Happy Valley is at once the name of Brooklyn-based photographer Eva O’Leary‘s new series and a colloquialism for State College, Pennsylvania. Voted as one of the least stressful places to live in the United States by Psychology Today, and described as “a town out of a Norman Rockwell painting” by the New York Times, State College is more harmonious with the town of Lumberton in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. It’s a bright, cheerful university town obsessed with its beloved football team, Penn State. In recent years, however, a sweeping child abuse scandal that grew out of the heart of the football program impacted every resident and institution of this idyllic place. O’Leary grew up here, and Happy Valley records a new zeitgeist that blends the sensitivities of an inside view with the investigation of an artist.
This post was contributed by photographer Harry Griffin.