Auction Info for Artists


Volunteer and contributing artist Margaret Couch Cogswell showing a piece by Gay Smith.

Who Donates

Each year a select group of Penland-affiliated artists is invited to make a contribution to the  Penland Benefit Auction. Affiliated artists include current and former instructors, resident artists, core fellows, and visiting artists. Invitations were mailed in January this year. If you did not receive an invitation and would like to donate, please contact for inquiries.

How to Donate in Three Easy Steps

  1. Let us know that you will donate. Please RSVP as soon as possible! The first step in the donation process is to confirm your intention to donate. Please complete the online response form so that we can plan on your donation: RSVP HERE.
  1. Tell us about your donation. We must have this information by April 1. Once you have decided what work you will donate, please complete the online donation details form. Please let us know about the work as soon as possible so that we may include your gift in our advance marketing.
  1. Send us your donation by April 1, 2022.

What to Donate

We encourage you to contribute a piece that represents your strongest and most current work – this is what collectors are looking for. Donated work typically ranges in retail value from $200 – $10,000. Many contributing artists look at the Annual Benefit Auction as an important marketing opportunity – your work will be exposed to 600+ collectors, patrons, and museum curators and over 9,000 e-newsletter subscribers. To get an idea of what has been donated to our past auctions, you can view last year’s auction catalog. If you are unsure of what would appeal to our auction audience, we would be happy to speak with you. 

Please note:

  • Please limit your donation to one item; this may include multiples/sets (please contact us for restrictions)
  • All work must arrive installation ready
  • 2-D work must arrive framed and ready to hang
  • Please provide installation and handling instructions, as appropriate

Sending your work to Penland

You may either ship your work to us or deliver it in person. Please ensure that your work arrives at Penland by April 1 for the photography session

When packing your work, please consider that after it arrives at Penland, it will be transported not once but several times, and will be handled by a number of different people. Please help us ensure the safety of your work by packing it in a sturdy container using clean materials.

Drop Off: Please securely package your work prior to delivery. Auction donations may be delivered to Penland’s development office which is located on the second floor of Horner Hall, just above the Penland Gallery. You may drop off the work any time that the building is open: Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST and weekends during gallery hours (please call to confirm the hours). If there is no one in the office to receive your work, you may leave it in the office of Rachel Breitinger (office 204) but please leave a note with your name on the package so that we will know who it is from.


Shipping: Please follow these guidelines when preparing your work for shipment.

  • Select a sturdy box that allows three inches between the artwork and the box wall. The artwork should be kept in a secure position with adequate packing materials. If your artwork weighs more than 25 pounds, please consider a wooden crate.
  • Enclose installation instructions (photos are helpful) if necessary and any printed materials that you would like to pass on to the purchaser.
  • Double box. Shipping companies generally require an outer box in order to insure the shipment. The outer box should allow for a layer of peanuts or foam in a two-inch layer between boxes. The outer box should have labels such as Fragile, Glass, Top, and Up.
  • Please insure your artwork for the stated retail value.
  • Consult with your carrier to ensure that you have met their specific shipping requirements.


For UPS and FedEx deliveries please use this address:

Penland School of Craft
3135 Conley Ridge Road
Penland, NC 28765


For US postal deliveries please use this address:

Penland School of Craft
PO Box 37
Penland, NC 28765


We will let you know when your work arrives. Please contact us if you don’t receive confirmation within 5 business days of expected arrival.

The Auction Catalog

  • A professional photographer will photograph your work for inclusion in the auction catalog. If you have strong feelings about how your work should be photographed or you have developed a particular aesthetic about its presentation, please let us know in the donation details form. You will receive a high-resolution file of the digital image for your own use. A short bio will appear in the auction catalog. Most 3D works will also be captured on video in the round and included in a youtube playlist. 
  • All work and corresponding information must be received by April 1st in order to appear in the catalog and in the benefit auction. Work that is not received in time to be included in the catalog will not be included in this year’s Annual Benefit Auction but will be reserved for the following auction.
  • You will receive a printed copy of the auction catalog. An electronic version of the catalog will also be available online.

Why Donate?

Along with the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to Penland’s future, you also receive these benefits:


Exposure: Over 600 collectors of craft from across the nation attend the auction each year. We promote the event nationally to patrons, collectors, museum curators, gallery owners, and many others interested in craft through magazine ads, email, direct mail, and the auction catalog, which will also be posted on the Penland website.


Auction tickets: The benefit auction will be held on August 25 and 26, 2023. We are hosting a purely in person event on campus this year.  All donated works will be on exhibition and sold during the weekend. Donating artists may attend the auction with a guest. Artist Tickets are non-transferable. You must reserve your ticket(s) before the event sells out. Spaces are not held without registering online. 


Our Deepest Appreciation: The auction is Penland’s major fundraiser of the year and we certainly couldn’t do it without you. Your support ensures that Penland continues to thrive. For that, we are ever grateful.

Register to Attend the Auction

  • Register online to attend the event, registration opens in May. As a contributing artist, you and one guest are invited to attend the weekend’s events free of charge.
  • Reservations are taken on a first-come-first-served basis. Spaces are not held without a reservation. YOU MUST REGISTER ONLINE TO RECEIVE A TICKET TO THE EVENT. Tickets are non-transferable.
  • Reservation questions can be directed to beginning in May. If you have questions prior to then, please contact

How does donating to Penland affect taxes?

Because the school is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c) 3 charitable organization, you are able to claim the cost of the materials of your donation as a tax deduction. Your donation is not a loan or consignment – it is an outright gift from you to Penland School of Craft. Penland promises to handle your work with the utmost respect and care and to keep you updated on the status and sale of your donation but we are not responsible for breakage, theft, or loss.

How is the Annual Benefit Auction different from the session Scholarship Auctions?

The Annual Benefit Auction is held once a year. Artwork is donated by current and former instructors, resident artists, former core fellows, and visiting artists. It is a two-day ticketed event held throughout campus, which includes live and silent auctions, food, music, and exhibitions. As Penland’s largest fundraiser of the year, the event is vital, as it provides funds that directly support studios, instructors, and the student experience.

Scholarship auctions are held at the end of each summer, fall, and spring session. Artwork is donated by students, instructors, and community members. These proceeds fund the Penland scholarship program. Questions about scholarship auctions can be directed to

Will you tell me who purchased my work?

Yes! Your purchaser’s name, contact info, and the sales price will be included in a letter we send to you following the auction – in September.

What if my work doesn’t sell?

Work that does not receive a bid is returned to the artist unless we know of a private patron or interested party that will purchase post-auction. Proceeds from the sale will be treated as if it was sold during the Benefit Auction.

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, contact our Benefit Auction Assistant (, 828-765-2359 x 1205), or our Benefit Auction Manager (, 828-765-2359 x 1204)

Thank you for your support of Penland!