PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Pop Up Thrift Shop Trades Thoughts For Goods Outside Palmer Museum

Described as a “nomadic, upcycling store,” The Palmer Pop Up Thrift Shop attracted a flock of students to the courtyard outside the Palmer Art Museum Wednesday afternoon. Organized by students Michael Grasso, Tessa Sontheimer, Sloane King, and Caleb Bernstein as an assignment for their Art Anthropocene class, the project traded leftover material goods for a much less concrete currency.

“Patrons will make payments by writing down their thoughts and opinions about the value of upcycling upon the environment,” Grasso said prior to the event. “The whole purpose of the thrift shop is to facilitate dialogues about upcycling, and the positive impacts of reusing possessions on the environment, rather than getting it sent to the landfill.”

Palmer Pop Up Thrift Store
Students dig through piles of donated goods.

The warm, sunny Wednesday and prime location made the shop a popular stop for students with time to kill between classes. I approached the garage sale-esque environment and weaved through a herd of students, all gathering over a few tables and blankets. Once I made it through the crowd, a pile of eccentric, random, and delightfully odd items appeared. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I dug through an assortment of mishmash items, including old Valentine’s Day gifts (I guess it really was a rough winter), light bulbs, old Ugg boots, and tons of worn teeshirts and retired Penn State paraphernalia.

Palmer Art Thrift Store
An “Art Therapy” relaxation station accompanied the thrift store items.

The thrift shop wasn’t just limited to several piles of unwanted goods, however. Tables filled with other artistic activities occupied the area surrounding the heaps of clothes and books. One station was dedicated to “Art Therapy,” where a student showed me how to make a destress ball from balloons and beans. She continued to explain that the foods offered on the table — bananas, strawberries, and chocolate — were all snacks proven to calm nerves. As students munched away, many of them also enjoyed casually painting and drawing, producing a wholly relaxing and organic atmosphere.

Palmer Pop Up
Healthy snacks sit next to a “Feelings Box,” allowing students to express their troubles.

Just a few steps away was a “Free Tattoo” station where students involved with the School of Visual Arts were offering temporary tattoos with Sharpies and markers. Naturally, I couldn’t resist.

Grasso, a sophomore sculpture student, said he was inspired by his aunt who recently opened her own upcycling store. “I liked the idea of doing it for free on campus, because you have to get a permit to actually sell things, but you can give things away for people’s opinions for free,” he said.

By introducing artwork and good deeds to the student body in a creative way, the event was not only a resounding success, but a fine distraction from the final week of classes stress.

About the Author

Carolyn Popescu

Current senior studying Advertising and Visual Arts, Carolyn has a passion for entertainment and music. She also loves photography, film, graphic design, social media, and all things in between. She's the current Sony Music Marketing Representative for State College, so be sure to reach out to her with any local music scene questions, ideas, proposals, or if you just need someone to geek out about music with.

(Contact her through [email protected] or [email protected])


More by Carolyn

Finding Your Penn State Beyond Penn State: Carolyn Popescu’s Senior Column

“But when that one face of a “stranger” lights up to greet you with a warm ‘WE ARE!’ and smile of recognition? You can find your Penn State there, too.”

Your Fiesta Bowl-Bound Playlist

Your Official Friendsgiving Playlist


Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Erica Dambach’s Nittany Lions return a solid combination of experience and young talent. They’re ranked No. 4 to start the season.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Student Life

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

This year’s sneaker is available to purchase online for $109.99.

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Fall Move-In Traffic & Construction Changes

When 40,000 students need to move back to State College over the course of four days or so, things are bound to get crazy.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend