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Arts Festival Poster

Arts festivals across the country often advertise themselves with collectible posters. Some festivals hire an advertising agency to design their poster. Others commission the prior year’s Best of Show winner to do an illustration for their poster. The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts does things a bit differently.

Our posters are unusual in that they’re the work of one man. For more than 30 years Lanny Sommese, distinguished professor emeritus of visual arts in Penn State’s Stuckeman School of Visual Arts, has designed the Festival’s poster. Although Sommese retired from Penn State in the spring of 2014 after 44 years of teaching, he has no plans to retire from designing the Festival’s annual poster.

The 2017 poster features the Festival’s Jester standing shoulder to shoulder with an artist and a performer in a stylized Central Pennsylvania landscape with the tower of Penn State’s Old Main in the background. A happy and radiant sunrise presides over the whole scene.

See also Festival Posters Tell Stories Too

A full set of Sommese’s Arts Festival posters is on display in the HUB-Robeson Center on Penn State’s University Park campus.

This year’s poster is available – while supplies last – at the following locations:

  • Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau, 800 E. Park Avenue
  • Penn State Federal Credit Union, 1937 North Atherton Street
  • HUB-Robeson Center Desk, Penn State Campus
  • Hintz Family Alumni Center, Penn State Campus
  • Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau, Historic Court House, Lewistown

Posters are also available at our official merchandise booth at the corner of Allen Street and College Avenue during the Festival.

Vintage Arts Festival posters from previous years are available for purchase while supplies last.

Posters are printed on heavy stock and are 24” wide by 36” high.
Posters are $10.00 each, plus $5.00 for shipping and handling.

More about Lanny Sommese

Lanny Sommese took undergraduate degrees from the University of Florida and received his MFA Degree at the University of Illinois. He started teaching at Penn State shortly thereafter.

Sommese’s work is the subject of two books, Lanny Sommese: World Master and Lanny Sommese: X-Ray Vision. His work has been reproduced in hundreds of periodicals and books, such as Graphis, The New York Times, Communication Arts, A History of Graphic Design, and A History of Contemporary Graphic Design.

Sommese’s posters are included in numerous collections including the Museum for Deutsche Geschichte, Berlin; Muzeum Plakatu w Wilanowie, Warsaw; Musee D’Histoire Contemporaine, Paris; The Central Institute of Fine Art, Beijing; Moravaska Galerie, Brno; Kanazawa University, Japan; The Museum of Applied Art, Helsinki; and in the Library of Congress National Poster Collection, which has more than 100 of Sommese’s posters in its collection.

In addition to many other professional honors, he is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale, an elite international group of graphic designers based in Zurich.

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