Retrospective: Penland Auction 2023

Revisiting Penland School of Craft's Benefit Auction 2023

Retrospective: Penland Auction 2023

The following story from the Penland School of Craft Benefit Auction is told in pictures as one of many travelogues from Louise Glickman as she visits towns and cities worldwide, spreading the word about

Each year, a late August weekend brings a glorious few days of art and fellowship at the Penland School of Craft. This is the time to commune with craft artists, collectors, and cultural leadership from around the globe. You will want to know about these artists who will inspire you to learn and love art and the sheer pleasure of mixing and mingling with movers and shakers.

Auction: Meet clay artist Sean O’Connell

I’m impressed and will be following the bold work of Penland School of Craft Resident Artist Sean O’Connell. Penland serves as a springboard for professional craft artists to advance their burgeoning careers. Core residences provide time, space, and new directions from residencies each year in crafts including glass, wood, textiles, metals, mixed media, and more.

Sean O’Connell Untitled Stoneware, slip, pigment

Paulus Berensohn: Penland Personified, From Dance to Clay

I was catapulted into the crafts world of Penland by taking my very first class (bookmaking) at Penland with Paulus Bernsohn. To be forever remembered, this Renaissance man, educator, and author, was beloved by all for his unusual creative insight and his impact on Penland and the world of craft (and dance). He mentored all he met to be inspired, trust our instincts, and use adventure to open our minds (and our eyes!). You can learn more about his life in the incredible documentary, To Spring from the Hand.

Photo Credit: Penland School of Craft
Paulus Berensohn and Jenny Mendes, A Space Odyssey, Clay/underglazes

Hats off to Katheryn Gremley whose long tenure at the Penland Gallery never ceases to amaze. Here, in one of the finest showcases for contemporary craft in the Southeast, the gallery is the showplace for Penland instructors, resident artists, and former students.

Touring the galleries at the Penland Auction

The Barns

Meeting the Residents- Saturday mornings at the Auction always begin with coffee and a buffet that shows off the fabulous food from Penland’s kitchen. Daryl and I chose two beautiful blue mugs from volunteer potter Cat Coulter Lloyd, each a take-home gift for hundreds of guests which they selected from a rainbow of colors. Cat is one of many talented and committed volunteers who keep the annual auction buzzing and always on schedule. Cat’s work focuses on the cultural, artistic, and historic traditions of memorialization. Here, the perfect combination of Appalachia favorites, clay and lace.

Cat Coulter Lloyd’s Mugs

Adam Whitney

How many tools does it take to make magic in metals? Adam Whitney is a Core Penland resident in his exhibit and studio workspace at The Barns. Artists need time to dream as they design and build by hand, available for one or three-year stints at Penland.

adam whitney
Adam Whitney, Photo courtesy of Penland School of Craft

Around Penland and Mitchell County

Mitchell County is a landing spot for many Penland and nationally known craftspersons to show their work. Meet Andy Palmer who owns In Tandem Gallery in Bakersville, a gallery immersed in craft from artists in Western North Carolina and other art hotspots. Across the street, MICA is a favorite for collectible crafts. This established co-op provides a unique introduction to regional talent, who all work regularly at this outstanding co-op.

TREATS, Coming Soon to Spruce Pine

Special thanks to Morgan Hill and friends I have met along the way through Penland including Jean McLaughlin (printmaking), Vicki (weaving), and Dan Essig (bookmaking), and their hardworking friends. TREATS will be finished renovations soon but you can still drop by now to see selected works and meet the artists.


Central to these photo collages are the many fine artists and craftspersons you will want to meet at different stages of their careers. To get to know and appreciate art, talk to artists wherever you go to learn about their content ideation, studio process, and careers in contemporary art and craft.