We’re excited to announce and welcome our five newest core fellows—Maria Fernanda Nuñez, Hannah Mitsu Shimabukuro, Molly Bernstein, Tony Santoyo, and Sarina Angell —who will begin their two-year fellowships in late February, 2020. They will join returning fellows Mia Kaplan, SaraBeth Post, Erica Schuetz, and Scott Vander Veen.
“I feel joy in transforming fiber into lines, lines into planes, and planes into sculptures, and would like to feel that same intimacy and depth of discovery in different media and the intersections between them.”
Sarina currently lives in Baltimore, MD where she works for Aerothreads fabricating multi-layer insulation blankets for aerospace applications while maintaining a studio practice. Recently, Sarina received a BFA in Fibers from the Maryland Institute College of Art with concentrations in Experimental Fashion and Sustainability & Social Practices. Sarina has worked as a studio assistant for Alex da Corte and has apprenticed at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. She has volunteered at the Annual Benefit Auction at Penland since she was ten, has been a work-study student for two sessions, and looks forward to returning as a core fellow. She hopes to explore narrative in her work and to explore performance through fiber and its intersection and relationship to other media.
“Before I go to grad school or anchor down and build my own studio, I would like to give myself the freedom to absorb the knowledge, wisdom, and magic of the myriad people who visit [Penland] and to be a hand that helps hold it up.”
Molly Bernstein is a potter who currently lives in Philadelphia, PA working for herself and as a studio assistant. She has a BFA in Ceramics from The University of the Arts, PA and has studied at The Kyoei-Gama Ceramics School in Tokoname, Japan. She has been a resident artist at the Chautauqua Institution, NY and Studio 550, NH. This past spring, she was a work-study student in clay at Penland and is excited to have the opportunity to return to be part of the Penland community. During her core fellowship, she is interested in exploring various materials and to see where common threads lie in her practice.
Maria Fernanda Nuñez
“As a Core fellow I hope to build on my making skills to produce rigorously fabricated work that is also layered with metaphor and poetic ambiguity.”
After spending her formative years in Bogotá, Colombia, Fernanda relocated to the United States in 2011 to pursue a BFA in Sculpture at the California College of the Arts, which she completed in 2015. Upon graduation, she worked as a furniture apprentice in Houston, Texas and was a Resident Intern at the Headlands Center for the Arts. She is a three-time fellowship recipient at the Vermont Studio Center and has been to Penland twice as a work-study student. Fernanda is currently based in Portland, where she has shown and performed work, and is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Critical Theory and Creative Research at the Oregon Institute for Creative Research, where she now works as a design and research assistant.
“With my craft, I attempt to build self-pride, and also to share with the world my comfort as a person whose identity is defined by living between and within two cultures.”
Tony Santoyo is a painter, papermaker, and ceramicist living and working in St. Paul, MN. He serves his community as a pharmacy technician at a non-profit clinic while also dedicating time to his studio practice. He has received his BA in Studio Arts and minors in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Minnesota in 2018, and has been a studio assistant at Penland workshops since 2016. Tony is a Mexican-American who comes from immigrant parents; he draws from his experience of identity and environment, his place in the world, and his sense of belonging and acceptance. He is excited to be back as a core fellow and to expand on his craft and further his knowledge.
“I believe the history of textiles supporting community can be used to help address the inequalities we face today, and I am looking to learn from established institutions like the Penland School of Craft about how craft drives a community’s sense of belonging and identity as well as economic development.”
Lars Shimabukuro is a recent graduate of Haywood Community College’s Professional Crafts Fiber Program in Clyde, NC. Before weaving, Mitsu earned a BA in Studio Art from Yale University, focusing on sculpture and printmaking. They have worked as a printmaking studio technician for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and as a matting and framing assistant for the Yale University Art Gallery. Mitsu has attended several summer sessions at Penland as a scholarship student and will return this January as a winter resident. They have also completed residencies at the KKV Grafik Studio in Malmö, Sweden and the Studios at MASS MoCA. As a core fellow Mitsu looks forward to exploring new media such as wood and glass while continuing to work in textiles and installation.
This year we received 80 applications for the Core Fellowship from across the United States. As always, there were more exceptional candidates than openings in the program. Our selection committee thoroughly reviewed and evaluated applications over a period of six weeks and interviewed applicants at the end of November. A sincere thank you goes out to everyone involved in this year’s selection.
Last but not least, we congratulate our five outgoing core fellows who will leave the program in February: Josh Fredock, L Autumn Gnadinger, Kento Saisho, Katherine Toler, and Devyn Vasquez. We wish you the best and are excited to follow your future successes!