Ah Penland, where to begin..... Here's where, my fellow artists, if you do not know about this place stop what you are doing and check it out. Click on the link and peruse their website. There are artists from all over, working in all different mediums - glass, photography, iron, jewelry, ceramics, printmaking, instillation, the list goes on and on. It is Amazing (the capitol A is indeed intentional). I spent eight days at Penland in April and am still on cloud nine from being there. Its like Never Never Land for artists, except instead of an island there is a mountain and it is filled with creativity, intense work ethic, beautiful studios, and amazing people.
So how did I get involved in this wonderful program? I was lucky enough to be asked to be a studio assistant for a workshop called Architectural Photography Master Class taught by Neal Rantoul, Steve Rosenthal, Peter Vanderwarker, and Nick Wheeler. Also joining the team as a studio assistant was the lovely Mercedes Jelinek, a fellow photographer, friend, and darkroom geek just like me. We all started planning this workshop last fall and were thrilled when we found out the class had filled. Everything just got better when we met the whole crew down in North Carolina and got to meet the people who had filled our class. 11 students total, each with a different background and different approach to photography, all arrived with a great attitude, sense of humor, and an eagerness to learn and be creative in this new environment.
And that is exactly what the week was; fun, educational, artistically stimulating, a swift kick in the ass to create more art. I can not express how happy I am to have been able to be a part of this workshop with the "fantastic four" (Neal, Steve, Peter, and Nick) and to have met such wonderful people including all of our workshop attendees and the other artists that were at Penland. I was so inspired by the constant motivation and passion of each artist I met. It just felt right being there and I am so thankful to everyone who made this experience so unforgetable.
Now to plan my next escape to Never Never Land..... I hope you decided to join me...
"Second star to the right and straight on 'till morning!"