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Welcome New Core Fellows!

We’re thrilled to welcome four new artists to the Core Fellowship Program for 2017-2019! This new crew will join us on campus March 1 and will take up residence in Morgan Hall with second-year core fellows Eleanor Anderson, Thomas Campbell, Rachel Kedinger, Kyle Kulchar, and Alex McClay. We’re pretty sure they have great things in store.


Stormie Burns

Stormie is a familiar face to anyone in the Penland area. For the past year and a half she’s been working as a barista in the Penland Coffee House while also working for local potter Courtney Martin (among others) and coordinating Roan Readers, a Rural Education Partners program. Stormie has created her own education path and has taken classes at the Morean Arts Center, Arrowmont, Odyssey Ceramic Arts, and Penland. As a core fellow, she wants to generate momentum for her work while developing skills in printmaking and ceramics and experimenting in other studios.


Elliot Keeley

Elliot is a recent graduate from the Appalachian State University metals program. He has worked as a gallery assistant, studio tech, and bench jeweler and, most recently, completed an internship at Elsewhere, a living museum in a converted three-story thrift store in Greensboro, NC. Elliot has been a frequent work-study scholarship student at Penland in iron and metals classes and has volunteered at the Annual Benefit Auction. He is excited to take creative strides in his work through a myriad of metals classes as well as complementary media.


Sarah Rose Lejeune

Sarah Rose will be coming to Penland from an internship at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY, where she has been working since this summer. She has also been an intern and studio assistant at Dieu Donné, a non-profit paper studio and art center in New York City. Sarah Rose is a graduate of Oberlin College, where she studied studio art and comparative American studies, and though she has never been to Penland, she has taken classes at Ox-Bow, Haystack, and the Robert Blackburn Print Shop. As a core fellow Sarah Rose wants to learn new processes and develop skills in textiles, printmaking, metals, and paper.


Corey Pemberton

Corey has been part of the Penland community for several years and has lived in the area for the past two years while working as a studio assistant for local glassblower John Geci. Corey is a graduate of the Virginia Commonwealth University Craft and Material Studies program and has been a frequent and favorite studio assistant in Penland’s glass studio, as well as glass studios all over the US including Pittsburgh Glass, Corning Museum of Glass, Haystack, and Pilchuck. Corey now wants to explore new directions in his work, pushing beyond his current skill set to try new studios, new media, and new ideas.


Of course, welcoming new core fellows also means that we’ll be saying goodbye to some of our incredible current core fellows at the end of the winter: Elmar Fujita, Daniel Garver, Morgan Hill, and Bryan Parnham. They’ll sure be missed, but we can’t wait to see where their creative energies take them next—hopefully back to Penland at some point down the road!











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NINE: 2016 Core Fellowship Exhibition



Every year, the annual core show is a highlight of fall at Penland. It’s a remarkable event: nine core fellows come together to put on an exhibition, and they do all the parts themselves, from creating the work and designing publicity materials to preparing the space and curating the pieces within it.

This year’s show is titled NINE: 2016 Core Fellowship Exhibition. The work will span the range of Penland’s studios, from weaving and wooden furniture to objects in clay and concrete. In many ways, it’s a visual chronicle of one year in the lives of nine emerging artists—their ideas and explorations, their time, their energy, their passion.

Please join us on Friday, October 7th at 8 PM in Northlight to celebrate our core fellows as artists and as vital members of the Penland community. NINE will also be open for viewing October 8 and 9 from noon-6 PM and October 10 from 4-6 PM.

While the pieces below are just a small sampling of what will be up during the exhibition, they are absolutely representative of the creativity and skill that will be on display.


Enameled metal tea set by Rachel Kedinger


Linen and wool ikat dyed tapestry by Daniel Garver, 50 x 35 inches


Maple and walnut entry table by Kyle Kulchar











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Penland’s Core Fellowship (Apply by October 15)

core 2016 portrait over auction weekend
Penland’s talented bunch of core fellows: Daniel Garver, Eleanor Anderson, Thomas Campbell, Elmar Fujita, Rachel Kediger, Bryan Parnham, Alex McClay, Morgan Hill, and Kyle Kulchar (with a quilt by Daniel Garver!)


If you’ve been to Penland in the past four decades, you’ve probably met a Penland core fellow. At any given moment, they might be learning new techniques in workshops, helping cook in the kitchen, checking students into meals at the Pines, making work in their own studios, or spending time at their communal house on campus. Core fellows are emerging artists at the very nexus of the Penland community, and the two years they spend living, working, and learning here can be as intense as they are rewarding. Here’s how former core fellows from across the years have reflected on their time in the program:


“During those two years, I met remarkable people and learned tons… There was a steady stream of extraordinary artists passing through the school, teaching, giving demonstrations, and making presentations on their work. There was an informality that made learning an integral part of our daily existence there. It was a life-changing experience.”
—Alida Fish, core fellow 1971-1973


“Being a core student was such an important link in my career that it’s hard to imagine how I would have gotten from point A to point B otherwise.”
—Critz Campbell, core fellow 1994-1996


“I took advantage of the collective wealth of knowledge that is Penland at any given time—all the instructors and staff and students. Coming out of that program, I had a completely altered understanding of material and process—both what I can do personally and what is possible.”
—Jack Mauch, core fellow 2011-2013


“You pick your friends, but this group is just handed to you. You’re thrown together by chance, and then these people become your closest friends for a lifetime.”
—Daniel Essig, core fellow 1992-1994


“At Penland, I learned the many ways there are to be an artist: you can be a studio artist, you can teach, you can help other artists. The program exceeded every expectation. Being a core fellow changed my life: the experience gave me the how-to knowledge to make things and the confidence to know that I was good at it.”
—Amy Jacobs, core fellow 2004-2006


Penland will be accepting four new students into the Core Fellowship Program for 2017. Applications are due October 15, 2016. For more information, visit the Core Fellowship page.


The reflections above are excerpts of interviews from Inspired: Life in Penland’s Resident Artist and Core Fellowship Programs. This new book includes a history of the core program and interviews with sixteen former core fellows. To purchase a copy of Inspired, call the Penland Supply Store at 828-765-2359 ext. 1321.









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Meet Penland’s 2016 Core Fellows!

Five new Core Fellows will be arriving at Penland in February, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them. They will be joining second-year fellows Elmar Fujita, Daniel Garver, Morgan Hill, and Bryan Parnham in the core house next year—and all of you in the studios!


Eleanor Anderson

portrait of Eleanor Anderson and 5 clay vessels

Eleanor graduated in 2012 with a BA in Studio Art from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She has been a concentration student at Penland and an educational assistant at Arrowmont. Eleanor is a ceramics artist with interests also in textiles and printmaking.


Thomas Campbell

brooch by Thomas Campbell, portrait of Thomas

Thomas graduated in 2008 with a BA in History and Africana Studies from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He has continued to pursue his interests in wood and metalworking at the University of Arkansas while working as a fabricator for his family’s steel business. Thomas will use his time at Penland to focus on making functional furniture and objects in metal and wood.


Rachel Kedinger

Rachel Kedinger and her screwdriver

Rachel received her BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2012. She has worked at the Smith Shop in Detroit, MI for the last two-and-a-half years as a metalworker, designer, and instructor. Rachel has been a frequent Penland student and was, most recently, the studio assistant for Seth Gould’s fall concentration. At Penland she will continue to hone her skills as a blacksmith and metalsmith, while exploring the addition of wood and ceramics to her designs.


Kyle Kulchar

furniture by Kyle Kulchar, portrait of Kyle

Kyle studied at Kendall College of Art and Design before coming to Penland to assist Ashley Eriksmoen’s class this past summer. He was a student in Sylvie Rosenthal’s fall concentration. As a core student, he will continue to pursue his interest in woodworking while incorporating forged ironwork and fine metalworking.


Alexandra McClay

portrait of Alexandra and plexiglass sculpture

Alexandra is a book artist with a BFA from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Alexandra hopes to use the core fellowship to build skills to expand her conceptual bookmaking as she works towards being a studio artist and teacher. She has been a work-study student and a studio assistant in the Penland book studio, and has worked as an assistant for Penland instructors Dan and Vicki Essig.


We’ll miss Jamie Karolich, Joshua Kovarik, Meghan Martin, Emily Rogstad, and Tyler Stoll once they finish up their time as core fellows this winter, but we take solace in knowing that they’ll always be part of the Penland family. Come back often, y’all!


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Core Show Slideshow

Left to right: Tyler Stoll, Meghan Martin, Joshua Kovarik, Elmar Fujita, Daniel Garver, Jamie Karolich, Bryan Parnham, Emily Rogstad, Morgan Hill
Left to right: Tyler Stoll, Meghan Martin, Joshua Kovarik, Elmar Fujita, Daniel Garver, Jamie Karolich, Bryan Parnham, Emily Rogstad, Morgan Hill


The annual October Core Show is a much-anticipated highlight of fall at Penland, and this year was no exception. Our nine core fellows came together to put on a stunning show of pieces from their workshops across the Penland studios. Titled Personal Effects, the show featured furniture, prints, photographs, weaving, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, and much more. It was a great opportunity to see the cumulative talent of this group of young artists, and also to show our appreciation for these people who do so much at the very heart of the Penland community.

View lots more images in the Personal Effects slideshow.


Guests admiring work at the opening reception. The table in the front is by Elmar Fujita.


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One Weekend, Two Shows

Penland has not one but two groups of super-talented artists living and creating on campus: our resident artists and our core fellows. And next weekend, they will put on not one but two gorgeous shows to display their recent creations. Mark your calendar down for the evening of October 9, and mark down the afternoon of October 10 as well. Both openings will be well worth attending.


Core show poster


Personal Effects: Core Show 2015
Opening Reception October 9, 8:00-11:00pm, Northlight Hall

Personal Effects brings together pieces by Penland’s nine talented core fellows: Jamie Karolich, Joshua Kovarik, Meghan Martin, Emily Rogstad, Tyler Stoll, Elmar Fujita, Daniel Garver, Morgan Hill, and Bryan Parnham. The core fellows design and curate the show, and it’s a rare opportunity for them to display the sum of all the thinking, learning, and creating they do in their individual classes and studio practices.

If you can’t make the opening (or you just want a second look), the core show will also be open to the public from 12:00-6:00pm on October 10 and 11 and from 4:00-6:00pm on October 12 and 13.


promotional image for the upcoming resident artist show


The Barns: 2015
Opening Reception October 10, 4:30-6:30pm, Gallery North

The Barns: 2015 will be the first opportunity to see work from Penland’s current group of resident artists all together. Our newest residents Dean Allison, Maggie Finlayson, Seth Gould, and Tom Jaszczak will display their work alongside that of Annie Evelyn, Andrew Hayes, Mercedes Jelinek, and Jaydan Moore, who joined the program a year ago. The show will reflect the varied interests and talents of our residents, with works in cast glass, clay, metal, and photography alongside furniture, printmaking, and mixed media sculpture.

The Barns: 2015 will be on view this fall in Penland’s Gallery North from October 6 through November 15. Students and guests on campus are encouraged to stop by during their visits.


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Penland’s Core Fellowship (Applications due Oct 15)

Core fellows got their name because they are at the very core of the Penland community. They are fully engaged with life at the schoolthey take classes, work in their own studios, live together on campus, and keep the school running alongside Penland’s staff. It’s a pretty special and unique opportunity for emerging artists, and most core fellows find that their two years here are transformative in ways they didn’t even anticipate.

Here’s how some past core fellows have described the experience in their own words:

Amanda Thatch


“I have learned so much about so many different materials and so many different approaches to art and living in community. Because I make things, I get to have experiences that I would never be able to have otherwise. As a core student, I’ve been able to take fourteen Penland classes in two years. That’s a pretty incredible gift.”  Amanda Thatch



Daniel Beck


“We work so closely together and influence each other so much that the program is like an idea factory. It’s definitely a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We work hard, but we get a lot for it. I find that the work makes me feel more integrated into the whole school.”  Daniel Beck




Courtney Dodd


“I learned so much from being exposed to different teachers and different ways of doing things. I also learned about many things other than craft or art: I learned about landscaping and cooking, for instance, and, more than anything else, about communicating with other people. I think I’ve grown more in the past two years than in any other time of my life.”  Courtney Dodd



Jack Mauch


“My time as a core student has been seminal in every regard. I have grown immensely in my understanding of material and process, and in the sophistication of my artistic vision. I have lived, worked, and learned with people who have had a profound impact on me, and whose influence I will carry forever. I have had the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and the most cups of coffee.”  Jack Mauch



Rachel Mauser


“Being a core fellow at Penland is an incredible blend of being an artist, a staff member, a student, and living in a very close community. Everything is intense: so much more than I think it normally would be. Living with the other core fellows and learning from themas artists, as colleagues, as peoplehas been amazing.”  Rachel Mauser




If the Core Fellowship Program piques your interest, then mark down October 15, 2015 on your calendar. That’s when applications for next year’s core fellowships are due. For more information, visit the Core Fellowship page.