Teaching at Penland


Penland's instructors include both studio artists and professional educators. We are looking for artists doing interesting work who are also excellent teachers with these qualities: a willingness to be generous with information, strong technical skills, good interpersonal skills, an ability to teach conceptual information. We encourage innovative workshops, workshops that advance contemporary expressions in various media as well as workshops that incorporate or emphasize historic information and processes.


It's helpful if instructors have some familiarity with the school. And please remember that most of our workshops are open to students at all skill levels (including beginners) and we attract students of all ages, with a minimum age of 18. The spread of ages and skills is challenging but can make for exciting workshop if the instructor is prepared to work with it.


Each year, about half of our instructors are people who have taught here before. The other half are selected from recommendations, applications, and direct solicitation on our part. If you apply, please understand that we get many applications each year.


Every spring we put together a committee for each area to review teaching applications for the following year. We will acknowledge receipt of your application, but it can take a number of years before there is a spot in our program for a particular workshop or instructor.


Once we receive your proposal, we will contact you if we need more information or if teaching slots become available. We schedule workshops about a year and a half ahead of time. Please visit the workshops section of our website or look at several of our catalogs to get a sense of the range of workshops taught each year.


Thank you for your interest in teaching at Penland. We are always interested in learning about artists who can bring new perspectives to our programs. We are especially interested in instructors who might be available to teach eight-week workshops in the fall and spring.

(Note: please do not send materials that need to be returned.)


You may direct questions to

Betsy DeWitt, Prrograms Coordinator



Leslie Noell, Director of Programs

Penland's Educational Philosophy

Education at Penland is based on these ideas:


Total immersion, workshop education is a uniquely effective way of learning.


Close interaction with others promotes the exchange of information and ideas between individuals and disciplines.


Generosity enhances education – Penland encourages instructors, students, and staff to freely share their knowledge and experience.


Craft is kept vital by constantly expanding its definition while preserving its traditions.


Skills and ideas are equally important and their exploration has value that carries into life beyond the studio.