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The Penland Hummingbird Cocktail

Woodman-Pieper auction piece

As everyone probably knows by now, this fantastic cocktail service by Julia Woodman with goblets by Kenny Pieper is the featured artwork for this summer’s annual benefit auction. This put cocktails on our minds.

Our friend Nate Allen (chef and co-owner of Knife and Fork restaurant in Spruce Pine) is a cocktail aficionado, so we asked him to create a special drink for the auction. He came up with the Penland Hummingbird–a refreshing mixture of North Carolina’s own Cardinal gin, Luxardo maraschino, lemon juice, and an infusion of locally-gathered bee balm flowers (beloved by bees and hummingbirds). We’ll serve the drink at the auction and Cardinal is generously donating the gin.

 

So, for your entertainment, here is a video of Nate making the cocktail at his newly opened Spoon bar using Julia’s shaker and Kenny’s glasses. The recipe is at the end of the video.

If you would like to see more (and sillier) videos of Nate making cocktails, he made a series of them a few years back.

If you would like more information about the Penland auction, it’s here, and the whole auction catalog is now available here.

 

 

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Photo of the Week: July 4 (er, 2)

july4-13

Kat Cole’s “Found and Fabricated” metals class representing in the July 4 parade, which happened a couple of days early on account of Friday being the last day of the session.

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Photo of the Week: Auction Mugs!

auction mugs by Lisa DiFeo at Penland School

These are just some of the 500+ souvenir mugs made by potter Elisa Di Feo for this summer’s benefit auction. Elisa will be teaching a workshop during sixth session focused on tableware.

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Penland Studio Coordinator Show

BetsyDeWitt

Betsy DeWitt, from Upon Closer Examination, archival inkjet print of a 4″ round photomicrograph

 

Like Batman, Marie Curie, and Wallace Stevens who came before them, our studio coordinators live intense double lives, serving as the veritable rocks for the Penland studios during the day and making their own art (at night? When? How do they do it?)

 

deanallison

Dean Allison, Ally, cast and blown glass

 

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Susan Feagin, Square Bowl, mid-range clay, screen printed slips, sgraffito, colored glazes, 2011. Photo by Walker Montgomery.

 
We’re very excited to announce the opening of the Penland Studio Coordinator show at Green Plum Gallery, 130 Oak Avenue (Upper Street) in Spruce Pine, April 21. A reception will be held on April 25, 5:00-8:00 pm. Artists include:

 

Amanda Thatch (Textiles, works on paper)

Betsy DeWitt (Photography)

Ian Henderson (Metals)

Daniel T. Beck (Sculpture)

Sean P. Morrissey (Works on paper)

Susan Feagin (Ceramics)

Dean Allison (Cast and blown glass)

Marvin Jensen (Furniture)

 

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Amanda Thatch, detail from Begin Again, textile

 

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Sean P. Morrissey, Pile #2, collage on panel, 60 x 30

 

The show, dubbed In the Beginning There Was Marvin: 8 Coordinators, 15 Studios, will be on view these dates and hours:

Monday, April 21: 4-7 pm

Tuesday, April 22: 4-7 pm

Wednesday, April 23: 4-7 pm

Thursday, April 24: 4-7 pm

Friday, April 25: 5-8 pm (reception)

Saturday, April 26: 10-5 pm

Sunday, April 27: 11-3 pm 

 

ianhenderson

Ian Henderson, Partum, bronze, gold-plated silver, ash

 

Some of the works included in this blog post will be on view. Some won’t. Expect the marvelous.

 
 

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Video: Moving Parts

In the summer of 2013, Penland School had an unusual number of workshops that involved motors, switches, gears, Arduino controllers, levers, sensors, mechanical arms, cranks, and other moving parts. Here is a sample of the results.

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Photo of the Week: Community Open House

penland community open house

Saturday, March 1 was a beautiful early spring day–perfect for the Penland Community Open House. Thanks to the Penland staff (especially the studio coordinators), more than 100 volunteers, 560 visitors, Mitchell County Transportation (who provided shuttle buses), Dr. Taylor Townsend, DDS (who bought lunch for the volunteers), and United Way of Mitchell County for a great day at Penland.

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Daguerreotype to Digital: Penland, Photography, & the Triangle

Penland School is well-known for its intensive workshops in clay, glass, metals, and other materials traditionally associated with the word “craft.” Penland, however, defines that term quite broadly, and has long offered classes in so-called “fine art” media such as drawing, painting, and printmaking, along with everyone’s favorite unclassifiable medium: photography. The school is currently in the process of planning and raising funds for a new photography studio and, as part of that effort, is involved in an unusual partnership in North Carolina’s Triangle area: an exhibition/auction of work by Penland-affiliated photographers at Chapel Hill’s Cassilhaus, the home and gallery of architect and community activist Ellen Cassilly and AV systems designer, documentary film producer, and arts entrepreneur Frank Konhaus.

 

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David Spear, Juana Paloma, Mexico. Gelatin silver print, 18 x 18 inches
1998

 

Titled An Expansive Vision: Photographers Working for Penland’s Future, the exhibition, which is on view at Cassilhaus until the auction on March 2 and is also available online, features work by 35 photographers who have donated photographs (framed and ready to hang) in support of Penland’s new studio. The photographs vary widely in style, from documentary to nonrepresentational with many stops in between. The methods used to produce the images could almost form a history of photographic technology: several nineteenth century processes are represented along with black-and-white darkroom prints, traditional color processes, and up-to-date archival inkjet prints.

 

JW Cassilhaus Exterior SE View Twighlight MR

 

Cassilhaus (seen above) is an unusual venue—a beautiful private home (located in a wooded area just north of Chapel Hill) that incorporates a gallery and a separate apartment that supports an artist residency. “Ellen and I have a long-time connection to Penland,” explains Frank Konhaus. “We have taken several fantastic workshops over the years and have volunteered for the benefit auction. Penland is a rare place the excels in teaching darkroom and alternative photo processes alongside current digital techniques. We are passionate photography collectors and have developed a vibrant artist residency and exhibition program at our home in Chapel Hill. It seemed like a natural fit for us to mount an exhibition and auction here of work by Penland-connected photographers to help support the future of Penland photography program.”

That future will be grounded in a beautiful new studio designed by Ratio Architects of Raleigh. The conceptual design was led by architect Louis Cherry working closely with Penland staff members and a design committee that included five photographers with close ties to Penland’s workshop program. The goal for the new studio is to allow Penland to teach any kind of photography that has ever existed. It will be a flexible space that will support nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century technologies: from daguerreotypes to digital. The design has now been completed by a team from Ratio led by Jesse Green. It will be part of a two-building complex that also includes a paper-making studio and a large social hall, and the project will include a landscape plan by Walt Havener of Surface 678 in Durham.

Fundraising for the project is ongoing, and all proceeds from the Cassilhaus auction will support the new photography studio. The photographs in the auction can be viewed on this page, which also has information about absentee bidding, viewing the exhibition by appointment, and making reservations for the auction on March 2. Seating for the event is quite limited and it is likely to fill, but there’s room for an unlimited number of absentee bidders. An absentee bid form allows bidders to name their highest bid for any photographs they are interested in. Bids will be placed for them (up to their stated maximum) by Penland staff members during the live auction.

 

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