LOGAN – Jump the Moon Foundation, located at 553 North Main Street in Logan, is on the move. Who would have thought the name of the art gallery/studios would be a description of the enduring spirit of the nonprofit and its founder Michael Bingham?
From the moment someone enters the store front they are blasted with color, art and design. Now, everything, even the sink, needs to be moved to a warehouse where it will be stored until a new space opens up. They do have some space to store things for now.
From the start in 2017, Bingham was jumping over hurdles to make his vocational arts program survive. Jump the Moon was dedicated to giving people with different abilities an opportunity to make and market their own artwork.
“Anyone can make art,” he said. “We probably had more than 20 artists that were actively producing artwork. Some only came once a month.”
Then in March of 2019 Bingham was on a ladder painting the ceiling of his living room when he fell, landed on his head, broke his neck and put him on death’s door. He survived the incident. He said it helped him better relate to those he works with at a much higher level.
Nevertheless, the accident slowed the progress of making his dream a reality.
The former Hallmark artist set aside a portion of the building and built a gallery with the hope of giving his artists a way to make an income by selling their art, forge lasting relationships, and gain the skills necessary to be successful as an artist.
Then COVID-19 hit and his art and his classes were slashed, and the gallery was closed and money for rent dwindled.
“I did finish my Master of Fine Arts Degree at Utah State University during the pandemic,” he said. “That’s a terminal degree in art.”
That gives Bingham credentials to teach at the college level. But, he still wants to work with people with disabilities.
“There are only two part-time employees. Kenzo Tillitt is my right hand man. He was a student of mine when I taught at Mountain Crest,” Bingham said. “The other part time paid employ is Lori Anderson whose husband is the electrician who set the lights in the ceiling.”
He counts Tillitt and Anderson for their dedication and help in making the place a success.
“I have prepared mentally for the move,” Bingham said, “And I am ready to put this behind me and move on.”
They will be moving some of his teaching tools from its current location to Cache Valley Center for the Arts, where they have allocated space for Bingham to work with students.
“I thought we would be here forever but that’s not the way it worked out,” he said. “I have no ill feelings for the building owners, I understand what they need to do.”
Bingham keeps everything positive. Everything he’s gone through is just another bump in the road or a hoop to go through for Jump the Moon, to keep on his desire of help people experience art.
Suzanne Thomas, the business manager, said now that they have a place to teach they will be looking for a more permanent home.
“We need to run leaner in order to keep us going and the building is up for sale,” she said. “We will find a new home.”
Jump the Moon needs help moving. They have to detach an 800 pound astronaut and a boat from the ceiling. They will have everything tagged. Some of it will go to the trash, some to Deseret Industries and some will be boxed up and moved. The more helpers the better, Bingham said.
Bingham borrowed a six-place covered snowmobile trailer and hopes to find one more.
Anyone or group seeking for a service opportunity should call Valerie Harrington at 435-764-0226 or Bingham at 435-750-5066.