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Spring Concentrations and Scholarships

Fall workshops may have just ended, but it won’t be too long before concentrations are back in session for Spring 2017! We have a great lineup of artist-instructors coming to Penland to teach everything from casting iron and glass to atmospheric firing techniques for clay during Penland’s unique 8-week workshop format. Scholarships are available for all concentrations. Scholarship applications are due November 28, 2016.

Below is a preview of what’s in store this March 12-May 5, 2017. For complete course descriptions, see the Spring Concentration page.

 

instructor work

Instructor work from left to right: Nick Schwartz (clay), Remy Louis Hanemann (iron), Anne Covell (letterpress), Dean Allison (glass).

 

Clay
Nick Schwartz will lead students in an exploration of “Painting with Fire,” including wood and gas firings and the possibilities of salt and soda in the kiln. John Dix will join as guest instructor for two weeks.

Glass
Penland resident artist Dean Allison will share his expertise in glass casting and mold making. Students will gain new abilities to work with glass in a range of ways to express their artistic visions.

Iron
Remy Louis Hanemann will guide students through the process of building a complete iron foundry at Penland. As they go, students will learn skills such as plasma cutting and welding, making two-part molds, and, finally, conducting an iron pour.

Letterpress & Books
In her workshop “Image as Narrative,” Anne Covell’s students will first explore alternative printing techniques to create images and then bind them into traditional and sculptural books.

Metals
David Jones will give his students a wide-ranging education in metal fabrication for jewelry or small sculpture. Students will learn techniques from sawing, soldering, and stamping to forging and forming.

Textiles
In “Weaving: A Dialogue,” Tommye McClure Scanlin and Bhakti Ziek will share their expertise in tapestry and jacquard weaving as students create images on the loom.

Wood
Jack Mauch will lead students in an in-depth exploration of woodworking techniques for furniture and sculpture with an emphasis on shape and going beyond rectilinear forms.

 

instructor work

Instructor work from left to right: David Jones (metals), Tommye McClure Scanlin (weaving), Bhakti Ziek (weaving), Jack Mauch (wood).

 

Each of our spring concentrations are open to students of all levels. Enrollment is open now, and the deadline to apply for a scholarship is November 28, 2016. Read more about Penland’s scholarship program, and then apply online through Penland’s slideroom site.

 

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Melissa Draws

artist melissa stern in the Penland drawing and painting studio

Instructor Melissa Stern working in the Penland drawing and painting studio during her one-week workshop titled Every Picture Tells a Story: Drawing, Collage, and Storytelling.

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: The Thread Between

jessica-stitching

On a crisp and sunny afternoon, there may be nowhere on campus that gets better light than the weaving studio in Lily Loom. This fall, it is home to Rachel Meginnes’s concentration The Thread Between. Students in the workshop are learning to deepen their studio practices and develop a serious body of work through exercises with textiles, readings, writing assignments, discussions, presentations, and individual consultations. Here, studio assistant Jessica Green works on a cross stitch sample (above), and instructor Rachel Meginnes talks with studio assistant Marie Fornaro about her sewn paper samples (below).

 

rachel-and-marie

 

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Analogue Social Media | November 6-12, 2016

Bryce McCloud (center) and his Isle of Printing team with one of their giant stamped portraits from the "Our Town—Together Heroic" project

Bryce McCloud (center) and his Isle of Printing team with one of their giant stamped portraits from the “Our Town—Together Heroic” project

It can be a bit mind-boggling how much information we communicate digitally these days, from online news outlets and blogs to the social media profiles that announce the engagements of friends, the arrival of new babies, or simply what we had for dinner last night. When done right, social media can be a powerful tool for connection, for communicating a message, for sharing ideas and triggering inspiration. But it’s not the only way we can accomplish these goals.

For a week this fall, social media will go analogue with Bryce McCloud of Nasheville’s letterpress/public art studio Isle of Printing. As Bryce elaborates in his course description, “This workshop will tap into the power of printmaking as a handmade social medium. Working with relief printing’s ability to create multiple images, our mission will be to find novel ways to work together and interact with a community.”

 

A few of the stamped portraits created by Nashville residents as part of "Our Town"

A few of the stamped portraits created by Nashville residents as part of “Our Town”

To really understand what this week will be about, it helps to have glimpsed some of the pieces that Bryce and his team have put together. Take, for example, his yearlong Our Town public portraiture project, which encouraged thousands of Nashville residents to create self portraits using stamps. In exchange for their finished portraits, each person got to take home a letterpress print of someone else’s portrait. “We want people to look at this as a conversation that they’re having with each other, not through words, but through pictures,” Bryce explains. “A big part of this project was to get people to actively look and actively be engaged with the world.”

The Our Town project didn’t stop there, either. Instead, Bryce and his co-conspirators turned the project into a large-scale demonstration of the creative process and how a team—or a city—can come together to create. They constructed giant stamps and used them piece by piece to print enormous portraits in public spaces like the downtown library and Nashville’s Riverfront Park (image above).

 

can-wall

A few views of the ever-changing Can Wall at Pinewood Social

Another recent project was the Can Wall at Pinewood Social, a popular Nashville restaurant/bowling alley/hangout spot. “The mural is made of thousands of quart cans which can be viewed up close as products or far away as pixels in a larger design,” Bryce explains. Every month, the cans get rearranged into a new image or pattern. “We wanted the world to be an active participant in the project AND we wanted the art to feel alive,” he says. “Change is inevitable and that is the point.”

 

barista-parlor

The mural at Barista Parlor

Or, there’s the “optically/digitally enhanced” letterpress mural adorning the main wall of Nashville’s Barista Parlor. It’s an image of a sailing ship made up of individually-printed square letterpress plates, but Bryce says it’s also a reflection of how we see the world around us today: “beginning with a real ship painted by an artist which was photographed and turned into a picture on a computer which I reengineered as a plate on a press to assemble onto a wall in my city for people to see in person which they then share on the internet for others to see. Here to there and back again.”

The human interaction and the call for engagement is central in each of these projects and, in fact, to all of Bryce’s art projects at Isle of Printing. As he explains to visitors on his website, “We specialize in making the unusual happen and thrive on giving novelty a place at or above the mundane… We truly believe in the power of public art and positive thought.”

We certainly can’t tell you what a week of Analogue Social Media at Penland this fall will look like, but we’re pretty sure what it will feel like: teamwork, exploration, experimentation, and lots of good vibes. The workshop runs November 6-12, 2016. Register now.

 

The Isle of Printing team at work on giant portraits for the "Our Town—Together Heroic"

The Isle of Printing team at work on giant portraits for the “Our Town—Together Heroic” project

Analogue Social Media

Bryce McCloud
—This workshop will tap into the power of printmaking as a handmade social medium. Working with relief printing’s ability to create multiple images, our mission will be to find novel ways to work together and interact with a community. Like playful scientists we’ll create socially-driven printmaking experiments, imagine ways to involve people outside of our studio, and then use the community at Penland as our testing ground. We’ll brainstorm and refine ideas that may be realized during the session or at other times and places. We’ll cover relief printmaking skills and discuss other tactics for engaging the public with your work when you head home. Printmaking or letterpress experience will be helpful, but this workshop is open to all levels. Code F03L

Studio/public artist, founder of Isle of Printing, a letterpress and fabrication shop (Nashville); teaching: Watkins College of Art (TN), Brighton College of Art (UK); public art: Our Town Nashville (TN), Pinewood Social (TN), Invasion UK (Brighton, UK), South by Southwest (TX).

isleofprinting.com

REGISTER NOW

 

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CERCA Y LEJOS: Cristina Córdova at the Penland Gallery

Cristina Cordova at Penland Gallery

Cristina Córdova, La persistencia del verdor, ceramic, resin, metal, paper, glass, plastic, wood; background image of Mount Britton, Puerto Rico, by Harvey Barrison; figure: 69 x 24 x19 inches; background: 100 x 144 inches.

 

The work of ceramic sculptor Cristina Córdova has always been concerned with the human form: the figure and the face, gesture and expression. Her show at the Penland Gallery—her first solo exhibition in the U.S. since 2011—presents two- and three-dimensional images of her family members along with elements that evoke her native Puerto Rico. Titled CERCA Y LEJOS, the exhibition runs through November 20 with an opening reception on Saturday, October 1, from 4:30 to 6:30 PM.

At the center of the exhibition are two life-size, standing ceramic figures: one depicts her husband and the other depicts one of their daughters. The figures stand in front of wall-sized photographs of Puerto Rico that were taken from Internet sources and are presented as photo mosaics. Along with these dioramas are five large portraits of members of Córdova’s family. Drawn on paper using clay slip and other materials, the oversized faces look directly and unflinchingly at the viewer. The show’s title means “near and far” and refers to the proximity of the artist’s family and the distance of her homeland.

 

paloma

Cristina Córdova, Corazón, clay, charcoal, and mixed media on acid-free cardboard, 82 x 60 inches

 

In talking about this work, Córdova notes that for her it represents a turn toward naturalism. “My work has been described in the past as having to do with surrealism and religious iconography. In this more overtly personal work, I am using images of real places and modeling real individuals.” Penland Gallery director Kathryn Gremley says of the show, “For an artist whose work is both sensory and confrontational, the opportunity to work with an entire exhibition space is ideal: she can move fluidly from wall to floor, she can study the light and create works accordingly, she can force perspective and create narrative groupings without regard to conventional gallery norms.” Taken as a whole, the exhibition creates a form of silent theater that illuminates one artist’s exploration of her personal and cultural identity.

Córdova, who grew up in Puerto Rico and now lives and works near Penland School of Crafts in Mitchell County, North Carolina, has an MFA in ceramics from Alfred University in New York. She has received a North Carolina Arts Council fellowship, a Virginia A. Groot Foundation grant, and the prestigious United States Artists fellowship. Her work is in the collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in DC, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Puerto Rico and was recently featured on the cover of Ceramics Monthly magazine. She was a Penland resident artist from 2002-2005 and has taught at the school several times.

 

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Brim, Bourdain, and Blacksmithing

 

Most folks who have spent any time around the iron studio know Elizabeth Brim. She has been a longtime friend, neighbor, and instructor at Penland and an important shaping force in our iron program. She’s also a wildly skilled and accomplished artist, and we’re proud that her talents were featured on the most recent episode of Raw Craft with Anthony Bourdain.

In the episode, Bourdain visits Elizabeth’s shop and the Penland iron studio where she taught spring concentration. He looks on as she forges an intricate flower and demonstrates the technique she invented for inflating iron. “You have to be awfully tough to make metalwork look this easy,” he comments.

At the end of the epidode, Bourdain concludes, “Elizabeth is a perfect example of somebody who’s chosen to go against the grain, who’s chosen to do a difficult thing, who’s decided to follow a passion. She’s a perfect example of the type of people we’re celebrating: an artist, a professional, an educator, somebody unlike just about everybody else.” We couldn’t agree more, and we couldn’t be luckier to have Elizabeth here at Penland. See for yourself by watching the episode above!

 

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Stories in Clay

Nan Smith, "Twenty Twelve," glazed and painted earthenware, glazed porcelain, concrete, sand, wood

Nan Smith, “Twenty Twelve,” glazed and painted earthenware, glazed porcelain, concrete, sand, wood

 

Sculpting a figure in clay is about far more than trying to recreate recognizable form in three dimensions. That’s why instructor Nan Smith chose Personality Plus as the name of her Penland workshop this November 6-12. “I want students to investigate what transforms figure sculpture into something dynamic and alive,” she explains. “What will make a bust look like it has a story?”

If there’s anyone who can help students answer those questions, it’s probably Nan. She’s had a long and successful career as a sculptor and installation artist. She’s taught ceramics at the University of Florida for over thirty years, and she’s led workshops at universities around the country and as far away as Israel. Her work has been featured in publications like Sculpture magazine and Ceramics Monthly. She has exhibited at dozens of venues like SOFA Chicago, the Red Lodge Clay Center, and the American Museum of Ceramic Art. Perhaps most importantly, “I really do love teaching people at all levels how to sculpt a figure, and I’ve been doing that a really long time,” she says.

 

Nan Smith, "Spill," glazed and painted earthenware, glazed porcelain, metal, rubber, wood

Nan Smith, “Spill,” glazed and painted earthenware, glazed porcelain, metal, rubber, wood

 

Personality Plus will be a hands-on, high-energy week of ceramic figure sculpting that uses the bust format and self portraiture to help students develop their perceptual and conceptual skills. It may be only a one-week class, but it certainly won’t stick to one technique. “We’re going to be building sculpture, but we’re also going to be making life casts and learning to take a mold from a piece,” Nan explains. “I wanted to give the course a twist and allow students to try using molds as another tool to develop perceptual skill.”

Personality Plus is a workshop for the curious beginner and for the experienced sculptor looking for new ideas. It’s a workshop for ceramic artists interested in new ways of working with clay. It’s a workshop for anyone interested in the details of the figure and how to bring them to life. Is it a workshop for you? Registration is open now.

 

Nan Smith, "Mercury" (detail), glazed and painted earthenware, glazed porcelain, photo montages on fabric, metal, wood

Nan Smith, “Mercury” (detail), glazed and painted earthenware, glazed porcelain, photo montages on fabric, metal, wood

 

Personality Plus

Nan Smith, November 6-12, 2016
Who are you? What causes presence in the sculpted human form? By investigating questions of identity in addition to studying anatomy within the bust format, students will create a life-scale self-portrait that reflects their inner personality and self-perception. Demonstrations will cover life-casting techniques, life modeling, photo-documentation, and rendering an expressive and anatomically believable human form. We’ll create solid-built busts over metal armatures. Students will leave with a life cast and a sculpted portrait bust in wet clay. All levels. Code F03CB

Professor at University of Florida; publications: The Figure in Clay, Sculpture, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Ceramics Monthly, CFile Weekly; collections: American Express (NY), Lamar Dodd Art Center (GA), Givat Haviva Art Center (Israel), World Ceramics Exposition Korea International Collection.

nansmith.com

REGISTER NOW FOR FALL WORKSHOPS

 

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