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April 10, 2021
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Logan charity forced to move out after pandemic losses

LOGAN – A charity in Logan is struggling to find a new home after the pandemic left them with fewer clients and a huge drop in donations.

The last piece of that move included getting an 800-pound piece of art shipped off to a warehouse.

As the final pieces come down, Michael Bingham’s Jump The Moon Studio started to look more like a blank canvas.

“It’s really reminding me of four years ago when I moved in here because there was nothing,” he said.

But it became something that he and his employees filled, with the memories and mementos from those they helped overcome so-called disabilities, through art.

“To leave this place behind, with so many memories here is, it’s a tough day,” Bingham said.

Tough, because the pandemic turned their funding situation upside-down and the removal of an 800-pound astronaut kind of signified the end — at least of this phase.

“That’s the goal. We don’t want to quit doing what we’re doing. We want to keep helping people,” Bingham said.

Michael Bingham’s Jump The Moon Studio in Logan is struggling to find a new home after the pandemic left them with fewer clients and a huge drop in donations.

Michael Bingham’s Jump The Moon Studio in Logan is struggling to find a new home after the pandemic left them with fewer clients and a huge drop in donations. (Photo: Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

And if the symbolic nature isn’t painful enough … getting this guy down took a lot of maneuvering — getting him just right, onto a forklift-ready mount.

“His name is Avery,” Bingham said. “Avery is one of us, and he’s an earth-maintenance astronaut. His job is to come down and keep the planet cleaned up.”

He was on display in downtown Salt Lake City for more than three years. Bingham has sold off a lot of his pieces to help support Jump The Moon, but Avery has stayed.

“But I just can’t let go of this guy,” he said. “He just seems to be a necessary part of our studio.”

For now, Avery, and nearly everything else, will sit in some donated storage space in a warehouse.

“So, in a way, the astronaut coming down will be the last … kind of signify that this place has ended, and we’ll have to start again,” Bingham said.

And Bingham still doesn’t have a new location yet, but he’s confident something will come together with more community support and a little more time.

He believes it has to work out, and there are more people out there who can be changed for the better through art.

“It takes a lot to get me down, but there’s days every once in a while when this is pretty rough,” Bingham said.

All of it made more real as they struggled to get this last 12-foot piece down.

“Darn. You made me cry last time too,” Bingham said with a laugh. “I’ve got to pull it together.”

But after more than two hours of careful lifting, and positioning, Avery was finally ready for the next chapter – hopefully, in a new studio.

“I have no reason to believe that all that’s going to end,” Bingham said.

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