By joannearnold, Mar 1 2014 01:35AM
The Cooperative Gallery 213 on State Street is part of the Binghamton art scene going strong for 14 years & always bringing in the crowds during First Fridays. It is a local treasure that represents community. It thrives on the energy of its members, supporting members and art lovers.
The artists are an eclectic blend of talent with painters, printmakers, photographers & sculptors. There are a variety of mediums represented, including glass, oils, ceramics, digital imaging, assemblage, installation, watercolors, woodcuts, inks & acrylics. Exhibits change monthly & members staff the gallery.
The gallery is typically open on the weekends. However, it is not limited to just Fridays and Saturdays. There are many lively events that make the gallery central to the arts community. Third Thursdays are open to artist talks that are a mix of education, dialogue and sense of belonging. One does not have to be an artist to be engaged in the happenings at the Co-op.
Every few years the Marche’ desArtes becomes a whimsical week for the gallery. It’s an art market that helps raise operating funds. The annual Holiday Exhibit showcases talented supporting members. The Bob Johnston Memorial Exhibition is an annual juried photography show. There have been guest artists for evening discussions, poetry readings and many other wonderful programming events. The gallery even has a scholarship for a graduating art major from Binghamton High School.
A recent Co-op evening that stands out in my mind was the reading of “Red”, a fictional play about color field artist Mark Rothko. Gallery member Bill Gorman, a well-respected patriarch of the arts for acting and photography, brought Rothko to life. His grandson, Matt played the supporting role convincingly and artist/actor Janet Normile narrated the play with finesse. Bill is an intense talent and consumes whomever he is playing at the moment. I have seen many a performance of his and I am always awestruck with how well I am drawn in to his character. Hands down, I am a fan.
The Cooperative Gallery 213 on State Street is the real deal. It is one of the best places to purchase original art. The art is outstanding and the work, affordable. The gallery is on Facebook & the internet at www.cooperativegallery.com