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Announcing our 2018 Penland Core Fellows

We’re excited to introduce our five new Penland core fellows: Joshua Fredock, Luke Gnadinger, Kento Saisho, Katherine Toler, and Devyn Vasquez! They will join second-year core fellows Stormie Burns, Elliot Keeley, Sarah Rose Lejeune, and Corey Pemberton on March 1, 2018 to begin their two-year fellowships.

As always, there were many outstanding candidates for only five available positions. We received 61 applications from across the United States. Our selection committee did an excellent job reviewing and evaluating these materials; we couldn’t conduct such a thorough process without their generosity, time, and energy. Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s selection.

Joshua Fredock

Josh Fredock portrait and piece of glass/metal sculpture

Joshua Fredock is a former navy rescue swimmer who lives in Asheville and has interned and worked at Monarch Glass Studio (MO), Rock Cottage Glass Works (KS), Metalabs (MO), and STARWorks Glass Studio (NC). Josh has been part of two Penland concentrations—once as a work-study student in the glass studio and once as a Christy Wright scholarship recipient. As a core fellow, Josh is primarily interested in building skills in glass and metals and developing his ability to express himself through his work.
Josh’s website
Follow Josh on Instagram


Luke Gnadinger

Luke Gnadinger portrait and set of prints

Luke Gnadinger currently works at the KMAC Museum (KY) and is a studio assistant for Jason Bige Burnett; he also spent years working at Kentucky Mudworks in Louisville. Luke has a BA in Studio Art from Transylvania University (KY) and has attended Indiana University Southeast as a post-baccalaureate student. At Penland, he has been a clay studio assistant and winter resident. He is interested in how creative practice can be a connector and catalyst for social change and plans to explore classes in various media towards this end over the next two years.
Follow Luke on Instagram


Kento Saisho

Kento Saisho sculpture and portrait

Kento Saisho is a Windgate Fellowship recipient who is currently working as a freelance fabricator in Brooklyn, NY. Kento has interned and worked at Iron Mountain Forge and Furniture (RI) and Fort Standard (NY). He has a BFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and was a work-study student in iron at Penland this summer. During his core fellowship Kento plans to explore sculptural works in iron, works on paper, and how these two areas of interest intersect.
Follow Kento on Instagram


Katherine Toler

Katherine Toler portrait and intallation

Katherine Toler currently lives in Little Rock, where she works at the Museum of Discovery. She has previously spent quite a bit of time at Penland—as a work-study student, studio assistant, and summer intern in our textiles and drawing/painting studios—and is looking forward to returning. Katherine has a BFA from the University of Central Arkansas. Her background in painting and her interest in textiles have recently led to explorations in mixed-media sculpture, an area she plans to pursue at Penland.
Follow Katherine on Instagram


Devyn Vasquez

Devyn Vasquez portrait and arrangement of objects

Devyn Vasquez lives in Miami and works at the Fletcher Arts & Cultural Center while maintaining a studio and teaching art classes. She has also worked at Baltimore Clayworks and the Turchin Center for Visual Arts (NC) and has been an assistant to both artists and curators. Devyn has a BFA from Appalachian State University (NC) and has taken a summer metals workshop and fall clay concentration at Penland. Ceramics and jewelry have been her main focus, but she is looking forward to exploring new mediums and finding connections between technique and concept throughout her fellowship.
Follow Devyn on Instagram


Of course, the excitement of this announcement comes with a twinge of sadness as we prepare to send five of our current core fellows on their way at the end of the winter. Eleanor Anderson, Thomas Campbell, Rachel Kedinger, Kyle Kulchar, and Alex McClay have achieved some really incredible things in and out of the studios, and we will miss them dearly. We’re looking forward to seeing where their ideas and talents take them—and not-so-secretly hoping that we’ll see them back at Penland on occasion!


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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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Welcome New Core Fellows!

We’re thrilled to welcome four new artists to the Core Fellowship Program for 2017-2019! This new crew will join us on campus March 1 and will take up residence in Morgan Hall with second-year core fellows Eleanor Anderson, Thomas Campbell, Rachel Kedinger, Kyle Kulchar, and Alex McClay. We’re pretty sure they have great things in store.


Stormie Burns

Stormie is a familiar face to anyone in the Penland area. For the past year and a half she’s been working as a barista in the Penland Coffee House while also working for local potter Courtney Martin (among others) and coordinating Roan Readers, a Rural Education Partners program. Stormie has created her own education path and has taken classes at the Morean Arts Center, Arrowmont, Odyssey Ceramic Arts, and Penland. As a core fellow, she wants to generate momentum for her work while developing skills in printmaking and ceramics and experimenting in other studios.


Elliot Keeley

Elliot is a recent graduate from the Appalachian State University metals program. He has worked as a gallery assistant, studio tech, and bench jeweler and, most recently, completed an internship at Elsewhere, a living museum in a converted three-story thrift store in Greensboro, NC. Elliot has been a frequent work-study scholarship student at Penland in iron and metals classes and has volunteered at the Annual Benefit Auction. He is excited to take creative strides in his work through a myriad of metals classes as well as complementary media.


Sarah Rose Lejeune

Sarah Rose will be coming to Penland from an internship at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY, where she has been working since this summer. She has also been an intern and studio assistant at Dieu Donné, a non-profit paper studio and art center in New York City. Sarah Rose is a graduate of Oberlin College, where she studied studio art and comparative American studies, and though she has never been to Penland, she has taken classes at Ox-Bow, Haystack, and the Robert Blackburn Print Shop. As a core fellow Sarah Rose wants to learn new processes and develop skills in textiles, printmaking, metals, and paper.


Corey Pemberton

Corey has been part of the Penland community for several years and has lived in the area for the past two years while working as a studio assistant for local glassblower John Geci. Corey is a graduate of the Virginia Commonwealth University Craft and Material Studies program and has been a frequent and favorite studio assistant in Penland’s glass studio, as well as glass studios all over the US including Pittsburgh Glass, Corning Museum of Glass, Haystack, and Pilchuck. Corey now wants to explore new directions in his work, pushing beyond his current skill set to try new studios, new media, and new ideas.


Of course, welcoming new core fellows also means that we’ll be saying goodbye to some of our incredible current core fellows at the end of the winter: Elmar Fujita, Daniel Garver, Morgan Hill, and Bryan Parnham. They’ll sure be missed, but we can’t wait to see where their creative energies take them next—hopefully back to Penland at some point down the road!











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NINE: 2016 Core Fellowship Exhibition



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.


Enameled metal tea set by Rachel Kedinger


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


Maple and walnut entry table by Kyle Kulchar











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Penland’s Core Fellowship (Apply by October 15)

core 2016 portrait over auction weekend
Penland’s talented bunch of core fellows: Daniel Garver, Eleanor Anderson, Thomas Campbell, Elmar Fujita, Rachel Kediger, Bryan Parnham, Alex McClay, Morgan Hill, and Kyle Kulchar (with a quilt by Daniel Garver!)


If you’ve been to Penland in the past four decades, you’ve probably met a Penland core fellow. At any given moment, they might be learning new techniques in workshops, helping cook in the kitchen, checking students into meals at the Pines, making work in their own studios, or spending time at their communal house on campus. Core fellows are emerging artists at the very nexus of the Penland community, and the two years they spend living, working, and learning here can be as intense as they are rewarding. Here’s how former core fellows from across the years have reflected on their time in the program:


“During those two years, I met remarkable people and learned tons… There was a steady stream of extraordinary artists passing through the school, teaching, giving demonstrations, and making presentations on their work. There was an informality that made learning an integral part of our daily existence there. It was a life-changing experience.”
—Alida Fish, core fellow 1971-1973


“Being a core student was such an important link in my career that it’s hard to imagine how I would have gotten from point A to point B otherwise.”
—Critz Campbell, core fellow 1994-1996


“I took advantage of the collective wealth of knowledge that is Penland at any given time—all the instructors and staff and students. Coming out of that program, I had a completely altered understanding of material and process—both what I can do personally and what is possible.”
—Jack Mauch, core fellow 2011-2013


“You pick your friends, but this group is just handed to you. You’re thrown together by chance, and then these people become your closest friends for a lifetime.”
—Daniel Essig, core fellow 1992-1994


“At Penland, I learned the many ways there are to be an artist: you can be a studio artist, you can teach, you can help other artists. The program exceeded every expectation. Being a core fellow changed my life: the experience gave me the how-to knowledge to make things and the confidence to know that I was good at it.”
—Amy Jacobs, core fellow 2004-2006


Penland will be accepting four new students into the Core Fellowship Program for 2017. Applications are due October 15, 2016. For more information, visit the Core Fellowship page.


The reflections above are excerpts of interviews from Inspired: Life in Penland’s Resident Artist and Core Fellowship Programs. This new book includes a history of the core program and interviews with sixteen former core fellows. To purchase a copy of Inspired, call the Penland Supply Store at 828-765-2359 ext. 1321.









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Meet Penland’s 2016 Core Fellows!

Five new Core Fellows will be arriving at Penland in February, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them. They will be joining second-year fellows Elmar Fujita, Daniel Garver, Morgan Hill, and Bryan Parnham in the core house next year—and all of you in the studios!


Eleanor Anderson

portrait of Eleanor Anderson and 5 clay vessels

Eleanor graduated in 2012 with a BA in Studio Art from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She has been a concentration student at Penland and an educational assistant at Arrowmont. Eleanor is a ceramics artist with interests also in textiles and printmaking.


Thomas Campbell

brooch by Thomas Campbell, portrait of Thomas

Thomas graduated in 2008 with a BA in History and Africana Studies from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He has continued to pursue his interests in wood and metalworking at the University of Arkansas while working as a fabricator for his family’s steel business. Thomas will use his time at Penland to focus on making functional furniture and objects in metal and wood.


Rachel Kedinger

Rachel Kedinger and her screwdriver

Rachel received her BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2012. She has worked at the Smith Shop in Detroit, MI for the last two-and-a-half years as a metalworker, designer, and instructor. Rachel has been a frequent Penland student and was, most recently, the studio assistant for Seth Gould’s fall concentration. At Penland she will continue to hone her skills as a blacksmith and metalsmith, while exploring the addition of wood and ceramics to her designs.


Kyle Kulchar

furniture by Kyle Kulchar, portrait of Kyle

Kyle studied at Kendall College of Art and Design before coming to Penland to assist Ashley Eriksmoen’s class this past summer. He was a student in Sylvie Rosenthal’s fall concentration. As a core student, he will continue to pursue his interest in woodworking while incorporating forged ironwork and fine metalworking.


Alexandra McClay

portrait of Alexandra and plexiglass sculpture

Alexandra is a book artist with a BFA from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Alexandra hopes to use the core fellowship to build skills to expand her conceptual bookmaking as she works towards being a studio artist and teacher. She has been a work-study student and a studio assistant in the Penland book studio, and has worked as an assistant for Penland instructors Dan and Vicki Essig.


We’ll miss Jamie Karolich, Joshua Kovarik, Meghan Martin, Emily Rogstad, and Tyler Stoll once they finish up their time as core fellows this winter, but we take solace in knowing that they’ll always be part of the Penland family. Come back often, y’all!


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Core Show Slideshow

Left to right: Tyler Stoll, Meghan Martin, Joshua Kovarik, Elmar Fujita, Daniel Garver, Jamie Karolich, Bryan Parnham, Emily Rogstad, Morgan Hill
Left to right: Tyler Stoll, Meghan Martin, Joshua Kovarik, Elmar Fujita, Daniel Garver, Jamie Karolich, Bryan Parnham, Emily Rogstad, Morgan Hill


The annual October Core Show is a much-anticipated highlight of fall at Penland, and this year was no exception. Our nine core fellows came together to put on a stunning show of pieces from their workshops across the Penland studios. Titled Personal Effects, the show featured furniture, prints, photographs, weaving, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, and much more. It was a great opportunity to see the cumulative talent of this group of young artists, and also to show our appreciation for these people who do so much at the very heart of the Penland community.

View lots more images in the Personal Effects slideshow.


Guests admiring work at the opening reception. The table in the front is by Elmar Fujita.