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Tony Santoyo, Penland Core Fellow

We love to see Tony Santoyo dance, paint, create ceramics and express himself through all kinds of media. During his time at Penland, Tony has expanded his painting and clay practices and explored a myriad of other media. Tony’s work mirrors the way he communicates; movement follows form or form follows movement. 

Beginning his fellowship in the spring of 2020, Tony will complete his time as a Penland Core Fellow this fall. 

To be in the presence of Tony and his work is truly a joy. We are excited to share these images of some of the works he has created during her time here at Penland (so far!).

The Penland Core Fellowship is intended for early career artists looking to expand technical skills and material fluency while working to support the day-to-day operations of a craft school. Core fellows live communally, participate in intensive craft workshops, and help run the school. We are currently accepting applications for the core fellowship. Please click HERE for more information and be sure to submit your application by October 15th!

“Late night scribbles,” using the body for mark making.
“Extending,” acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 23 x 19 x 3/4 inches, 2022


Tony Santoyo with “Rhythmic Chaos,” acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 x 1 inches, 2020


“No One is Watching,” acrylic and pastel on canvas (unstretched), 67 x 59 inches, 2021


Tony having fun while trying out Raku during Spring Concentration 2022 with Jenny Mendes and Caroline Douglas
“Coy,” earthenware decorated with underglaze, glaze, terra sigillata, 11-1/2 x 6 x 6 inches, 2022


Prickly Pear series, coiled pinch pots; earthenware underglaze, glaze, terra sigillata


Nopal en Cuarentena, coiled pinch pot; earthenware, underglaze, glaze, slip, terra sigillata, 22 x 12 x 11, 2020


“Dotted,” earthenware, underglaze, glaze, terra sigillata, 3-1/2 x 2-/14 x 2 inches, 2022


Tony in the Penland clay studio, throwing a vessel


Find more of Tony’s work on his WEBSITE!

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The Penland Auction Was a Great Success!

We did it! The 37th Annual Penland Benefit Auction is a wrap!

We are proud to say that our biggest fundraiser of the year was a great success! Keep scrolling to see a slideshow of the fun!

We celebrated craft.

The 37th Annual Penland Benefit Auction was a wealth of riches. It is an honor to connect the superb work of contemporary makers with thoughtful, enthusiastic collectors and supporters of craft.

We raised important funds.

The Penland Auction is our most important fundraiser of the year, supporting our mission of making lives meaningful through making.

Here are some preliminary numbers we are excited to share:

  • $394,959.65 has been raised for Penland!
  • We exceeded our Fund-A-Need goal, raising $105,500.

In honor of the United Nations International Year of Glass, this year’s “Fund-A-Need” will fund an upgrade of Penland’s ventilation systems in its glass hot shop and flameworking studios. Thank you so much to everyone who donated!

We honored special folks.

Nancy Blum, David Chatt, Paul S. Briggs, and Mark Peiser were honored at this year’s auction. We are so proud to have had the opportunity to highlight their work! We will be sharing some of the kind words spoken about Mark Peiser with you soon.

We had so much fun!

What a pleasure it was to host our friends on campus last weekend, reconnecting with you in person! Thank you for sharing with us! Please enjoy the slideshow below:


Thank You!

Hundreds of people and organizations come together to create the Penland Benefit Auction. It is a huge undertaking and a labor of love. Thank you so much to everyone who gave of themselves to make it a great success! Thank you…


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Nancy Blum: Exploring Interconnectivity

Drawings by Nancy Blum
Nancy Blum, Black Drawings 31, 72, 28, and 158, colored pencil and graphite, 12 x 9 inches each

Nancy Blum–one of the featured artists in this year’s Penland Benefit Auction–is known primarily for large-scale botanical drawings and her public artworks. These include a remarkable suite of floral tile mosaics at the 28th Street subway station in Manhattan and an installation of monumental, botanically-themed windows at the San Francisco General Hospital. Nancy was first trained in ceramics, and she loves collaborating with the skilled craftspeople who execute these projects.

Her contributions to this year’s auction, however, are entirely the work of her own hands. She describes these “Black Drawings” as “playfully rendered depictions of scientific imaginings and abstractions of the natural world.” This series, she says, explores the interconnectivity of all living beings. Nancy’s drawings and sculptures have been shown in venues across the U.S. and in recent solo exhibitions at Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, VA and Ricco Maresca Gallery in New York City. Her work is found in many private and public collections including the World Ceramic Exposition Foundation in South Korea and the Boise Art Museum in Idaho.

To learn more about Nancy and see more of her work, please watch the video below (videographer: Nikki Appino), or visit her website (but watch the video first).

Penland’s Annual Benefit Auction takes place on August 26-27, 2002 with online bidding on many pieces continuing through September 2. Nancy’s drawings will be sold in the live auction on August 27 and in the online silent auction that runs from August 28 – September 2. Complete auction information here.

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Paul S. Briggs: Expansive Ceramics

A ceramic vessel by Paul Briggs
Paul S. Briggs, Whorl, Windflower (Geode Series), glazed stoneware, 10 x 8 x 8 inches

Paul S. Briggs, who is one of the featured artists at the 2022 Penland Benefit Auction, has built his ceramic practice around two processes: pinch-formed vessels and slab-built sculptures. “Pinch-forming is what I do to meditate,” he says, “slab building is what I do to think through ideas.” The work featured in this year’s auction is one of his distinctive pinched vessels. “My pinching process,” he explains, “is neither additive nor subtractive but expansive. I grow the form from one chunk of clay using the pinching method to open the chunk and expand it outward and upward.”

Paul’s work has been in numerous exhibitions including Lucy Lacoste Gallery in Concord, Massachusetts, Friedman Benda Gallery in New York City, and The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, and is found in museum collections including the Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts, the Columbus Art Museum in Ohio, the Legacy Museum in Alabama, the San Angelo Museum of Art in Texas, the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum in New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

He has studied educational theory and policy, art education, theology, sculpture, and ceramics. “After a circuitous and fortuitous journey,” he says,“I am an artist-teacher at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.” He has also taught ceramics at Penland, Anderson Ranch, St. Olaf University, and Harvard University.

To learn more about Paul and see more of his work, please watch the video below (videographer: Darren Cole), or visit his website (but watch the video first).

Penland’s Annual Benefit Auction takes place on August 26-27, 2002 with online bidding on some pieces continuing through September 2. Paul’s work will be sold in the live auction on August 27; absentee bidding is available. Complete auction information here.


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David K. Chatt: Objects of Wonder from Tiny Beads


David K. Chatt, Red Stinger, glass beads, thread, time, 33 inches long

For nearly forty years, I have sewn tiny glass beads, one to the next,” says artist David K. Chatt. During this time David has painstakingly developed methods for creating sculpture and jewelry from sewn beads–beads alone and beads encasing objects–and he is one of a small group of artists who have made a place for beadwork in the world of contemporary art and craft. He is one of three featured artists at Penland’s annual benefit auction where he will be represented by an intriguing wearable piece titled Red Stinger (pictured here).

His work has taken him all over the country as a lecturer and teacher, and it has been chronicled in books and periodicals and recognized with a retrospective exhibition at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington. At Penland he has been an instructor, a resident artist, a student, an employee, and a neighbor.

In 2019, David won the Grand Prize at the Irish Glass Biennale. In 2021, one of his pieces was purchased by the Renwick Gallery of the American Art Museum (DC) and is included in its current 50th anniversary show.

“I make art,” David says, “because I want to contribute, discover, understand, inspire, reach for the very edge of my potential, and say something true.”

To learn more about David and see more of his work, please watch the video below, or visit his website (but watch the video first).

Penland’s Annual Benefit Auction takes place on August 26-27, 2002 with online bidding on some pieces continuing through September 2. David’s piece will be sold in the live auction on August 27; absentee bidding is available. Complete auction information here.

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A 16-Studio Collaboration!

ANETHA EVANS COLLABORATED WITH EVERY STUDIO to make this flameworked glass carousel!

She learned about working in clay, risography, papermaking, painting, glassblowing, flameworking, ironworking, jewelry making, hydraulic pressing, cameraless photography, mokuhanga and letterpress printing, weaving, and canoe-building in the process!

During a Penland session, there are so many studios learning so many interesting techniques in so many fascinating media. Collaborations happen all the time… but this piece by Anetha is NEXT LEVEL.

She visited each and every studio. She incorporated original works into her final piece. She met many interesting people, learned a lot of new things, and helped build bridges. The final result…is so cool. Thank you for sharing your work, Anetha, and thank you to everyone who collaborated on this project.

Here are all the workshops that busy Anetha visited during Penland Summer Session 3:

Jeffrey Evergreen
“The Mechanical Image: Process, Modularity, and the Distributed Form”
-Collab with Rama and Mariana

Mary Hark
“Immersed in Pulp: A Hand-Papermaking Intensive”
-Collab with Derick

Courtney Martin
“Slab, Coil, Decorate, Fire”
-Collab with Paige

Ashley Kim
“Intimate and Colorful Clay”
-Collab with A. Adams

Clarence Morgan
“Cultivating Aesthetic Instincts: Process, Systems, and New Forms”
-Collab with Tyler, Brett, and Mary Anne

Kim Harty
Glass Somatics
-Collab with Bre’Annah

 FLAMEWORKING (Anetha’s studio!)
Sally Prasch
“Sum of the Parts”
-Collaborative flower by Sally, Miles, Jennifer, Daniel, Brianna, Alana, and Anetha!

Daniel Souto and Stephen Yusko
“Material Studies”
-Collab with Stephen Yusko

Laurel Fulton
“The Narrative Body”
-Collab with Cynthia

Lauren Kalman
“Hydraulic Press: Symbols and Specimens”
-Collab with Angela and Mango

Bridget Conn
“Lightwork: Exploring Cameraless Photography”
-Collab with Bridget

Yoonmi Nam
“All About Mokuhanga”
-Collab with Peri

Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring
“All-You-Can-Eat Letterpress Smorgasbord”
-Collab with Ella and Mackenzie

Ann B. Coddington
“Sculptural Basketry Plus”
-Collab with Ann

Andrea Donnelly
“Woven Cloth, Raw Material”
-Collab with Andrea

Gerald Weckesser
“Building a Skin-on-Frame Canoe”
-Collab with Gerald

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Decoy 1, by Adam Atkinson


Adam Atkinson, Decoy 1, carved cedar, 20 x 10 x 8 inches

Decoy 1 is the first finished piece in a new series by Penland Resident Artist Adam Atkinson. Adam plans to create a number of carved, game bird “decoys” that may be interpreted in different ways by different communities. Introduced to hunting culture as a boy in Idaho, Adam’s work both embraces and subverts the visual language of this “masculine” pursuit. When it comes to the decoys, he is still unpacking their meaning as the series develops. “Who am I fooling, and for what reason… that is something I am still exploring,” he told us.

The figure of the goose has a special significance for Adam. As a child, his dad once encouraged him to harvest one by wringing its neck. “I couldn’t do it,” he said, “because I was scared and the goose was really angry.” Looking back, Adam sees this moment as a crossroads. “At that moment I sort of failed, maybe for the first time in a significant way, to prove my masculinity.”

Made from gorgeous cedar and representing over 40 hours of skilled carving, the two-headed goose will be featured this summer in the Penland Benefit Auction.

Currently halfway through a three-year residency at Penland, Adam is using the time to grow and explore. “I’m extending my knowledge of different processes,” he told us. “I’m studying enameling, doing more wood carving, and making larger sculptures.” Adam has also been able to build out his studio, investing in equipment that is kinder on the body. Decoy 1 is one of the first pieces created on Adam’s new wood bench, which keeps his work steady for carving. The wood bench is literally a big step up from working on the hard concrete floor and was purchased through a grant awarded by the North Carolina Arts Council.

Woodcarving has been an integral part of Adam’s art practice since he first explored sculpture at Boise State University as an undergraduate. “After I made my first wood carved sculpture (a carved face in wormy maple) I was hooked, and began using it in my jewelry and sculptural works,” he said. Learning through “a lot of trial and error,” over the past decade Adam has become a skilled carver. In addition to the “Decoy” series, Adam is also working on several larger-scale works that will make use of his growing skill and tools.

We invite you to support Adam’s work. Follow his journey on Instagram @adamatkinson, visit his website to explore more of his work, and find works for purchase in the Penland Gallery.

This fall, the Penland Gallery will host Tender Presence, a group exhibition co-curated by Adam and fellow Penland Resident Artist Everett Hoffman in the John and Robyn Horn Gallery.

Adam Atkinson is a metalsmith, curator, and educator. He received an MFA in metal design at East Carolina University and a BFA in interdisciplinary studio practices at Boise State University. Atkinson’s work documents relationships between gender and the body using adornment and small-scale sculpture as formats for exploration. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including the Wayne Art Center, Boone Art and History Museum, and Nagoya Zokei University, Nagoya, Japan, among others. He was awarded numerous residencies including the Emerging Artist Residency at the Baltimore Jewelry Center and is currently in a three-year residency at Penland School of Craft. He was faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University, Boise State University, and has taught workshops across the country.

Check out this short video about Decoy 1!