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Josh Speaks

Iron student Josh Toller, being interviewed for a Penland video back in November. Josh attended the fall iron concentration with a Glassroots-Penland Fellowship, a grant-funded program that provides scholarships for students recruited through Glassroots in Newark, New Jersey. “At this monastery for the hands,” said Josh, “I have acquired a new found and deeper respect for artists and art itself, I have obtained an aesthetic that I am proud to call my own, and most importantly I have gained knowledge from those around me that I have lived with for two months.” Josh and his fellow travelers from Newark made a big impact on the fall session, and we hope to see them all here again in the future.

 

 

Support for the Penland-Glassroots Fellowship is provided by a grant from The Nicholson Foundation.

 

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Summer 2018 Workshop Catalog

Cover image; woman adjusts table saw in woodworking studio

Here it is, the summer 2018 workshop catalog! We’re thrilled to share our lineup with you in anticipation of another summer packed with creativity, energy, new friendships, and new ideas. We’re offering 102 unique workshops led by 116 talented artist/instructors, including favorites like encaustic painting and steel sculpture and special classes like brushmaking and skin-on-frame canoe building. Most workshops are open to serious students of all levels (beginners included!), and all give you access to the slide nights, dance parties, movement classes, scholarship auctions, and more that make a Penland session so special.

This year, summer registration will open to all students on January 8 at 9 AM EST on a first-come, first-served basis; we will not be using a lottery system. Applications may be submitted online, by fax, by post, or in person.

Scholarships are available for every summer workshop, including full, partial, and work-study scholarships. Spaces will be held in each workshop for scholarship students. Scholarship applications are due by 11:59 PM EST on February 17.

We hope you find a few minutes over the holidays to pour over the Penland catalog and find the perfect workshop for you, wherever you are in your creative journey. Look out for full course descriptions on the website by the end of December, with printed catalogs to follow in early January.

 

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Building Layers, Building Stories

two collaged paintings by Holly Roberts
Holly Roberts, left: “Old Cowboy,” 48 x 30 inches; right: “Woman with Her Own Coyote,” 24 x 18 inches

 

Holly Roberts, who will be teaching an eight-week Penland workshop beginning in March, is a painter and a photographer. Her work with paint tends toward color and layers, while her photographs often highlight everyday patterns and textures in black and white—the branches of trees against the sky, the coiled springs of a mattress, the pebbly surface of a paved driveway. But her real work is in combining the two into narrative collages.

Holly’s collages speak to specific memories, thoughts, or individuals, and she can elaborate on the stories behind each. There’s the yellow collage of a cowboy, for example, loosely inspired by her husband’s grandfather in his ranch hand days out in Texas and New Mexico, or the aqua and dull red image of three faces inside separate houses that deals with the growing rifts between siblings as they age.

On the surface, some elements of these stories are obvious—the cowboy boots, the human features, the three peaked roofs. But deeper inspection draws out more depth from the constructed layers. The cowboy’s belt buckle is pasted from a photograph of a bird’s nest, and the squiggling “bones” that run the length of his body are the branches of trees. In the collage of houses, there are recognizable shapes, but others draw questions—are those hands reaching up from the bottom, or roots? Is the sky filled with clouds, or are those thought bubbles brimming with the unsaid words between siblings?

 

paint and cut photograph collage
Holly Roberts, “Family Trouble,” 11 x 12 inches

 

There’s a directness to these pieces that belies their depth and consideration. What first appears playful or happenstance is the result of careful arranging, rearranging, testing, and experimenting. Holly understands her materials as language and has gained the fluency to communicate through them on an immediate, elemental level.

The short video below is an illuminating view into her creative process in the studio:

 

 

This spring, we are thrilled to welcome Holly back to Penland to share her approach to narrative collage with our community. She and her students will go in-depth with the possibilities of paint mixed with other media during her concentration The Perfect Union: Paint, Collage & Transfers. The workshop will run March 11 – May 4, 2018, and registration is open now. Students can expect eight weeks of investigation, exploration, questions, and camaraderie.

 

Holly Roberts, “Snake Truck,” 24 x 30 inches

 

The Perfect Union: Paint, Collage & Transfers

Holly Robert—Students will begin the process of combining media by experimenting with different ways of applying paint. Painted surfaces will serve as the core of the images to follow and will guide students in forming these images. Students will experiment with transfer processes, gluing and adhesive techniques, and using their own source material to build images onto their painted surfaces. The workshop will stress investigation, exploration, and risk in an attempt to marry disparate media such as print, text, photographs, and any other material students want to use. All levels. Studio fee: $170. Code S00D

Studio artist; teaches nationally and internationally; two NEA fellowships; monographs of her work published by Nazraeli Press and Friends of Photography; collections: Art Institute of Chicago, Center for Creative Photography (AZ), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Art Houston, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.

hollyrobertsstudio.com

 

REGISTER FOR SPRING CONCENTRATIONS
clay  |  letterpress  |  painting  |  metals  |  textiles  |  wood  |  sculpture
March 11 – May 4, 2018

 

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Announcing our 2018 Penland Core Fellows

We’re excited to introduce our five new Penland core fellows: Joshua Fredock, Luke Gnadinger, Kento Saisho, Katherine Toler, and Devyn Vasquez! They will join second-year core fellows Stormie Burns, Elliot Keeley, Sarah Rose Lejeune, and Corey Pemberton on March 1, 2018 to begin their two-year fellowships.

As always, there were many outstanding candidates for only five available positions. We received 61 applications from across the United States. Our selection committee did an excellent job reviewing and evaluating these materials; we couldn’t conduct such a thorough process without their generosity, time, and energy. Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s selection.

Joshua Fredock

Josh Fredock portrait and piece of glass/metal sculpture

Joshua Fredock is a former navy rescue swimmer who lives in Asheville and has interned and worked at Monarch Glass Studio (MO), Rock Cottage Glass Works (KS), Metalabs (MO), and STARWorks Glass Studio (NC). Josh has been part of two Penland concentrations—once as a work-study student in the glass studio and once as a Christy Wright scholarship recipient. As a core fellow, Josh is primarily interested in building skills in glass and metals and developing his ability to express himself through his work.
Josh’s website
Follow Josh on Instagram

 

Luke Gnadinger

Luke Gnadinger portrait and set of prints

Luke Gnadinger currently works at the KMAC Museum (KY) and is a studio assistant for Jason Bige Burnett; he also spent years working at Kentucky Mudworks in Louisville. Luke has a BA in Studio Art from Transylvania University (KY) and has attended Indiana University Southeast as a post-baccalaureate student. At Penland, he has been a clay studio assistant and winter resident. He is interested in how creative practice can be a connector and catalyst for social change and plans to explore classes in various media towards this end over the next two years.

lukegnadinger.com
Follow Luke on Instagram

 

Kento Saisho

Kento Saisho sculpture and portrait

Kento Saisho is a Windgate Fellowship recipient who is currently working as a freelance fabricator in Brooklyn, NY. Kento has interned and worked at Iron Mountain Forge and Furniture (RI) and Fort Standard (NY). He has a BFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and was a work-study student in iron at Penland this summer. During his core fellowship Kento plans to explore sculptural works in iron, works on paper, and how these two areas of interest intersect.

ksaisho.squarespace.com
Follow Kento on Instagram

 

Katherine Toler

Katherine Toler portrait and intallation

Katherine Toler currently lives in Little Rock, where she works at the Museum of Discovery. She has previously spent quite a bit of time at Penland—as a work-study student, studio assistant, and summer intern in our textiles and drawing/painting studios—and is looking forward to returning. Katherine has a BFA from the University of Central Arkansas. Her background in painting and her interest in textiles have recently led to explorations in mixed-media sculpture, an area she plans to pursue at Penland.

katherinetoler.com
Follow Katherine on Instagram

 

Devyn Vasquez

Devyn Vasquez portrait and arrangement of objects

Devyn Vasquez lives in Miami and works at the Fletcher Arts & Cultural Center while maintaining a studio and teaching art classes. She has also worked at Baltimore Clayworks and the Turchin Center for Visual Arts (NC) and has been an assistant to both artists and curators. Devyn has a BFA from Appalachian State University (NC) and has taken a summer metals workshop and fall clay concentration at Penland. Ceramics and jewelry have been her main focus, but she is looking forward to exploring new mediums and finding connections between technique and concept throughout her fellowship.

devynvasquez.com
Follow Devyn on Instagram

 

Of course, the excitement of this announcement comes with a twinge of sadness as we prepare to send five of our current core fellows on their way at the end of the winter. Eleanor Anderson, Thomas Campbell, Rachel Kedinger, Kyle Kulchar, and Alex McClay have achieved some really incredible things in and out of the studios, and we will miss them dearly. We’re looking forward to seeing where their ideas and talents take them—and not-so-secretly hoping that we’ll see them back at Penland on occasion!

 

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Progress on the New Northlight

View of Northlight site under construction
A view of the Northlight building including the photography studio (upper left), papermaking studio (lower left), and social hall (right).

 

Now that the site is clear and level and foundations have been poured, the new Northlight building is growing like bamboo. Once completed, it will house brand new photography and papermaking studios and a large social hall for parties, scholarship auctions, movement classes, show and tell, and more.

There’s still a lot to do before the building’s estimated completion in summer 2018, but the bones of the spaces are in place. A tour through the site last week made it clear that this new complex is going to be a thing of beauty and a real treat for the whole Penland community. Have a look for yourself:

 

Inside the new social hall space

This is the inside view of the new social hall space, which has been designed with vastly improved acoustics, lighting, and temperature control in mind. We’ll see you here in 2018 for some epic dance parties!

 

Papermaking studio under construction

The new paper studio will include a dry classroom, a wet workroom, a covered and screened porch area, and even a separate space to house the beaters so the rest of the studio doesn’t get so noisy.

 

inside the 2nd floor photo studio construction

The photo studio will have plenty of space for darkroom and digital work, as well as some of the best views on campus.

 

Covered porch space will extend out from the social hall about ten feet

And for all of you with fond memories of the old Northlight porch, fear not! Porch space was the number one thing that people asked to keep in this new building, and the designers certainly listened. Here, facilities director Dave Sommer demonstrates how far the double-level covered porch will extend off the front of the social hall. Perfect for a rocking chair and a little knoll viewing, no?

We couldn’t be more excited about all the ways this new building will shape the Penland experience going forward, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Here’s a giant thanks to architect Louis Cherry, landscape architect Walter Havener, and Dave Sommer and his entire team for their vision and persistence in turning this idea into reality!

And finally, let’s finish with some more views because it’s just that lovely. Scroll to the end to see three renderings of the finished space.

A detail of the shaped wood columns that will support the covered porch areas outside the social hall.
Dave points out the exterior wall that can be used for outdoor movie projections.
The roof starting to take shape over the social hall.
This impressive stairway will connect the lower level of the social hall and paper studios with the upper level photography studio.
Framing out bathrooms and storage spaces behind the paper studio.
This beautiful wooden siding will clad part of the building's exterior.
Second floor photo porch in progress!
The space where these cranes are now will later be landscaped with native plants and inviting places to gather.
The views over the knoll and the mountains are pretty impressive from up here.
A look at the far side of the photo and paper studios.
Lots of space in the photo studio (soon to be filled with lots of great supplies and students!)
The corner of the photo studio looks out over the drawing and books studios.

 

 

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Sculpture with Fierce Intention

Installation view of “This City, Daily Rising” by Christina Shmigel, Bruno David Gallery

 

There’s a certain fearlessness to Christina Shmigel’s sculpture. Her pieces include traditional materials such as steel, wood, and paint, but they don’t stop there. From bright plastic pinwheels and cardboard to plumbing parts and found furniture, everything is fair game as a building block in her thoughtful, observant tableaus and constructions. Each finished piece is like a reflection of the world around her filtered through her keen eyes, skilled hands, and the particular quirks of her attention. There’s a fearlessness in that attention, too.

Christina comes to her sculpture practice with a particularly broad base of experience to draw on. Her BFA from RISD is in painting, and she followed it with an MFA from Brooklyn College that she describes as “more conceptual.” Later, she returned to school for a second MFA at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, this time with an emphasis on technical skills like blacksmithing and casting.

 

Sculpture by Christina Shmigel
Christina Shmigel, “The City in Which I Love You: Da Shi Jie (Great World Sheathed)”

 

Despite this rigorous training, Christina’s sculptures are anything but precious. “I work in a very crafted, un-crafted way,” she says. “I’m interested in that place where you make something, and you solve the problem with enough elegance so it ‘works’—it’s a little sloppy, but it has beauty, too… How do I bring that incidental beauty into my work?”

A simple answer to that question would be to look at one of Christina’s larger undertakings, A Foreigner’s Cabinet of Chinese Curiosities. The piece is built into the sixty-seven drawers of an old Chinese medicine cabinet and is a visual journal/scrapbook/“memory palace” of the years she has spent living in Shanghai. Each drawer is full of incidental beauty, found humor, and the little puzzles of the everyday in a vibrant, adopted city: discarded trinkets, cardboard reconstructions of Shanghai’s ubiquitous air conditioners, the peculiar packaging of a Chinese detergent. Together, they paint a nuanced portrait of a particular city at a particular point in time, and they give us a view into the mind of the artist as she takes it all in.

 

close-up of drawers filled with mementos
Christina Shmigel, “A Foreigner’s Cabinet of Chinese Curiosities” (detail)

 

This spring, Christina will bring her keen observations and relentless inquiry back to Penland, where she will teach the eight-week concentration Sculpture with Fierce Intention. The workshop is for students with an ongoing studio practice who are eager to uncover the “why?” behind the work they make. It will take place in the Penland iron studio but will welcome a wide range of media based on student interest. Guest instructors Mike Rossi and John Watson will each join the workshop for a week to teach their specialties of steel and wood/plaster.

Sculpture with Fierce Intention will run March 11 – May 4, 2018. Registration is open now for all spring workshops.

 

Three sculptures by Christina Shmigel
Christina Shmigel, “The View in Fragments: Demolish” (left), “The View in Fragments: Nouveau Riche” (middle), “The View in Fragments: Green Sheath” (right)

 

Sculpture with Fierce Intention

Christina Shmigel—Who am I as an artist? What distinguishes me as a maker? How do I work beyond what I know? Develop a serious body of work in sculpture/installation while digging deep into what gives you pleasure, purpose, and meaning. Through a guided series of riddles and playful explorations, you’ll investigate the why. Technical demonstrations (as needed) will assist you with the how. Guest instructors Mike Rossi (steel) and John Watson (wood/plaster) will each join us for a week of material improvisation. Students may work in any medium in object- or space-based sculpture. Penland’s iron studio will be transformed into a sculpture studio for this workshop. For artists with an ongoing studio practice in any material. Studio fee: $275. Code S00I

Christina: Studio artist; former Penland resident artist; teaching: Webster University (St. Louis), frequent Penland instructor; exhibitions: Ukranian Museum (NYC), Duolun Museum of Art (Shanghai), Laumeier Sculpture Park (St. Louis), St. Louis Art Museum. Mike: principal of Rossi Metal Design (Philadelphia) making unique architectural works, furniture, and sculpture; teaching: Ox-Bow (MI), Haystack (ME), Bryn Athyn College (PA), Kalamazoo College (MI); Windgate Artist in Residence at State University of New York-Purchase. John: Studio artist: teaching: Webster University (St. Louis), Belmont University (TN); exhibitions: Vanderbilt University (TN), hemphill Fine Art (DC); co-author of Living the Dream…The Morning After Art School (Kendall Hunt Publishing).

shmigel.com

rossimetaldesign.com

 

REGISTER FOR SPRING CONCENTRATIONS
clay  |  letterpress  |  painting  |  metals  |  textiles  |  wood  |  sculpture
March 11 – May 4, 2018