Orbits and Fields | Artists Connected to Appalachian State University and Penland School of Craft
August 7 – September 11, 2021
Elliot Earl Keeley
The artists in this show move in a wide variety of orbits around and through both Appalachian State University and Penland School of Craft. Their paths cross one another as fellow students and teachers, as co-workers, co-residents, and fellow community members. They have not all met, but they know one another, in the way that they share common chapters and parallel experiences.
They can all say, for example, that they have watched Appalachian swell over time to become a large public university, where hundreds of teachers teach hundreds of topics. They can relate to finding comrades in their studio classes, tucked as they are within a small city of studies. And they understand that to make things is to push against the mainstream, to create a direction of sail and a space within the wider culture.
They can also remember the first time they found themselves at Penland, tucked into a bend in the road in what felt like the middle of nowhere. They have watched it change and become more physically resilient over time, even as the workshops themselves remained places apart, with a pace and time all their own. They know the way work and making become entwined with talking, friending, eating and wandering. And they can remember the slightly desperate feeling of wanting to retain this type of time and community in their places outside.
This show presents 20-odd artists with connections to two vastly different institutions: a small intentional craft school and a big public university. Their fields trace the scope of work being fostered in both communities. Their work reveals both the richness that can come from time spent in these contexts and the unique visions that they bring to both places.
Orbits: Student, Teacher Intern, Work Study, Core Student, Resident Artist, Staff Member, Community Member,…
Fields: metals, ceramics, photography, installation, furniture design, bookarts, graphic design, collaboration, fibers, time-based works, printmaking, painting, digital design and fabrication, tattooing, mixed media,…