BOALSBURG — Though the 20th annual People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts in Boalsburg is not as crowded as its State College counterpart, the attendees are no less excited.
Florida native Jennifer Rowland, visiting family in the area, has been going to both festivals for 20 years and said she loves attending both of them every year.
The People’s Choice Festival celebrates the creative work of artists from around the state of Pennsylvania and attracts about 80,000 people per year.
Rowland has never displayed her crafts in the festival, but said one day she may have a booth to display her homemade quilts and dolls.
She said people should attend both People’s Choice and the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts because there are many differences and advantages to both.
“The one downtown lends itself to really fancy art,” she said. “This is crafting.”
Pottery for an audience
It may not be obvious from looking at her work at People’s Choice, but Jacalynn McCord does not just make Penn State pottery.
McCord, a 1971 Penn State graduate from Lancaster, had a tent featuring various plates, bowls and other types of ceramics branded with the Penn State logo and university related images.
She said she draws inspiration from her customers. Because she’s exhibiting in Centre County, she felt the need to bring all her Penn State pottery to the festival.
Inspiration all depends on what the artists love doing and what spurs them, McCord said.
“If you are really into museum pieces you display at a museum,” she said.
Susan Wise has come to People’s Choice for two decades looking at other people’s crafts, but this time she had a different experience.
Opening her tent for the first time, Wise sold mittens that were recycled from used sweaters. She decided to use that medium because she wanted to make craft with an environmentally-friendly slant.
Wise, of State College, has been crafting her mittens for more than two years after her son urged her to get more serious with art.
A teacher by trade, Wise said the biggest hurdle at People’s Choice has been convincing people they need to buy wool mittens in 80-degree weather.
“It is like trying to sell ice to an Eskimo, but I have gotten complements on my mittens,” she said.
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan