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3 Years of Material Exploration: Core Fellow Lars Shimabukuro

Lars Shimabukuro is leaving Penland after three wonderful years as a Penland Core Fellow 🥹. Anyone who has had the pleasure of sharing space with them can tell you how capable, curious, and intentional they are in everything they do.

At Penland, Lars spent time in nearly every studio, learning techniques to work in paper, wood, clay, and textiles, just to name a few. Here are  images of some of the stunning work that Lars created at Penland.

“Tradewinds” installation at the Praxis Fiber Workshop Gallery in Cleveland, OH


This piece, titled “Fish Trap,” combines ceramic and lashed reed.


Working in paper



Chair caning (the chair is old; the rainbow caning is new).



And so much beautiful weaving


This year, Lars will teach weaving at both John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina and Arrowmont in Tennessee! Learning from Lars is sure to be a wonderful experience and we encourage you to sign up. You can also follow them on social media and check out their website for more of their thoughtful work.

LARS IS TEACHING the following weaving workshops:

A Survey in Blocks
John C Campbell Folk School, May 14-20, all levels
This workshop will cover twill blocks, doubleweave blocks, and more


Imagery with Theo Moorman
Arrowmont, October 15-20, all levels
Learn a unique inlay technique that allows you to draw on the loom.
(Theo Moorman is the name of inlay technique, which was developed by a weaver named Theo Moorman.)


Read more about the other 2020-2022 Penland Core Fellows: Sarina Angell, Molly Bernstein, Maria Fernanda Nuñez, and Tony Santoyo.

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The Stunning Work of Molly Bernstein

Photo by Myles S Pettengill

It’s been wonderful having Molly Bernstein with us for the past three years as a Penland Core Fellow. She’s leaving Penland and heading to Philadelphia. We hope you will follow her on social media, collect her work, and please let her know if you are inspired by her unique vision.

Good luck, Molly! Come visit soon!

Here are a few of the wonderful pieces that Molly created at Penland:


One of Molly’s mugs, artfully displayed in the Penland Core Fellows Gallery in the Coffee Shop


So many whimsical mugs!


“A Map of the World” from the 2021 Core Show; photo courtesy Loam Marketing


Detail from “A Map of the World”; photo courtesy Loam Marketing




Blue chair installation on the Penland knoll


Installation at Laurel Cottage




Read more about the other 2020-2022 Penland Core Fellows: Sarina AngellMaria Fernanda Nuñez, Tony Santoyo and Lars Shimabukuro.


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Welcome, New Core Fellows!


We’re excited to announce and welcome our five newest Penland Core Fellows—Kimberly Jo, Brandon Lopez, Nicholas McDonald, Grace Anne Odom, and Amal Tamari. They will join returning fellows Lisa Nguyen, Celia Shaheen, and Lily Wilkins. For one or two years, they will share a house, take classes, expand their practices, and help run the school. We are so excited to welcome them to our community. Meet the new core!

Kimberly Jo is a cross-disciplinary artist working primarily in printmaking, ceramics, and textiles. They received a BFA in printmaking and enjoyed a post-baccalaureate position in ceramics at the Hartford Art School. In addition to pursuing arts education, Kimberly has worked on small-scale farms across northwestern Connecticut. Their dual passions are at the heart of their practice, which draws parallels between different materials and honors the ways in which they diverge.


Brandon Lopez is a Mexican-American artist creating functional and sculptural work with glass. He first began working with glass at Penland in 2013. He then attended Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia where he received a BFA in glass. Brandon has assisted for individual artists as well as for workshops at Penland, Ox-Bow, and Pilchuck. His work combines traditional glassblowing techniques with the aesthetics of objects made by ancient civilizations to create sculpture and design objects. Brandon is currently living in Asheville, focusing on his studio practice and assisting area artists.



Nicholas McDonald received their BA in political science and art from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas. Nicholas’s practice focuses on the power of process and the exploration of their complex identity as a black person, “with one foot in inescapable history and the other in the drive of [their] contemporary environment.” At Penland, they plan to continue to investigate ties between blackness, culture, and craft.

Grace Anne Odom is a metalsmith and photographer in Fayetteville, Arkansas where she works as a bench jeweler and maintains a studio practice. Before focusing on craft, she served her community through social work and earned a BA in psychology at Hendrix College. With the goal of making craft more accessible in her community, she is eager to strengthen and diversify her skills as a core fellow.


Amal Tamari is a recent graduate from Earlham College where she received a BA in studio arts with a focus on ceramics. Since completing her degree, she has been studying at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as a post-baccalaureate student. Amal apprenticed for ceramicists Kelsie Rudolph and Sunshine Cobb in Helena, Montana. Amal is excited to explore different mediums that will help to develop her artistic voice.

Selection Panel

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to apply. Penland received 130+ applications to the core fellowship this year. The selection process was thoughtfully overseen by the following panel, in conjunction with Penland staff.

(Left to right): Ben Blount, studio artist, Mellanee Goodman, grant program manager at Center for Craft, Critz Campbell, professor at Mississippi State University, Althea Murphy-Price, professor at University of Tennessee

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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.