Craft Arts Galleries

Penland Holds Benefit Auction August 11–12

The Penland School of Crafts hosts its 32nd Annual Benefit Auction on August 11 and 12 on the historic Penland campus. The gala weekend event includes live and silent auctions, food, receptions at the Penland Gallery and the studios of Penland’s resident artists, and displays of work donated by Penland’s current and former instructors, resident artists and core fellows. Absentee bidding is available and all proceeds benefit the programs of Penland School.

The featured artwork this year, by Vivian Beer, is a metal bench titled Anchored Candy #7 featuring Beer’s characteristic swooping lines and gleaming automotive finishes. Also part of the auction are works by potter Warren MacKenzie, ceramic sculptor Eric Knoche, furniture makers Annie Evelyn and Brian Boggs, photographers Mercedes Jelinek and James Henkel, jewelers Tara Locklear and Ashley Buchanan and glass artists Alex Gabriel Bernstein, Kenny Pieper and Dean Allison.

“My work aims to utilize glass in innovative ways to capture and document the human condition and to offer a window of discovery into portraiture and perception of ourselves and others,” says Allison. “For the auction, I’ve created a portrait of retiring director Jean McLaughlin to honor her achievements of the past 20 years. This piece celebrates the impact that Penland and Jean’s leadership has had on the careers of so many artists, including mine.”

More than 200 other pieces in books, clay, drawing, glass, jewelry, metals, photography, printmaking, textiles, wood and mixed media will be for sale. The table centerpieces, which will also be sold during the weekend, are handwoven runners made by six different North Carolina textile artists in honor of Penland’s early history as a weaving school.

“During the weekend the school will honor Cynthia Bringle and Edwina Bringle as outstanding artist educators,” says Robin Penland Holds Benefit Auction August 11–12 Dreyer, communications director. “These twin sisters taught Penland’s very first eight-week Concentration workshops, which have become one of the school’s signature programs.” See the Feature Artists story about the Bringle sisters on page 52.

The auction begins on Friday, August 11, at 3 p.m. with a preview of the auction work, a tribute to the Bringles, a silent auction, dinner and a live auction. Saturday’s festivities will start at 9 a.m. with coffee and pastries and an open house at the studios of Penland’s resident artists. This will be followed by a silent auction, luncheon and a live auction. The weekend finishes up with a reception at the Penland Gallery. The auctioneer is Matthew Haley of Bonham’s auction house in London.

All auction events take place on the Penland School campus in Mitchell County near Spruce Pine, 52 miles north of Asheville. Weekend tickets are $395, Friday tickets are $255 and Saturday tickets are $285. Absentee bidding is available for a $25 fee. Reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, call 828.765.2359, ext. 1204, send an e-mail to auction@, or follow the auction link at

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