Penland core fellows are at the heart of Penland life, and many of our past core graciously donate their work for the Benefit Auction long after the completion of their time on campus. For this and much more we can't thank them enough.

In this 2015 Penland Benefit Auction e-news we feature work by two artists who also happen to be former core students: Daniel T. Beck and Sarah Rachel Brown. Scroll below to read more and view their auction works.

Tickets to this year's auction--August 7-8--are now available online here. Reserve by April 30 and you will be entered to win two tickets to the Biltmore in Asheville.


Daniel T. Beck, Entry
Painted steel20 x 12 x 8 inches
Featured work of the 2015 Penland Benefit Auction
Retail value: $1,200.00


"'I call it a soft square, like a 50's TV set,' says Daniel Beck, Penland's iron studio coordinator and former core fellow. It is a form that repeatedly finds its way into his hollow-formed steel sculptures. It is a gentle thing, this shape, with a softness that makes you want to knock it with a knuckle before you'll concede that it's made of steel. This is one of many tensions waiting to surprise you in Daniel's work. Nimble, efficient construction somehow produces visual heft in one piece and cloud-like lightness in another. Downy white surfaces can look like porcelain. Or is it plaster? Or maybe paper?


Daniel's sculptures may be direct and spare, but they aren't simple, and they certainly aren't easy. Complex, intersecting curves come together with no trace of the many laborious hours required. "The process has to be challenging enough to hold my attention," he says in the quiet, 'bring-it-on' attitude that makes Daniel one of the most beloved members of our mountain community. He makes it look easy, but don't be fooled. And don't be fooled the next time you see a soft, pillowy form taking shape among the clangor and coal dust of the iron studio. It's probably Daniel's deft hand at work. What might look like steel imitating other materials is actually the work of someone fluent in the wide range of expressions this metal is capable of." -Ian Henderson




Sarah Rachel Brown, Immersion Series: White Stone
Sterling silver, glass, patina
Chain: 24 inches; pendant: 1 x 1 x 1/2 inches
Featured work of the 2015 Penland Benefit Auction
Retail value: $875.00


"Sarah's recent tenure as a core fellow was marked with pluck, sass, experimentation and triumph with a little adversity to keep it real. Whatever comes, Sarah maintains a clear-eyed vision for her life and her career.  If you look closely Sarah's work reflects this. It is innovative and beautiful but there is an edge- the process is part of the story, bumps and fissures are integrated into the aesthetic.  The glass, gleaned from a Penland experiment has been carefully honed, but slight cracks allude to the tension within, not unlike the restless ambitions of a young artist. Sara says she hopes her work helps the wearer feel emboldened.  This boldness is as emblematic of Sarah as it is this necklace.


This piece is a reflection of a time and place, an investment that Penland made in an artist we believe in. This necklace represents a relationship with a talented, hard-working, determined young woman whose star is in rapid ascent."-David K. Chatt




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Penland School of Crafts is an international center for craft education dedicated to helping people live creative lives. Located in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, Penland offers workshops, artist residencies, a gallery, and community collaboration programs. Penland School is a nonprofit, tax-exempt institution that receives support for its programs from the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.