STATE COLLEGE — Imagine the “ American Gothic“ painting by Grant Wood, or Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.”
They’re two very different styles from different time periods with one thing in common: they’re vintage, said John Hovenstine, of Hollidaysburg.
Now, imagine those pieces of work with the head of a dog or goat instead.
That’s what Hovenstine does: He replicates old artwork, but with animal features.
“I just got this idea to take vintage art work and create something a little different from it,” he said. “Not really sure how it all started, but it’s been fun.”
He was one of about 300 vendors Saturday at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts but probably got the most laughs, he said.
“The response is interesting,” Hovenstine said.
Hovenstine, 57, has been drawing since he was a child, but he opened a studio a couple of years ago to expand his hobby. By trade, he works at Barash Media in State College, and added that this is his first appearance as an artist at an arts festival.
To go along with his portraits, Hovenstine gave some pieces a story.
Ace is a half dog, half human wearing chaps and sitting on a rocking horse.
Hovenstine said, “Ace always dreamed of some day riding the range. He loved watching Roy Rogers on TV and had dreamed of becoming Bullet’s replacement when he retired.”
“It makes it a little personalized,” Hovenstine said regarding the stories he creates with his drawings.
When Monica Riley walked by Hovenstine’s tent on South Allen Street, she did a double take and then retraced her steps to check out more of Hovenstine’s work.
“Oh my God. That’s great. I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said with a grin as she waved her husband, Mark, over to check it out. “It’s so good, so funny.”
Artist displays weren’t the only things showcased Saturday, though.
With a forecast high of 86 degrees, patrons said they were looking for a place to rest from the sun.
Nathan Muenster sat near the stairs leading up to the children’s water buckets and splash area as he watched Deirdre Flint perform at the South Allen Street stage. In the meantime, his three children cooled off under the water buckets.
“They have something for everyone,” Muenster said about the fest. “We’ve been walking all morning and were getting tired.”
The mist tent kept people cool in passing and the water buckets on the other side of South Allen Street near Appalachian Outdoors were a place for children to hang.
Nathan Muenster Jr., 8, was in his street clothes. He hopped up onto the platform where the water was splashing and waited for a red bucket to dump water on him.
Anna North, 9, did the same thing.
“That was awesome,” she said enthusiastically when she got soaked.
Arts Fest will continue Sunday until 5 p.m.
Britney Milazzo can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @ M11azzo.