Festival Banner (the Arts Festival blog)

The 2020 Festival Poster

While this summer’s Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will be taking place in the virtual world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve kept the tradition of issuing a real world collectible Festival poster. If ever there was a year to remember, this is it. Fortunately, if anyone could do a Festival poster for a crazy year with no in-person Festival, it would be Lanny and Saige Sommese.

I think you’ll agree with me that they – to use a sports metaphor even though we have no sports – hit the ball right out of the park.

In a subtle nod to a summer without a traditional Festival, most of the images found in the typical Festival poster – the jester, references to art, music, and theatre – are missing. Instead, it’s an image of a simple sunrise over a stylized Happy Valley landscape. To me, the poster symbolizes optimism and hope, two things in short supply this week.

All of our previous posters have said that the Festival takes place in “Downtown State College and the Penn State campus.”  Since the 2020 Festival will be virtual, the poster’s text says “happening wherever you are.”  You won’t have to worry about parking, comfortable shoes, or even sunscreen.

Penn State Health is the sponsor of the 2020 Festival poster. I’m really happy they’re the poster sponsor in a time when we’re all thinking about our health and how our loved ones are doing.

In addition to a poster, we’re working with our merchandise partner Collegiate Pride to put the image on a t-shirt. They should be available on our website in a couple of weeks. Those shirts will be the perfect thing to wear not only on “t-shirt Tuesdays” but when you attend the virtual Festival next month.

The poster is free and can be picked up at several local businesses, including:

-Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts
403 S. Allen Street, Suite 205A, State College

Downtown State College Improvement District
127 S. Fraser Street, State College

State College Framing Company and Gallery
160 Rolling Ridge Drive, State College

The Makery
209 W. Calder Way, State College

Art a la Carte
107 S. Allegheny Street, Bellefonte

Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau
One West Market Street, Lewistown

We hope to have posters at the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau shortly – but as I write this, their offices are still closed.

After July 12, any remaining posters will be available for sale on the Festival’s website.

Poster designer Lanny Sommese is emeritus Professor of Graphic Design at Penn State. Saige Sommese is a 2018 graduate of Penn State’s graphic design program and is the principal in her own design firm. For over 40 years, the elder Sommese has designed the colorful posters for the Arts Festival. The entire collection is on display in Penn State’s HUB-Robeson Center.

Since we’re not expecting 125,000 of our nearest and dearest friends in State College for the Festival in July, we’ve printed significantly fewer posters than we usually do. Don’t delay in picking one up. A poster this timely will be gone before you know it.

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