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Focus on: Martina Lantin


Fall brings a new exhibition of earthenware by Martina Lantin to the Penland Gallery and Visitors Center. The show runs until October 27.



Mug (L) – Thrown and altered earthenware, slip line and blush, 4.5 x 3 x 3.25, ” Mug (R) – Thrown and altered earthenware, blue and chrome bow line, 4.25 x 3.5 x 3.5″

Lantin creates ceramic tableware from earthenware clay, which she likes to call “chocolate porcelain.” Her unique forms are made by wheelthrowing combined with off-the-wheel alterations. Her pieces, she says, are meant for everyday use. Most of Lantin’s work is made in multiple parts and pieced together leaving some of the seams visible. A thin layer of white slip serves to accentuate the construction methods and to invite an exploration of the making process. “I seek to evoke nostalgia in the future by making pots that are reverberations of the past,” she says. “I draw inspiration from early English porcelain and cream ware. I provoke a tension between the elegant handling of the material and the rugged connotations of the clay body.”


Martina Lantin, Focus Gallery installation of plates, 2013

Martina Lantin, Focus Gallery installation of plates, 2013


Born in Montreal, Canada, Martina Lantin received her Bachelor of Art from Earlham College and her Master of Fine Art from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. She has been an artist in residence at Baltimore Clayworks and Arrowmont School of Art and Craft in Gatlinburg, TN. She has taught workshops at Penland School of Crafts and Arrowmont. Currently, she is a professor at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont. Her work has been featured in Ceramics Monthly and shown in numerous juried and invitational exhibitions. She has also published articles in Studio Potter and Pottery Making Illustrated.


Martina Lantin at Penland.

Along with this special exhibition of works by Martina Lantin, the Penland Gallery has a sales area featuring work in all media by artists affiliated with Penland School of Crafts. Located on the Penland School campus, just off Penland Road in Mitchell County, the gallery is open 10 – 5, Tuesday through Saturday; 12 – 5 on Sunday; closed on Mondays. The gallery also offers tours of the Penland campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information call 828-765-6211 or visit



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The Penland 2013 Benefit Auction

auctioneer Mark Oliver at the Penland auction

The 2013 Penland Benefit Auction was terrific–a logistic, artistic, and financial success. Our applause, thanks, and deepest gratitude go out to the volunteers, artists, staff, and patrons who came together to celebrate and support Penland’s programs. We’ll do it again next year!

Click here for a slideshow from the auction.

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Why we cancelled the parade


Today is July 4. It’s the end of session three and we have an auction tonight, so we planned our annual July 4 parade, ice cream social, and fireworks extravaganza for yesterday. But yesterday was like this, pretty much all day.



This is what the Pines Portico looked like at lunch time.



Here’s the glass studio, modified with tarps after water streamed in through the front doors during a deluge last week. We’ve been having rain punctuated by thunderstorms for days on end. So we called off the parade and the fireworks and put out the word to the community telling people not to come.



But a bunch of the classes had already made costumes, so everyone reconvened after supper for ice cream and a very short indoor parade (with prizes).



These metalsmiths had spent part of the day bailing water from the back of the lower metals studio, so they paddled through the Pines wearing mop wigs.



Patriotic glassblowers.



Dancing potters.



Printmakers: inked and feathered.



And the biggest Hello Kitty we’ve ever seen.

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To Spring from the Hand: A Celebration of Paulus Berensohn


Photograph and collage by True Kelly

Our neighbor, artist, dancer, and sage Paulus Berensohn recently celebrated his 80th birthday, and the Penland community celebrated with him. A Saturday afternoon birthday party on the porch at Northlight featured delicious cake and champagne, and an effusive outpouring of loving and grateful toasts to a man whose gentleness and generosity have inspired so many. The gathering was followed by the first American screening of Australian filmmaker Neil Lawrence’s new documentary To Spring From the Hand: The Life and Work of Paulus Berensohn. (Another screening took place later in the week at the Fine Arts Theatre in Asheville, bringing the film to a wider audience.)


Screening the film "To Spring from the Hand: The Life and Work of Paulus Berensohn" at Northlight.

Screening the film “To Spring from the Hand: The Life and Work of Paulus Berensohn” at Northlight.


Afterwards, the group walked together up to the head of Penland’s new hiking trail, the Paulus Path, for a dedication ceremony where Paulus buried an unfired clay bowl filled with flowers (returning his unfired clay works to the earth in this manner has long been a central part of Paulus’s artistic and spiritual practice) in the ground beneath the path. Heads were bowed, hands were held, tears were shed and hugs exchanged as he recited poetry celebrating nature, placed the bowl into a hole dug by volunteers from the assembled community, and then buried it by hand in the earth.



Paulus dedicating a bowl to be offered to the earth at the opening of a new hiking trail named in his honor.


Happy birthday, Paulus! We love you, and hope your compassionate, contemplative spirit continues to infuse the very ground we walk here at Penland forever.


Burying the ceremonial bowl.




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Photo of the Week: Looking Down by Dan Bailey

Looking Down Dan Bailey Penland

This is Gene Ayscue and Dan Bailey finishing up the installation, in the Penland Gallery lobby, of Dan’s incredible piece called Looking Down: Penland School of Crafts. The piece was constructed from over 15,000 photos taken in July, August, and October 2012 from a tethered balloon. They have been collaged by hand and placed onto the background satellite image to form a chronicle of human activity on the Penland School campus. Magnifying glasses will be available for visitors. This piece is part of the 0 to 60 project, which is a collaboration between Penland School and the North Carolina Museum of Art.



This is Dan’s piece as it appears on the Gigapan website, where you can scroll around and zoom way in and see all of the activity recorded in the collage. It includes bits from July 4, from the auction, a few sequences of groups of people walking through the landscape, people playing with the balloon shadow, and other delights. Click here and say goodbye to the next half-hour.


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0 to 60: The Experience of Time through Contemporary Art

Alison Collins at Penland School

Alison Collins lining the Dye Shed with muslin and Proust.

Penland School will have two events this weekend marking the opening of a group of four art installations on the Penland campus. The installations are the work of Dan Bailey, Alison Collins, Kyoung Ae Cho, and Anne Lemanski, and they are part of a project called 0 to 60: The Experience of Time through Contemporary Art, which is a collaboration between Penland School and the North Carolina Museum of Art. The opening events will include a evening slide lecture on April 19 and an afternoon walking tour on April 20. The installations will be on view until August 31.

On Friday, April 19, the four artists will each make a short slide presentation about their work. They will be joined by Linda Dougherty, the museum’s chief curator and curator of contemporary art, who will give an overview of the project. This event will take place in the Northlight building at Penland at 8:00 PM. On Saturday, April 20 there will be a walking tour of the four installations beginning at 1:30 PM. Penland’s director, Jean McLaughlin, will make some introductory remarks at the Pines Portico and then each of the four artists will speak when the group visits their installation.


Dan Bailey at Penland School

Gene Ayscue and Dan Bailey installing “Looking Down: Penland School of Crafts” in the lobby of the gallery.

Filmmaker, animator, and photographer Dan Bailey has created a two-part work using time-lapse and low-altitude aerial balloon photography. Looking Up is a slow-moving time-lapse video of the sky over Penland. The vantage point is reversed in Looking Down, a large printed wall piece that is a collage of photographs of the campus made over many months using a camera attached to a helium balloon.


Alison Collins at Penland School

Alison Collins working in the Dye Shed.

Alison Collins’s Temps Perdu will fill the Dye Shed, a historic log structure at Penland, with hundreds of yards of muslin and hundreds of muslin leaves. On the yardage is text from Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time. On the leaves are words that refer the things the artist herself has lost. The text is written using a dye Alison made from the rust that collected under some of her steel sculptures.


Anne Lemanski at Penland

Anne Lemanski working on the installation of “Extirpated.”

Anne Lemanski’s Extirpated is about animal species that once inhabited this region but have disappeared with no hope of return. The format of Lemanski’s piece is a series of clotheslines suspended between steel supports based on the contour of Kentucky long rifles. Hanging from the lines will be silhouette images of species that have disappeared from Mitchell County.


Kyoung Ae Cho at Penland

Kyoung Ae Cho installing “Shining Ground” on the Northlight porch.

Kyoung Ae Cho’s Shining Ground, memorializes her discovery of mica the first time she visited Penland in 2000. The piece incorporates mica collected from the banks of the Toe River into vertical panels made of cloth, pins, and wood, which will be installed on the outside of the Northlight building. The piece is her attempt to recapture, many years later, the moment of quiet surprise when she first saw the ground covered with the sheen of mica sand.


Tom Shields "Process"

“Process” by Penland resident artist Tom Shields is part of the exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

The other component of the 0 to 60 project is a major exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. The exhibition, which is open now and runs through August 11, includes work by the four installation artists along with twenty-eight other artists, many of whom have connections to Penland. This exhibition engages the viewer in an experiential and conceptual journey through time, looking at how time can be used as form, content, and material, and how art is used to represent, evoke, manipulate, or transform time. The exhibition will continue through August 11.

Here’s an ongoing album of pictures from the project.


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Focus on: Tina Mullen

The Penland Gallery and Visitors Center presents its first Focus exhibition of the year, a new body of  work in drawing and painting by Tina Mullen. This show is on view in the Focus Gallery from Friday, March 22 through Sunday, April 28th, with an opening reception Friday, March 22, from 4:30 – 6pm.


"Carolina Wren," watercolor and graphite on nautical chart, 6 x 6 in.

“Crosshairs,” watercolor and graphite on nautical chart, 14 x 11 in.


“I find that I use it often – the phrase “out of the blue” – to describe events, ideas, and the way things strike me.  I wonder if I use it more than others, or if I’m just less prepared than others and things catch me off guard.  Regardless, I enjoy contemplating the notion that things happen unexpectedly. That some of the best things in life are unplanned, unscheduled, and come to us by chance – out of the blue.  The real beauty for me is what becomes of us because of them.

In my work, “out of the blue” represents migration, journey and the stories that happen along the way. Many of the drawings are done on maps. Maps of places traveled, Maps given to me by friends and Maps that come with their own history. Represented are maps of some of the places that I love – Florida, North Carolina, and Oregon.

Other points of departure for my drawings might be a piece of paper found in an old book that contains the owners’ doodles or handwriting. Those marks, the age of the paper, slight rips or tears bear witness to a past unknown to me.  I enjoy excavating through those marks, setting off on a new path – a new visual adventure.

Here’s to the journey.” – Tina Mullen


"Small Precarious Fate," watercolor, pastel, and colored pencil on vintage paper, 18 x 12 in.

“Small Precarious Fate,” watercolor, pastel, and colored pencil on vintage paper, 18 x 12 in.


Tina Mullen is an artist who lives in Gainesville, Florida. She is also the director of Shands Arts in Medicine – a program that brings the arts to patients and families struggling with serious illness.

“I have painted and drawn pictures my entire life. I believe that the arts are a vehicle for transformation and personal expression, and my passion is to help others bring art into their lives in meaningful ways.”

Tina has been a drawing instructor at Santa Fe Community College and the University of Florida, as well as Interim Director of the University Galleries at UF. Tina is also a working artist who has exhibited her work throughout the United States.  She has received numerous awards including the Individual Artist Fellowship from the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs. She has been a visiting artist at Penland, the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida and the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming.

Tina has a BA from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and has an MFA from the University of Florida.


Tina Mullen

Tina Mullen


Click here to visit Tina’s website, where you can see more of her work.

Click here to visit the Penland Gallery website.

Penland’s Focus Gallery is a space primarily dedicated to single-artist exhibitions. Focusing on individual artists over the course of the year, it presents a larger selection of their work to gallery visitors and patrons.

Click here for more information about the Focus Gallery.


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