At Penland, we love summer. All the studios are filled with classes. Every couple of weeks we greet a new group of fascinating, creative people. And amazing things are made every day.
But then summer comes to an end and we have a few weeks of welcome quiet. The studios or more-or-less empty (save for a staff or community person here and there, firing a kiln or working on a project in the wood shop). The dining hall is empty. Our studio coordinators and facilities crew lean into important tasks that have been waiting for the moment when they won’t be in anyone’s way. With no students on campus, gallery traffic ticks down a bit. The registration, financial, front office, and development staff keep humming along as usual, but at a slightly lower frequency.
Then, before we have a chance to forget what we’re actually doing here, we’re welcoming students and instructors, beautiful objects begin to stack up on studio shelves, instructors carefully demonstrate and explain, people are surprised by how much they are learning, the air gets crisper, the leaves begin to turn, and it’s fall at Penland again.