Rhoneymeade tour Photo courtesy of Rhoneymeade 2

See it, love it, create it: get inspired by discovering all Happy Valley art has to offer

Here in Happy Valley, we have a rich arts community with creations waiting to be discovered. Local opportunities abound in Centre County to view both historic pieces and modern creations while receiving inspiration for your very own works of art. Whether you enjoy walking beside a building mural, taking a garden stroll with marble statues, or gallery hopping with local art at your fingertips (…without making fingerprints, right?), there’s something inspiring about spending a weekend taking in the arts.

– by Christen Bell

Let’s start at the heart of Happy Valley. The Downtown State College Art Walk has 37 different stops where you can view murals, sculptures, statues, pop art, stained glass and more. Favorite stops include:

  • Centennial Pigs by Artist Eric Berg (located just outside The Tavern, so you might as well grab a bite to eat),
  • Inspiration: State College by Artists Michael Pilato & Yuri Karabash
  • St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Windows by Artist Henry Lee Willet.

Of course, those are barely scratching the surface of the artistic sites offered throughout the tour, so grab your map here and start where it all began, The Centennial Fountain at 241 S. Fraser St.

"Venture a bit outside Happy Valley’s Penn State campus and State College downtown, and you’ll discover plenty of opportunities to take in local art"

- Christen Bell

The class of 2013 left a memorable gift on Penn State’s campus. Located at the intersection of Curtin Rd. and University Dr. the We Are statue was crafted by alumnus Jonathan Cramer. The 12-foot dynamic statue embodies the memories of every Penn State student, parent, alumni and community member, who need no further prompting to recount the storied chants of "We are… Penn State!"

Venture a bit outside Happy Valley’s Penn State campus and State College downtown, and you’ll discover plenty of opportunities to take in local art. Bellefonte was home to Artist George Grey Barnard (1863-1938) who created the Abraham Lincoln sculpture. This 1917 sculpture has a history as varied as its artist. Its realism was ahead of its time and caused quite a stir, even in Barnard’s own family. The full Lincoln statue stands in Lytle Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, while the bronze bust of Lincoln stands on a marble pedestal in one of Bellefonte’s trademark locations, Talleyrand Park, as a tribute to his hometown.

Art Walk Photo courtesy of the DID 2 1

Rhoneymeade Arboretum & Sculpture Garden is a tranquil garden filled with sculptures and surrounded by nature. Rhoneymeade is located in Centre Hall, nestled between Nittany and Tussey Mountains. They host exhibitions, such as the upcoming one featuring Austin Van Allen July 3 – August 22, and have permanent sculptures available for visitors any time. Budding artists can join with an artist membership and be inspired by the surrounding beauty while creating their own.

While the opportunities above are more than enough to give you a weekend of artsy touring, it doesn’t mean you should stop there. Jump in the car for a scenic 30-minute drive further into Centre County and you’ll be glad you did.

The Green Drake Gallery and Arts Center located in Millheim is any artist’s delight. It is an art gallery, music venue, studio and community gathering place. Open for over a decade, The Green Drake plays host to the local art community, and you’ll find ceramics, paintings and photography to enjoy by several local artists.

Lincoln Bust

The Millheim town mural is located in Millheim as well on the side of Elk Creek Café + Aleworks. PSU alumna Elody Gyekis both designed and created the mural, which represents the best of Penns Valley depicting “Pride in the Past, Love of Place, Hope for the Future.” Of course, this would be a great time to pop in Elk Creek Café + Aleworks. Whether you’re there in the morning for a coffee or the evening for a refreshing brew and musical event, your artistic side will leave inspired.

Happy Valley is nowhere near finished creating discoverable art in the area. The idea of a Bellefonte mural has been in the works for five years and is about to come to fruition this fall, thanks Amy Debach’s relentless efforts spearheading the project. After committees, surveys, legal work and the like, brushstrokes will start flying after an artist is selected this summer and a draft mural is presented that captures the pulse of Bellefonte.

Finally, a new art space and community gathering space is coming together in Philipsburg. The ARTery is opening under the leadership of Lynn Anne Verbeck and Adrienne Waterston. The Artery will be a place to not only see art, but create it as well. Check their website for updates!

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at HappyValley.com/events