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Exhibitors display their wares at Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

— A 1,600-pound brass sculpture called “The Tinker” was erected Thursday morning in front of Lorann Jacobs’ tent on Fairmount Avenue.

It was a creation that took the sculptor about six months to complete and something inspired by Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker” and the Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz.”

A tin man sat in a pondering position with his chin rested on his knuckles as he sat on top of two large industrial motion gears.

Jacobs hired a professional moving crew to help ship the structure to downtown State College for the 49th annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

“I’ve been here before, and it’s a unique layout how the artists are lined up on the streets,” Jacobs said.

Arts Fest Executive Director Rick Bryant said the fest should attract about 125,000 people this year.

Brock and Ginny Miller traveled to State College from Maryland for the festival.

“We always happen to bring back a bag of gifts for the kids,” Brock Miller said. “It happens like that every year, and that’s one of the reasons we head up here.”

The other was for Penn State Alumni Weekend. Brock Miller, 61, is a 1976 Penn State graduate.

“We get down here and always find something to do around all the other events,” Brock Miller said.

The 23rd People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts is also open through the weekend on the lawn of the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg.

But for some artists, it’s about showing off their work and finding inspiration from others.

“It’s nice to showcase your work and see all the other talents,” Jacobs said.

The fest includes food and craft vendors, art exhibitions and live entertainment.

The 67-year-old sculptor from Dallastown got into creating bronze sculptures about 30 years ago.

She worked in a foundry for seven years before turning her hobby into a full-time job.

The goal in her first year was to create one brass piece a month but, by the end of the year, she only finished five.

“It shows you how long these pieces take to make,” Jacobs said.

She’s now created more than 1,000 pieces, mostly crafted in a garage designated for her work. Jacobs said she also uses a professional art foundry to produce metal castings.

Some of the metal used is recycled.

“I’m always finding inspiration in things I see,” she said. “I love rabbits, but I just love the metal work and making things from it.”

She had six other items for sale at her tent that also included a skeleton on a high wheel bicycle that was popular in the 1800s.

“I’m fortunate to be one of those people who found work I love,” Jacobs said. “I’m just glad to be here. This is as good as it gets.”

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