during the evening. Galleries also supply patrons with extravagant refreshments of gourmet cookies, cheese and crackers, wine and other fancy hors d’oeuvres that would make the average attendee feel like a worldly connoisseur.
Theater lovers, rejoice. Binghamton’s best theater groups frequently host performances throughout the night. Binghamton City Stage hosts mixed media and live performances from 7-11 p.m. for a small admission fee.
Last Friday, patrons of the Jungle Science Gallery and Art Laboratory observed thought-provoking sculptures and grotesque masks of the E. L. Downey exhibit and illustrious graffiti from artists all over the region in an exhibit called the “607 Underground Graffiti in Binghamton,” run by local artist Tom Bomb.
The Broome County Forum Theater presented entries to this year’s Rod Serling Film Festival. The festival displayed the works of young filmmakers ranging from kindergarten to high school seniors. The work of passionate young filmmakers was brought to life in the gorgeous Forum, which was built in 1919 and highlights the evolution of art and film in Binghamton.
The overall atmosphere for First Friday is extremely friendly and welcoming. The purpose of First Friday is to bring the elements of art to the community of Binghamton. For more information, check out www.gorgeouswashington.com. If you’re artistically inclined or just want to get more involved in Binghamton culture, make sure you don’t miss the next one.