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Young Artists Showcase Talents at Opening Day of the Arts Fest

by on July 10, 2013 5:05 PM

Curious shoppers packed Peyton Finkle’s window artwork tent earlier today as they looked through her marble-decorated masterpieces.

“You should have seen the stuff here earlier,” one shopper says as they go to buy a small decoration.

Finkle is part of a group of more than 240 young artists ranging in age from eight to 18 who took part in the Children and Youth Sidewalk Sale during the first day of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of Arts.

It takes Finkle about three to four hours to make one of her window decorations. She got the idea after a friend made one that cost $200.

“I wanted to find a way to make it cheaper,” she says.

People who flocked to South Allen Street today were treated to a variety of interesting artwork like jewelry made from silverware, duct tape wallets, bottle cap necklaces and bags made out of empty juice boxes.

Jillian Eller was selling bowls made out of melted vinyl records. Most people just check out the bowls, she says, but some are more concerned about the records that were chosen.

“Some people say, ‘Oh, these are so cool,’” Eller says. “Others are like, ‘Oh no, why did you melt this one!’”

Sharon Frazier, volunteer chair for the event, says that the Children and Youth Sidewalk Sale is an extremely unique event. State College is a great venue for the sale because local businesses support it, it’s a safe community and there are plenty of enthusiastic children who want to participate.

“It amazes me every year,” Frazier, who has been working the event for 13 years, says. “The goal is to support young artists and give them a place to show their craft to others. And hopefully the kids leave knowing that what they spent their time and effort on was worthwhile.”

Young artists who live in or have relatives in Blair, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Huntingdon, Mifflin or Union counties participate in the event.

Elizabeth Garber, a second-year participant, was set up right outside Cozy Thai, selling her handmade, wooden swords. It takes her about eight to 12 hours to craft one of the three dimensional swords, which have been selling pretty well. Garber learned how to craft the swords after her uncle, who makes violins, taught her some of the necessary skills.

The hand-finished swords cost $20 for a small and $45 for a large. And although they’re made from Pine, the swords are incredibly realistic.

“You pull this out on a salesman and they won’t know the difference,” Garber says confidently.

Click HERE for more information on Arts Fest.

Shawn Christ is a recent Penn State graduate who is working as an intern for
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