Campus Life

Arts Festival sidewalk sale, exhibition ranked No. 1 by Sunshine Artist magazine

Visitors from around the nation stroll the streets of downtown State College and Penn State's University Park campus at the 2015 Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts to look at the sidewalk sales of unique art and enjoy a variety of musical performances. Credit: Kathy Cappelli / Penn StateCreative Commons

The sidewalk sale and exhibition of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts once again ranked first on the list of 100 Best Fine Art and Design Shows in America published by Sunshine Artist magazine. The 23rd annual poll, published in the magazine’s September 2015 issue, is based on sales totals reported by exhibitors at the 2014 festival. Sunshine Artist is America’s premier art show and festival guide.This is the second time the sidewalk sale has reached the list’s top spot. It reached No. 1 in 2013, though fell to No. 3 last year. The event hasn’t been ranked lower than fifth since 2009.Shows rounding out the top five were: One of a Kind Show & Sale, Chicago, Illinois; Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver, Colorado; La Quinta Arts Festival, La Quinta, California; and the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, Winter Park, Florida.“We’re delighted by this news, but not surprised given our remarkable staff, our array of talented artists, and our dedicated festival-goers,” said Joyce Robinson, board president of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. “This ranking inspires us to continue to put on the best arts festival possible, particularly as we prepare for our 50th festival in July 2016."

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, known to artists across the country as “the Penn State show” was founded in 1967 by Penn State’s College of Arts and Architecture and what was then known as the State College Chamber of Commerce. The festival has grown to encompass children and youth day, a juried gallery exhibition, a banner competition, the Downtown State College Italian Street Painting Festival, and a wide variety of performances on outdoor and indoor stages. Approximately 125,000 people visit the festival each year. The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts also produces First Night State College.

“The festival is a great destination for both browsers and collectors,” said Rick Bryant, festival director. “In addition to great shopping, people come to hear a wide variety of great music, see friends, and enjoy both town and campus. Any Penn Stater will tell you that the festival is a quintessential part of the Penn State experience.”

The 50th Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will be held from July 13-17, 2016, in downtown State College and on Penn State’s University Park campus. Children and youth day will be Wednesday, July 13, and the sidewalk sale and exhibition will be held from Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, July 17.The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.Additional funding is provided through a grant made by possible by the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and the Centre County Commissioners. 

Last Updated September 17, 2015