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The Core Show 2022

 

Lars, Molly, Lisa, Celia, Mo, Lilly, Tony, and Sarina.

A highlight of every year at Penland is the annual exhibition of work by our wonderful core fellows. The core fellows are students who spend two years at Penland taking workshops throughout the year while also doing part-time jobs for the school. Every October they curate and install an exhibition of their recent work. This year’s show is title STONEFRUIT, and it opened at Penland’s Gallery North on October 7. It will be up until November 11, so if you are nearby, you still have a week to see this excellent show.

Opening night of the core show always begins with a special supper for the artists. This year the meal was prepared by metals studio coordinator Nadia Massoud, studio operations manager Daniel T. Beck, and glass studio coordinator Nick Fruin. This is followed by an opening reception at the gallery (with desserts supplied by staff and community) and a salute to the core fellows by programs manager Courtney Dodd.

Programs manager Courtney Dodd salutes the core fellows.

Thanks to Sarina Angell, Molly Bernstein, Lisa Nguyen, Maria Fernanda Nuñez, Tony Santoyo, Celia Shaheen, Lars Shimabukuro, and Lily Wilkins for their tireless contributions to life of the school, for their marvelous spirit, and for their inspiring art work. Here are some pictures of the show and a sample of each person’s work.

Tony Santoyo, Interlude, acrylic and pastel on unstretched canvas, 56-1/2 x 64-1/2 inches
Lisa Nguyen, Cat Nap Tunnel, ash, baltic birch, glass, 20 x 28 x 15 inches
Sarina Angell, 100 Nuts, hickory nuts, mixed media, found materials, 44 x 4 inches
Sarina Angell, 100 Nuts (detail)
Maria Fernanda Nuñez, “Not all is not enough”, wood, denim pulp, 60 x 60 x 48 inches
Lars Shimabukuru, fish trap, ceramic, lashed reed, 31 x 20 x 19 inches
Lily Wilkins, Traffic Island, wool, cotton, silk, canvas, 24 x 24 inches
Celia Shaheen, This old ceremony carries me home, handwoven and blockprinted cotton, earthenware, 15 x 67 inches
Celia Shaheen, This old ceremony carries me home (detail)
Molly Bernstein, Benni Goes to Work!, papier mâché, flocking, acrylic, steel wire, phone cord, grommets, 72 x 42 x 24 inches

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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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Visiting Penland’s Resident Clay Artists

During our recent Fall Short Session, clay instructor Andy Shaw and his students visited Daniel Garver and Sean O’Connell, two Penland Resident Artsits who are currently working in clay. The first stop was Daniel Garver’s studio, pictured below.

 

Wrapping up a day of plate-making, the clay lovers walked down to The Barns after dinner to talk shop.

 

Though both residents work in clay, their processes are very different. Daniel Garver is using his residency to refine and expand his use of slipcasting to create clean, geometric objects.

 

Daniel shared some of the secrets of his work, from the challenges of working with porcelain to his use of “deflocculent” in his process.

 

Daniel’s work is linear, organic, and colorful!

 

Fall Short Session instructor Andy Shaw was intrigued by Daniel’s unique use of molds

 

When students arrived at Sean O’Connell’s studio, he was busy carving wooden spoons.

 

Sean is mastering the use of the wood kiln and exploring organic, spontaneous surface design in his work.

 

Students had lots of questions, the most common one being, “How did you make this one?”

 

Making use of wax resists, multiple firings, and gestural embellishments, Sean’s work is a cornucopia of texture and color.

Penland is currently home to eight resident artists, working in different media. The residency is intended to be an opportunity to test ideas and take risks that will have a lasting effect on their work and lives. Penland Resident Artists live and work at Penland for 3 years. Both Sean and Daniel arrived at Penland in the fall of 2021, so we are looking forward to watching their practices evolve over the next two years.

You can visit Sean’s and Daniel’s websites to learn more about their work. If you’re in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to stop by for a visit!

 

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Welcome! Black Women of Print

 

Welcome, Black Women of Print!

Six members of this dynamic collective are at Penland our two-week Summer Residency Fellowship. We are honored to host members Chloe Alexander, Dr. Deborah Grayson, Delita Martin, Karen J. Revis, Stephanie Santana, and Tanekeya Word in Penland’s print and paper studios. In addition to the two-weeks at Penland, each artist will receive an unrestricted award of $10,000.

Black Women of Print promotes the visibility of Black women printmakers via accessible educational outreach to create an equitable future within the discipline of printmaking.

(NOTE: If you are viewing this post as email, please click here to see this beautiful slideshow.)

Chloe Alexander
Deborah Grayson
Delita Martin
Karen J. Revis
Stephanie Santana
Tenekeya Word

 

The residency grew out of a conversation between Black Women of Print’s executive director Tanekeya Word and Penland’s creative director Leslie Noell in which Tanekeya mentioned that members of the group had dreamed of doing a residency together. Penland does not program a workshop for each of its 16 studios in every single session, and Leslie was  developing a plan for short-term summer residencies that would use some of those available slots. When funding for six residencies came through, Leslie invited Tanekeya to curate a group to work together in the printmaking studio. At least one of the printmakers was interested in papermaking, and that studio was also available for this session.

 

We are looking forward to sharing some of the work created during this residency with you. We also welcome 2022 Andrew Glasgow Writer in Residence, Camille Johnson, who will be conducting interviews with each member of the group and doing other documentation of the residency.

The Penland Summer Residency Fellowship is made possible by a grant from the John and Robyn Horn Foundation. The awards are generously provided by the Windgate Foundation.

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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!

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Wearable Black History

A young, African American woman working at a jewelry bench
Nancy Sanderson working in the Penland metals studio during the 2022 winter residency.

Nancy Sanderson did not have the typical reaction to the souvenir shop at Mount Vernon. Nancy is African American, and she was visiting the home of President George Washington with her husband’s family. She had been thinking about souvenirs because the metals class she was taking at Virginia Commonwealth University had given her an assignment to create a souvenir. (That class was taught by Adam Atkinson, who is currently a Penland resident artist.)

She had been thinking about the people who were enslaved at Mount Vernon and how some of them were the laborers who built the place. “And then I just thought, it’s crazy that there is a souvenir shop here,” she remembers. “To me, and I know this is a big jump, it was like if there was a souvenir shop at Auschwitz or Guantanamo Bay or some other place where people have suffered, and people are like, hey, let’s grab a shot glass or a needlepoint. I do understand that the institutions have to have income if they are going to preserve these places, but I would like to see it done in a more respectful way.”

 

Two hands hold a metal brooch that depicts a brick wall with a barred window. A chain hangs from the window. Behind the window is the profile of a white house with a red roof.
Souvenir for the Enslaved by George Washington at Mount Vernon

A previous metals assignment already had her thinking about architectural elements as jewelry components, and so she responded to the souvenir assignment with her brooch called “Souvenir for the Enslaved by George Washington at Mount Vernon.” The piece includes a small profile of George Washington’s house made from painted wood. This is seen through a barred window in a brick wall made of copper. Chains, ending in a shackle, hang from the wall. The shackle, she explains, is silver, because that’s the part that would have touched the body. 

Making this piece caused Nancy to imagine a series of jewelry works inspired by the estates of other slaveholding American presidents. Her studio access is limited currently as she is on hiatus from VCU, caring for her newborn daughter and navigating the pandemic with her family. But she was able to participate in Penland’s winter residency, giving her the opportunity to start work on the second piece. 

 

A sheet of copper with a relief image and three holes sits in front of an architectural model made from small copper bars
Components in progress for Souvenir for the Enslaved by John Tyler at Sherwood Forest Plantation

More ambitious in scale and complexity than the first, this piece will be the “Souvenir for the Enslaved by John Tyler at Sherwood Forest Plantation.” The John Tyler house is a 301-foot-long structure that is essentially seven buildings attached end-to-end and is claimed to be the longest frame house in America. Nancy’s piece will be a three-finger ring with a simple model of the whole house sitting on top of it. 

The ring itself will be a hollow form that contains a relief image of an enslaved man with arms crossed and head bowed. Two children stand in front of him. “It’s a play on Atlas,” she explains, “and the house will rest on his back. There are children in the image because it’s not just about the enslaved, it’s also about that legacy and how it goes to the next generation and the next generation.”

 

A sketch on graph paper
Nancy’s original sketch for the John Tyler piece

“It’s truly heartbreaking,” she continues, “to imagine that you’d probably be proud of what you contributed to that house and that plantation, but then to not be allowed to be proud and to not have any type of ownership of your contribution. To live your whole life and to know that no matter how hard you work, you will never have this. It’s not allowed. That’s what I’m thinking about in making this.”

Nancy is rendering these ideas as jewelry because, she explains, “I want them to be wearable and not just sculptures because I want people to touch them and interact, and that’s how they bring you in.” She hopes to complete five pieces in the series; she already has a vision for a piece based on James Monroe’s Highlands. “I think that enslaved people are just overlooked in their contributions to architecture and building,” she says. “So I want to highlight the architecture that enslaved people helped create and combine this with what I enjoy doing with metals.” 

 

A man and a woman in a grassy field in winter, pulling a sled with a baby sitting in it
Nancy with her husband, Adam, and their daughter, Mary-Sue, at Penland

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The Core Show 2021

This post starts with a slide show. If you are seeing it as in e-mail, please click here for best viewing.

The core show is a highlight of each Penland year.
The evening begins with a beautiful dinner cooked by friends of the core fellows.
Program coordinator Courtney Dodd paying tribute to each of the core fellows.
Sarina Angell; Collector's Jacket; toned cyanotype on cotton canvas
Molly Bernstein; A Map of the World; ceramic material
Mia Kaplan; Bullseye Ring; brass, copper, silver, magnets
Maria Fernanda Nuñez Alzata; What if we kissed in the crack of a kernel; cast denim, abaca, and corn husk fiber, 18k gold leaf, graphite
SaraBeth Post; Symbol to Play II; cast glass
Tony Santoyo; Roadmap; acrylic, handmade abaca and cotton on canvas
Erika Schuetz; Corkybara 1 &2; cork, leather
H. Mitsu Shimabukuro; Hypotaxis; hand-pulled sheet of paper with blowout stencil, cotton, abaca, and denim fibers
The core fellows in the gallery.
Core Show Card
Core Show Card

A highlight of every year at Penland (except 2020, because…) is the core show: an exhibition of carefully selected work made during the year by our wonderful core fellows. The evening starts with a beautiful, quiet dinner made by their friends. This is followed by a reception and moment for honoring each of these hardworking artists. This year’s exhibition was in Gallery North, which is part of the Northlight complex.

The Penland Core Fellowship is a two-year work-study residency that has brought generations of hard-working, dedicated artists into the Penland family–taking workshops, covering important work assignments, and inspiring everyone around them. We are also delighted to say that many core fellows continue to have a long-term relationship with the school after their fellowship comes to an end. We are always delighted to welcome them back as instructors, staff members, and in other roles.

Thank you, Erica, Mia, Mitsu, Mo, Molly, SaraBeth, Sarina, Tony, and Scott (who left for grad school before this event) for everything you have brought to Penland. Because everything was canceled in 2020, we got to keep this group for an extra year, and it’s getting hard to imagine the place without them!