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Community Bench: State College Area – Farm Animals


Artist: Elody Gyekis and Community

Location: Sidney Friedman Park, 241 South Fraser Street, State College, 16801


The community benches are based on themes generated at the community meetings that were not covered by other artists. Though State College is not perhaps the most farm-filled of the Centre County Areas, one of the themes discussed at all of the meetings including the State College meeting, was how much we all love the farm animals here: The cows and horses especially, but also all the other barnyard animals. Though we had many benches that included aspects of farming, there were not enough farm animals! This bench shows a local barn and cows, a horse, a goat, a rooster, hen and chicks, a dog, a kitten, and a piglet.


State College Area School District Art Teachers, led by the Middle School Art Teachers, their students and community members came together to paint this bench.  Mount Nittany Middle School hosted the event in their Art Room.


“Of all of the Public Art Projects I have helped bring to fruition, this has been the most expansive in reach and most logistically complex. It has been a real pleasure working with my incredible partner in the project, Ann Walker, all of the artists who created proposals and painted benches, all of the community members who leant their hearts and minds to the idea building process and all of the community members who showed up and helped to paint the community benches. (Ann Walker asked me to help direct the project!)”


About the Artist:

Elody Gyekis and Community Elody Gyekis earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Ceramics from Penn State and currently is based in Centre County where she is a resident artist at the Green Drake Gallery and Arts Center in Millheim, PA when she is not traveling and living in other parts of the world. In addition to her fine art work, she has been a community arts organizer and muralist for many public arts projects across Pennsylvania and beyond and is currently the Artistic Director of the Book Benches of Centre County project. Elody lives and works in Spring Mills/Millheim.

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