Posted on

Announcing Our 2019 Penland Core Fellows!

We’re excited to welcome four new artists into Penland’s Core Fellowship—Mia Kaplan, SaraBeth Post, Erica Schuetz, and Scott Vander Veen! They will join returning fellows Joshua Fredock, L Gnadinger, Kento Saisho, Katherine Toler, and Devyn Vasquez in late February 2019 to begin their two-year fellowships.

Mia Kaplan

“I have learned that the life of an artist can be beautiful and rewarding, but also complicated and discouraging…I have been most creative and productive while in an immersive and collaborative environment.”

brooch by Mia Kaplan, portrait of Mia Kaplan

Mia currently works in Indianapolis, IN and is a recent graduate of Earlham College, where she received a BA in Visual Arts. While at Earlham Mia worked for three years in exhibit and education development at the Joseph Moore Museum, an interactive science museum, and as a studio tech in the Earlham metals department. She has also interned at Brooklyn Metal Works (NY) and Liberty Arts Sculpture Studio & Foundry (NC). Mia received a work-study scholarship for a summer metals workshop at Penland in 2017 and is excited to return as a core fellow to expand her technical and professional knowledge in metals as well as explore other media, specifically her interest in textiles. Mia is a North Carolina native who grew up in Durham.

Visit Mia’s website
Follow Mia on Instagram

SaraBeth Post

“A strong sense of community is absolutely essential for me. I have been propelled by the generosity and encouragement of my community.”

 

SaraBeth headshot and glass pillow

SaraBeth lives and works in the Penland area, dividing her time between two jobs and her studio practice. As Enrichment Coordinator for the Rural Education Partners of Mitchell County, she works mainly with middle school students to make art an integral and accessible part of their lives. She is also the Program Development Coordinator at the North Carolina Glass Center in Asheville. SaraBeth has a BFA with a concentration in glass from the University of Louisville (KY) and has been a student and studio assistant in several Penland workshops since 2014. She has also worked as cold shop coordinator at Pilchuck Glass School (WA) and as an assistant and studio tech at The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass (NY).

Visit SaraBeth’s website
Follow SaraBeth on Instagram

Erica Schuetz

“I’m inspired by people unafraid to take risks and step off the path of least resistance, and who want to learn forever.”

Chair by Erica Schuetz and portrait of Erica

Erica recently transitioned out of her 5-year role as Adult Education & Family Literacy Instructor and Coordinator at Briya Public Charter School in Washington, DC to work and travel abroad for a year; she is currently volunteering as a teacher for refugees in Greece. After years as an educator who teaches “through a lens of social justice,” Erica is excited to devote time and attention to making, experimenting, and exploring new craft skills, ideas, and connections. Erica holds a BA from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She has been to Penland twice as a work-study student in wood; has taken classes at the Corcoran College of Art & Design (MD) and Haystack School of Crafts (ME); and has been a volunteer and part-time letterpress instructor at Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center (MD).

Follow Erica on Instagram

Scott Vander Veen

“I find that creative practice flourishes when it is shared closely with others, and I aim to create relationships as much as I aim to push my work.”

 Portrait of Scott next to a piece of Scott's work

Scott currently works in New York City as a fabricator and art handler at Novo Arts. He has also worked as a muralist, studio intern, and studio assistant at the Freehand Hotel, Dieu Donne Papermill, and Jeffrey Gill Studio respectively. Scott earned a BA from Bard College with a combined focus in studio arts, literature, history, art history, and writing. Having never been to Penland, Scott is excited to explore new processes, materials, and potential interactions between materials. He is interested in the balance between experimentation and technical skill and an “urge to connect more deeply with creative tradition.”

Visit Scott’s website
Follow Scott on Instagram

This year we received 72 applications from across the United States for the Core Fellowship Program. As always, there were many more fantastic candidates than openings. Our selection committee did an excellent job reviewing and evaluating applications, putting in many hours and lively conversations. A sincere thank you to everyone involved in this year’s selection.

And last but not least, we congratulate four outstanding core fellows who will leave the program in early 2019: Stormie Burns, Elliot Earl Keeley, Sarah Rose Lejeune, and Corey Pemberton. We wish them the best of everything ahead and will follow their inevitable successes with pride.

Posted on

Behind Fall Photos

Eight weeks of Penland fall concentrations have come and gone. We’ve shared lots of studio photos and show-and-tell photos and photos of the goofy moments in between. But there’s a lot that’s constantly happening during concentrations that is harder to pin down—the messy, beautiful, confusing, triumphant work of learning and connecting and growing.

As we’ve heard again and again from students, time at Penland is not just about a handmade mug; it’s about the transformational power of learning to make a mug with your hands. Below, we illustrate some of the less tangible aspects of creative immersion with a photo from each of our recent concentrations.

Focus
Clay student Brian Chen adds surface decoration to a run of tumblers using a masking technique he learned from instructor Tom Jaszczak. Freedom from distractions is one thing that leads to such leaps in student work in just eight weeks.

adding surface decoration to a run of bisqued pots

Teamwork
Studio assistant Eric Meeker uses a drop or two of water to break his piece from the punty while core fellow Joshua Fredock stands ready to grab it. The nature of glassblowing is a team effort, but students in all studios benefit from the feedback, energy, and expertise of their peers.

working with a partner to remove a glass disc from the punty

Process
Textiles student Emily Parkinson builds up pattern on a length of printed yardage through the careful spacing and layering of screens. The sketches, calculations, and in-betweens aren’t always readily apparent in a finished piece, but that step-by-step process is integral to the outcome.

pulling a screen in the textiles studio

Repetition
Henry Rogers heats a length of steel in the iron studio. Over the course of eight weeks, students move between the forge and the anvil and back again hundreds of times. Each heat builds intuition and muscle memory, and every swing of the hammer builds accuracy and control and confidence. It’s the hours of practice that transform a beginner into an experienced maker.

heating at the forge in the iron studio

Inspiration
Hannah Roman works on a painting in her Color & Abstraction workshop surrounded by sketches, previous work, and a giant collaborative still life for reference. Ideas can crop up in the most unexpected places, be it something a fellow student is trying, a process in another studio, the landscape of the Penland campus outside, or maybe just the shadow your water bottle casts across your desk.

concentrating on a painting at the easel

Growth
First-time woodworker Ann Ritter glues tenons into the aprons of her table with instructor Wyatt Severs. Even students who have never touched wood or metal or clay can become proficient over eight weeks of immersive studio time, and this growth sometimes opens up entire new futures and dreams.

working together to glue up tenon joints in the wood studio

Attention
Core fellow Stormie Burns pulls a run of prints on the Vandercook press. Like a lot of making, it’s a repetitive process that benefits from quiet attention and an ability to be present in the moment. There’s a joy that comes from being immersed in the details.

pulling prints on the vandercook press

And a few things not pictured above:
The Penland friendships each student will carry with them. The newfound confidence and sense of belonging. The deeper appreciation for hands and material and time. The ideas that started here as mere sparks and are now burning brightly across the web of our community.

To all our fall concentration students and instructors, thank you for reminding us about the importance and beauty of what we do here. And to all those who would like to be students, we hope you will be! Registration is currently open for Spring 2019 concentrations and 1-week workshops.

 

Posted on

A Perfect 10

Visitors to the 10/10 exhibition were greeted by a skillful array of work, including these glass vessels by Eric DePan.

As a rule, Penland studio assistants are a hardworking bunch. They are our instructors’ right hands, helping with logistics and materials preparation and clean-ups and demos and more, while still making their own work and exploring new materials and techniques. Our fall concentration assistants have done all of that, but they didn’t stop there—this weekend, they installed an exhibition in the Flex Studio and invited our whole community to attend and enjoy it.

The show, titled 10/10, was an impressive visual testament to what is possible when energy, talent, and inspiration mix with eight weeks of immersion and experimentation in the studio. It was a beautiful, generous evening, and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to celebrate before heading into the final week of the fall session.

Congratulations and a big thank you to these rad artists for a great show: Eleanor Anderson, Jake Brodsky, Eric DePan, Eric Meeker, Amy Young, Elias Sideris, Celia Jailer, DeCarlo Logan, Rachel Dominguez-Benner, and Wyatt Severs!

Studio assistants! Back row: Jake Brodsky, Elias Sideris, Rachel Dominguez-Benner, DeCarlo Logan, Eric Meeker; front row: Celia Jailer, Amy Young, Eleanor Anderson
A set of glass vessels and sculptures by Amy Young
A set of six encaustic panels by DeCarlo Logan
Ceramic pieces by Eleanor Anderson

All photographs of the installation are from textiles instructor Tim Eads. Thanks, Tim!

Posted on

Everything Must Go

Core fellows from left to right: Devyn Vasquez, Katherine Toler, Joshua James Fredock, Stormie Burns, Sarah Rose Lejeune, Kento Saisho, L Gnadinger, Corey Pemberton, Elliot Earl Keeley
Programs director Leslie Noell addresses each core fellow at the opening reception.
A view of the show during viewing hours in Northlight
"Everything Must Go" viewed from the back of the gallery
Students, family, friends, and community members enjoying the show during the opening reception
Viewing hours run through November 14!
Stormie Burns and Sarah Rose Lejeune, “Just Some Baskets,” porcelain, glaze, luster, cotton, linen
Stormie Burns, "Triangle Bowl and Dash Cup," cast glass
Joshua James Fredock, “Bubble Cage,” steel, glass
Joshua James Fredock, “Vessel and Vase,” raised copper, hot glass
L Gnadinger, “Smaller Dangers 2,” layered abaca and cotton, graphite, wax, found danger
L Gnadinger, “Memorial 2,” cast bronze, housings
Elliot Earl Keeley, “Not in Use,” steel, wood, plastic, mixed media
Elliot Earl Keeley, “Divisions 2,” mixed media on paper
Sarah Rose Lejeune, “Worry Dolls,” cast bronze, copper
Sarah Rose Lejeune, “Loads,” handwoven cotton, silk, stainless steel
Corey Pemberton, “Untitled,” acrylic, inkjet print, sumi ink, panel
Corey Pemberton, “I have nothing to wear,” acrylic, bamboo parquetry, inkjet print on panel
Kento Saisho, “Still life,” ambrotype
Kento Saisho, “Untitled,” forged and fabricated steel, graphite
Katherine Toler and Devyn Vasquez, “Dog Party” (detail), plywood, found objects
Katherine Toler, “window seat,” monoprint, chine collé
Devyn Vasquez, “Checkered Brush,” birdseye maple, horse hair; “Bubble Brush,” ash, goat hair
Devyn Vasquez, “Passing Through,” airbrush on paper

Every year, the annual Core Fellowship Exhibition is a highlight of fall concentrations and an exciting opportunity to peek into the worlds of our core fellows as they explore new materials, ideas, and techniques across studios. This year’s, titled Everything Must Go, was certainly no exception. It featured the work of 2018-2019 core fellows Stormie Burns, Joshua James Fredock, L Gnadinger, Elliot Earl Keeley, Sarah Rose Lejeune, Corey Pemberton, Kento Saisho, Katherine Toler, and Devyn Vasquez. They curated and installed the show themselves in the Gallery North space of the new Northlight complex. The work ranged from delicate pâte de verre vessels to airbrushed paintings, with a strong unifying thread of experimentation and craftsmanship. 

Congratulations on a beautiful installation, core fellows!

Everything Must Go will be on display through November 14, 2018. Viewing hours are Wednesdays noon – 3:00 PM, Saturdays noon – 3:00 PM, and Sundays: 1:00 – 4:00 PM.

Posted on

Auction Weekend in Photos

The following post contains a photo slideshow that is best viewed on the Penland blog.

First sign it's auction weekend: a big white tent.
These are our incredible 2018 auction volunteers. This weekend couldn't happen without their enthusiastic help and support!
Mia Hall welcomes Penland's Lucy Morgan Leaders to the Director's Luncheon.
The buffet at the Director's Luncheon always includes lots of produce right from the Penland garden.
On Friday afternoon, students and friends of woodworker Doug Sigler gathered to honor him as Penland's 2018 Outstanding Artist Educator.
Friday's afternoon festivities centered around the new Northlight complex. The auction was the first event in the space!
Artwork for Friday's silent and live auctions hanging in the new photography studio.
Two levels of porches provided ample space for catching up with friends and enjoying a drink.
Meanwhile, as the evening got darker, the tent lit up for Friday's live auction.
Each auction table was decorated with a unique centerpiece by one of Penland's core fellows or studio coordinators. Each one was made around the theme of "vessels." This blown glass vase is by Corey Pemberton.
Light rain on Friday evening made for a colorful parade from Northlight to the tent.
Friday night lights under the tent!
This dough bowl by Joshua Kuensting kicked off Friday's live auction.
A photograph by recent resident artist Mercedes Jelinek up for bidding.
A volunteer shows off Julia Woodman's cocktail ladle.
The action under the tent by night.
Happy bidders at the end of a successful Friday evening. Thanks to all for their generous support!
Friday evening finished off with coffee, dessert, a preview of Saturday's pieces, and live music outside Northlight.
Starting Saturday morning off with Coffee at the Barns, a favorite auction tradition.
Penland's resident artists welcome auction guests into their studios to see their most recent work.
Ceramic artist Kurt Anderson made the 500+ unique mugs for this year's auction, each one decorated with his signature creatures in different colors.
Auction guests visiting the studio of residents Maggie and Tom Jaszczak.
In the jewelry studio of resident artist Laura Wood.
Meanwhile, up at Northlight, Penland's core fellows also had an open house to show off their work.
The Core Fellows Open House in the new gallery space at Northlight.
Work up for bidding at Saturday's auction was displayed in the new social hall at Northlight (this shot was taken from the 2nd floor balcony!).
Thanks to our wonderful contributing artists for the beautiful pieces they donate to Penland and to our excellent volunteers for staging everything!
Admiring this year's featured piece, "8 Bats 4 Seasons" by Tim Tate.
Saturday morning photobooth shenanigans, complete with big creatures by Kurt Anderson and a bat or two for good measure.
Back for more! Saturday's auction kicks off with auctioneer Mark Oliver.
Paddles up!
"The Challenger," a large reduction woodcut by Jun Lee up for auction.
Corey Pemberton served as this year's auction captain. He also had the best suit.
Volunteers let their bat wings fly for bidding on Tim Tate's signature piece, "8 Bats 4 Seasons."
Volunteers taking it all in from a sunny perch outside the tent.
What a weekend! Thanks to everyone who made it such a success, including this stellar group. We'll see you next August 9-10 for the 2019 auction.

 

As the days turn cooler and the sun sets ever earlier, we’ve been thinking back to one of our favorite weekends from the height of summer: the 33rd Annual Penland Benefit Auction!

This year’s auction was a great success thanks to the hundreds of attendees, contributing artists, volunteers, sponsors, and Penland staff who gave their time, talent, energy, and more. It was a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones, enjoy remarkable art, honor some important people in our community, celebrate Penland’s new Northlight complex, and relax in this beautiful mountain setting. Scroll through the photos above to relive a bit of the fun!

Here are a few facts and figures from auction weekend:

  • Attendees: 649
  • Volunteers: 182
  • Outstanding Artist Educator: Woodworker and longtime Penland instructor Doug Sigler
  • Featured piece: 8 Bats 4 Seasons, a mesmerizing mirrored “portal” by Tim Tate
  • Fund-A-Need project: Renovating Morgan Hall to use as a communal house for Penland interns
  • Works up for bidding: 233
  • Total art sales: $340,622
  • Total revenue: $640,107
  • Net revenue generated for Penland programs: $462,294

Next year’s auction will be held August 9-10, 2019. Mark your calendars and join us then!

Posted on

Generosity, Community, Love

Last week, on our 2nd annual Penland Giving Day, this community blew us away. We asked all of you to help us generate support for our programs by making gifts for a 24-hour period on October 3, and you really delivered—not just with generous donations, but also with love and enthusiasm and photos and stories from your own times at Penland. Our theme for the day was #WeMakePenland, and you all showed us just how true that is. It’s all together, through the many diverse acts of sharing and attention and creativity, that this community remains so strong and vibrant. Thank you.

It was an exciting day by the numbers: in 24 hours you made 342 gifts to Penland (42 more than our goal of 300!) totaling $21,170. All of this money will go directly to supporting our programs, studios, scholarships, staff, and more. You also helped us share just what makes the Penland experience so valuable by posting over 200 stories to social media with the hashtag #WeMakePenland. The themes that emerged from these stories—a chance to explore and learn, an opportunity to develop skills and confidence, and an invitation to join a deep and connected community—were absolutely the most gratifying, inspiring, and affirming part of our Giving Day. We are so energized by the positive impact Penland has had on so many of you, and we are so grateful to be able to continue that impact thanks to your ongoing love and support.

Penland School kitchen staff
Penland’s beloved kitchen crew getting into the #WeMakePenland spirit on October 3.

Below, we share a handful of your #WeMakePenland stories. Get inspired here by browsing many more like them.

“Nearly 10 years ago I became a resident artist at the Penland School of Crafts and my life changed… But, really, @penlandschool started changing my life 10 years before that when I took my first class. Since then Penland has given me time and space, community, beloved instructors, dear friends, and incredible conversations, and left an indelible mark on my heart.”
Amy Tavern, student, instructor, friend, and former resident artist

“One of my favorite parts about the 2 weeks that I spent teaching at @penlandschool was the event at the end where all of the students shared their work. There was such energy, excitement, pride in that room—the ecstatic exhaustion of the work of making.”
Aaron Cohick, Penland letterpress instructor

“Some of my favorite @penlandschool moments include walking back to my housing after working late into the night, feeling the best kind of tired, and passing the other brightly lit studios still active with people obsessed, just like me.”
Aalia Mujtaba, Penland student and metalsmith

“In 2008 I moved to @penlandschool to be a core fellow and it changed the trajectory of my life for the long haul. Penland is the place I learned to slow down. To work hard. To ask questions. To notice details. The place I worked alongside some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. The place I was given the gift of time, to delve into my work in new ways. The place I met some of my best friends and my partner.”
Beth Schaible, Penland instructor and former core student

@penlandschool is one of my favorite places on earth because its freedom, tenacity, inspiration, friendship, innovation, courage, and love. Every day spent there is a gift, and every trip there has changed me.”
Lauren Faulkenberry, Penland instructor and winter resident

three #WeMakePenland posts from the Penland instagram community

three #WeMakePenland posts from Penland friends on Instagram