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Artists, outreach workers collaborate: What is Home?
Binghamton artists, outreach workers collaborate: What is Home?
Artists, outreach workers collaborate: What is Home?
Outreach worker Maria Colleyacme and Joe Trapper of Binghamton's Cooperative Gallery 213 speak with WSKG's Bill Snyder about the exhibit What is Home? Group Exhibit Brings Awareness to Homeless in Broome County
A collaboration between Gallery Artists and Outreach Workers from the Homeless Coalition

August 10 – September 2, 2007

Opening Reception:
Friday, August 10, 2007
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Contacts:
Maria Colleyacme, YWCA 772-0340
Peg Johnston, Cooperative Gallery 213 785-3429

A collaboration between artists at the Cooperative Gallery 213 and outreach workers from the Homeless Coalition will surprise—and educate—you, which is the point of the new show "What is Home?" at the gallery, August 10- September 2nd. The opening reception Friday August 10th from 5-8 pm is open to all and will feature the creation of a "House of Food", made entirely of donated canned and packaged food, which will be donated to local food pantries at the end of the show.

Another feature of the exhibit are photographs of "homes" put together by homeless people in camps near riverbanks, in abandoned buildings, and in woodlands. Outreach workers from the Homeless Coalition of Broome County took the photos with disposable cameras provided by the gallery, and members printed them up for display. They will be donated to the Homeless Coalition for on-going educational purposes after the show.

"This has been very engaging for members of our gallery," said Peg Johnston. "Members have really opened their minds and creative energies to educating themselves and bringing more awareness to the local problem." "Part of the process was educating the artists," according to Maria Colleyacme an outreach worker at the YWCA. "We met with them extensively and gave them facts about the problem locally and what we are doing in this community."

There are 484 officially homeless persons in Broome County, according to the strictest definition the government has, which workers believe leaves many, many people out, especially those who "couch surf" going from one place to another, but with no permanent address or home. Gallery members learned that there is no single factor that causes homelessness. "Sometimes it is financial troubles, or catastrophic medical expenses; sometimes it is mental illness or addiction," said Colleyacme.

"What is Home?" runs from August 10th through September 2nd and the gallery is regularly open Fridays, 3-6 pm, Saturday and Sundays 12-3 pm. The gallery is available for special events or showings for small or large groups. Contact the gallery at Info@cooperativegallery.com or 724-3462 during regular hours. The public is encouraged to bring food donations to the opening reception and throughout the show for the House of Food.

Gallery hours: Fridays 3-6:00 pm, First Fridays 3-9:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday 12-3:00 pm.

The Cooperative Gallery 213 has been a pioneering presence on State Street which now is the hub of the arts renaissance in Binghamton and a popular stop on the highly successful First Friday Art Walks from 3-9:00 pm every month, sponsored by the Gorgeous Washington Association. The gallery is open every Friday from 3-6 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 12-3 pm and by appointment with the featured artist or other members. For more information, visit www.cooperativegallery.com or call 724-3462.