On May 13th 2023, founding DPA member, Peg Johnston passed away, leaving behind a legacy of of activism.  Through the DPA, the Southern Tier Women’s Services, Binghamton’s Vines, and the Cooperative Gallery 213,  she made such an impact on our community. We will miss her and will try to continue her good works!

Celebrating 50 years of Title IX

A new mural ‘Celebrating Title IX  1972’ was completed in October 2023.  Envisioned by Peg in 2022, this mural at 345 Court Street Binghamton celebrates over 50 years of Title IX and women’s sports.  Painted by Bruce Greig.

‘Much Ado in the Garden’ Box City

 DPA started making Box Cities out of recycled cardboard in 2016 as a way for kids to participate in painting at our Mural Festivals.  This year we were asked to provide such for the free Shakespeare festival at Cutler Gardens in Binghamton.  The kids and parents had a great time.

Binghamton 2 Degrees

A new festival run by Binghamton University dealing with Climate Change and its impacts to our community and actions to be taken, provided us with the opportunity to use our Mural Database of Artists to find the right person to facilitate a community mural.  AmarA*jk did a splendid job of designing, painting, and engaging the public in this community mural.

Vine’s Binghamton Urban Farm Mural and participation in the Binghamton Bridge Pedal 2022

This year on August 13, 2022, the annual Binghamton Bridge Pedal (an easy escorted bike ride) stopped at the Vine’s Urban Farm at 16 Tudor St, Binghamton to show off the farm and their new Mural painted by the DPA and summer youth employees.  The ride began and ended at TechWorks.  The after party included light refreshments and an opportunity for help paint a mural.  

The Urban Farm mural was painted over 3 days in August with the 25 summer youth employees led by DPA member Diane Lia.  At the Bridge Pedal after party, five artists led by DPA member Judy Salton recreated the Super Hero’s mural on panels to be installed at Floral Ave Park, Johnson City. The original mural had deteriorated over the years and needed a re-do.

This year the Dept. of Public Art began a journey into Street Art by painting four Utility Box Murals in Johnson City.  The DPA thanks Johnson City Mayor Gregory Deemie for his continued support of Public Art in JC.  Each location was chosen in a corridor from Floral Ave. Park (the site of two past mural festivals, 2017 and 2018) to a new iDistrict mural painted by Austin Texas based mural artist J. Muzacz on the corner of Avenue C and Main Street in Johnson City.  The mural commissioned by the iDistrict Murals and Mosaics Public Art Program funded by New York State honors Johnson City’s musical legends Al Hamme, Slam Stewart, and Dena DeRose.

The Dept of Public Art was also tasked by a Broome County Arts Council United Cultural Fund Project Grant to promote a new Broome County Public Art Directory developed by the Broome County Planning Dept. with input from DPA members. The directory includes a map and artist information about murals and sculptures throughout Broome County.  See https://gobroomecounty.com/planning/art.

The directory was launched to the public on Sunday October 17th. To encourage everyone to look through the map and then go experience public art, DPA members Ann Pellegrino, Shawna Stevenson and Mya Parker, Judy Salton and MaryRose Griffin, and Zach Wilson staged live utility box painting and handed out free mural postcards with all the information necessary to locate the directory and visit other sites.  J. Muzacz also worked on completing his mural that Sunday.  The postcards were then distributed to travel centers, galleries, museums, libraries, and hotels throughout Broome County.

Location: Ross Park Zoo, Binghamton
Date: September 18, 19, & 20, 2020
Theme: Animals parading to the Zoo

Because our reputation proceeds us, the zoo’s director approached us with the idea of holding Muralfest at the zoo. He wanted a 200 foot long mural on the retaining wall leading to the zoo, filled with animals and including the zoo’s motto “Educate, Engage, Conserve”.

Muralfest 2020 was like no other. Originally planned to coincide with a music fest and then a sponsored children’s day, because of Covid it was scaled back to be a weekend of just mural painting. Thank goodness we work outdoors.

On Friday evening, artists projected their designs on the zoo’s retaining wall. Some artists chose to freehand or grid their designs on the wall on Saturday afternoon. Then on Sunday 8 artists, their helpers and volunteers painted 8 murals of animals parading to the zoo. The zoo provided the artists with a pizza lunch. By 5 PM we were all done and cleaned up!

Location: Cheri Lindsey Memorial Park on the Northside of Binghamton
Date: August 24, 2109
Theme: Kindness

We were asked by the principal of Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, which is in the neighborhood, to paint murals with the theme kindness to be hung on the fencing around the school’s playgrounds. We raised enough funds to pay 7 artists to design and paint the murals on fabric. On the day of the event the artists welcomed teens and adults to help them paint their creations.

As usual we partnered with an organization called Backpacks for Kids to give away school supplies. We gave out the remainder of our art supply totes to children also. The band Voodoo Highway provided entertainment and a food vendor supplied super pulled pork sandwiches at a reduced price.

It’s been a tradition to make cardboard houses, castles, animals, and this year a carousel, for the kids to paint with washable paint. Volunteers acted as paint baristas to help children get their supplies. We encourage children to take home their art creations.

Location: Floral Avenue Park, Johnson City
Date: May 5, 2018
Theme: Community Pride

Floral Ave Park, Take Two. We returned to the park in 2018 to paint more sides of the bath house and storage shed, paint the interior of the bathrooms, and paint cutout photo-op boards for a new Shakespeare festival later that year.

Another box city and more animals out of cardboard were available for the kids to paint and take home. We started a art supply give away for kids. Other activities included a band, food vendor, and other children’s activities.

Location: Floral Avenue Park, Johnson City
Date: October 7, 2017
Theme: Community Pride

First of two muralfests at Floral Ave Park. Artists gave a new look to the bathhouse, the handball court, a storage shed, and for the first time gave the park a beautiful mural identifying the park.

A box city and animals out of cardboard were again a hit with kids. Pride and Joy Families volunteered to act as paint baristas serving up washable paint for the children artists. Other activities included a band, food vendor, and other children’s activities.

Location: Cheri Lindsey Park, Binghamton
Date: September 17, 2016
Theme: Community Pride

Muralfest hits the road. Our first venture moving Muralfest from the downtown riverwalk to a neighborhood park. Giving the park a new look to help with community pride was our goal. Along with painting murals on three buildings, including a sea serpent mural on the pool’s bathhouse, many artists and community members painted small murals on panels with community pride as the theme.

This was a our first time making a box city and animals out of cardboard for children’s to paint. They had a glorious time. Other activities included chalk sidewalk painting, music, face painting, and other crafts for kids.

Location: Riverwalk, Binghamton
Date: April 26, 2015
Theme: A food desert

Again on Binghamton’s Riverwalk and partnering with ReBold, Muralfest’s 2015 focus was to bring attention to the food desert on Binghamton’s Northside. 12 artists painted food themed murals on 4×8 panels to be installed on a boarded up building on the Northside. Residents of the area were happy to have art in their neighborhood and soon the building was re-invented as neighborhood deli.

On YouTube there is a lovely 2 minute video called Department of Public Art transforming 511 Chenango St. Binghamton NY with murals.

The festival had music, food, non-profit tabling, chalk art and other artists painting smaller murals that have been installed through out the city at different times.

Location: Riverwalk, Binghamton
Date: Spring 2014

Our inaugural Muralfest. We partnered with reBold, a Binghamton University student organization that’s purpose is to bridge the gap between the university and the community, to create a public art festival in downtown Binghamton. Artists painted panels, musicians provided entertainment, vendors served food, and artists, students, and volunteers painted the CHOW bus! CHOW being the Community’s Hunger Outreach Warehouse, an organization run by the Broome County Council of Churches, to distribute food to the community.

DPA decided to tell the story of the innovations that were invented in a factory located on the site of the Water St. Parking Ramp. The inventions laid the groundwork for the development of Virtual Reality. A mural for each stage was painted: first for the Bundy time clock which led to the computer and IBM; next was a player piano factory that gave us early robotics; then the Link organ took over the player piano business and sitting on the bellows, Ed Link Jr. got the idea for the Link trainer, a flight simulator that was used to train pilots in WWII and later astronauts. DPA also put icons on all four levels as wayfinders for users of parking ramp.

DPA sponsored an Air Brush Workshop with Bruce Greig in the Water St. Parking Ramp. Over the two day workshop two murals were painted by the students, as well as a demonstration painting known as the Parking Ramp Angel (all on level 2C). Two other workshops were offered, “Painting Large” and grid work with Judy Salton.