The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts rolls into town this week. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the annual summer celebration of people, music, food, and, of course, art.
Our July/August 2016 issue featured a retrospective on the commemorative posters that have come to symbolize the spirit of the festival and the man who has been designing them continuously since 1974: Lanny Sommese, professor emeritus of graphic design in the College of Arts and Architecture. This year’s poster, pictured above, is only the third time in his 42 years of working with the festival that Sommese chose a horizontal design, and for the first time, it will be made available in black and white so people can color their own poster and post it to social media.
“Oh my god! Everybody loves it,” Sommese said when we caught up with him this week. “It’s what the people like and that’s important. I think I made the right choice in doing it.”
As for how long he thinks he’ll continue designing the poster, the 73-year-old Sommese doesn’t have an answer for that. “I certainly plan on doing it this coming year,” he says. “People ask me that all the time and I say I have no idea. It’ll be when I’m too old, I can’t do it, or I run out of ideas, which I never do.”
How long would he like to keep doing it? “As long as I can. I love doing it.”
The 2016 Arts Festival runs July 14-17. For more on Sommese and his posters, see our July/August 2016 issue.
B.J. Reyes, associate editor