Penland Resident Artist Program
The Penland School Resident Artist Program seeks to enrich the total educational experience at Penland by providing a stimulating, supportive environment for artists at transitional points in their careers. Penland resident artists are full-time, self-supporting craftspeople who live and work at the school for three years.
The resident program was founded in 1963 by Bill Brown, Penland's
second director. It created an opportunity for craft artists to
hone their skills, to develop markets, to experiment, to develop
new work, or possibly to move from a career in teaching to one of
full-time making. It allows participants to explore a transitional
time in an atmosphere of learning and community, where they may
choose to interact with the hundreds of studio artists, teachers,
and students who pass through the school each year. It also provides
students with models for a life in craft.
Consistent with his vision of Penland as the nexus of a working craft community, Brown also saw the program as a means of encouraging craftspeople to settle in the area. Today, there are over one-hundred craft artists working in the immediate vicinity, and forty of them are former resident artists.
Penland's Current Resident Artists
The program welcomes self-motivated, focused individuals working in traditional and nontraditional studio crafts. The primary basis for selection is the strength and quality of the applicants' work. Residents must also have a clear objective for the time of their residency and be willing to live and work as part of a close-knit community.
The experience of living at Penland is shaped in many ways by its rural location, its mountainous terrain, and by the age and nature of the facility. A successful residency depends in part on expectations consistent with what Penland has to offer. For this reason, most resident artists have previously spent time at Penland as students, studio assistants, studio coordinators, visiting artists, or instructors. Applicants with no prior connection to the school are strongly encouraged to visit or take a class before applying for the program.
Penland encourages interaction between residents and its other programs. This may include demonstrations in classes, class visits to resident studios, and personal contact with students. Residents are asked to host an open house during each Penland session and to maintain an open door policy at their studios. They participate in the annual benefit auction and are encouraged to participate in resident group exhibitions and other events as they arise.
The current base rental rate for Penland resident artists is $175 per month for unfurnished housing and studio space. With considerable seasonal variation, utilities costs per resident for studio and housing currently average $150-$200 per month.
Candidates are recommended to the school's director by a selection committee which includes one current and one past resident and one of Penland's craftsperson board members. The committee is looking for strong work by individuals who will enhance the program, especially those who are open to new ideas and are involved in some kind of transition in their artistic career.
All media taught at Penland are considered appropriate for the resident program. With the exception of the glass studio, resident studios are not media specific. However, the particular qualities of the available studios and the balance of media represented by the artists already in the program usually limits each year's openings to a certain range of media.
There will be four openings in the Penland School Resident Artist Program in 2014. The available studios include spaces appropriate for books, clay, drawing, painting, glass, metals, paper, photography, printmaking, letterpress, textiles, or wood. Applications must be postmarked no later than November 15, 2013.
The portfolio must include 15-20 good quality images of your work on a CD, preferrably as a Power Point presentation. If images are not in a Power Point presentation then file names should begin with sequential numbers. Disk must be labeled with the artists name and should be accompanied by an image key listing title, materials, and dimensions for each image.
Items should be ready to slip into a three-ring binder. You do not need to include covers, folders, binders, photographic prints, original art works, tear sheets, newspaper articles, etc. If these things are not completely essential to your portfolio, please omit them.
Please sort items in the following order. Items 1-3 can be on the same page, if you like.
1. Name, address (current and permanent), phone number, email address.
2. Personal statement: Describe your work, the nature of your career,
and the direction you would like to take while at Penland. Please
tell us why you want a residency at Penland and how you plan to
support yourself while you are here.
3. Personal information: Resident housing units include a single bedroom, bath, living room, and kitchen. If you are interested in bringing pets with you to Penland, you must have prior permission from the director of programs and you will be asked to abide by Penland's existing pet policy.
5. 15-20 images on CD as Power Point presentation or with sequentially-numbered file names.
6. Image identification sheet, which should include brief descriptions, dimensions, title, media, etc.
7. Two letters of recommendation - please include in packet, if possible. They may be sent separately, if necessary.
8. $25 processing fee. Checks made out to: Penland School of Crafts
9. Self Addressed Stamped Envelope for return of portfolio
Address portfolio package to
Resident Selection Committee
Penland School of Crafts
US Mail: P.O. Box 37
Penland, NC 28765
FedEx or UPS:
67 Dora's Trail,
Penland, NC 28765
You may direct questions to
Leslie Noell, Director of Programs