Centre Daily Times (Sunday)
Centred Outdoors to host guided tour of State College’s public art
Summer plans are in full swing and many of us are carefully coordinating busy schedules to visit friends and loved ones for the first time in more than a year. While the sunscreen, road trips, and dinner parties add up, some people may already be craving a “vacation from vacation.” Fortunately, we live in a region where there are endless opportunities to enjoy an inspiring and affordable “staycation” that doesn’t require a plane ride, long drive, or an overnight stay away from your own bed.
Consider downtown State College when searching for your next dose of relaxation and inspiration. Art and the outdoors are proven to reduce a person’s stress and boost their creativity, and a stroll through downtown is an ideal way to benefit from both while appreciating the many artists whose work publicly expresses the distinct characteristics of our region.
There are approximately 40 sculptures, murals, and functional art pieces that help tell the story of the town through vibrant colors and shapes full of meaning and history. Nearly every downtown street is home to one or more works of art that can be enjoyed by everyone and without any admission fees. Even if you have been downtown hundreds of times before, walking through this massive outdoor museum solely to admire artwork can offer a fresh perspective on works you’ve been passing by for years.
Along Cadler Way, let your “Dreams Take Flight” as you walk by this imaginative mural created by Natalia Pilato and Elody Gyekis and painted with the help of 500 community members. This block-long mural was unveiled in 2010 and answers the question, “What makes State College special?” The view is reminded of how much there is to celebrate about the region while viewing the vivid illustrations of the many places, people, and experiences that define it.
Throughout town you will also see several murals, some many stories high, by William Snyder III. Snyder’s work can be seen on the Graduate building (“We Are All One”), along Humes Alley (“Wild Geese”), and as of this month, on the side of the Alexander Court building on the corner of Locust Lane and Beaver Avenue. The mural “You are Loved, You Are Welcome Here” by Nehama Dormont and Kelly Hooper and located on Locust Lane was also added this year.
While you immerse yourself in the variety of murals also note the sculptures and functional works of art at eye level. Wave to “Downtown Eugene Brown” by Gavin Gardner and check in on the “Centennial Pigs” by Eric Berg on McAllister Alley. Have a seat and reflect at the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza along South Fraser Street. See if you can find all three Book Benches around town and take photos all along the way.
You can truly make a
day out of exploring the public art in downtown State College. On July 4 from noon-6 p.m., an ambassador for ClearWater Conservancy’s Centred Outdoors program will be stationed at 3 Dots Downtown (137 E. Beaver Ave.) to offer suggestions and a brochure for a self-guided art walk at your own pace. Guided tours will then be offered on Wednesday, July 7 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., and Friday, July 9 at 6 p.m. Registration is not required.
All Centred Outdoors events are free, open to everyone, and suitable or able to be modified for all ages and fitness levels. Event details and a downloadable brochure about public art in State College can be found at www.centredoutdoors.org.