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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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Core Show 2017

The following post is a photo slideshow. If you’re looking at it in email, we recommend viewing it on the blog.

 

Penland's A+ core fellows! Thomas Campbell, Eleanor Anderson, Kyle Kulchar, Elliot Keeley, Sarah Rose Lejeune, Stormie Burns, Rachel Kedinger, Corey Pemberton, and Alex McClay
Only a gold van is fit to chauffeur the core fellows on their big day!
BE IN TOUCH: 2017 Core Fellowship Exhibition
In addition to making all the work, the core fellows select the pieces to exhibit and do all the installation themselves.
Every year, this special night draws a crowd of staff, students, instructors, friends, family, and community members.
Director Jean McLaughlin welcomed everyone and introduced the Core Fellowship Program.
Penland's program director Leslie Noell introduced each core fellow with observations about their work and growth as artists.
A look through weaving by Sarah Rose Lejeune at the show on opening night
Alex McClay, Net Series, steel wire, sterling silver, linen knotted netting by Sarah Rose Lejeune
Alex McClay, Net Series (detail)
Alex McClay, May I Leave Now? etching on handmade paper
Corey Pemberton, On Separation, pen and ink on paper
Corey Pemberton, Auxiliary, Diptych (detail), fused glass
Eleanor Anderson, Studies from Penland Summer 2017, assorted media
Eleanor Anderson, Wood Quilt #1, plywood, paint, wire, waxed linen thread
Elliot Keeley, Basket Nasty, collagraph
Elliot Keeley, Bottle Permutations (details), wood-fired stoneware, steel, copper
Kyle Kulchar & Daniel Garver, Ikat Settee, ash, double weave-double ikat
Kyle Kulchar, Torsion, steel
Rachel Kedinger, Producing Connections, steel, enamel
Rachel Kedinger, Shoe Making Hammer
Sarah Rose Lejeune, At least there were some good dreams, cast and dyed silk organza
Sarah Rose Lejeune, Neither here nor there, handwoven ondulé devoré in cotton, silk, and stainless steel
Stormie Burns, left: Skew Bowl, cast glass; right: Skew Bowl (with Courtney Martin), wood-fired stoneware
Stormie Burns, Everything is Fine, screenprint
Thomas Campbell, Bronze Pin Container, bronze, salvaged steel
Thomas Campbell, Brake Vessel, salvaged steel, stainless steel
Congratulations on such a beautiful show, Core!

 

The annual core show in October is one of the most special events of the Penland year. It’s a time for us to celebrate our nine incredible core fellows, who give so much energy, hard work, and life to the studios and the school for the two years they’re here. This year’s show, BE IN TOUCH, featured pieces in metals, wood, textiles, print, glass, and more. The work ranged in size from earrings and delicate baskets to furniture and a giant stitched accordion book that, even partially folded, stretched up to the ceiling. Each piece was an exquisite representation of the dedication, exploration, and talent of these emerging artists. Congratulations Thomas, Eleanor, Kyle, Elliot, Sarah Rose, Stormie, Rachel, Corey, and Alex—and thanks for such a great show!

The work from BE IN TOUCH is currently on display at Queens University in Charlotte, NC. It will be up through December 7 and is well worth a visit if you’re in the area!

 

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Penland at SOFA CHICAGO 2017

aerial view of SOFA Chicago exhibit hall

We’re eagerly anticipating another year of incredible art, fascinating lectures and demonstrations, good friends, and more at this weekend’s SOFA CHICAGO 2017. The expo opens tonight and runs through November 5 at Navy Pier. It will feature work by hundreds of artists across a range of media from glass and metal to painting and textiles. Penland’s director Jean McLaughlin will be there, and we’ll have a table staffed by some wonderful Penland volunteers all weekend—please stop by and say hi!

If you’re in the Chicago area, a day at SOFA CHICAGO is a unique opportunity to see some of the best in sculpture, craft, design, and more all under one roof. It’s also a great way to see the recent work of many Penland instructors who are represented at the event. A few will be presenting as part of the SOFA lecture series, including jewelers Kat Cole and Janis Kerman, curator and glass artist Susie Silbert, and ceramic sculptor Esther Shimazu.

And for all of us who can’t be there in person, the lush photographs of this year’s art on the SOFA website are well worth a look. Take a peek and be inspired!

Images: SOFA CHICAGO

 

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#WeMakePenland on October 4

Two women working with natural dyes

UPDATE, OCTOBER 5
Thanks to everyone who made Penland’s first giving day a great success. We received 309 donations (exceeding our goal of 250), and together we raised $29,165 in support of Penland’s scholarships, studios, and other programs. Gifts started at $1 and went up from there, and we are grateful for every one of them. Thanks so much to everyone who donated, posted pictures and stories, were part of our on-campus photo booth, liked and shared our posts, or cheered us along. And we were so touched by the many little stories posted by friends of the school. You can see them all at #WeMakePenland.

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Today, together –
#WeMakePenland a center for growth, creativity, and community.

On October 4, our first ever Giving Day, we’re bringing our community together to strengthen Penland’s programs, facilities, staff, scholarships, and more. We have until midnight tonight to reach 250 donors in 24 hours, and we need your help!

Here’s what you can do:

  • Make a gift – any amount counts! Donate here.
  • Share our campaign stories on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter or via text and email. Get your friends and family involved!
  • Post your own stories from Penland. Use the hashtag #WeMakePenland and include the link to the campaign: bit.ly/WeMakePenland.
  • Create a matching gift or challenge on the campaign page. Your generosity motivates others. Even a $25 challenge can be a big inspiration!
  • Become an advocate to amplify your impact. Creating an account on GiveCampus allows you to see how many clicks, gifts, and dollars your outreach has generated.

We chose #WeMakePenland as the theme of our campaign because Penland really is a community effort. Thank you for helping us make this day a success, and thank you for making the Penland experience richer for everyone. We couldn’t have Penland without people like you.

Join the #WeMakePenland Campaign

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Scenes from the 2017 Penland Benefit Auction

It wouldn’t be August at Penland without our biggest event of the year: the Annual Penland Benefit Auction! This year’s on August 11-12 was another rousing success and a beautiful illustration of just how vital Penland’s community is to our many programs. We owe everyone involved a giant THANK YOU—from the Penland staff, interns, core fellows, and resident artists to the event sponsors, advertisers, and donors. Hundreds of artists gave exquisite works of art, hundreds of volunteers came to clean the campus and move furniture and prepare the displays and pour the drinks, and hundreds of guests came to enjoy it all and support our programs. We couldn’t pull off the auction without the love and generosity of each and every one of these people, but together, they helped us do something incredible. Together, we raised $638,390 for Penland! This money goes to support so many aspects of our campus, from maintenance and renovations to beloved buildings like the Craft House to purchasing supplies for our studios and paying the salaries of our dedicated staff.

The benefit auction is also a time to recognize some very special people at Penland. We were lucky this year to have featured artist Vivian Beer on campus to share her work as a furniture designer, and we welcomed incoming Penland director Mia Hall under the tent with her husband David Clemons and their daughter Fiona. We also got to recognize two incredible women as our 2017 Outstanding Artist Educators: potter Cynthia Bringle and weaver Edwina Bringle. Both have been pillars of our creative community for decades, sharing their expertise, critical eye, and encouragement with generations of aspiring artists. The impact they have made on Penland is impossible to quantify, and it was truly a joy to thank them for their dedication to this place and the work that we do.

We hope the slideshow below is a fitting tribute to all the fun, the hard work, the beauty, and the camaraderie that went into this year’s auction. We’re already looking forward to doing it again with you all next year on August 10-11, 2018!

 

 

Want more? See the photo booth pictures from Friday, Saturday, and the volunteer party on Saturday night!

 

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Photos of the Week: Celebrating Paulus Berensohn

The post is a photo slideshow. If you are seeing it in e-mail, we recommend viewing it on the blog.

The memorial structure on the knoll was designed and built by Jonah Stanford using Penland bamboo and shade-cloth panels (made from recycled plastic bottles).
People gathering on the knoll.
There were many little reunions as people gathered.
A procession to the knoll, with music.
Umbrellas came out and we took a little break while it poured for a bit.
Debra Frasier welcomed everyone as it started to rain.
As the rain subsided, Joy Seidler continued with the program.
The sun came out as Diann Fuller led everyone in a little bit of qigong.
Nick Joerling spoke about being Paulus's neighbor, friend, and landlord for many years.
David Perrin spoke about Paulus's role as "fairy godfather" to many young people--a number of those young people stood with him as he spoke.
Poet Stuart Kestenbaum read "Goldenrod," one of Paulus's favorite poems by his great friend Mary Oliver.
Debra Frasier and Joy Seidler took turns describing the many ways that Paulus made art and taught others -- dancing, clay, drawing, paste-paper, journals, letters, envelopes, color copies, etc.
Round singing finished out the program.
Everyone gathered for a picture.
In front of The Pines, some folks did the dance that Paulus used to end his workshops.
The last event was Splash -- a social gathering in honor of Paulus's daily ritual of welcoming anyone who showed up around 5:00 PM to join him for conversation and a bit of refreshment.
Splash featured Paulus's favorite drink: cheap scotch and grapefruit juice. It's really quite good.

On July 22, friends of artist and teacher Paulus Berensohn gathered at Penland to remember him. The day began with art making and a chance to visit Paulus’s house. At 3:30 everyone assembled on the knoll, where Jonah Stanford had created a beautiful structure for the event. (Photos by Robin Dreyer)

If you are looking for large files for the group picture, you can find them here and here.

 

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Photo(s) of the Week: Celebrating the 4th, Penland Style

The following post is a photo slideshow. If you’re looking at it in email, we recommend viewing it on the blog.

The scene on main campus, waiting for the parade
Penland's development team went all out on their recreation of the historic Travelog!
Glitter and rainbows, y'all.
Jean and Jerry's Swan Song
These swans come bearing chocolate.
Miss Lucy Morgan and Miss Edwina Bringle riding along on the Travelog with Joan Glynn behind the wheel
Bringing back the Penland llamas
The one and only Cynthia Bringle, riding the Travelog
Llamas on the knoll!
The Travelog travels on!
Hall of Fame!
A July 4th emergency - wood class to the rescue!
Doug Sigler and his wood class
Bring back the unicorns! Bring back the unicorns!
Paraders of all ages welcome!
Don't thread on me!
A message from the quilt class
A quilted snake from the upper textiles quilting workshop
The Upper Clay Terra Cotta Army
Terra Cotta Army noisemakers
Chapter 1 of the narrative float (more creatures and bubbles to come!)
A wonderful creature (who later adorned the volleyball court)
Kirk, flame juggler
Prime picnic zone
Most Memorable, Most Patriotic, Most Industrious...
Victorious!
The crowd outside the Pines
Ice cream salespeople extraordinaire (aka core fellows)
I scream, you scream

 

The festivities were so much fun that we extended our Independence Day celebrations to two days this year! (Okay, the rain that started around dark on July 4th may have had something to do with it…) The parade featured some impressive entries, including a replica of Penland’s beloved Travelog, a giant unicorn, a quilted snake, a “Swan Song” float by departing director and deputy director Jean McLaughlin and Jerry Jackson, and even a multi-part narrative float by the students in IlaSahai Prouty’s community art workshop. And, despite the 24-hour delay, the fireworks show was an impressive site to behold. Big thanks to the Penland pyrotechnics crew, the parade participants, the trophy makers, the cheering crowds, and everyone else who came out to celebrate July 4th with us!

 

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