Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Petunia grows in Binghamton-As does Magic Paint (so who cares if we look like Detroit)

Yesterday, it was such a beautiful August day that we decided to attend the First Friday in Binghamton. I've written about First Friday before, when many art galleries and other venues in Binghamton open free to the public. The next one is September 4.

We made an early start at the Lost Dog cafe happy hour, took an exercise walk across the Washington Street Bridge, and ended up at one of the local art studios, Orazio Salati's studio, that was featuring paintings created at the Magic Paintbrush Project.

The Magic Paintbrush project is of interest to me, as I have a brother in law with autism. Basically started by a mother interested in helping her daughter with Cerebral Palsy, it has grown and grown and serves many special needs children and their families, including those with autism. Orazio Salati is one of the sponsors.

It makes me very wistful to think how my brother in law may have developed with services like this at his disposal, but I know such thoughts will defeat me.

We admired many of the artworks, before going on to other studios. Keep in mind, when you see these pictures, that this art is combination art and physical/occupational therapy for these young people. Some "paint" in wheelchairs, others roll around in the paint, still others need texture to relate to art and work with various other media in conjunction with the paint. Parents and siblings are welcome to participate, too.

Later, walking down a downtown street, we found ourselves behind a young couple, arms around each other. They walked in silence a bit and then the girl turned to her love and exclaimed "this place reminds me of Detroit!" I'm sure it wasn't a complement.

Be it as it may, we walked to the next intersection and waited for the light to change. A flash of color near a sewer caught my eye. I bent down to find some organic matter had lodged near the sewer, and a beautiful blooming petunia was embedded in the debris. If this wasn't such a rainy summer perhaps it would have died a long time ago.

I've talked before about "Binghamton-the burnt out industrial town". Unlike Detroit, I think this city has a lot going for it, if it can find its way through the next few years.

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