Friday, June 4, 2010

Binghamton tries to Revitalize with Fiberglass Dinosaurs

The Triple Cities of upstate NY.  Boyhood home of the late cartoonist Johnny Hart.  Dinosaurs decorate our county park signs.  And BC cartoon characters decorate other things in our area.  Ironically, I don't believe that Johnny Hart ever lived in Binghamton itself (which is about a 20 minute drive from Hart's boyhood home in nearby Endicott). Details, details.

As they like to say've gotta have Hart.

Our area has now reached out to Johnny Hart's grandson (who now draws the BC Comic strip) for possible salvation.  Many small cities in our shoes have tried various things....exhibits of outdoor art are nothing new.  But fiberglass dinosaurs?  Why not?

As I blogged about last year, and Smithsonian magazine reported, Dinosaurs, inspired by the comic strip BC, have finally invaded Binghamton, New York as part of a program created by an organization called Hart of B.C. (and who doesn't love a bad pun.)

Right upfront, I will admit to some concern about placing decorated fiberglass (to me, though, it was more like Styrofoam) dinosaurs in downtown, at the mercy of the public.  Sure enough, at least one of the sculptures has already been stolen (and recovered, somewhat the worse for wear).  But, they were attracting their share of attention tonight, at First Friday.  Spouse and I weren't the only people on the hunt-and we were lucky enough to meet one of the artists.  I can be skeptical, but is there anything wrong with cheering up our....oh I hate to say it...our burnt out industrial town?

The first set of photos is of a dinosaur decorated by an employee of a local engineering firm-the artist that I met.  My spouse and I had a lovely conversation with her.   First, an overall view of her creation:  BC sitting on Gronk the dinosaur is the common theme of all the sculptures.

Next, some closeup shots.  These are various architectural drawings, and a "map" of our area.  Some parts are accurate, some are just plain made up.

Some of the dinosaurs will be auctioned off to benefit charity-others will have permanent homes around town.  I'll try to put up another post tomorrow, with other dinosaur pictures.  But first, a closing shot of this "HARTitectural" (not my pun!) creature...

Funny that my spouse loved dinosaurs as a kid.  But I bet he never dreamed of any dinosaurs like these.