This summer’s session 5 iron workshop with Hoss Haley and Warren Holzman brought together a talented bunch of students with big ideas and impressive skill. Together, the class designed, constructed, and installed a new bronze and steel handrail on campus. The project included eight custom supports, hours at the power hammer, 44 feet of forged cap rail, and a whole lot of teamwork. We think the results are just stunning.
Two students prepare a bundle of steel rods to be forged into one of the railing supports.
Heat, patience, and an eye for detail make all the pieces come together smoothly.
The new railing is a big improvement over the standard blue railing it replaced. Thanks, team!
The job of a Penland studio coordinator is a many-faceted one. Our eight coordinators order materials and keep studios clean and equipment running smoothly. They manage budgets and large inventories of supplies. They work with our programming office to plan upcoming workshops, and instructors to provide for specific classes, and individual students to solve problems on the fly. It’s a demanding and unpredictable job, which makes it all the more impressive that these eight individuals are also working artists in their own right. We are thrilled and proud that they have come together to put on a group show of their work at the Asheville Area Arts Council. Appropriately, the exhibition is called Off the Clock.
As curator and Penland friend Elaine Bleakney writes:
OFF THE CLOCK features eight artists, all full-time studio coordinators at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC. The work on view here was made in the off-hours by friends and colleagues who see each other daily and exchange interests, affection, knowledge, and regard for each other.
This is not a group show in the traditional sense. These artists are not strangers, and the works are not estranged from each other, despite their singular presences. Rather, looking from artist to artist, the viewer might pick up a magical sense that the works were made on the same set of evenings, in studios closeby. One of these artists might have looked up from her work and gazed out the cool, green window. She might have seen one of the other artists riding by on a bike, and waved.
Off the Clock will be on view at the Refinery Creator Space at 207 Coxe Ave in Asheville through September 16, 2016. It features the work of Daniel T. Beck (iron/sculpture), Betsy DeWitt (photography), Susan Feagin (ceramics), Jay Fox (print), Nick Fruin (glass), Ian Henderson (metals), Ellie Richards (wood/sculpture), and Amanda Thatch (drawing/textiles).
There will be a reception for the show on Friday, September 2 from 5 PM to 8 PM, and the artists will present a public talk on Saturday, September 3 from 4 PM to 6 PM. More information about both events is available on the exhibition’s Facebook event page.
In addition to the talented artists on campus as students and instructors right now, we are lucky to have Jenni Sorkin at Penland. Jenni is an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara and our 2016 Andrew Glasgow Resident Writer. Like everyone else here, Jenni is spending her time at Penland deeply engrossed in craft. Specifically, she will be working on an essay about abstraction and textiles which will be published in the catalog for the exhibition Boundary Markers: Outlier Artists and the Contemporary Mainstream. The exhibition is set to open at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. in 2018.
Just last month, Jenni’s book Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community was published by the University of Chicago Press. The book investigates the influences of ceramics on the “artistic avant-garde” during the second half of the 20th century. It highlights three women—Marguerite Wildenhain, Mary Caroline (M. C.) Richards, and Susan Peterson—each one a ceramic artist “whose careers throughout the mid-twentieth century expand and enrich our current understanding of what socially engaged artistic practice is today.”
Jenni will present a talk based on Live Form on Sunday, August 21 at 8:15 PM in Northlight. The event is free, and all are welcome and encouraged to join.
One week ago today, all of campus was abuzz with activity for day one of Penland’s 31st Annual Benefit Auction. Hundreds of artists, attendees, volunteers, sponsors, staff, and community members came together to make the weekend a truly special and successful event, complete with hand-painted photo booth backdrops, some very festive outfits, incredible art, and people to match! The Pines looks quite celebratory, no?
Juvana Soliven casting bronze using the awesome power of gravity in this session’s metals workshop taught by Suzanne Pugh. Suzanne decided to focus the workshop on gravity casting rather than centrifugal or vacuum casting because it’s cheaper to set up in a home studio and also opens the possibility of making larger-scale work.