This past weekend marked the beginning of a new chapter at Webster’s Bookstore Café.
Sept. 1 was the café’s opening reception of local artist Chuck Hall: an event that was a combination of art and local music, which stood to remind State College residents that fall weekends do not have to be all about football.
Hall said he started painting 55 years ago and is a graduate of the University of Chicago. He has taught at multiple universities in the past, including Penn State.
His work will be on display at Webster’s for the entire month of September.
Now, Hall teaches art classes and said that his students’ favorite subject to draw is the head. Hall personally “likes to work from the figure” thus most of the pieces on display are figures and body forms –– a majority of which are done with white pastel with charcoal supporting, Hall said.
“Most of [the pieces] are done in less than an hour,” Hall said.
Two prints with original acrylic on display, entitled “Flight” and “Emergence,” are the only two that are not figures. They tell the story of a tragic circumstance that happened involving assault and kidnapping, Hall said.
Hall’s artwork was paired with live music from local performers.
Tom Connolly, who co-organized the musical aspect of the event, said that Webster’s is a community-oriented shop.
“We pride ourselves on having a diverse clientele,” Connolly said. “Not that we don’t welcome it, but we offer an alternative to football culture.”
Connolly said Webster’s Bookstore Café houses a mixture of undergraduates, graduates, professors and locals, but the doors are certainly open for more undergraduates to come inside and check it out.
Located at 133 E. Beaver Ave., Webster’s brings unique and original music that can’t be found elsewhere, Connolly said.
“Webster’s is doing a great thing by supporting local art and music. [The event] was really successful,” folk/punk artist Daniel Pawola, who played at the event, said.
Besides being a seller of general used books, Webster’s holds Sunday music brunches and on other various nights of the week has swing and jazz bands.
According to the store’s website, Webster's will be hosting “Light, Not Heat,” a lunchtime speaker series throughout the fall on Fridays, starting Sept. 7.
Connolly said it is his hope that there will be more bluegrass, folk and jazz in the future, though he makes it clear that the café “is not looking to have cover bands.”
Olivia Calef (junior-sculpture) said that the reception was her first time at Webster’s.
“It’s a great alternative space for people to hang out instead of the typical parties,” she said. “I’ll definitely be back.”
Webster’s welcomes anyone with community building in the arts to come in, Connolly said.
“It’s a climate of fostering creativity,” he said “And we’re open to new ideas.”