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Sculpture and Sound at the Penland Gallery

view of the Penland Gallery filled with a display of modular cardboard sculptures
Installation view of Eleanor Annand’s sculptures in the new exhibition “Compose | Decompose”

“Compose | Decompose,” a new exhibition of mixed-media sculpture and sound installations, opens today at the Penland Gallery. The work has been created for this show by Penland resident artist Eleanor Annand and Make Noise, an Asheville collective that designs and builds electronic instruments and collaborates with musicians to create new worlds of sound. The exhibition runs through May 12 with an opening reception this Saturday, March 30 from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. The reception will include a musical performance by Make Noise artists Walker Farrell, Meg Mulhearn, and Jake Pugh.

Although the work has been carefully crafted, this exhibition is less about presenting collectable items and much more about creating a unique environment and experience for the viewer. The work Eleanor Annand made for the show is primarily constructed from laser-cut cardboard that has been intricately designed to allow her to hand-fold hundreds of pieces into different shapes; other pieces are made from cast paper elements. “This work plays with disruption, entropy, light, and shadow,” Annand says. “Embracing a lack of permanence, I worked primarily with cardboard and recycled paper scraps to create modular units that can be arranged in a myriad of ways. Compose, decompose, compose, decompose, is a cycle in my process that mimics cycles of life and which I am exploring further in the impermanence of my materials.”

Top-down view of a Make Noise synthesizer
Make Noise, “Shared System.” Visitors are invited to listen to a piece of music recorded on this synthesizer and to experiment with their own compositions on others.

Accompanying Annand’s work are sound installations that use Make Noise synthesizers to create a series of aural environments that visitors can experience through the use of headphones. Modular synthesizers, not unlike Annand’s sculptures, are comprised of multiple units that can be combined and adjusted in countless ways to create different sounds. The sounds in these installations were created by various artists using instruments designed by Tony Rolando.

Explaining their intent, Make Noise has said, “We want our instruments to be an experience, one that will require us to change our trajectories and thereby impact the way we understand and imagine sound. Also, we think what we do is fun and we hope you like it, too.”

Running concurrently with this exhibition is a smaller Focus Gallery show of functional pottery by Joseph Pintz, whose work is characterized by sturdy, earthenware forms and richly layered surfaces. In addition, the Visitors Center Gallery has an ongoing display of objects that illuminate the history of Penland School, and the Lucy Morgan Gallery presents a selection of work by dozens of Penland-affiliated artists. On display outside the Penland Gallery are large steel sculptures by Daniel T. Beck and Hoss Haley, plus a structure designed by artist Meredith Brickell that invites visitors to stop for a few minutes and observe the clouds.

cast paper sculptures installed against a black wall in the Penland Gallery
Detail of “Sequence,” a cast paper piece by Eleanor Annand.

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Photo(s) of the Week: Open House

NOTE: This post contains a nice slideshow, which probably won’t look so good in the e-mail version. So if you are looking at this on e-mail, please click here to see the slideshow.

Every March, Penland hosts a community open house that brings about 700 visitors and 100 volunteers to the campus for an afternoon of fun in the Penland studios. Here’s a glimpse of this year’s event.

Clamp-resist indigo dyeing
Clamping cloth before dyeing
Casting a pewter ring
Filing a cast pewter ring
Forging steel hooks
Twisting an steel hook
Glassblowing demonstration
Making glass beads
Shaping wooden bookmarks
Shaping wooden bookmarks
Printing a poster on the letterpress
Assembling botanical photograms
Washing photograms in the darkroom
Using the potter's wheel
Making stuff from clay
Paste paper painting

Thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers, to Mitchell Transport for running shuttles, to The Pizza Shop for the tasty lunch, and to Dr. Taylor Townsend DDS, Burleson Plumbing, and Ledger Ace Hardware who generously donated in support of this event.

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A Perfect 10

Visitors to the 10/10 exhibition were greeted by a skillful array of work, including these glass vessels by Eric DePan.

As a rule, Penland studio assistants are a hardworking bunch. They are our instructors’ right hands, helping with logistics and materials preparation and clean-ups and demos and more, while still making their own work and exploring new materials and techniques. Our fall concentration assistants have done all of that, but they didn’t stop there—this weekend, they installed an exhibition in the Flex Studio and invited our whole community to attend and enjoy it.

The show, titled 10/10, was an impressive visual testament to what is possible when energy, talent, and inspiration mix with eight weeks of immersion and experimentation in the studio. It was a beautiful, generous evening, and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to celebrate before heading into the final week of the fall session.

Congratulations and a big thank you to these rad artists for a great show: Eleanor Anderson, Jake Brodsky, Eric DePan, Eric Meeker, Amy Young, Elias Sideris, Celia Jailer, DeCarlo Logan, Rachel Dominguez-Benner, and Wyatt Severs!

Studio assistants! Back row: Jake Brodsky, Elias Sideris, Rachel Dominguez-Benner, DeCarlo Logan, Eric Meeker; front row: Celia Jailer, Amy Young, Eleanor Anderson
A set of glass vessels and sculptures by Amy Young
A set of six encaustic panels by DeCarlo Logan
Ceramic pieces by Eleanor Anderson

All photographs of the installation are from textiles instructor Tim Eads. Thanks, Tim!

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Everything Must Go

Core fellows from left to right: Devyn Vasquez, Katherine Toler, Joshua James Fredock, Stormie Burns, Sarah Rose Lejeune, Kento Saisho, L Gnadinger, Corey Pemberton, Elliot Earl Keeley
Programs director Leslie Noell addresses each core fellow at the opening reception.
A view of the show during viewing hours in Northlight
"Everything Must Go" viewed from the back of the gallery
Students, family, friends, and community members enjoying the show during the opening reception
Viewing hours run through November 14!
Stormie Burns and Sarah Rose Lejeune, “Just Some Baskets,” porcelain, glaze, luster, cotton, linen
Stormie Burns, "Triangle Bowl and Dash Cup," cast glass
Joshua James Fredock, “Bubble Cage,” steel, glass
Joshua James Fredock, “Vessel and Vase,” raised copper, hot glass
L Gnadinger, “Smaller Dangers 2,” layered abaca and cotton, graphite, wax, found danger
L Gnadinger, “Memorial 2,” cast bronze, housings
Elliot Earl Keeley, “Not in Use,” steel, wood, plastic, mixed media
Elliot Earl Keeley, “Divisions 2,” mixed media on paper
Sarah Rose Lejeune, “Worry Dolls,” cast bronze, copper
Sarah Rose Lejeune, “Loads,” handwoven cotton, silk, stainless steel
Corey Pemberton, “Untitled,” acrylic, inkjet print, sumi ink, panel
Corey Pemberton, “I have nothing to wear,” acrylic, bamboo parquetry, inkjet print on panel
Kento Saisho, “Still life,” ambrotype
Kento Saisho, “Untitled,” forged and fabricated steel, graphite
Katherine Toler and Devyn Vasquez, “Dog Party” (detail), plywood, found objects
Katherine Toler, “window seat,” monoprint, chine collé
Devyn Vasquez, “Checkered Brush,” birdseye maple, horse hair; “Bubble Brush,” ash, goat hair
Devyn Vasquez, “Passing Through,” airbrush on paper

Every year, the annual Core Fellowship Exhibition is a highlight of fall concentrations and an exciting opportunity to peek into the worlds of our core fellows as they explore new materials, ideas, and techniques across studios. This year’s, titled Everything Must Go, was certainly no exception. It featured the work of 2018-2019 core fellows Stormie Burns, Joshua James Fredock, L Gnadinger, Elliot Earl Keeley, Sarah Rose Lejeune, Corey Pemberton, Kento Saisho, Katherine Toler, and Devyn Vasquez. They curated and installed the show themselves in the Gallery North space of the new Northlight complex. The work ranged from delicate pâte de verre vessels to airbrushed paintings, with a strong unifying thread of experimentation and craftsmanship. 

Congratulations on a beautiful installation, core fellows!

Everything Must Go will be on display through November 14, 2018. Viewing hours are Wednesdays noon – 3:00 PM, Saturdays noon – 3:00 PM, and Sundays: 1:00 – 4:00 PM.

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Auction Weekend in Photos

The following post contains a photo slideshow that is best viewed on the Penland blog.

First sign it's auction weekend: a big white tent.
These are our incredible 2018 auction volunteers. This weekend couldn't happen without their enthusiastic help and support!
Mia Hall welcomes Penland's Lucy Morgan Leaders to the Director's Luncheon.
The buffet at the Director's Luncheon always includes lots of produce right from the Penland garden.
On Friday afternoon, students and friends of woodworker Doug Sigler gathered to honor him as Penland's 2018 Outstanding Artist Educator.
Friday's afternoon festivities centered around the new Northlight complex. The auction was the first event in the space!
Artwork for Friday's silent and live auctions hanging in the new photography studio.
Two levels of porches provided ample space for catching up with friends and enjoying a drink.
Meanwhile, as the evening got darker, the tent lit up for Friday's live auction.
Each auction table was decorated with a unique centerpiece by one of Penland's core fellows or studio coordinators. Each one was made around the theme of "vessels." This blown glass vase is by Corey Pemberton.
Light rain on Friday evening made for a colorful parade from Northlight to the tent.
Friday night lights under the tent!
This dough bowl by Joshua Kuensting kicked off Friday's live auction.
A photograph by recent resident artist Mercedes Jelinek up for bidding.
A volunteer shows off Julia Woodman's cocktail ladle.
The action under the tent by night.
Happy bidders at the end of a successful Friday evening. Thanks to all for their generous support!
Friday evening finished off with coffee, dessert, a preview of Saturday's pieces, and live music outside Northlight.
Starting Saturday morning off with Coffee at the Barns, a favorite auction tradition.
Penland's resident artists welcome auction guests into their studios to see their most recent work.
Ceramic artist Kurt Anderson made the 500+ unique mugs for this year's auction, each one decorated with his signature creatures in different colors.
Auction guests visiting the studio of residents Maggie and Tom Jaszczak.
In the jewelry studio of resident artist Laura Wood.
Meanwhile, up at Northlight, Penland's core fellows also had an open house to show off their work.
The Core Fellows Open House in the new gallery space at Northlight.
Work up for bidding at Saturday's auction was displayed in the new social hall at Northlight (this shot was taken from the 2nd floor balcony!).
Thanks to our wonderful contributing artists for the beautiful pieces they donate to Penland and to our excellent volunteers for staging everything!
Admiring this year's featured piece, "8 Bats 4 Seasons" by Tim Tate.
Saturday morning photobooth shenanigans, complete with big creatures by Kurt Anderson and a bat or two for good measure.
Back for more! Saturday's auction kicks off with auctioneer Mark Oliver.
Paddles up!
"The Challenger," a large reduction woodcut by Jun Lee up for auction.
Corey Pemberton served as this year's auction captain. He also had the best suit.
Volunteers let their bat wings fly for bidding on Tim Tate's signature piece, "8 Bats 4 Seasons."
Volunteers taking it all in from a sunny perch outside the tent.
What a weekend! Thanks to everyone who made it such a success, including this stellar group. We'll see you next August 9-10 for the 2019 auction.

 

As the days turn cooler and the sun sets ever earlier, we’ve been thinking back to one of our favorite weekends from the height of summer: the 33rd Annual Penland Benefit Auction!

This year’s auction was a great success thanks to the hundreds of attendees, contributing artists, volunteers, sponsors, and Penland staff who gave their time, talent, energy, and more. It was a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones, enjoy remarkable art, honor some important people in our community, celebrate Penland’s new Northlight complex, and relax in this beautiful mountain setting. Scroll through the photos above to relive a bit of the fun!

Here are a few facts and figures from auction weekend:

  • Attendees: 649
  • Volunteers: 182
  • Outstanding Artist Educator: Woodworker and longtime Penland instructor Doug Sigler
  • Featured piece: 8 Bats 4 Seasons, a mesmerizing mirrored “portal” by Tim Tate
  • Fund-A-Need project: Renovating Morgan Hall to use as a communal house for Penland interns
  • Works up for bidding: 233
  • Total art sales: $340,622
  • Total revenue: $640,107
  • Net revenue generated for Penland programs: $462,294

Next year’s auction will be held August 9-10, 2019. Mark your calendars and join us then!

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Generosity, Community, Love

Last week, on our 2nd annual Penland Giving Day, this community blew us away. We asked all of you to help us generate support for our programs by making gifts for a 24-hour period on October 3, and you really delivered—not just with generous donations, but also with love and enthusiasm and photos and stories from your own times at Penland. Our theme for the day was #WeMakePenland, and you all showed us just how true that is. It’s all together, through the many diverse acts of sharing and attention and creativity, that this community remains so strong and vibrant. Thank you.

It was an exciting day by the numbers: in 24 hours you made 342 gifts to Penland (42 more than our goal of 300!) totaling $21,170. All of this money will go directly to supporting our programs, studios, scholarships, staff, and more. You also helped us share just what makes the Penland experience so valuable by posting over 200 stories to social media with the hashtag #WeMakePenland. The themes that emerged from these stories—a chance to explore and learn, an opportunity to develop skills and confidence, and an invitation to join a deep and connected community—were absolutely the most gratifying, inspiring, and affirming part of our Giving Day. We are so energized by the positive impact Penland has had on so many of you, and we are so grateful to be able to continue that impact thanks to your ongoing love and support.

Penland School kitchen staff
Penland’s beloved kitchen crew getting into the #WeMakePenland spirit on October 3.

Below, we share a handful of your #WeMakePenland stories. Get inspired here by browsing many more like them.

“Nearly 10 years ago I became a resident artist at the Penland School of Crafts and my life changed… But, really, @penlandschool started changing my life 10 years before that when I took my first class. Since then Penland has given me time and space, community, beloved instructors, dear friends, and incredible conversations, and left an indelible mark on my heart.”
Amy Tavern, student, instructor, friend, and former resident artist

“One of my favorite parts about the 2 weeks that I spent teaching at @penlandschool was the event at the end where all of the students shared their work. There was such energy, excitement, pride in that room—the ecstatic exhaustion of the work of making.”
Aaron Cohick, Penland letterpress instructor

“Some of my favorite @penlandschool moments include walking back to my housing after working late into the night, feeling the best kind of tired, and passing the other brightly lit studios still active with people obsessed, just like me.”
Aalia Mujtaba, Penland student and metalsmith

“In 2008 I moved to @penlandschool to be a core fellow and it changed the trajectory of my life for the long haul. Penland is the place I learned to slow down. To work hard. To ask questions. To notice details. The place I worked alongside some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. The place I was given the gift of time, to delve into my work in new ways. The place I met some of my best friends and my partner.”
Beth Schaible, Penland instructor and former core student

@penlandschool is one of my favorite places on earth because its freedom, tenacity, inspiration, friendship, innovation, courage, and love. Every day spent there is a gift, and every trip there has changed me.”
Lauren Faulkenberry, Penland instructor and winter resident

three #WeMakePenland posts from the Penland instagram community

three #WeMakePenland posts from Penland friends on Instagram

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We Make Penland on October 3

Giving Day photo banner in wood studio

Next Wednesday, October 3 is Penland’s 2nd annual Giving Day, a 24-hour push to generate support for Penland programs and share the impact of this place we love. The theme for the campaign is #WeMakePenland because this is a day to celebrate the creative power of making, the ideas and energy and inspiration that are born here, and—most of all—the strong and vibrant community that holds it all together.

Each one of you is a critical part of this community, and that’s why we’re asking YOU for your help. Please join us on October 3 to make our #WeMakePenland campaign a success! Here’s what you can do:

  • Share your story—Find a favorite Penland photo, write a short caption about what Penland means to you, and share it on social media with the hashtag #WeMakePenland. Every story adds power and momentum to the campaign!
  • Make a gift—Our goal is to reach 300 donations on October 3, and every gift counts! Whether you can give $1 or $10 or $50, your gift helps support the creative discovery and connection that Penland fosters. You’ll be able to contribute at penland.org/wemakepenland when the campaign goes live on October 3.
  • Get your friends involved—Help us spread the word far and wide! Text your family, send an email, or post on Facebook to encourage others to join our push on October 3.

We couldn’t have Penland without people like you, and we sure wouldn’t want to! Thank you for helping us make this day a win and for making the Penland experience richer for everyone.

If you’d rather not wait until October 3, you can make a gift now and have it count toward our Giving Day goal.