We spied a batch of sketchbooks sitting out in front of the Pines dining hall last week (not an unusual sight at Penland, but still, we wondered who belonged to them.)
After lunch the artists appeared: eighth graders from Harris Middle School, visiting Penland as a final field trip before summer vacation.
Some of the students showed us their sketches–Penland trees, artworks they had seen being made in the studios, buildings on campus, and a real or imagined owl–before heading off with Penland’s community collaborations director Stacey Lane and Leslie Dickerson, their teacher, for a walk to Cynthia Bringle’s studio.
Our studios will be ready for action on Saturday, March 1, when we host our annual community open house. Everyone is welcome to take part in free activities in clay, iron, glass, metals, photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles, and wood. There will be a special paste painting activity, as well as postcard-making in the school store. The Penland coffee house will be serving up special fare, and we’ll have information about our summer workshopsand Kids Camp, too.
More information about this year’s open house can be found here.
Last Friday in the Pines, Penland’s own supply store clerk Stephanie Ott hosted an Open Mic event organized by Community Collaborations Manager Stacey Lane and spoken-word artist Pierce Freelon (you’ve met Pierce on our blog before) to celebrate the success of Pierce’s week-long artist residency in a local high school. Pierce and his students performed spoken-word pieces individually, and shared a collaborative work as a group. Penland staff members, neighbors, and students rounded out the evening’s lineup, filling a few fabulous hours with wonderful exhibitions of local talent, live-cast worldwide by IT guru Mark Boyd. Thanks to Mark for the video.
When we take a photograph, we are capturing the light that is reflected off of something. Imagine a person wearing a cap. The sunlight hits the cap in a straight line and bounces off the cap at a 90 degree angle. The light that bounces off is the image that we see. When we take a photograph it is that light that exposes photosensitive chemicals to make an image. This all might sound very theoretical, but when working with a pinhole camera, the basic functions of photography become exposed (no pun intended). Recently, Mitchell County high school students were invited to participate in a free photography workshop on the Penland School of Crafts campus. The workshop, conducted by Robin Dreyer, focused on pinhole photography. The Penland photography studio was set-up with equipment for students to take, develop, and experiment with pinhole photography.
To make your own camera obscura, follow these simple steps:
1. Cover the inside of a large aluminum can with black spray paint.
2. Drill a ¼ inch hole into the side.
3. Cut a 2 x 2 inch piece of pie tin and poke a tiny hole in it with a needle.
4. Sand the hole to remove any debris.
5. Place the pie tin over the larger drilled hole and secure it with masking tape to ensure light is only coming through the tiny pin hole.
6. Place a removable piece of tape over the pinhole to temporarily block light.
7. Create a top using an opaque material secured with a rubber band.
8. Inside a dark room, Place photo sensitive paper into the can and secure the lid on the can.
9. On a sunny day, find a brightly lit scene and pull back the removable piece of tape for four seconds exposing the pin hole.
10. Find a friend with a dark room to develop the photo.
Bound for Success: Bookmaking in Mitchell County Schools
“It was hard to learn so many facts about the moon – before this project I never really paid attention.” – Mitchell County 3rd grade student
Penland’s Community Collaboration crafts powerful learning experiences for youth, deepening their connection with curriculum and engaging their creative minds. Beginning today, there’s an exciting new way you can help us keep students bound for success, as Penland joins power2give.org for its Western North Carolina launch. Power2give.org is an online cultural marketplace that makes it easier for you to nurture specific Penland programs that you are passionate about. We are launching our participation with a project that is near and dear to our hearts: bringing high quality bookmaking experiences to 3rd, 4th and 9th grade students in Mitchell County. By following the link below, you can find out more about the project and your options for helping to bring this magical experience to students in the classroom. Today’s launch also provides a special opportunity to double your contribution through NC Arts Council matching funds. Matching funds are limited, so we are hoping you will jump right in!
Click the link below to visit our page at Power2Give, where you can learn more about this project and, if you like, make a donation:
With a grant provided by the North Carolina Arts Council, in collaboration with Penland School of Crafts, Deyton Elementary School in Spruce Pine recently hosted “Batik Week.” Every day for one week, artist-in-residence Leni Newell led fourth grade students step-by-step through the process, which involves melted wax and vibrant fabric dyes. Batik art has African and Indonesian roots and completed art can be framed, sewn into a pillow, or quilted.
Art teacher Samantha Hundley was instrumental in choosing Ms. Newell for the residency. “Batik is a great art form because it can be done individually or with a group, and Ms. Newell has an emphasis on teaching students and getting the entire community involved,” she said.
As part of the residency, on September 19th Deyton invited Mitchell County residents to participate in making a community banner that will decorate the halls of the school. Parents, teachers, and students worked side by side to learn the process of Batik.
“I’ve studied Batik art for over 25 years, and I love teaching it because it is an amazingly successful, self-esteem boosting art form,” commented artist Leni Newell. “Anyone can pick up a tool and make a completed piece without previous experience.”
If you are a teacher and are interested in applying to host an artist-in-residence, please contact Penland’s community collaborations manager, Stacey Lane, at 828-765-8060 or email@example.com. Penland School is excited to explore new ways of supporting art education in the local schools.
Ceramic artist Cristina Córdova stands by, paddles at the ready, while her husband, glass artist Pablo Soto, heats up a vase for more shaping during this weekend’s Glass in the Mountains demonstrations.