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Community Bench: Penns Valley Area – Artisans and Their Tools


Artist: Elody Gyekis and Community

Location: Coburn Park, 2nd Street (Off Main Street), Coburn, PA 16832


The community benches are based on themes generated at the community meetings that were not covered by other artists. Penns Valley’s meeting discussed how many artists and craftspeople there were in Penns Valley in particular and Centre County as well. This bench design celebrates the fine arts and handicrafts practiced in the area and some of the tools used to create them, including: painting, ceramics, sewing, jewelry making, woodworking, blacksmithing, knitting/crochet, fly-tying and photography. 


Penns Valley community members and others participated in this community paint session held at the Old Gregg School building.


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 travelling 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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