If you’ve been to Penland in the past four decades, you’ve probably met a Penland core fellow. At any given moment, they might be learning new techniques in workshops, helping cook in the kitchen, checking students into meals at the Pines, making work in their own studios, or spending time at their communal house on campus. Core fellows are emerging artists at the very nexus of the Penland community, and the two years they spend living, working, and learning here can be as intense as they are rewarding. Here’s how former core fellows from across the years have reflected on their time in the program:
“During those two years, I met remarkable people and learned tons… There was a steady stream of extraordinary artists passing through the school, teaching, giving demonstrations, and making presentations on their work. There was an informality that made learning an integral part of our daily existence there. It was a life-changing experience.”
—Alida Fish, core fellow 1971-1973
“Being a core student was such an important link in my career that it’s hard to imagine how I would have gotten from point A to point B otherwise.”
—Critz Campbell, core fellow 1994-1996
“I took advantage of the collective wealth of knowledge that is Penland at any given time—all the instructors and staff and students. Coming out of that program, I had a completely altered understanding of material and process—both what I can do personally and what is possible.”
—Jack Mauch, core fellow 2011-2013
“You pick your friends, but this group is just handed to you. You’re thrown together by chance, and then these people become your closest friends for a lifetime.”
—Daniel Essig, core fellow 1992-1994
“At Penland, I learned the many ways there are to be an artist: you can be a studio artist, you can teach, you can help other artists. The program exceeded every expectation. Being a core fellow changed my life: the experience gave me the how-to knowledge to make things and the confidence to know that I was good at it.”
—Amy Jacobs, core fellow 2004-2006
Penland will be accepting four new students into the Core Fellowship Program for 2017. Applications are due October 15, 2016. For more information, visit the Core Fellowship page.
The reflections above are excerpts of interviews from Inspired: Life in Penland’s Resident Artist and Core Fellowship Programs. This new book includes a history of the core program and interviews with sixteen former core fellows. To purchase a copy of Inspired, call the Penland Supply Store at 828-765-2359 ext. 1321.