Arts Fest 2008

This afternoon I biked to campus and strolled through the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Arts Fest annually takes over State College for a weekend in July. Many streets in downtown State College are shut down for the weekend. In some locations “street scaping” is done. I bet half the people who walk by don’t even notice that the gardens are located on the street. 

Some of the streets are designated as canvases where chalk (or chalk-like mediums) artists can work their magic.


The first thing to catch my eye was a collection of giant sculptures. Most notably was a giant guitar. The body of the guitar appeared to be cut from very thick iron plate. The strings were 1″ or 0.75″ round. I wish the artist had used a range of gauges for the strings. In addition to the guitar, there was a large dog, a stainless steel curly-cue (I think it would make a nice nose hair for the Statue of Liberty), a horse, and numerous abstract people.









 The next piece of art that grabbed my attention was an iguana riding a llama. If I had a dime for every iguana I’ve seen riding a llama I’d have 10¢. This vendor had eccentric stuffed animals. Many of them were borderline grotesque. I wasn’t sure if it was acceptable to openly laugh while viewing them, so I just smiled.

I really liked the artwork of Ken Orton. I didn’t get any pictures of it, but I linked a gallery of the paintings I was admiring to his name above.

A vendor named Mike Meyer had some very cool ceramic pieces on display. He incorporated impressions of leaves onto his ceramic vases and plant holders, which looked really sweet. The veins of the leaves have exquisite detail.

James Mosier and Wendy Benard had some very interesting baskets and weaving pieces displayed. The one pictured below is either copper or aluminum.

One humorous thing that I witnessed while walking around Arts Fest was a verbal exchange between an elderly man and two young kids. The man was walking a small dog, and one of the kids approached him and tentatively asked: “May we pet your dog?” The man responded quickly (and seriously): “For a dollar.” The kids didn’t know what to do. They looked at each other, trying to decide if petting the dog was worth a dollar. After a five second pause the man chuckled and told the kids they were welcome to pet the dog for free.


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