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Studio Practices: Penland 9

concrete tiles, clay vases, and photography

Works from “Studio Practices: Penland 9” by Ian Henderson, Susan Feagin, and Betsy DeWitt

 

Penland’s team of studio coordinators can generally be found working behind the scenes to support the hundreds of artists that come through our studios every year with their knowledge and skill. But they’re also accomplished artists in their own right, and we’re thrilled that their personal work is on display in the Main Gallery of the Turchin Center at Appalachian State University through June. Studio Practices: Penland 9 includes sculptural, functional, and two-dimensional pieces in a variety of media. The artists address a broad range of themes in their work, from secrecy and family memories to language and play. “Working together to support the practices of other artists at Penland has given the talented coordinators a remarkable synergy,” the show’s curator states. “Their artwork is individually strong and compatible with one another – creating a dynamic and moving installation.”

Studio Practices: Penland 9 features Daniel T. Beck (steel sculpture), Betsy DeWitt (photography), Susan Feagin (ceramics), Melanie Finlayson (printmaking), Jay Fox (paper and print), Nick Fruin (glass), Ian Henderson (concrete and metals), Ellie Richards (wood), and Amanda Thatch (textiles and drawing).

 

wood sculpture, steel and cement sculpture, weavings

Pieces by Ellie Richards, Daniel Beck, and Amanda Thatch

 

The show is on view Tuesday-Saturday through June 3, 2017. In addition to regular gallery hours, visitors are encouraged to explore the exhibition further through the following events:

Friday, February 3, 6-9 PM: “Fizzy First Friday” Reception
Come view Studio Practices: Penland 9 and the Turchin Center’s three other new exhibitions while enjoying snacks, drinks, and music.

Friday, April 7, 6-10 PM: Spring Exhibition Celebration
Explore the Turchin Center’s galleries and exhibitions, meet the artists, and have a cocktail or a snack.

Wednesday, April 12: TCVA Lecture Series: Penland Coordinators I
Hear Melanie Finlayson, Daniel T. Beck, Nick Fruin, Amanda Thatch, and Susan Feagin discuss their studio practices.

Wednesday, April 19: TCVA Lecture Series: Penland Coordinators II
Listen to Ian Henderson, Ellie Richards, Jay Fox, and Betsy DeWitt as they talk about their studios and work.

 

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The Craft School Experience: Outcomes and Revelations

Anyone who has spent time at Penland or a similar school will likely understand what the “Craft School Experience” is all about. But for everyone else, it can be difficult to put into words. Time living and working at a craft school is intense and uniquely focused. It’s a rare opportunity to be fully immersed in a place, a community, and a creative process, one that many find thought provoking, inspiring, and often transformational.

Penland has teamed up with four of our sister schools—Arrowmont (TN), Haystack (ME), Peters Valley (NJ), and Pilchuck (WA)—to celebrate craft and promote the immersive workshop experience our schools offer artists of all levels. This winter, we are thrilled to be working with the Craft in America Center in Los Angeles to put on the exhibition The Craft School Experience: Revelations and Outcomes. The show strives to capture the essence of the craft school experience by featuring the work of master teachers, resident artists, and students who have studied or taught at these craft schools alongside personal narratives, quotes, and videos. Penland instructors and residents including Cynthia Bringle, Nancy Callan, Susie Ganch, Marc Maiorana, and Jaydan Moore will be among those featured in the exhibition.

In conjunction with Revelations and Outcomes, Penland Director Jean McLaughlin will present a talk entitled “Make/Time: The Craft School Experience” at the Craft in America Center on Saturday, January 28 at 4 PM. She will draw on her eighteen years at Penland to share stories about the joys and impacts that schools like Penland, Arrowmont, Haystack, Peters Valley, and Pilchuck offer individuals and the broader craft community.

We hope that everyone who is able to attend the exhibition and/or Jean’s talk comes away with a deeper understanding of the power and inspiration that is the craft school experience. And when they’re ready to experience it for themselves, we’re here with workshops and open studio doors.

 

glass work and a student making a clay piece

Left to right: exhibition piece by Nancy Callan; a student working in clay at Haystack School; exhibition piece by Lino Tagliapietra.

 

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Table in a Day!

Penland’s Table in a Day participants with their (mostly) finished creations.

 

The process of designing and making an object can be a slow and laborious one. Good craft takes time. But once a year in the Penland wood studio, time is in very short supply. For the annual Table in a Day Challenge, now in its third year, wood studio residents have only one day to craft a table from start to finish. Pre-planning and sketching are allowed, but all the cutting and construction must happen between 9 AM and 9 PM.

This year, ten seasoned furniture designers rose to the challenge. Armed with donuts, pump-up tunes, and designs (or not), they quickly spread out around the studio and got to work cutting, planing, jointing, and gluing. Meanwhile, up in Baltimore, Penland session 7 instructor Sarah Marriage was taking part remotely, hard at work on her own speed-table.

 

man shaping a wooden table leg

Core fellow Kyle Kulchar shapes a leg for his table (the black one in the center, above).

 

With this much focus and intensity, pieces take shape quickly. By early afternoon, tabletops had been glued up, legs had been shaped, and the energy was palpable. A few hours later, the parts were starting to come together into three-dimensional forms that looked an awful lot like furniture. By 8:45 PM, the artists were in a final flurry of activity brushing paint, wiping finish, and laying the final boards into place. Somehow by 9 PM (or just a few minutes after), a collection of furniture stood where there had only been open floor at the beginning of the day.

 

two women woodworking

Left: Studio coordinator Ellie Richards adding color to her design. Right: Winter residency studio assistant Christina Boy finishing her table as it nears 9 o’clock.

 

As impressive as the participants’ speed and skill was the variety in the pieces they made. The tables ranged in scale from chihuahua-sized to large enough to seat six for dinner. Some highlighted the grain and natural color of the wood, while others employed bright paint and striking textures. Angela St. Vrain, a winter resident, used a piece of blown and slumped glass she’d made as a tabletop; studio coordinator Ellie Richards covered a whole face of her table with quotes she collected from protest posters at the Women’s Marches over the weekend. The legs on winter resident Zoe Alexa’s table were solidly joined at various non-right angles, and core fellow Elmar Fujita mixed and matched a pair of turned legs with two straight, square ones.

 

woman building a table

Core fellow Elmar Fujita attaching the legs to her Table in a Day creation.

 

All told, it was a day full up with some of the best the studio can bring: camaraderie, creativity, costumes, big skill, and lots of energy. Just don’t ask them to do it again tomorrow.

See more photos from Table in a Day in the slideshow below. (If you are reading this post as an email, we recommend viewing it on the blog.)

 

Intrepid woodworkers about to start at 8:59 AM.
Game faces
Four hours in and going strong!
Ellie inscribing quotes onto one face of her table.
Morgan putting together the pieces (in costume, of course).
Zoe had to work during the middle of the day, but she still made a mini table!
Bob at the table saw
Angela creating the glass and wood top for her table
Resident artist Annie Evelyn chose to make a 12-hour valet stand, which is sort of like a little table combined with a chair and a coat rack.
Yes, Elmar is rocking a wig.
Ellie with the finished word panel for the side of her table.
A 12-hour time limit doesn't mean you can skimp on sanding!
Paint paint paint
Finishing up in the final minutes.
The finished tables!
Not bad for 12 hours, eh?

 

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Photo of the Week: The Final Northlight Auction

Penland scholarship auction

Last night we celebrated the end of fall concentrations in the traditional way—by coming together with friends and community members for an end-of-session scholarship auction. Last night’s was a rousing one, thanks to the incredible work donated by Penland’s students, instructors, residents, staff, and more and the generous bidding of the audience members. At the end of it all, we had raised an astonishing $24,000+ towards Penland’s scholarship funds!

To make the evening even more special was the fact that last night’s auction was the final one to take place in this space. Starting in December, demolitions will begin on the Northlight building, including Gorelick Social Hall and the photo and paper studios. In their place we will build a new Northlight complex that will include social gathering spaces and upgraded studios.

Thank you to everyone who donated, bid, volunteered, and attended to make this final auction a fitting sendoff for our well-loved Northlight. We look forward to welcoming you all into the new building soon for many more years of good art, good friends, and good fun.

 

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Resident Rock Stars

Penland’s resident artists spend three years living on campus and working as self-supporting artists in their field. Their time at Penland is designed as an opportunity for them to deepen their studio practice, push technical and conceptual boundaries, or explore entirely new directions in their work.

We’re continually amazed by the pieces that come out of each of the resident studios at The Barns, and we’re proud to have such talented artists calling Penland home. Recently, three residents were recognized for their outstanding work with prestigious (and, in our opinion, well-deserved) fellowships.

 

Annie Evelyn, "The Scotty," collaboration with Scotty Albrecht

Annie Evelyn, “The Scotty,” aluminum, collaboration with Scotty Albrecht

Annie Evelyn
Furniture designer Annie Evelyn was just awarded the 2016 John D. Mineck Fellowship by the Society of Arts and Crafts. The $25,000 award is presented “to encourage and support a young-in-career furniture artist… who demonstrates skill and commitment to their craft.” Annie plans to use the award to purchase tools to outfit her shop post-Penland. She envisions the space as a well-equipped communal studio that will also serve as a venue for community workshops, exhibitions, and events. “Annie’s spirit of community, generosity, and mentorship shined in her application, and will serve her well as she leaves the Penland community and establishes her studio,” the Society of Arts and Crafts stated. Annie is known for her explorations into hard/soft surfaces and applying traditional upholstery techniques to materials like wood, concrete, and metal.

 

 

Andrew Hayes, "Dure," steel, book pages, paint

Andrew Hayes, “Dure,” steel, book pages, paint

Andrew Hayes
Andrew Hayes was honored as one of seventeen recipients of $10,000 Artist Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council for 2017. The fellows are chosen every two years from a talented pool of choreographers and visual, craft, and film/video artists. The Arts Council describes Andrew’s singular book and steel sculptures as “improbable objects of beauty.” They elaborate: “Formally, his sculpture has the spare elegance of mid-century modernism, each one an icon of untold meaning. But as much as his work may recall past styles and forms, it also boldly writes its own history and engages the viewer on its own terms.”

 

 

Jaydan Moore, "Ends," found silver-plated platters

Jaydan Moore, “Ends,” found silver-plated platters

Jaydan Moore
Jaydan Moore was also awarded one of this year’s North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowships. He works in metals, primarily with found silver-plated platters and other serviceware that he carefully deconstructs, recombines, and reassembles into new forms. As the Arts Council explains, these pieces “gain a protean quality as they transition to the next stage in their evolution, one that honors their past purpose and history and, at the same time, looks forward to the possibility of something unexpected.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Penland resident artists will hold an open studio tomorrow, October 21 at The Barns. Come by between 7-9 PM to meet the residents, see their spaces, and get a feel for their recent work.

 

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NINE – A Core Show Slideshow

Penland core fellows

Penland’s core fellows at this year’s core show. Left to right: Left to right: Daniel Garver, Eleanor Anderson, Alex McClay, Thomas Campbell, Morgan Hill, Elmar Fujita, Rachel Kedinger, Kyle Kulchar, Bryan Parnham

The 2016 core show was another festival of inspiration, innovation, ideas, and other wonderful things that may or may not start with i. Thanks to our nine core fellows for their beautiful work and for the care and thought they put into sharing it with us. And thanks to the many others who helped with the show, the special dinner, the glittered limo van, handcrafted presents, deserts, organizing the reception, and many other tasks that add up to the core show being one of the high points of every Penland year. Special thanks to Jerry Jackson for final tweaking of the whole show.

Click here for a slideshow from the event, with a few examples of each person’s work.

 

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NINE: 2016 Core Fellowship Exhibition

nine-small

 

Every year, the annual core show is a highlight of fall at Penland. It’s a remarkable event: nine core fellows come together to put on an exhibition, and they do all the parts themselves, from creating the work and designing publicity materials to preparing the space and curating the pieces within it.

This year’s show is titled NINE: 2016 Core Fellowship Exhibition. The work will span the range of Penland’s studios, from weaving and wooden furniture to objects in clay and concrete. In many ways, it’s a visual chronicle of one year in the lives of nine emerging artists—their ideas and explorations, their time, their energy, their passion.

Please join us on Friday, October 7th at 8 PM in Northlight to celebrate our core fellows as artists and as vital members of the Penland community. NINE will also be open for viewing October 8 and 9 from noon-6 PM and October 10 from 4-6 PM.

While the pieces below are just a small sampling of what will be up during the exhibition, they are absolutely representative of the creativity and skill that will be on display.

 

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Enameled metal tea set by Rachel Kedinger

 

garver16c

Linen and wool ikat dyed tapestry by Daniel Garver, 50 x 35 inches

 

prowl_2

Maple and walnut entry table by Kyle Kulchar

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