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Penland Studio Coordinator Show

BetsyDeWitt

Betsy DeWitt, from Upon Closer Examination, archival inkjet print of a 4″ round photomicrograph

 

Like Batman, Marie Curie, and Wallace Stevens who came before them, our studio coordinators live intense double lives, serving as the veritable rocks for the Penland studios during the day and making their own art (at night? When? How do they do it?)

 

deanallison

Dean Allison, Ally, cast and blown glass

 

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Susan Feagin, Square Bowl, mid-range clay, screen printed slips, sgraffito, colored glazes, 2011. Photo by Walker Montgomery.

 
We’re very excited to announce the opening of the Penland Studio Coordinator show at Green Plum Gallery, 130 Oak Avenue (Upper Street) in Spruce Pine, April 21. A reception will be held on April 25, 5:00-8:00 pm. Artists include:

 

Amanda Thatch (Textiles, works on paper)

Betsy DeWitt (Photography)

Ian Henderson (Metals)

Daniel T. Beck (Sculpture)

Sean P. Morrissey (Works on paper)

Susan Feagin (Ceramics)

Dean Allison (Cast and blown glass)

Marvin Jensen (Furniture)

 

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Amanda Thatch, detail from Begin Again, textile

 

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Sean P. Morrissey, Pile #2, collage on panel, 60 x 30

 

The show, dubbed In the Beginning There Was Marvin: 8 Coordinators, 15 Studios, will be on view these dates and hours:

Monday, April 21: 4-7 pm

Tuesday, April 22: 4-7 pm

Wednesday, April 23: 4-7 pm

Thursday, April 24: 4-7 pm

Friday, April 25: 5-8 pm (reception)

Saturday, April 26: 10-5 pm

Sunday, April 27: 11-3 pm 

 

ianhenderson

Ian Henderson, Partum, bronze, gold-plated silver, ash

 

Some of the works included in this blog post will be on view. Some won’t. Expect the marvelous.

 
 

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Video: Moving Parts

In the summer of 2013, Penland School had an unusual number of workshops that involved motors, switches, gears, Arduino controllers, levers, sensors, mechanical arms, cranks, and other moving parts. Here is a sample of the results.

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Photo of the Week: Community Open House

penland community open house

Saturday, March 1 was a beautiful early spring day–perfect for the Penland Community Open House. Thanks to the Penland staff (especially the studio coordinators), more than 100 volunteers, 560 visitors, Mitchell County Transportation (who provided shuttle buses), Dr. Taylor Townsend, DDS (who bought lunch for the volunteers), and United Way of Mitchell County for a great day at Penland.

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Daguerreotype to Digital: Penland, Photography, & the Triangle

Penland School is well-known for its intensive workshops in clay, glass, metals, and other materials traditionally associated with the word “craft.” Penland, however, defines that term quite broadly, and has long offered classes in so-called “fine art” media such as drawing, painting, and printmaking, along with everyone’s favorite unclassifiable medium: photography. The school is currently in the process of planning and raising funds for a new photography studio and, as part of that effort, is involved in an unusual partnership in North Carolina’s Triangle area: an exhibition/auction of work by Penland-affiliated photographers at Chapel Hill’s Cassilhaus, the home and gallery of architect and community activist Ellen Cassilly and AV systems designer, documentary film producer, and arts entrepreneur Frank Konhaus.

 

spear

David Spear, Juana Paloma, Mexico. Gelatin silver print, 18 x 18 inches
1998

 

Titled An Expansive Vision: Photographers Working for Penland’s Future, the exhibition, which is on view at Cassilhaus until the auction on March 2 and is also available online, features work by 35 photographers who have donated photographs (framed and ready to hang) in support of Penland’s new studio. The photographs vary widely in style, from documentary to nonrepresentational with many stops in between. The methods used to produce the images could almost form a history of photographic technology: several nineteenth century processes are represented along with black-and-white darkroom prints, traditional color processes, and up-to-date archival inkjet prints.

 

JW Cassilhaus Exterior SE View Twighlight MR

 

Cassilhaus (seen above) is an unusual venue—a beautiful private home (located in a wooded area just north of Chapel Hill) that incorporates a gallery and a separate apartment that supports an artist residency. “Ellen and I have a long-time connection to Penland,” explains Frank Konhaus. “We have taken several fantastic workshops over the years and have volunteered for the benefit auction. Penland is a rare place the excels in teaching darkroom and alternative photo processes alongside current digital techniques. We are passionate photography collectors and have developed a vibrant artist residency and exhibition program at our home in Chapel Hill. It seemed like a natural fit for us to mount an exhibition and auction here of work by Penland-connected photographers to help support the future of Penland photography program.”

That future will be grounded in a beautiful new studio designed by Ratio Architects of Raleigh. The conceptual design was led by architect Louis Cherry working closely with Penland staff members and a design committee that included five photographers with close ties to Penland’s workshop program. The goal for the new studio is to allow Penland to teach any kind of photography that has ever existed. It will be a flexible space that will support nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century technologies: from daguerreotypes to digital. The design has now been completed by a team from Ratio led by Jesse Green. It will be part of a two-building complex that also includes a paper-making studio and a large social hall, and the project will include a landscape plan by Walt Havener of Surface 678 in Durham.

Fundraising for the project is ongoing, and all proceeds from the Cassilhaus auction will support the new photography studio. The photographs in the auction can be viewed on this page, which also has information about absentee bidding, viewing the exhibition by appointment, and making reservations for the auction on March 2. Seating for the event is quite limited and it is likely to fill, but there’s room for an unlimited number of absentee bidders. An absentee bid form allows bidders to name their highest bid for any photographs they are interested in. Bids will be placed for them (up to their stated maximum) by Penland staff members during the live auction.

 

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Community Open House

Our studios will be ready for action on Saturday, March 1, when we host our annual community open house. Everyone is welcome to take part in free activities in clay, iron, glass, metals, photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles, and wood. There will be a special paste painting activity, as well as postcard-making in the school store. The Penland coffee house will be serving up special fare, and we’ll have information about our summer workshops and Kids Camp, too.

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More information about this year’s open house can be found here.
 
 

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An Expansive Vision

 

Dan Gottlieb, Bosphorus Ferry Terminal, Istanbul, archival inkjet print, 21 x 21 inches, 2010

 

On February 2, a special exhibition will open in support of Penland’s new photography studio.  An Expansive Vision: Photographers Working for Penland will culminate in a live auction of a wide-range of works by photographers with Penland connections and affinities. Absentee bids are encouraged.

 

Dan Gottlieb’s photograph taken in a terminal ferry in Istanbul (above), is one of the works included in An Expansive Vision. About the photograph, Dan writes:

This piece is part of a long series of (non)documentation of places of deep immersion—in this case, Istanbul. Small cameras act as an extension of my body’s movement, recording not conventional information but my own presence moving through time and place. Light, like memory and time is bent and blurred. The frame is my own design (patent pending), as a way to ‘preserve’ the immaterial in a sort of Riker Box.–Dan Gottlieb

 

The exhibition and auction will be hosted by Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus at their Chapel Hill, NC residence, gallery and residency space, Cassilhaus. If you’re in the Triangle area, an opening reception featuring a gallery talk by Robin Dreyer (whose work is included in the show) will take place on Sunday, February 2, at 2:00 pm. If you would like to attend, please contact Frank Konhaus directly at fkonhaus@kontek.com to RSVP.

The exhibition is also open by appointment leading up to the auction, February 2-March 2. Cassilhaus will host a live auction on Sunday, March 2, and absentee bids are encouraged. Please take a look at the full details for how to place bids from afar and an auction catalog, here.

Below are a few more of the works (and statements about these works) provided by the artists for An Expansive Vision:

 

Alida Fish, Nautilus with Bug, gelatin silver print with hand painting, 16 x 20 inches, 1985

 

This piece was shot in the summer while I was teaching a workshop at Penland. I had Morgan house to myself one afternoon and looked around for inspiration. The nautilus shell was borrowed from Evon Streetman, the pods and the beetle I found near the porch steps. For me this work symbolizes the beauty and inspiration I often find at Penland. It was printed in the darkroom: it is a black and white silver print. The insect is hand-painted with enamel paint.–Alida Fish

 
 

John Pfahl, Big Dipper (Charlotte, North Carolina), archival inkjet print, 8 x 10 inches, 1976

 

This photograph is part of the Altered Landscape series. About a dozen workshop participants helped set up sparklers in a cornfield near the home of photographer Martha Strawn.–John Pfahl

 
 

David Spear, Juana Paloma, Mexico, 1998, gelatin silver print, 18 x 18 inches, 1998

 

This photograph was made in the desert along Highway 59, the main North/South highway in Mexico near the city of Matahuala. I saw this young girl with the raven lying on the ground sleeping, the raven tied to a stick next to her. I asked her mother if I could make a photograph and she agreed. Juana stood up and held the raven. I made several photographs. Later in the darkroom, I could see that the resulting photograph was quite startling. Innocence and innocence lost all at the same moment, the heroic face set against a hard world. She touches people in ways that they have not plumbed. She brings out the goodness in people here.–David Spear

 

An Expansive Vision: Photographs Working for Penland’s Future features work by Kyle Bajakian, Courtney Dodd, Chris Peregoy, David Spear, Ralph Burns, James Henkel, Benjamin Porter, Jim Stone, Shane Darwent, Russell Jeffcoat, John Pfahl, Evon Streetman, Robin Dreyer, Keith Johnson, Brook Reynolds, Harry Taylor, Dan Estabrook, Naima Merella, Holly Roberts, Sarah Van Keuren, Alida Fish, E. Vincent Martinez, Linda Foard Roberts, Caroline Hickman Vaughan, Lisa A. Frank, Elizabeth Matheson, Alyssa C. Salomon, David H. Wells, Dan Gottlieb, John Menapace, MJ Sharp, John Woodin, David Graham, Jeannie Pearce, and Jerry Spagnoli–and is sponsored by Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus, Jefferson Holt, Light Art+Design, Barbara McFadyen and Douglass Phillips, Kaola and Frank Phoenix, and Allen Thomas.

 

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Photo of the Week: The phone system is still out…

phones

…but we’re working on it. It will be tidier than this when it’s finished. You can still call us at 828-765-2359, but we can’t transfer you to anyone’s extension and you might get a busy signal. Thanks for your patience.

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