2014 Kenan Fellows

Ten UNCSA students and alumni were chosen to study at Penland in summer workshops in 2014. This year's Kenan fellows chose classes in many media, including drawing and painting, hot glass, iron, printmaking and letterpress, metals, and clay.






Astrid Blurr

UNCSA, 2014


“I have a tendency to hold back as an artist, but I donít want to do that anymore. With each new experience I have in art instruction, I get one step closer to breaking the barrier and putting my whole self into each piece. That, I believe, is the essence of a true artist. After Penland my growth as an artist wouldnít be finished, but that experience would hopefully help open my eyes to my fullest potential.Ē


Astrid took Process, Paint, & Performance, Michael Dixon's first session workshop.


Left: Behind the Wallpaper by Astrid Blurr, Exacto blades, pencil, & cow’s blood on paper, 10”x12”







Mikaela Darnell

UNCSA, 2013


“When I visited Penland for the first time I fell in love with the community, the facilities, and the attitude. I felt like I had found a place where creation reined supreme, experimentation was encouraged, and therefore failure was accepted. People weren’t making art to compete with each other, they were making art because it made them happy—coming from art school, I thought I’d found Mecca.”


Mikaela took Process, Paint, & Performance, Michael Dixon's first session workshop.


Left: Uncovered by Mikaela Darnell, graphite on paper, 18”x20”




Mazena Puksto

UNCSA, 2014


“My goal is to learn and practice the use of materials I haven’t worked with before that will help me be a more versatile artist. Learning these trades will teach me how to incorporate these materials into the creatures I’m creating or some sort of miscellaneous object/character that I will be realizing. In the end, being in such an environment where art is being created all around me can only inspire me and form new ideas that

many times are lost in the busy everyday lives that we as

people lose ourselves in.”


Mazena studied Some Assemby Required with Joe BenVenuto and David Walters first session in the glass studio.


Left: The Bug by Mazena Puksto, full body prosthetic, foam Latex, cold foam, fiberglass resin, hide glue, 9’x5’






Olivia Huntley

UNCSA, 2014


“Contrasting my enriching high school experience with such an honest and personal artistic opportunity would allow me to discover elements of myself as an artist that would propel me into solidifying my confidence in becoming a professional artist. Experimenting with nontraditional mediums without the fear of failure will be the turning point for my artistic career and propel me confidently into the competitive professional artistic world.”


Olivia took Eric A. Ryser's first session iron workshop, Methodical Making.


Left: Nature Abstraction by Olivia Huntley, 2012, white pencil, 16”x20”






Cassie Sun

UNCSA, 2014


“The Penland fellowship would be invaluable to me in my artistic journey. Not only would I get to learn a new craft that I have never been exposed to before, which in and of itself is precious, but I would get to do so in an environment that promotes the artistic process. I have always loved nature and the beauty of life, and being surrounded by it up in the mountains is absolutely perfect for me. Nature is a major source of inspiration for much of my work, and being away from the busy hubbub of life means no distractions, just art.”


Cassie studied Surface & Pattern with Linda Threadgill, first session in the metals studio.


Left: Descent by Cassie Sun, cast bronze, 5”





Forest Horsley

UNCSA, 2014


“What I hope to find at Penland is the communication between artists that will really help my art take off. It’s hard to find inspiration when you are so cluttered with your life and responsibilities to yourself and others. I know that Penland is the perfect place to connect my talent and my mind without all the distractions of everyday life.”


Forest took Kristen Martinic's first session printmaking class, Ready, Set Relief!


Left: Stained by Forest Horsley, found objects and acrylic paint, 11”x17”










Sara Behnke

UNCSA, 2014


“When I visited the school (Penland) it was such a strangely inspiring experience, and I felt that the area itself would even be good for me as a young artist. I’ve been to a few workshops as well and they’ve really inspired me to try and be less timid when it comes to working in ways that I’m not especially experienced in: embroidery, textiles, and working more spatially. I want to experiment with the process of creating itself.”


Sara took Painting with Fire, with Nick Schwartz, fourth session in the clay studio.


Left: Found Object Sculpture by Sara Behnke, 18”










Rachel Pendergrass

UNCSA, 2013


“I never want to limit myself to one thing: knowledge is my reason and experience is my driving force. Penland is like a wide-open womb for artists to grow. Having the opportunity to come focus on my work and be able to actively engage with a community full of knowledge and feedback is so rare and beneficial to a developing artist.”


Paige studied clay session five with Thaddeus Erdahl.


Left: Lady With Red by Rachel Pendergrass, fabric, wool, 16”x 6”x 6”





Rachel O'Connor

UNCSA, 2014


“In less than two weeks I managed to fall slightly in love with a medium that had previously only caused me frustration. Due to the support Iíve been given by my Penland family and the encouragement that Iíve received from my instructor, I am considering pursuing an education and career in the arts for the first time in my life.”


Rachel took Charcoal: Burnt Sticks & Beyond with Lara Nguyen during sixth session.












Kate Archer

UNCSA, 2014


“My work draws heavily from these ancient legends, as well as my own ‘inward glance’; the things I create continue to be influenced from what I read, to what I observe in the world. I would like for viewers of my work to be lured back to my page by the way I venture to depict the allure in violence, charm in the macabre, sadness in nature, as well as finding the loveliness in flaws. Ideally they would want to have pieces of my artwork on their bodies, clothing, or walls. The fabulous printmaking courses offered at Penland would aide in my affinity for old, odd, and striking imagery with a bold aesthetic; back with an informed narrative and thoughtful sentiment.”


Kate took Screenprinting with a Fellow Who Makes Fun Rock Concert Posters with Jay Ryan during the seventh session.


Left: Kate Archer, Minotaure, gouache and ink on Arches 300lb hot-press, 13” x 9”