Logan Artist Creates Drive-Through Art Exhibit During Pandemic
May 10, 2020, 10:28 PM | Updated: Sep 5, 2022, 11:41 pm
LOGAN, Utah — Over the past few weeks, we’ve learned there are lots of things that you can do without ever leaving your car – shop, get take-out, get a coronavirus test, and even appreciate art. Logan artist Michael Bingham, in order to safely show his work, opened a drive-through art exhibit.
“A drive-in art show, and I don’t think you can find that in the dictionary. It’s kind of a new thing,” he said.
It’s about making the most of what life gives you, Bingham said.
Bingham does a lot of that at the Jump the Moon Foundation, which runs an art studio for people with disabilities.
He devised a way for Keyona Eccles to paint with her power chair – he attached foam brushes to it, put paper on the floor, and taught her to drive and paint.
In March 2019, Bingham fell off a ladder and landed on his head after a tarp slipped out from under him. He broke his neck and almost died. His wife revived him.
He said it was not misfortune, but “an answer to a prayer.”
“An answer to a prayer that I offered up about two years ago,” he said, adding that he asked God to help him really understand what people with disabilities go through.
He had to relearn how to walk, how to talk, and how to swallow.
While he was recuperating, Bingham worked on a masters of fine arts degree, which required him to stage an art exhibit.
At the time, other venues were booked, so he rented space at an old body repair shop attached to the Jump the Moon studio.
It turned out to be a fortuitous decision.
When it came time to put on the show though, it was not a good time to put on a show. Due to restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, few people would have wanted to leave their cars.
Bingham thought, what if they didn’t have to?
What if visitors could just drive right in?
He called the show “Second Chances.”
Some of the material for the art came from garage sales, thrift stores and dumpsters. The items got a second chance, just as did Bingham.
“My wife actually revived me from an accident and saved my life. I got a second chance myself and I don’t want to waste it,” he said.
He subtitled the show “Making the Most of What Life Gives You.”
He made the most of what he fished out of dumpsters. He made the most of the old body repair shop, and he hoped to make the most of his time.
Bingham pointed out a piece he called his “time clock.” It listed the date and time he was born, the date and time he fell and almost died, and the minute he was revived.
“When my clock finally does run out, I don’t want to regret wasting the minutes that I had,” he said.
On a back wall, there’s a large canvas with muted colors — a work, Bingham said, that’s not quite finished.
He said it’s not just any canvas, it’s the drop cloth that slipped out from under him.
“You should burn that drop cloth,” Bingham said someone told him. “You know it almost killed you.”
He didn’t burn it. Michael Bingham took what life gave him and framed it a little differently.