Our neighbor, artist, dancer, and sage Paulus Berensohn recently celebrated his 80th birthday, and the Penland community celebrated with him. A Saturday afternoon birthday party on the porch at Northlight featured delicious cake and champagne, and an effusive outpouring of loving and grateful toasts to a man whose gentleness and generosity have inspired so many. The gathering was followed by the first American screening of Australian filmmaker Neil Lawrence’s new documentary To Spring From the Hand: The Life and Work of Paulus Berensohn. (Another screening took place later in the week at the Fine Arts Theatre in Asheville, bringing the film to a wider audience.)
Afterwards, the group walked together up to the head of Penland’s new hiking trail, the Paulus Path, for a dedication ceremony where Paulus buried an unfired clay bowl filled with flowers (returning his unfired clay works to the earth in this manner has long been a central part of Paulus’s artistic and spiritual practice) in the ground beneath the path. Heads were bowed, hands were held, tears were shed and hugs exchanged as he recited poetry celebrating nature, placed the bowl into a hole dug by volunteers from the assembled community, and then buried it by hand in the earth.
Happy birthday, Paulus! We love you, and hope your compassionate, contemplative spirit continues to infuse the very ground we walk here at Penland forever.
Our neighbor, long-time friend, and 2013 second session glass instructor Kenny Pieper was the grand prize winner in the North Carolina Artists Exhibition sponsored by the Raleigh Fine Art Center. This award prompted the Asheville Citizen-Times to publish a nice feature about Kenny, which includes this quote: “Glass can never be ‘mastered’ in the sense you reach a point you have complete control over it,” Pieper said. “It is material that begs to be worked with, not worked at. … Just the act of creating is a large part of what gives my life meaning and keeps me engaged with the world.”
Like the old woman said, it’s that time of year again. Time for summer: time for the frenzy, time for the rush, time for the incoming tide of energy, joy, and discovery up here on the mountain. Are you ready? Ready to go beyond what you thought you could do? To make more new friends than you thought possible? To eat too much, sleep too little, and drink in just the right amount of sunshine and fresh air? To work harder than you ever thought you would at something you love more than you ever imagined you might?
Are you ready to go up, up the mountain? Come on up. We’re here for the summer, and hope you will be too. See you soon!
The doors of Lily Loom were briefly taken away for refinishing this week (don’t they look nice now?!); in the meantime, we were treated to the incongruous sight of fully functional custom-fit temporary plywood replacements.
“My most recent series combines flower/botanical forms with fragments of the human body in order to address the narrative of human life cycles: change, growth, metamorphosis, aging, loss. The choice to use flower and plant forms is multi-layered. Flowers have been used throughout history as symbols of the feminine. It can be found in mythology, literature, folklore and visual art. In addition, Western culture has an intricate system of flower symbolism that has been a way for humans to express and communicate complex emotions.
“I created these work to be intentionally humorous and ironic. These human/plant hybrids are large, voluptuous, headless, and sometimes armless. They are intended to portray a spectrum of concepts relating to gender and identity. The Flower People are at once, powerful and powerless, beautiful and absurd, inflated, and amputated.” – Jessica Calderwood
Jessica Calderwood is an image-maker and sculptor who works primarily in the mediums of metal and enamel, using a combination of traditional and industrial metalworking processes to make statements about contemporary life. Her works are imbued with personal stories and vibrant color. She received her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and her MFA from Arizona State University, with an emphasis in metalworking. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and internationally. She has participated in artist residencies with the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program and the Mesa Arts Center. Her work has also been published in Metalsmith Magazine, American Craft, NICHE, Ornament, the Lark 500 series, and The Art of Enameling. She has been an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh since 2008. Most recently, Calderwood is a recipient of a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship.
Click hereto visit Jessica’s website, where you can see more of her work. Click hereto visit the Penland Gallery website.
Penland’s Focus Gallery is a space primarily dedicated to single-artist exhibitions. Focusing on individual artists over the course of the year, it presents a larger selection of their work to gallery visitors and patrons. Click here for more information about the Focus Gallery.
A Penland Studio Style photo of jeweler and instructor Lola Brooks from Spring Concentration 2011 makes it’s glamorous public return in the pages of Ornament Magazine this month! Click here to check out the preview on Facebook. Or click here to read the full article.
Metals instructor Lola Brooks, and her extravagant jewelry, is featured in this month’s Ornament magazine. The article begins,
Lola Brooks is a little intimidating. She is tall and thin, with features that are angular, but delicate. Dark curls frame her pale skin and her eyes are hidden behind oversized rhinestone glasses (one of about a hundred vintage pairs she stores in a mock python-skin-covered suitcase). One arm is covered with tattoos of thorny roses, diamonds, bows, and a heart with a dagger. Her attire is remarkably precise. A natural introvert, she masterfully puts up a cool exterior, honed by two decades spent in New York City. Now she has retreated to the Georgia countryside and “the crust is flaking off.”