Kevin Sussy/Photography Editor

Aptly named, First Friday is a monthly gallery walk occurring on the first Friday of each month. Local venues feature artists and host cultural events all around Downtown Binghamton. Every month, these places come together to celebrate the vibrant arts community in the city of Binghamton. The art on display includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, theatrical performances and music.
This month’s event, happening Friday, Sept. 2, is a special First Friday because in addition to attending galleries, everyone can stay out and experience LUMA. The projection light festival began last year, in which all of the street lights get turned off and Downtown Binghamton is brought to life with animations played on Binghamton’s buildings. This year they will be accompanied by the Binghamton Philharmonic’s 48-piece orchestra. Last year, around 25,000 people came out to see what LUMA had to offer.
First Friday’s triumph is that it attracts every demographic, from local families to older folks, as well as students from both Binghamton University and Broome Community College.
Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts, a participating gallery on State Street, opened 13 years ago. His brother, John Brunelli, the gallery director for Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts and a Binghamton University graduate, says that a slow night for First Friday is 500 to 700 people. It is more likely than not that you will find multiple familiar faces while viewing all the excitement.
“Sometimes 2,000 people will come to our gallery space, so the crowds are always bustling,” John said.
He said that for this First Friday, his gallery will be showing art from all over the world, including some from South Korea and Japan.
Another highlight this weekend will be at Atomic Tom’s, another gallery located on State Street, where you can see part of their ongoing singer-songwriter series. Also, the Art Mission and Theater will be showing some beautiful artwork, as well as the Cooperative Gallery 213.
Many restaurants and cafes participate as well.
“What’s really nice is the synergy between the galleries and the restaurants,” John said. “[The cafes] provide a lot for the audience to do, and pull in all different types of people.”
First Friday is set to be held Downtown from 6 to 9 p.m. and LUMA begins at 9 p.m.
For those who have never been to First Friday, here are some tips:
— Walk there, and if you can’t, use public transportation — parking can be a hassle with such a large number of visitors, especially with LUMA happening
— If you are planning to go out, bring things you need for downtown, you’ll be right by the bars
— Look up the galleries and events ahead of time and bring a game plan with you
— Try and find places with food early — you want first pick at that cheese platter
— Go with a friend or a group — it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you’re navigating this by yourself