Resolution Exhibits

First Night State College Resolution Exhibits

Resolution sculptures are created by artists to help us publicly declare our hopes, dreams, and promises to ourselves for the New Year. Some are simple and perhaps abstract, like a wire strung with Christmas lights. Others are take the shape of animals, or even a person – like State College’s Burning Man.

Writing a resolution on a piece of paper, or a strip of fabric, and pinning it next to resolutions already made by friends and neighbors helps all of us know that despite our differences, we’re remarkably similar. We may not look the same, dress the same, or eat the same foods, but resolutions to make the New Year better than the passing year are things we all share in common.

Except as noted, all resolution exhibits and activities are open from noon to midnight.

A First Night button (+$7) is required to create a resolution mug at 2000 Degrees.

Click on the + below to learn more about each exhibit or activity, including its location. You can find a description of all event venues and access directions here.

Bucket List | Schlow Centre Region Library Arcade

First Night State College Bucket List

A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die (as in “kick the bucket”). This simple resolution sculpture asks what’s important to you? What do you want do before you die?

Burning Man (noon - 11 p.m.) | State College Municipal Building Lobby

First Night State College Burning Man

Inspired by the performance art festival of the same name, the Burning Man Resolution Sculpture makes his annual appearance at First Night State College. He collects our wishes, regrets, and resolutions we didn’t keep. The Burning Man will live up to his name when we ignite him at 11:15 p.m. in Sidney Friedman Park. On his short journey from wood and fabric to charcoal, he’ll dispose of all of our loose ends from the past year. Designed and built by Carolyn Bryant, Rick Bryant, Phyllis Kipp, and Pam Lautsch.

The Burning Man is sponsored by Collegiate Pride, Inc.

Edison's Clothesline | South Allen Street

First Night State College Edison's Clothesline
First Night State College Edison's Clothesline

In the words of artist Robert Villamagna:

During my teenage years my family lived in a row house in a small town on the Ohio River. The houses had been built for employees of a now defunct steel mill. The back yards butted up against one another and most of the yards contained clotheslines. The clotheslines consisted of four sections of rope stretched across two T-shaped poles made from iron pipe.

The hanging of laundry to dry had a strong social aspect to it as women talked across the yards to one another while hanging their clothes. In addition, you got to see all the neighbors’ wardrobes. I duplicated this design in my sculpture, replacing wet clothing with resolutions written on silvery paper discs. I used the white lights as a symbol of hope for the New Year. As the women of my home town shared news while at the clothesline, we share resolutions for the New Year at our updated clothesline. As my old neighbors could see everyone’s laundry, today we can see, enjoy, and learn from everyone’s resolutions for the New Year.

Edison’s Clothesline is sponsored by Penn State Alumni Association.

Fire Sculptures (5 p.m. - midnight) | Sidney Friedman Park

First Night State College Fire Sculptures

First Night State College Fire Sculptures will allow you to reach closure with New Year’s resolutions made for 2016. Audience members are provided wooden pieces on which to write their old resolutions and then toss them into the Fire Sculptures. The Fire Sculptures provide a fun way to start 2017 with a “clean slate” and warm fingers.

The Fire Sculptures are sponsored by Karch Auto.

First Bells | Sidney Friedman Park

First Night State College First Bells

First Bells is a sound sculpture installation made of old bells and a gong. You can make a joyous noise as you ring in the New Year.

First Bells are sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care.

First Night Phoenix | State College Municipal Building Lobby

First Night State College Phoenix

Embrace your New Year’s future by tying your hopes, dreams and regrets to the tail of the rising Phoenix Bird. This flaming, fiery creature represents “rebirth” by continually emerging from its own ashes to live again. The sacred Firebird is as “old as time” and can be found in ancient mythologies of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Chinese. In the twentieth century, the Firebird was reborn again as a ballet by Igor Stravinsky and a muscle car by General Motors’ Pontiac division. Designed and built by Bill Godfrey.

The First Night Phoenix is sponsored by Urish Popeck.

Gravity Powered Fortune Matrix | State College Municipal Building Lobby

First Night State College Gravity Powered Fortune Matrix

Fate or chance, test yours by rolling a ball down a colorful wooden matrix to get your predictions for the New Year. Will you find riches, romance, fame or adventure? Step up, keep your fingers crossed and give the magic ball a spin to learn your future.

Resolution Mug (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; requires First Night button + $7) | 2000 Degrees

First Night State College Resolution Mug

Decorate a bisque mug that you’ll treasure long after your New Year’s resolutions are forgotten. 2000 Degrees provides almost everything you need to immortalize your new year’s resolution in ceramics. You provide the missing piece – the creativity!

After you add your creative touch, the staff will fire your work and in a couple of days you’ll have a beautiful hand-painted reminder to fill with your morning beverage of choice.

$7 per person, with 2017 First Night button. This activity is not appropriate for unsupervised and small children. Last seating is at 9 p.m.

The Resolution Mug is sponsored by Centre Elite Gymnastics.

Wheels of Fate | Mayor Welch Plaza

First Night State College Wheels of Fate

So, you say you want a “resolution”? Well, spin the “wheels of fate” and find the answers to all your New Year’s questions. Will you be happy, find love, money or a new career? The wheels tell all! In Latin, Rota Fortunae, “The Wheel of Fate” is a concept in ancient and medieval philosophy referring to the capricious nature of Fate. The wheel belongs to the goddess Fortuna, who spins it, changing the positions of those on the wheel – some suffer great misfortune, others win great things. Take a spin and see if the wheel smiles upon you.

Created by Pittsburgh artist, Bill Godfrey, the Wheels of Fate invite you to step up and take a chance on the New Year!

The Wheels of Fate is sponsored by Cozy Thai Bistro.


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