CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Spring brings the promise of new life budding all around us. One Penn State visual arts graduate student is engaging with the community in a thesis project titled “Buds!” to represent this promise and acts of kindness.

“I wanted to mimic that springtime eco system with these little gift-giving sculptures,” said Alex Russell, the MFA student behind Buds!.

Russell crafted larger-than-life plant buds, which were “planted” in front lawns around State College, Houserville, Lemont, and Boalsburg during the month of March. By removing the lid of the bud, you’d find small gifts left by passerby’s.

“There are people in the communities that are so willing and open to give small moments of joy and happiness to each other, which I think is important now more than ever,” said Russell. “It’s been really sweet. All kinds of little moments of generosity.”

The Buds! and Russell’s full thesis is on display in the Zoller Gallery (16 Curtin Rd, University Park) until April 1, 2022.

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“It’s a part of a full experience,” said Russell. “The sculptures themselves are little moments and then the project in the gallery space is more immersive.”

A reception and artist talk will be held on March 31 at 6 p.m.

Buds! received support from a $1,000 Awesome Foundation Grant from 3 Dots.