Students and locals alike are getting ready to paint the town all sorts of colors this Saturday when Mural Fest returns to the city of Binghamton.
The event, now in its third year, was started by members of reBOLD Binghamton and the Department of Public Art, and was founded to build a stronger sense of community through public artwork. The goal is to have the event fueled by the participation of community members of all ages.
Matteo Reiss, a volunteer coordinator for Mural Fest and a sophomore majoring in geography, wants to inspire appreciation for the city.
“We are not just showing off the beauty of art, but the beauty of the community,” said Reiss.
Local artists will show off their own work, as well as lead interactive, community-engaging art projects. These will include large-scale mural painting, panel painting, cardboard box sculptures, chalk art and other activities.
One of the main events of Mural Fest this year will be refurbishing and re-painting the murals on the side of the pool house in the city of Binghamton. This pool is the only one in the city of Binghamton to feature art on the pool house, and it features aquatic images. Additionally, there will be the opportunity to assist with building new features for the Bark Park, a dog park within the bounds of the park.
This year’s Mural Fest theme is community pride, and it will focus on how public art can allow community members, including students and city residents, to express their feelings about where they live through art.
Mural Fest invites Binghamton University students to participate and show their appreciation for the community of the city of Binghamton, as well as see a part of the city they might not normally visit.
For the previous two Mural Fests, the event was located on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade in Downtown Binghamton, but this year, organizers moved it to the North Side so they could enter a more residential community. The last Mural Fest attracted about 1,500 community members and this year those in charge are expecting even more visitors to come to the event.
“One of the best things about Binghamton is the number of community events that happen, but they never seem to reach North Side Binghamton,” Reiss said. “Residents in this neighborhood have expressed to us that they have felt neglected in this regard. We decided to bring the event to them.”
The organizers of Mural Fest are still looking for volunteers to assist in the event. These volunteers may do anything from supervising the interactive art projects to greeting community members when they come to the event.
Mural Fest will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cheri A. Lindsey Memorial Park in Downtown Binghamton.