Here it is, the summer 2018 workshop catalog!We’re thrilled to share our lineup with you in anticipation of another summer packed with creativity, energy, new friendships, and new ideas. We’re offering 102 unique workshops led by 116 talented artist/instructors, including favorites like encaustic painting and steel sculpture and special classes like brushmaking and skin-on-frame canoe building. Most workshops are open to serious students of all levels (beginners included!), and all give you access to the slide nights, dance parties, movement classes, scholarship auctions, and more that make a Penland session so special.
This year, summer registration will open to all students on January 8 at 9 AM EST on a first-come, first-served basis; we will not be using a lottery system. Applications may be submitted online, by fax, by post, or in person.
Scholarships are available for every summer workshop, including full, partial, and work-study scholarships. Spaces will be held in each workshop for scholarship students. Scholarship applications are due by 11:59 PM EST on February 17.
We hope you find a few minutes over the holidays to pour over the Penland catalog and find the perfect workshop for you, wherever you are in your creative journey. Look out for full course descriptions on the website by the end of December, with printed catalogs to follow in early January.
Holly Roberts, who will be teaching an eight-week Penland workshop beginning in March, is a painter and a photographer. Her work with paint tends toward color and layers, while her photographs often highlight everyday patterns and textures in black and white—the branches of trees against the sky, the coiled springs of a mattress, the pebbly surface of a paved driveway. But her real work is in combining the two into narrative collages.
Holly’s collages speak to specific memories, thoughts, or individuals, and she can elaborate on the stories behind each. There’s the yellow collage of a cowboy, for example, loosely inspired by her husband’s grandfather in his ranch hand days out in Texas and New Mexico, or the aqua and dull red image of three faces inside separate houses that deals with the growing rifts between siblings as they age.
On the surface, some elements of these stories are obvious—the cowboy boots, the human features, the three peaked roofs. But deeper inspection draws out more depth from the constructed layers. The cowboy’s belt buckle is pasted from a photograph of a bird’s nest, and the squiggling “bones” that run the length of his body are the branches of trees. In the collage of houses, there are recognizable shapes, but others draw questions—are those hands reaching up from the bottom, or roots? Is the sky filled with clouds, or are those thought bubbles brimming with the unsaid words between siblings?
There’s a directness to these pieces that belies their depth and consideration. What first appears playful or happenstance is the result of careful arranging, rearranging, testing, and experimenting. Holly understands her materials as language and has gained the fluency to communicate through them on an immediate, elemental level.
The short video below is an illuminating view into her creative process in the studio:
This spring, we are thrilled to welcome Holly back to Penland to share her approach to narrative collage with our community. She and her students will go in-depth with the possibilities of paint mixed with other media during her concentration The Perfect Union: Paint, Collage & Transfers. The workshop will run March 11 – May 4, 2018, and registration is open now. Students can expect eight weeks of investigation, exploration, questions, and camaraderie.
The Perfect Union: Paint, Collage & Transfers
Holly Robert—Students will begin the process of combining media by experimenting with different ways of applying paint. Painted surfaces will serve as the core of the images to follow and will guide students in forming these images. Students will experiment with transfer processes, gluing and adhesive techniques, and using their own source material to build images onto their painted surfaces. The workshop will stress investigation, exploration, and risk in an attempt to marry disparate media such as print, text, photographs, and any other material students want to use. All levels. Studio fee: $170. Code S00D
Studio artist; teaches nationally and internationally; two NEA fellowships; monographs of her work published by Nazraeli Press and Friends of Photography; collections: Art Institute of Chicago, Center for Creative Photography (AZ), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Art Houston, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
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:
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!
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.
The photo studio will have plenty of space for darkroom and digital work, as well as some of the best views on campus.
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.
Hands-on craft activities, a legion of wonderful volunteers, hundreds of eager visitors, and some beautiful spring weather all came together this past Saturday to make the 2017 Penland Community Open House a rousing success. Visitors tried their hands at perennial favorites like glassblowing and wheel throwing, as well as new additions like origami, sewn tote bags, and a letterpress scavenger hunt. We look forward to the open house every year as a way to welcome spring and bring together community members of all ages and skill levels. Thanks to all who participated for making it such a fun day!
In the photograph above, metals studio coordinator Ian Henderson guides two young visitors through the process of casting a spoon out of pewter. It took mere minutes to transform the hot, pourable metal into a spoon to take home and enjoy.
Meanwhile, in the photo activity, Penland resident artist Mercedes Jelinek was busy taking hundreds of portraits of open house attendees. Everyone who sat for a portrait was able to take home their own black-and-white print.
Visitors to the flameworking studio got to work up close with torches and glass. Here, one attendee learns how to melt the colored glass and shape it around a metal rod to make a unique bead.
To see dozens more photos from the day’s activities, take a look at our complete album of Community Open House 2017 pictures. We hope they inspire you to join us for Community Day 2018!
The job of a Penland studio coordinator is a many-faceted one. Our eight coordinators order materials and keep studios clean and equipment running smoothly. They manage budgets and large inventories of supplies. They work with our programming office to plan upcoming workshops, and instructors to provide for specific classes, and individual students to solve problems on the fly. It’s a demanding and unpredictable job, which makes it all the more impressive that these eight individuals are also working artists in their own right. We are thrilled and proud that they have come together to put on a group show of their work at the Asheville Area Arts Council. Appropriately, the exhibition is called Off the Clock.
As curator and Penland friend Elaine Bleakney writes:
OFF THE CLOCK features eight artists, all full-time studio coordinators at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC. The work on view here was made in the off-hours by friends and colleagues who see each other daily and exchange interests, affection, knowledge, and regard for each other.
This is not a group show in the traditional sense. These artists are not strangers, and the works are not estranged from each other, despite their singular presences. Rather, looking from artist to artist, the viewer might pick up a magical sense that the works were made on the same set of evenings, in studios closeby. One of these artists might have looked up from her work and gazed out the cool, green window. She might have seen one of the other artists riding by on a bike, and waved.
Off the Clock will be on view at the Refinery Creator Space at 207 Coxe Ave in Asheville through September 16, 2016. It features the work of Daniel T. Beck (iron/sculpture), Betsy DeWitt (photography), Susan Feagin (ceramics), Jay Fox (print), Nick Fruin (glass), Ian Henderson (metals), Ellie Richards (wood/sculpture), and Amanda Thatch (drawing/textiles).
There will be a reception for the show on Friday, September 2 from 5 PM to 8 PM, and the artists will present a public talk on Saturday, September 3 from 4 PM to 6 PM. More information about both events is available on the exhibition’s Facebook event page.
In less than three weeks, summer workshops will be underway at Penland! If you’re not registered for a workshop already, there are still lots of classes with open spaces, and even a few that have work-study scholarship positions available. Here are a few to get your creative juices flowing…
In session 1, students in Lola Brooks’s workshop Storytelling & Belt Bucklery will tie together a wide range of metalworking techniques through narrative. The class will use stone setting, soldering, forming, fabricating, marriage of metals, and more to create pieces that are at once functional, beautiful, and full of meaning. It’s the perfect opportunity for beginning metalsmiths to get a solid footing in technique and for more advanced students to develop their ideas and artistic voice. Register now.
During session 2, Fiction in Photography with Emma Powell will combine traditional 19th century printing processes with current digital technologies. Through a mix of theatrical photography, digital manipulation, and hand-printing, students will create images not of what is, but of what could be. If you’d like to to create images that are expressive, surreal, or even gravity-defying, this workshop is the one for you. Register now.
Session 3 offers intermediate glass students an opportunity to deepen the content of their sculptural works in Logic & Lyricism with Rebecca Arday and David Schnuckel. By emphasizing conceptual intent, the workshop will encourage students to develop techniques in the hot and cold shops that amplify their ideas and artistic goals. For anyone who is ready to take their glass beyond simple forms, Logic & Lyricism provides a chance to make work with poetic appeal as well as technical skill. Register now.
These three workshops are just a small sampling of what Penland students will be learning this summer in the studios. To see all the other workshops across our fifteen studios and seven sessions that still have spaces, take a look at the open workshop list. Once you’ve found your perfect fit, you can register right here.
The following post is a photo slideshow. If you’re looking at it in email, we recommend viewing it on the blog.
Between seven concentrations and nine 1-week workshops, we’ve had a busy spring at Penland. It’s been exciting to see the progress that long classes make, whether it’s transforming straight beams into a fully-realized timber frame structure or collecting plant material to make into paper to make into books. Scroll through the photos above to get a glimpse of the colorful, experimental, detailed, thoughtful, beautiful things underway in the studios. And, if you’re in the area, please join us on May 5th at 8pm to celebrate the end of the session at the scholarship auction in Northlight!