Read below for details on this year’s 38th Annual Penlands Auction. You can also listen to our first podcast episode to learn more about the school’s purpose in helping people live creative lives.
Penland School of Craft will host its 38th annual benefit auction on August 25 and 26. This gala weekend on the Penland campus is the renowned craft school’s largest public event and most important fundraiser of the year.
The weekend starts with a Friday afternoon reception in the Penland Gallery, which will feature a three-person show in the exhibition hall, a special show of contemporary jewelry, and the sales gallery with work in many different media by artists affiliated with the school. This will be followed by artist demonstrations in Penland’s clay, glass, and iron studios.
The event continues with exhibitions of the auction work, two silent auctions, and a live auction conducted by auctioneer Jesse Miller. On Friday evening there will be a cocktail party with substantial hors d’oeuvres. Saturday morning brings an open house at the studios of Penland’s resident artists accompanied by beverages and light breakfast fare. Guests will be invited to select a handmade souvenir mug. The Saturday afternoon live auction will be preceded by a catered luncheon under the festive auction tent.
Between the three auctions, 182 pieces will be sold with all proceeds benefitting Penland’s educational programs. The work will include pieces in clay, glass, metals, textiles, wood, book arts, and two-dimensional media including photography, printmaking, drawing, and painting. Included are outstanding craft artists such as metalsmith Tanya Crane, wood sculptor Sylvie Rosenthal, glass artist Hayden Wilson, mixed-media sculptor Daniel Essig, steel sculptor Hoss Haley, potter Courtney Martin, photographer James Henkel, and weaver Catharine Ellis.
During the weekend Penland will honor blacksmith, sculptor, teacher, and mentor Elizabeth Brim as the 2023 Outstanding Artist Educator. Brim began her career in metals with a Penland workshop in the 1980s. Since then she has become one of the most prominent artists working in the realm of forged steel sculpture. Through her workshop teaching and many friendships, she has instructed and inspired hundreds of blacksmiths.
Tickets for the weekend are $395. A ticket for Friday only is $255, and Saturday tickets are $285. Absentee bidding is available for all auction pieces for a fee of $25, which includes a beautiful auction catalog. Complete information about the Penland benefit auction is available at penland.org/auction. You can also call 828-765-2354, ext. 1209.
All proceeds from the event support Penland studios, scholarships, and other programs.