Photographer Eric Swanson enjoys shooting images of artists in their studio spaces as one of his “self assignments,” so coming to Penland this summer to teach a workshop on natural light portraiture was an easy fit. He and his students spent the two weeks of session 6 making portraits on the knoll, at the Arbuckle Rodeo, and by the river, but mostly they shot in the Penland studios. The collection of images they produced, including the one above of Eric by student Elizabeth Ortiz, captures both the intense work and the playful nature of summer at Penland. View their portraits here.
“Photographic prints and books are being replaced by intangible, transient digital files made of zeros and ones – no texture, no smell, no weight. ” So writes photographer Heather F. Wetzel in her artist statement. “I prefer a slower pace, where one takes time to notice and appreciate those little and often discarded things.”
Her photographs echo her assertion, examining forgotten everyday details like a safety pin or a jar of buttons with uncommon attention. Though lacking the saturated colors and extensive post-production possible with today’s digital photography, Heather’s images are warm and arresting. It’s their simplicity and directness that draw the viewer in and envelop them in a moment that can feel timeless.
This fall, Heather will be traveling to Penland to share her expertise in historic photographic processes. Her 1-week course, scheduled for November 1-7, will focus on printing with silver and iron using cyanotype-, salt-, and albumen-printing. Space is still available in the workshop.Register here.
Printing with Silver & Iron
Heather F. Wetzel – Beginning with an introduction to digital negatives and other means of photographic contact printmaking, we’ll explore the possibilities of the cyanotype process and two closely-related silver printing processes: salt and albumen. In addition to learning how to mix chemicals, make digital negatives for optimal image making, and the practicalities of printing and toning, we’ll consider further manipulation and mark making as well as final presentation of the prints produced in this workshop. All levels. Code F03P
Heather is a studio artist who works in traditional photographic processes as well as other media such as books and hand papermaking. She is a lecturer in the art department and a book arts specialist at Logan Elm Press at Ohio State University, where she was the 2011-2012 Fergus Family Fellow in Photography.
Quick sketches and idea development, stencils and 3D sculpture, oversized letterpress posters and archival photo prints: paper can play an integral role in each. It is one of the most fundamental materials we use here at Penland. But how many people have taken the leap from using paper to create art to making paper as art?
Ann Marie Kennedy is certainly in that second group. Her handmade papers are delicate and speak of place, combining the immediacy of mixed media with the nostalgia of a photograph. She uses natural materials like seeds and leaves—often combined with textiles or clothing—to paint pictures of her landscapes not on paper, but within it. From October 4-10 this fall, her landscape will be Penland as she shares her craft with students. Space is still available to take part in the workshop and learn the art of papermaking for yourself. Register here.
Paper & Place
Ann Marie Kennedy – Students in this workshop will create art made from paper pulp, incorporating natural materials that will become part of the content of their work. Linen, flax, and abaca pulps will provide a neutral palette for mineral colors, natural dyes, and plant and seed textures. As students gain proficiency in making sheets of paper, engaging with the rich natural environment of Penland will allow them to create works that reflect the colors, shapes, and textures of the changing seasons. We’ll cover sheet forming, using a deckle box, processing plants for paper making, wet collage, and creating simple sculptural forms. All levels. Code F01PM
Ann Marie Kennedy is on the faculty at Wake Technical Community College. She has been a resident at Penland, the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, and the Headlands Center for the Arts (CA) and has received a North Carolina Arts Council fellowship. Her exhibitions include the Cantor Art Gallery at Holy Cross College (MA), the Visual Art Exchange (NC), and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
When Ann Marie describes her work, she explains, “I combine natural and domestic elements to create narratives about connections to the landscape. These pieces are often a direct response to place, incorporating materials gathered directly from site.” And that’s good news for her students this fall, since Penland in October presents a pretty inspiring landscape. Come immortalize it in paper and take a little piece of Penland home with you.