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Power Ranking The Downtown Hyatt’s Lobby Art

Although I live so close and have spent my fair share of time in the connected Target, I had never been in the Hyatt Place in downtown State College. However, a few weeks ago, I somehow found myself in the lobby with some friends who were staying there. It was late at night and the lobby was quiet — the art was speaking to me. It wasn’t your typical hotel lobby art. The Hyatt Place downtown has Penn State art hanging on its walls.

Truthfully, these works of artistic beauty are incredible. Even though I am still a student, the artwork in this lobby was causing me to beam with alumni-like pride for my university. This isn’t even a Pennsylvania State University property! It’s a Hyatt.

I decided to venture back into this unsuspecting art gallery and compile some photos of the best pieces that live on the walls of the downtown State College Hyatt Place’s lobby.

7. North Atherton/Westgate Building Long Exposure

Starting with something pretty light (but not super bright), here’s a long exposure photograph of cars on North Atherton Street going under the Westgate Building’s overpass. Quality image, but nothing to call home about.

6. Black & White Photographs Of Campus

Again, there isn’t anything crazy about these. Just some solid, well-taken images displayed in some clean black frames. What’s interesting here is that this theme wasn’t continued on this same wall. If you look a little to the right, there is a different vibe going on. That’s where we’re going next.

5. Vintage Images Of Campus

These next two are right beside the previous two images, but very different. These images show Penn State a long, long time ago. As a matter of fact, most of the campus isn’t even developed. On the right, we have Old Main. On the left, if you look closely, the original football field can be seen in the back of the image. These are not photographs, though, and don’t ask me what artistic method was used. I don’t know.

4. Blue, Washed-Out Photographs

In complete transparency, this is not how these different artistic works are displayed. Each is actually a couple of feet from the other. These don’t rank super high in my book because it feels like someone just put a weird blue Instagram filter on some well-taken photos. I appreciate the artistry, but I personally don’t like it.

3. Old Penn State Campus Map

This thing is huge. Size isn’t everything, but with this piece, the scale helps it in the ranking. Again, we are going back to what Penn State looked like long ago but many of these landmarks are still around. I’m not sure where this image came from or if it was an actual map used back in the day, but it looks beautiful in the Hyatt Place lobby.

2. Paintings By R. Greenleaf

Now this, this is art. I get so nostalgic staring at these paintings, yet all of these buildings and locations still exist and look largely the same as they do in these images. All of these paintings were done by someone named “R. GREENLEAF.” These works are magnificent. It even appears that each image depicts a different season in State College! It was tough not to make these No. 1, but once you see number one, I think you’ll agree.

1. “Nittany Nation” By Steve Szynal

I mean…come on. Steve, I don’t know who you are, but I love you. Listen, folks, this isn’t a small little canvas print. This thing is also huge, like 5×4 or bigger. There are so many different stories going on in this one piece of artwork. Once you gaze upon it, it’s difficult not to be sucked in and look at all of the places around campus. I wouldn’t be surprised if you spent 10+ minutes just staring at this magnificent piece by Steve. Here’s a bit of a closer look:

This thing is glorious. I would recommend staying at the Hyatt Place downtown just to walk past this beauty going to and from your room. Unfortunately, this is the only piece where some more information about the artist was provided. His name is Steve Szynal, and you can find his website here. Thank you, Steve, for blessing our eyes.

The new Palmer Museum of Art better open soon because the downtown Hyatt is serving looks.

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About the Author

Rico Gore

Rico is a senior advertising major from Pittsburgh who has been with Onward State since just a couple weeks into his freshman year. He loves to drink Diet Coke and eat Mexican food. You can follow Rico on Instagram @RealBigRico and TikTok @RealBigRico.

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