2012 Kenan Fellows

Ten UNCSA students and alumni were chosen to study at Penland in summer workshops in 2012. This year's Kenan fellows took classes in many media, including painting, books and paper, flameworking, blacksmithing, photography, stonesetting, and weaving.

Nataila Erlich, Facial Improvisation, collage, 9 x 12 in.





Natalia Erlich

UNCSA 2012


“Penland’s constantly cycling environment will let me be exposed to different people and ideas. This is something very valuable as someone who is trying to figure out exactly what I can do and how far I can go. I like to be of the mindset that anything is possible and any idea is able to be fabricated. However you need the tools and techniques to do so. Penland can provide me with new techniques, methods, and ideas to create my future art


Natalia took Introduction to Weaving, Suzanne Halvorson's 1st session textiles workshop.


“The class was a leap over the threshold into an exploration of the world of textiles, and I find myself both hooked and searching for even more expansion. The experience that you have given to me culminates in not only a new skill, but also exposure to so many different artists of all ages and mediums, almost all of whose skills and experience exceed my own. As a young artist this is almost even more valuable than a new skill, but the combination of the two is an invigorating and inspirational experience.”



Bailey Glass, Old Wounds, acrylic paint & india ink,

18 x 24 in.





Bailey Glass

UNCSA 2012


When I visited the campus, one of the first things I noticed was an extraordinary sense of diversity among people and media. The studios’ transitions from paper making, to painting, to blacksmithing [allowed me to] envision myself delving into so many new vehicles of artistic expression…I hope to push myself in a completely foreign medium so I can walk away at the end of the summer with a new skill set, heightened sense of artistic diversity, and an established relationship with Penland School of Crafts…”


Bailey took Building from Blacksmithing Fundamentals 5th session, with David Burtt, in the iron studio.


“Working this intensely in blacksmithing has taught me that there are no boundaries to what an artist can learn, retain, and create. My appreciation for this place and Kenan are on a level I’ve only experienced a few times. I’ll carry this appreciation and skill set to Kansas City, MO, where I’ll start undergrad on a full tuition scholarship.”




Rebecca Lesesne, Flower Pressed Pendant,

copper, steel, yarn, lace





Rebecca Lesesne

UNCSA 2005; Parsons School of Design, BFA 2010


“Though I have continued to create art since being out of school, I have been hoping to return to an environment that nurtures creativity and where many artistic individuals can feed off each other’s ideas and support. I hope that I will be given the opportunity to not only take advantage of such an environment, but also contribute in a productive and positive way.”


Rebecca studied Stonesetting with Eastern Technique with Hiroko Yamada, 7th session in the metals studio.

“I have had the opportunity to both practice and improve old skills and also learn new techniques. I know that I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life, and I look forward to returning here when I have the means to do so. I am looking forward to being a member of the Penland community for the rest of my life!”



Shannon Mackenzie, Atmosphere, acrylic paint, 8 x 12 in.





Shannon M Mackenzie

UNCSA 2011; Warren Wilson College 2011-present


“Penland seems like a perfect environment to safely and comfortably experiment in new media and learn from resident artists…There’s no more honest learning than that of apprentice and master, which is the opportunity that the School of Crafts provides.”


Shannon took Pinkey Herbert's 4th session painting workshop, Freedom to Paint.


“My class in oil painting with Pinkney Herbert has drastically changed my outlook on painting. The two weeks I have spent here has given me a safe, comfortable environment to fall in love with painting again. It has bloomed into one of my favorite mediums and I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned here to my new art college. This school of craft has rehabilitated my confidence in my abilities as an artist.”



Jing Niue, Lying Form, ink on rice paper, 10 x 15 in.





Jing Niu

UNCSA 2008; UNC Chapel Hill 2012


“During my time at Penland, I would like to connect with the physical location and allow the nature of the location to have a strong presence in my work…Furthermore, I am looking forward to a community-wide perspective on current art matters. As a person intrigued with the concept of the “journey,” I would highly benefit from the Penland community’s personal journeys, interests and stories.”


Jing studied Drawing Conclusions with Kevin Snipes, 2nd session in the clay studio.


“Coming to Penland is like rediscovering the joy of creating; I feel the same awe and creative energy as my eight year old self pinching my first clay pot for my mother at elementary school. The emotions I feel among other dedicated and highly talented artists is a feeling of being in a place where people speak the same universal language…a language that utilizes one’s hands, mental and creative capacities, and even whole bodies. I see Penland as a new home now, a place that I will come back to as often as possible.”



Kassiane Patselas, Psychological

Doll Portrait, fiber, 8 x 3 ft.





Kassiane Patselas

UNCSA 2012


“Penland’s equally stimulating and beautiful environment seems like the perfect sanctuary to further my artistic endeavors over the summer after a highly involved and vigorous curriculum at the School of the Arts…The insight I can get [at Penland] as a young artist, among those who have found their individual places in the artistic community, will be invaluable…


Kassiane took Bea Nettles' 4th books and paper class, Cooking the Books.


“In this two week session, I have had the chance to talk on a peer level with artists on all levels – those profoundly established and also those beginners who are as excited for their careers as I am. The instructors were so helpful and open, and the campus and studio spaces are beautiful, relaxing, and inspiring. I will certainly return in the future, and hope to again carry on these conversations with the people I have met as well as interact with new artists.”




Casey Sloate, Two Hour Portrait, pastel on

toned paper, 19 x 25 in.





Casey C Sloate

UNCSA 2010, Savannah College of Arts and Design 2011-present


“Penland’s facilities and amazing staff can help me get to where I want to be: a master of the printing press. Not only will it give me a leg up in all of my future printmaking classes at SCAD, it will also empower and motivate me to be the best printmaker that I can be. The opportunity to work with such talented artists is such a rare and beautiful experience…I will be eternally grateful.


Casey took Exploring Letterpress: A Class for Beginners, with John Horn and Beth Lambert, 3rd session in the letterpress studio.


“Penland was just what I needed. Penland, to me, is like a mini-UNCSA. In that, it’s a very intense program where your sole focus is your artwork. Both programs – UNCSA and Penland – are unique and an experience every artist should be a part of.”



Taylor Speagle, Antiquity, mixed media





Taylor Speagle

UNCSA 2012


When looking at Penland, I saw opportunities to learn rare [lessons]… and a chance to truly devote myself to my art in a phenomenal setting for two weeks. By attending Penland, I hope to obtain innovative techniques and find an unprecedented inspiration in my work. Whether I work with glass blowing or book art, I want to have learned to create something new…”


Taylor studied Wearable/Sculptural textiles 3rd session with Rachel Miller.


“Penland has truly been one of the best steps taken in my short, but determined, artistic career so far. I’ve learned so many new technical skills in and out of my class, from both teachers and students. Conceptually, I felt free to explore and the three pieces I have produced here are ones I am proud of. The solitude with other artists that I’m free to enjoy left me wanting more and I plan on returning here at some point.”



Jacqueline Walukas, Portrait of a Child, fabric dye, 11 x 14 in.





Jacqueline Walukas

UNCSA 2011; School of the Art Institute of Chicago 2011-present


“At Penland, I wish to be exposed to photography in a formal setting for the first time…I would like to create and learn as much as possible in order to develop a two-dimensional portfolio of photography that can serve as a palette for film scenarios for the entirety of my career…By immersing myself in this atmosphere, I will establish artistic connections and make relevant academic connections to my art practice.”


Jacqueline will be taking Photographing Strangers, Jim Stone's 2nd session photography workshop.


“At Penland School of Crafts, I learned about photography technique, process, and approach from Jim Stone in Photographing Strangers class. I opened the lens on my camera as well as my eyes and produced two complete series of portraits of people sleeping and telling secrets. Thus, the product of my experience at Penland can be both seen and personally felt.”



Angelina Yang, A Place Called Home, collaged xeroxed

images, tape transparencies, black paper, magazine images





Angelina Yang

UNCSA 2012


Not only is Penland a great opportunity for my [personal] improvement, it’s a wonderful prospect for college and work…It would allow me to gain experience and I wouldn’t have as many distractions as I would have in my own home. I would get the chance to work in a multitude of media in different styles. The Kenan-Penland Fellowship program is a [way to] enlarge my potential to be successful in the arts…”


Angelina studied flameworking in Jon Chapman's 3rd session class, Building on Curiosity.


“On my first day at Penland, my reaction was ‘this place is magical’. Penland is so peaceful. It has been an honor to be able to attend this school. I have never played with fire before and now I can make marbles and trees out of glass. Thank you for allowing me to create things I thought was out of my reach.”



Artist lecture and workshops with artist Leslie Walker Noell, January 2012

Leslie Walker Noell is an interdisciplinary studio artist, graphic designer, and the Penland Core Fellowship program coordinator. Her background includes a design degree from North Carolina State University, two years of study as a Core Fellowship Student at Penland School of Crafts, and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. In 2001, Leslie was a resident artist at Caversham Press in Kazulu Natal, South Africa. In 2006, she was a resident artist at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, Wyoming. Leslie’s work has been shown throughout the country in a number of exhibitions, including the Holter Museum of Art, Asheville Art Museum, and Mobile Museum of Art. She lives and works in Asheville, NC.


On January 24, Leslie presented a slide talk about her work and career for high school visual arts students at the UNC School of the Arts.



Workshops with Leslie Noell

On January 25, Leslie gave two workshops in encaustic painting and collage for those students. An ancient technique historically associated with Greco-Roman and Egyptian tomb portraiture, encaustic or hot-wax painting has enjoyed a great revival in popularity in the last half-century. A mixture of beeswax, resin, and pigments is melted and applied to wooden panels with a brush; it can be used for painting like oils or acrylics, or can be smoothed and polished after it hardens to create translucent layers between collage materials.