Compared to artists who create films, novels, and theater, artists who make paintings, photographs, and sculpture have a hard time literally telling a story. However, they can be very effective at making artwork that suggests one. That is the idea behind a new show at the Penland Gallery titled, All This Happened, More or Less: Five Artists’ Use of Implied Narrative. The title of the show comes from the first line of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel “Slaughterhouse Five,” and the artists are printmaker Susan Goethel Campbell, photographer Maggie Taylor, ceramic artist Shoko Teruyama, and mixed-media sculptors Anne Lemanski and Stephanie Metz.
Susan Goethel Campbell is represented by dark, monochromatic prints that have been perforated in patterns derived from data sets that represent wind patterns and other phenomena. Maggie Taylor has a series of digitally constructed dream-like images. Shoko Teruyama is showing functional and sculptural ceramic forms decorated with elaborate, mysterious scenes involving different animals. Anne Lemanski has created a series of animal sculptures built on wire armatures that are covered with paper and other materials that create social and political commentary. Stephanie Metz makes felt sculpture like none we’ve ever seen before. Included in the show is her series of felt skulls that purport to represent different species of Teddy bear.
The show is pretty stunning. It will be up through September 19.
You can see a slide show of most of the work from the show on the Penland Gallery webpage.
We are very sad to report the death of our friend Marcia Macdonald, who passed away on July 21 after a long struggle with cancer. Our thoughts go out to her friends, family, and her husband Steve. Marcia was wonderful jeweler, a superb teacher, and a brilliant human being. She was smart, funny, beautiful, talented, hard-working, generous, and full of life. It’s almost impossible to believe that she is gone.
Penland’s program director Dana Moore, who was in close contact with Marcia during the last year, said, “So many of us have lost so much this week with Marcia’s passing. Nobody could have loved life more or have instilled more passion in students, colleagues, and friends. The pain of her loss is matched only by our gratitude for having known her.”
Marcia taught regularly at Penland beginning in 1993. She also taught at Arrowmont and Haystack. Her work appeared in many publications and exhibitions and received numerous awards. She was a former board member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths.
In addition to her work as a jeweler, during the last year of her life she managed the sales gallery at the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art in Greensboro. Laura Way, who is Green Hill’s director, sent us this note about Marcia. “Her short time working with us here, bringing her great vision AND organizational skills to our shop, was a special time for all of us—getting to know and love her—her honesty, creativity, intelligence, generosity and sense of humor. Every day she was here, she made it a special day.”
Marcia donated this piece to this summer’s Penland benefit auction. It’s a bit of a departure from her earlier work, and it came with this note: “The past year has presented me with some serious health issues. This has affected me on so many levels, how could it not also affect my work? Cherishing every moment, trying not to sweat the small stuff, simplifying my life, and doing exactly what I need and want to be doing at any given time are my current goals. This piece represents structure, strength, cell growth, and a shiny little window of hope.”
In November, the metals community came together to create a necklace for Marcia that brought together elements made by more than fifty artists. Although it is magnificent, it is only a token of the love and affection that she inspired.
The Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) has set up a memorial page on their website, which includes a series of tributes from her friends. And here’s a link to Marcia’s obituary in the Greensboro paper.
Goodbye, Marcia, we will miss you.
This is a very small rendition of a very large photograph made by instructor Dan Bailey during our July 4 celebration. What you are seeing was stitched together from 1.100 images made over a three hour period–that’s why some parts of the picture are dark; those frames were taken after dark. You can see the whole thing at the Gigapan website.
Once you get there, you can zoom in and out and scroll around. Because so many pictures were combined, you can zoom in a long way on any part of the picture, like this:
Oh, that’s cool, I can see all those little people around that picnic table. Wait, who is that in the green shirt, sitting on the left side of the table?
Oh, it’s the famous glass artist Billy Bernstein.
If you were here, you might even find yourself, but in any case you can stay busy for a while looking at this thing.
In 2009 we began the tradition of the Penland School of Crafts Ornament of the Year. We like to think that these ornaments represent the spirit of creativity at Penland all year round.
Penland School of Crafts 2010 Ornament
Created by Jenny Lou Sherburne
Jenny Lou Sherburne is a studio artist and past Penland instructor who lives in nearby Bakersville, NC. She created this special teapot for our on-going series of annual ornaments.
I make mid-fired functional pots. The forms are playfully extreme and stretch the boundaries of function as well as the limits of clay. I make thrown and pinched forms that I stack, carve and augment and then glaze with bright slips and glazes. My inspirations range from garlic cloves to onion domes, from the Isle of Crete to the Land of Oz, from Antonio Gaudi to Dr. Seuss. I want my work to be imbued with an attitude of presence that is full of humor, vigor and joy. As I work I try to let go of old habits and assumptions, to let my intuition and enjoyment of the process guide me. After almost twenty-five years as a studio potter, I am still captivated by the belief that I can sustain inspiration through the pressures and tedium of day to day living. In this way my work teaches me about how to live my life.
Thrown and hand-built, white stoneware, teapot ornament, approximately 3 1/2″ high, with hanging ribbon and gift box.
$50 retail price, plus tax when applicable
Shipping – $5
Please call the Penland Gallery at 828-765-6211
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
We except Visa, MasterCard, and American Express
You may also purchase a teapot in person at the Penland Gallery.
A very limited number of the 2009 ornaments are still available – please contact the gallery if you are interested.
There’s a nice feature on Penland, written by Glen R. Brown, in the new issue of Ornament Magazine. It begins like this:
“The final mile of the drive to Penland School of Crafts feels appropriately transitional. The curving ascent through a forest of North Carolina pines and hardwoods serves symbolically as a buffer between the outside world and the eclectic mix of cabin-like dwellings, rustic lodge-style buildings and modern glass-fronted constructions that compose the campus. Nestled picturesquely among the trees at the head of a gently sloping meadow, the school recalls memories of summer camp, but, since its founding in 1928, it has been highly effective in the role of a working retreat—a place, something like Thoreau’s Walden, that is removed just far enough from the complications and diversions of everyday life to allow for focus on priorities. Although those who come to study at Penland generally spend only two weeks (far less than Thoreau’s two-year sojourn in the woods), what they learn during that intense period of total immersion can form the basis for a lifetime of exploration.”