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Focus on: Kathy King

New for 2012, the Penland Gallery has opened an exhibit space primarily dedicated to single-artist exhibitions. Focusing on individual artists over the course of the year, this Focus Gallery will present a larger selection of their work to gallery visitors and patrons. The first Focus artist is Kathy King, a Boston-based ceramic sculptor and teacher, whose narrative ceramic installation Speak to Me will be on view from Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 29.

Kathy King "Speak to Me"

“From childhood onward, human beings are taught to surround themselves with substances to consume and adorn themselves with. The need arose to create containers that not only provided a function but also amplified the experience of the user. From the attic vase to the 20th century novelty coffee mug, much about the societies that provided these vessels can be read from the images on the pots. Our ability to reference the ceramic object through the functional use, decorative beauty, or historical placement, confers strength upon ceramics as a powerful vehicle for commenting on contemporary, cultural issues.

Kathy King "Speak to Me"

In my work I use ceramic vessels, tiled furniture and printmaking, either separately or combined in installations, which present narratives from a woman’s point of view. My ideas are influenced by personal experience, and I often use myself as a character in the work. This presentation of personal narrative on ceramics through satirical humor, irony and sarcasm allows me to both celebrate and poke fun at my gender as well as myself. The combination of narrative presented on the surface, united with the contents or each vessel, allow a dialogue between function and narrative. Though each pot’s narrative may contain the equivalent of a one-line joke, when the pieces are considered together they convey a singular theme in a serial format.

Kathy King, "Speak to Me"

I am interested in mapping the ways that popular culture – including comic books, magazines, television shows, films, and a host of other forms help to shape and change how our culture views women. Popular culture does not simply reflect women’s lives; it helps to create them and so demands critical scrutiny. My ultimate objective is to translate my own personal experience in relation to my culture, through narrative imagery on the utilitarian ceramic form. When I present these works in an installation, the stage is then set for my own epic tale of the struggles of mortals within our society. Though the urgency of these issues may range anywhere between morality to finding the right brand of cellulite cream, collectively, the human experience is recorded, as told through the voice of one woman.” — Kathy King

Click here to visit Kathy King’s website, where you can see more of her work.

Click here to visit the Penland Gallery website.

Click here for more information about Focus Gallery artists.

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An Evening Exploring Black Mountain College

On Saturday, March 24th at 8:15pm in the Northlight building at Penland School, Appalachian State University professor, novelist, and poet Joseph Bathanti will show Fully Awake, the award-winning documentary on Black Mountain College, and lead a discussion on Black Mountain College following the film. Professor Bathanti, along with 17 of his students, will be spending 3 days at Penland for the on-site immersive component of Black Mountain College, the core class in ASU’s new Writing in the Field program, a creative writing initiative modeled on Black Mountain College’s interdisciplinary, collaborative philosophy and pedagogy.

About the Film
Tucked away in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Black Mountain College (1933-1957) has emerged as one of the most influencial experiments in education. Though short-lived, Black Mountain College’s unique model inspired and shaped 20th century American modern art. Fully Awake: Black Mountain College is a documentary film exploring “education in a democracy,” and highlights the College’s belief that the creative arts and practical responsibilities are equally important to intellectual development. Life skills are developed through democratic governance, art exploration, manual labor, and community living. Fully Awake reflects on the unique educational style and long-term significance of the school using archive photography, interviews with students, teachers, historians, and current artists, and narration. While popularly known as the location for such events as Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome, John Cage’s first ‘happening’ and the publishing of the Black Mountain Review, the film focuses on the unique educational approach of Black Mountain College to balance academics, art, manual labor and communal living to educate the whole person–head, hand, and heart.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Click here to learn more about Fully Awake: Black Mountain College.

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Community Open House Slide Show

Every year, on the first Saturday in March—about a week before classes begin—Penland opens our studios to the public for an afternoon of free hands-on activities. Assisted by our fabulous studio coordinators and over 100 volunteers, visitors can try their hands at blacksmithing, glassblowing, throwing clay, paste paper painting, and many other crafts. This year the weather was a little cold; nonetheless, the event attracted over 500 enthusiastic participants.

Penland Community Open House

Some Fun Numbers
500+ visitors,
9 studio coordinators, and
160 volunteers produced:

45 paperweights and drinking glasses,
250 glass beads,
Hundreds of paper hats, letterpress cards, and monoprints,
180 cloth pendants with photo imagery,
175 pounds of ceramic pottery and sculpture,
180 enameled copper brooches,
25 hand-decorated postcards,
75 sheets of painted paste paper, and
$150 in donations to the Mitchell County Animal Shelter

Special thanks to the studio coordinators and volunteers who always make it such a fantastic day!

Click here or on the picture to see a slideshow.

Or you can click here to see our Community Open House photo album on Facebook.

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Oxford American’s “100 under 100”

Frank Hamrick
Frank Hamrick, “Charlotte’s Chair,” b/w photograph, 10 x 10 in. Courtesy of the artist and Old Fan Press.

Oxford American

Former Penland core fellow Kreh Mellick and Penland instructors John Byrd, Frank Hamrick, Lisa Klakulak, and Andrew Saftel are featured in Oxford American magazine’s 100 under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art (as selected by their peers).

The article is split: 40 of the artists are written up in the current print issue, while the other 60 are profiled on the Oxford American’s website. To see the page about Kreh, you’ll need to pick up a copy of the magazine. The other four can be found in the online feature.