Posts tagged ‘Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts’
There was a time, back in the early 1980s, when you could see the band Cartoon play somewhere in the State College area at least once a week. I remember seeing them at the Saloon, in the Hippo Room at the Deli, and at a now-defunct bar called Rego’s, among other places. Or you could hear them live on QWK Rock on Sunday nights—I remember taping some of those shows from the radio, and I still have those cassettes somewhere in my music collection.
It’s been 31 years since Cartoon formed as a band (they were Menagerie at first, but I think they learned that the name was already taken, so they had to find a new name). And it’s probably been 25 years since they broke up. The members—Glenn Kidder ’73, Kevin Dremel ’81, Randy Hughes ’79, and Jon Rounds ’87, ’94g—graduated, got married, took jobs elsewhere. But once a year, they (more…)
I’m listening right now to a new recording from the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers, a CD released just in time for the group’s annual performance at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
The group is, as its name would suggest, a group of Penn State alumni who sang in Essence of Joy when they were students. (It’s actually an officially chartered alumni interest group, or AIG, of the Alumni Association.)
Like Essence of Joy, the Alumni Singers have a repertoire that includes “sacred and secular music from the African and African-American tradition.” The song that’s playing for me in iTunes right now, for example, (more…)
I don’t know about you, but when I pick up a program at an event and discover that one of the featured presentations is titled “Galactic Cannibalism,” I immediately plan the rest of the evening’s activities around, yes, “Galactic Cannibalism.”
And that did turn out to be one of the highlights of my Thursday night visit to AstroFest, the annual celebration of astronomy that the Department of Astrophysics hosts every year during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. But it was just one of many. All of the students and researchers at AstroFest went out of their way to make sure all of us had a good time.
And it’s continuing Friday and Saturday nights, so if you’re in town for Arts Fest, you should stop by. Especially if you’ve got kids. (more…)
The Helmut’s Strudel booth is back in its traditional space on Allen Street, so clearly it’s Arts Fest Week. I love how the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts mixes the tried and true with the brand new, so I’ll be enjoying myself Saturday when I get some strudel for breakfast and then head up the street for the festival’s latest addition: BookFest. (more…)
The Arts Festival is next week, and in keeping with tradition, it’ll include a concert by Cartoon on Friday night (July 9) in Schwab Auditorium. This year, Cartoon will have a new CD ready for the concert—not bad for a bunch of guys who now are scattered throughout the East Coast, have jobs that mostly have nothing to do with music, and play together only once in a great while.
This past May, Glenn Kidder ’73, Kevin Dremel ’81, Randy Hughes ’79, and Jon Rounds ’87, ’94g got together in an old stone chapel in Keene, N.H.—Kevin’s hometown—to record the new CD. The recording is called The Chapel Sessions and I’m sure they’ll have copies available at their Arts Fest performance. You also can order it by going to the band’s website.
Now, who remembers hearing Cartoon perform at Rego’s in Heritage Oaks, or at the Hippo Room in the Deli back in the 1980s? You get extra-credit bonus points if you know what the group’s name was before they changed it to Cartoon.
Tina Hay, editor
Those of you who, like me, were in school at Penn State in the late 1970s–early 1980s will remember Cartoon as a fixture on the local music scene. The four original members are scattered throughout the East Coast now, but still get together every year for a concert at the arts festival. They played last night in Schwab Auditorium, and I got permission to shoot photos for the first 10 minutes of the show. You can see a slide show of 15 or so photos from last night here.
Tina Hay, editor
I took a walk down to Hiester Street late this morning to take a look at the Italian Street Painting project, which has been a part of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts since 1999 and which I have somehow never managed to check out. I figured it was about time.
It turns out to be pretty cool—though when I got there, the artists had been at it for a grand total of 90 minutes and, not surprisingly, didn’t have a lot to show for it yet. The artists work on these things all week long and usually don’t finish them until Saturday night or even Sunday. The first shot you see here, of a completed street painting, is from a past arts festival. (The photo is from the arts festival Web site and I’m guessing it was taken by Bob Baumbach.)
By the way, I’m assuming that this woman with the blue-and-gold head scarf is a replica of a famous painting? Does anyone happen to know the name of the work and the artist? Art history is not my long suit.
Anyway, by contrast, 90 minutes into the first day of the street painting, most of the works look more like this next shot. This is Penn State art education grad Abby Gleixner Cramer ’06, and as you can see, she’s just getting started.
Abby has been involved with the street painting festival since its inception—except for one year when she was studying art in Italy. While most of the artists in the project get 6-foot-by-4-foot chunks of pavement to work with, Abby has a much bigger “canvas,” as it were, to work with. I didn’t catch the actual dimensions, but suffice it to say that she’s got one of the two showcase spots.
She’s painting—in chalk—a replica of N.J. Wyeth’s 1933 painting “William Penn: Man of Vision, Courage, Action,” and she told me she’ll spend 10 hours a day on it from now through Saturday.
I’m looking forward to going back later in the week to see the finished products. Between now and then I need to scheme a way to get up onto the second floor of one of the nearby buildings (does the Deli have a roof, I wonder?) to get some shots from above.
Tina Hay, editor
I had a chance yesterday to be on-site with my camera when one of the three Seward Johnson sculptures was set up for the arts festival. Here’s a photo of the one called God Bless America (based on Grant Wood’s American Gothic) getting unloaded from the fork lift:
Here’s a close-up of the sculpture—these things are done in cast-bronze, and the details are amazingly realistic (click on any of these to see larger):
And here’s a shot of some passers-by checking out one of the other sculptures, called Holding Out, on the plaza outside Willard Building:
You can see a slide show of 15 or so images of the arts festival sculptures here. There’s a third one, called My World, on the plaza outside the State College Municipal Building, but I haven’t had a chance to get shots of that yet.
By the way, when I was shooting photos of the sculptures, a woman who happened to pass by mentioned to me that Seward Johnson has set up a public sculpture park called “Grounds for Sculpture” in Hamilton, N.J., where you can see lots of public art like this—not just by Johnson himself but works by other artists as well.
Tina Hay, editor
I really love the sculptures of Seward Johnson—if you’re not familiar with him, he does these very life-like, cast-bronze renditions of ordinary people engaged in ordinary activities. So I was excited to hear that three of his works will be on display during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts this week. The three are on loan from The Sculpture Foundation, which encourages the placement of public art.
—God Bless America, inspired by Grant Wood’s American Gothic, will be set up near the main campus gate.
—Holding Out, a woman carrying bags full of groceries, will be on display on the Willard Building plaza, near Pollock Road.
The Sculpture Foundation is sending a curator along with the work, according to arts festival director Rick Bryant. Rick says: “Her name is Amy Blank (really, that’s her name, I am not just having a senior moment) and she’ll be here for most of the Festival, ready to talk about The Sculpture Foundation and Seward Johnson.”
There’s a cool photo contest associated with the sculptures, in which you’re encouraged to take your picture with them and e-mail the pictures to email@example.com. More information about the sculptures, the contest, and the role of the Sight Loss Support Group in getting the sculptures here, can be found at the arts festival site.
Tina Hay, editor