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 40 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, he has no plans to retire from designing the Festival’s annual poster.

For the second year, Lanny designed the poster with a partner: his daughter Saige.  Saige is a 2018 graduate of Penn State’s graphic design program and is the co-founder and creative director for Golden Creative, in Denver.  Graphic design is the family business–Saige’s mother, Kristin Sommese, also taught design at Penn State. 

The 2019 poster features a picture within a picture as the Festival’s jester, clad in a red and yellow suit reminiscent of traditional harlequin garb, stands behind an easel holding a large colored pencil. Collage elements representing art and music surround the easel, which stands in front of an open window overlooking the Central Pennsylvania landscape.

The 2019 poster is sponsored by a partnership between Highmark and Penn State Health.

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
  • Downtown State College Improvement District, 127 S. Fraser St. 
  • Penn State Federal Credit Union, 1937 North Atherton Street
  • State College Framing Company and Gallery, 160 Rolling Ridge Drive
  • 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.

Saige Sommese

Saige Sommese is a 2018 graduate of Penn State’s graphic design program. She is the co-founder and creative director for Golden Creative, in Denver.

She has had her work published in the Graphis New Talent Annual and in 2016 designed the logo for the THON, the Penn State Dance Marathon and largest student run fundraising event in the world.  Saige does freelance work helping small businesses with their branding, advertising, identity and packaging design – usually from coffee shops  across the U.S. – as she follows her passion for travel. 

Buy a Button!

For just $10, you get access to select indoor performances. Proudly wear your support of the Festival!

Visit the Festival Store!

Get a Festival poster and buy Festival buttons, t-shirts and other merchandise at the corner of College and Allen – or visit our online store.

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