Craft Arts Galleries

Artists With Stories to Tell at Penland Gallery

David Chatt, artist

Experience stories through art at Penland Gallery’s new exhibit Personal | Universal: Narrative Work in Craft, on display through Sunday, July 15. The show includes pieces by 11 artists working in a variety of media who have created images or objects that hint at a story.

“This exhibition includes works expressing personal narrative while engaging larger and broader universal stories,” says Penland’s gallery director Kathryn Gremley. “Much like the exquisite corpse parlor game, the artist provides the narrative genesis and the viewer completes the story with their individual experiences.”

The exhibition includes work in ceramic, glass, painting, collage, printmaking, metal, cast plaster, mixed-media and found objects. The pieces are primarily visual and most of them do not contain text, yet they are filled with references and possibilities that suggest something that may have happened or may be about to happen. Works include sculptor David Chatt’s 1982, an iconic boombox cloaked in white beads; Penland student Corey Pemberton’s wall pieces combining paint with photographic images and collaged materials; and Shawn HibmaCronan’s wreath made entirely of used leather work gloves.

“A narrative embedded in an artwork is an emotional and powerful force that connects the artist and viewer,” says Gremley. “The resulting piece has a distinct and soulful energy.”

A smaller show of ceramic work by Jenny Mendes runs concurrently with the exhibit and includes sculpture focused on animal and human forms and highly decorated functional pieces.

Penland Gallery is located at 3135 Conley Ridge Road, Penland. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12–5 p.m. Learn more at

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