Penland Mountain Comes To Washington, DC

Jean McLaughlin (center) Exec Director of Penland School of Craft visits Washington Glass School

Jean McLaughlin (center) Exec Director of Penland School of Craft visits Washington Glass School

A Penland School of Crafts contingency was in Washington, DC as Jean McLaughlin, Penland’s Executive Director is to be honored at the James Renwick Alliance (JRA)  ”Educator Award” this weekend. Others receiving the biennial award is Jamie Bennett, Chunghi Choo and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Fab Lab.

The JRA presents the award to individuals or organizations in the craft world who have made significant and pioneering contributions in craft education.

Artist Vivian Beer - season 2 winner of the Ellen DeGeneres HGTV show "Design Challenge" joins the Penland crew at the glass school.

Artist Vivian Beer (center)- season 2 winner of the Ellen DeGeneres HGTV show “Design Challenge” joins the Penland crew at the glass school.

Michael Janis talks about his process to the Penland group.

Michael Janis talks about his process to the Penland group.

JRA SPRING CRAFT WEEKEND 2016!

James Renwick Alliance JRA SCW 2016 Join the James Renwick Alliance (JRA) for Spring Craft Weekend 2016 on April 1-3 for a joyful celebration of American Craft.

Spring Craft Weekend is a fabulous three day celebration of works made in ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood…where Craft as Art is explored in many forms. The JRA honors individuals or organizations in the craft world who have made significant and pioneering contributions in craft education.

This year’s Spring Craft Weekend includes a free symposium on Saturday, April 2 at the recently renovated Smithsonian Renwick Gallery – 10:30 am – 12:00pm.

Saturday Symposium panel: Stuart Kestenbaum, Chair, Board of Trustees of the American Craft Council and former Director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, will chair a panel discussion with four renowned artists: Theresa Secord, founder of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance; Sonya Clark, fiber artist and Chair of the Craft and Material Studies Program at VCU; David Keefe, creator of Combat Paper NJ in New Jersey; and Alleghany Meadows, studio potter and founder of Artstream Nomadic Gallery.

Saturday Symposium panel: Stuart Kestenbaum, Chair, Board of Trustees of the American Craft Council and former Director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, will chair a panel discussion with four renowned artists: Theresa Secord, founder of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance; Sonya Clark, fiber artist and Chair of the Craft and Material Studies Program at VCU; David Keefe, creator of Combat Paper NJ in New Jersey; and Alleghany Meadows, studio potter and founder of Artstream Nomadic Gallery.

 

For more info on Spring Craft Weekend & to register for the events – click HERE.

 

 

The James Renwick Alliance is an independent national
nonprofit organization, created to recognize the achievements of
America’s craft artists and to foster scholarship, education and public
appreciation of craft art. Founded in 1982, the Alliance contributes to
the nation’s showcase of contemporary American craft, the Smithsonian
American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.
with acquisitions for the permanent collection, exhibitions support
and education and scholarship programs.

JRA Day December 5, 2015!

jra.day.2015JRA Day is next week! On December 5 at the Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase invite all to see  the work of more than 35 artists working across the craft media. These special artists – including 10 new artists and artists who have shown their work at the ACC Baltimore Show, the Washington Craft Show and SOFA Chicago – will have their incredible work for sale at this free event! 

JRA Day is a one-day showcase for artists who are members of the James Renwick Alliance. This event gives the public the opportunity to see and purchase work by artists in many media.

For more info – click HERE to jump to the JRA Day page. There is also a Raffle – featuring prizes that are works of craft art by local artists – David Fry, Clara Graves, Allegra Marquart, Laura Peery, and Chris Shea.

The James Renwick Alliance is an independent national nonprofit organization that celebrates the achievements of America’s craft artists and fosters scholarship, education and public appreciation of craft art. 

The JRA was founded in 1982 and is the exclusive support group for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, our nation’s showcase of contemporary American craft.  Since its founding, the JRA has donated more than $3 million to the Renwick Gallery, and it has supported the purchase of more than 175 works for the Renwick Gallery collection.

The JRA also supports public programs in craft, including its annual Distinguished Artists Series, which brings craft artists to Washington, D.C. for workshops and lectures. For more information on the JRA, including a calendar of events and how to join, go to theirweb site at www.jra.org or visit on Facebook.

James Renwick Alliance Talk by King & Queen of Pâte de Verre

Artist Talk: Shin-ichi & Kimiake Higuchi

August 23, 2015, 2:00 p.m.

On Sunday, August 23 at 2:00 p.m., you are invited to join the James Renwick Alliance (JRA) for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear and talk with world-renowned glass artists Shin-ichi and Kimiake Higuchi.

Self-taught in the ancient glass-casting technique called pâte de verre, the Higuchis have been called the “King and Queen of Pâte de Verre.” Their work in this medium possesses luster, translucency and shine that seems unfathomable. They have works in major collections around the world. Some of their work will be available for purchase after the talk.

Space is limited.

$25 JRA Members and their guests; $45 Non-members

Address and directions will be provided after registration.

*Due to the website difficulties, the JRA will be accepting reservations via phone, 301-907-3888, and via e-mail, jamesrenwickalliance@gmail.com.

Watch Shin-ichi demonstrate his technique in this short two and half-minute video.
Watch Shin-ichi demonstrate his technique in this short two and half-minute video.

JRA Distinguished Artists Einar & Jamex de la Torre

einar-jamex-de-la-torre-brothers.jra.jpg

EINAR AND JAMEX DE LA TORRE

Glass and mixed media artists Einar and Jamex de la Torre will speak at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of the James Renwick Alliance’s Distinguished Artist Series at 2 PM on Sunday, May 3.

Mexican-born artists Einar and Jamex de la Torre are brothers and artistic collaborators, who moved to the United States from Guadalajara, Jalisco in the early 1970′s. Leaving behind the academic, religious and social rigors of an all-boys Catholic school in 1960′s Guadalajara, the de la Torre brothers ended up in the small Southern California surf town of Dana Point, where they discovered the unbridled joys of co-ed public schools.

bros.delaTorre.washington.glass.schoolWhile attending California State University at Long Beach in the 80′s, they studied sculpture and glass blowing, during which time the artist-brothers began a flame-worked glass figure business. This business was quickly eclipsed when their artistic collaboration began in earnest in the late 1980′s with small mix media works. In the late 1990′s, they began to do large-scale sculptural installations, eventually branching out into commissioned site-specific and public art projects.

de-la-torre-.washington.glass.school

Currently, the brothers live and work on both sides of the San Diego-Baja California border, enjoying a bi-national life style that very much informs their art. Einar and Jamex de la Torre have worked, taught and exhibited both nationally, as well as internationally. Their distinctive three-dimensional work can be found in galleries, museum collections, Museum catalogs, as well as in various public art installations. They are recent recipients of the Joan Mitchel foundation award and the Louis Comfort Tiffany foundation award.

On Saturday, May 2 at 10am, the artists will give a workshop featuring a demonstration of their hot glass techniques at DC Glassworks. To sign up for the demonstration go to: James Renwick Alliance registration page.

Artists Talk – Free and Open to the Public

Date: Sunday, May 3, 2015

Time: 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Location: The MacMillan Education Center (1st floor) at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

For more information, visit their website: www.delatorrebros.com

JRA Panel: The Decorative in Contemporary Craft

The JRA Spring Craft Weekend panel discussion dealt with decorative. In the high modern era, decoration was forbidden; everything was “form follows function.” Craft, however, was often covertly decorative. Now craft embraces a whole range of the decorative, from the conceptual to the riotously ornamental. 

Called the “Best Panel Discussion ever during Spring Craft Weekend” – the talk at the Smithsonian American Art Museum was recorded and is now available online!

Click on image below to connect to the webcast and watch as artist, scholar, and author Bruce Metcalf moderate the diverse panel as they explore the contemporary decorative impulse: its intentions, meanings, and devices. Panel included Ulysses Dietz, chief curator and curator of decorative arts, Newark Museum of Art; Garth Clark, specialist in modern and contemporary ceramic art; Judith Schaechter, stained glass artist; and Molly Hatch, ceramist.. The run time is approximately 1hr 42 mins. diverse panel explored the contemporary decorative impulse: its intentions, meanings, and devices. 

JRA Day December 6th!

Saturday, December 6, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm

jra.day.dec.2014

JRA Day is a one-day showcase for artists who are members of the James Renwick Alliance.This event gives the public the opportunity to see and purchase work by artists in many media. The show features more than 40 artists showing works in Ceramics, Fiber, Glass, Jewelry, Wood and Other Media.

JRA Day is sponsored by the James Renwick Alliance, an independent national nonprofit organization that celebrates the achievements of America’s craft artists and fosters scholarship, education and public appreciation of craft art. The JRA was founded in 1982 and is the exclusive support group for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, our nation’s showcase of contemporary American craft. For more information on the JRA, go to the James Renwick Alliance website: www.jra.org

Saturday, December 6, 2014 – from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Woman’s Club of Chevy Chase, 7931 Connecticut Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD

Directions: click HERE

James Renwick Alliance names WGS’ Michael Janis as Distinguished Artist in Glass 2014

The James Renwick Alliance(JRA) is an independent national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing scholarship and education on contemporary American craft. 

The JRA assists the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in adding to its permanent collection of American craft of artistic significance and superior workmanship, supports scholarly research in contemporary American craft, sponsors public educational activities, and pursues other activities in support of the studio craft movement. Each year the JRA sponsors a “Distinguished Artist Series” when craft artists prominent in their fields conduct workshops and give lectures. The lectures are co-sponsored by the JRA and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery.

Michael Janis will talk about his work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) in early 2014.

For the 2013/2014 season, the JRA have chosen Washington Glass School Co-Director Michael Janis as the Distinguished Artist for his glass artwork.
Michael will be giving a lecture and presentation at the Smithsonian in early 2014, with details to be finalized soon. Congratulations Michael! We look forward to posting the details.

2012/2013 JRA Distinguished Artist in Glass – Andy Paiko talks at Smithsonian. photo by Miriam Rosenthal

JRA Organizes August Penland Tour – Plan Now!

The Asheville-Penland Tour again promises an exciting 5 Days this Summer! The James Renwick Alliance Board of The James Renwick Alliance (JRA), along with Tim Tate and Sean Hennessey - the organizers – invite you to an upcoming summer excursion and art experience, August 7-11, 2013.

One of the most enjoyable arts trips in this country is to the area outside of Asheville, NC – an area dense with amazing studios. This trip will also include the Penland School of Crafts Annual Auction in a stunningly beautiful setting.

Accompanying us on this trip will be Jennifer Scanlan, independent curator and craft scholar. For over a decade Ms. Scanlan was an associate curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. She brings with her a depth of craft knowledge and a scholarly conversation about the works we will see on studio tours and the auction.

The day before we will be visiting the studios of some of the most talented artists surrounding Asheville.This will honestly be the best five-day excursion you have ever taken…at least we are going try to make it that way. We will be given phenomenal access to some of the finest studio artists this country has to offer!

Here is the schedule of events:

Wednesday, August 7

We arrive in Asheville….either by plane or driving down, your choice.If you come by plane we will arrange pick up.  Our base will be the Inn at Little Switzerland on the Blue Ridge Parkway with spectacular views of the valley, a favorite spot, close to both Asheville and Penland.  

Our first event will be an evening welcome cocktail and dinner at the Inn. The price of this event is included in the trip.

Thursday, August 8

We leave at 8:30 am to see the sites of Asheville and visits to some amazing artists’ studios for private tours.  Below is a list of those studios and events 

  • Randy Shull and the River District Artists.
Randy Shull

Randy Shull is an artist who works fluidly between varieties of media, including furniture design, spatial design, painting, and landscape design.  He is highly acclaimed for his rich and sensual use of color and space. A recipient o f many awards and grants, Randy has also had four solo shows in New York in the past decade. His work is included in a number of important museum collections including The Brooklyn Museum,  The High Museum in Atlanta, The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Mint Museum of Craft & Design ,Racine Museum of Art, The Gregg Museum of Art & Design, and Museum of Art and Design. 

Zack Noble

Zack Noble is an artist that specializes in modern sculptural, functional and architectural work. He has taught at Penland School of Crafts and John C. Campbell Folk School. He has studied and worked with noted blacksmiths in Great Britain. His work has been featured in a number of books and craft magazines, and is in private collections across the U.S. 

Grove Park Inn

Lunch that day will be on the beautiful Sunset Terrace of the amazing Grove Park Inn. The Grove Park Inn is a nearly 100 year old historic resort hotel on the western-facing slope of Sunset Mountain within the Blue Ridge Mountains, in Asheville, North Carolina.  The Inn is an AAA Four-Diamond Hotel and has been since 2001.  It serves as one of the most romantic places to stay on the eastern U.S. seaboard and has been visited by many United States’ Presidents and other people of notoriety. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel is an important example of the Arts and Crafts style.

  • After, we visit with Amy Tavern and Joanna Golderg.

Amy Tavern

Originally from Upstate, NY, Amy Tavern received a BFA in Metal Design from the University of Washington in 2002.   In the last two years she has had solo exhibitions at Beyond Fashion in Antwerp, Belgium and at Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco, CA. She has also exhibited in group shows at Sienna Gallery and Heidi Lowe Gallery, among others.  In 2009 Amy received several emerging artist honors including an American Craft Council Searchlight artist.  Amy’s jewelry has been published in numerous books such as New Rings and 500 Silver Jewelry Designs and she was featured on the cover of Metalsmith Magazine’s 2012 “Exhibition in Print.”  Amy recently completed a three-year artist residency at the Penland School of Crafts and just celebrated her 10th year in business.  Her work can be found in galleries around the United States and abroad.

Joanna Goldberg

Joanna Golberg began making jewelry at the age of 13, using fishing lures, beads, and (very heavy!) old coins. Joanna is also a well-known and respected author. She has written four books on making handcrafted designer jewelry–Making Metal Jewelry, Creative Metal Crafts, The Art & Craft of Making Jewelry, and The Ultimate Jeweler’s Guide –all titles published by Lark Crafts, an imprint of Sterling Publishing, Inc.  Joanna teaches jewelry making at noted craft institutions, such as the Penland School of Crafts and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts.  Her jewelry has been published in Art Jewelry Magazine, Lapidary Journal, Ornament Magazine, 1000 Rings, 500 Wedding Rings, 500 Enameled Objects, and 21st Century Jewelry.  Joanna operates out of an amazing studio in downtown Asheville.

  • Asheville Art Museum / Curator Tour by Nancy Sokolove
Asheville Art Museum

Stoney Lamar

Founded by artists in 1948, the Asheville Art Museum annually presents an exciting, inviting and active schedule of exhibitions and public programs.  Any visit will also include experiences with works of significance to Western North Carolina’s cultural heritage including Studio Craft, Black Mountain College and Cherokee artists. Special exhibitions feature renowned regional and national artists and explore issues of enduring interest. At the time of our visit, there will be a Stoney Lamar 40-year retrospective.  Stoney will be joining us to talk to us about the work. At the same time, there will also be a Black Mountain College – New Acquisition show. This should be one spectacular event.

  • Blue Spiral Gallery

Blue Spiral 1

No trip to Asheville would be complete without a visit to the famous Blue Spiral Gallery. This amazing gallery presents work by exceptional Southern artists and object makers in a beautifully renovated building in the heart of downtown Asheville.  The light-filled, 15,000 square-foot gallery spans three floors connected by an open stairway. This spacious setting allows Blue Spiral 1 to offer considerable diversity, affording accessibility to various tastes and aesthetics.  

Now, on to dinner!  We are planning our meal at the spectacular Limones Restaurant in the center of Asheville.  Then back to the Inn at Little Switzerland.

Friday, August 9

Today we will stay closer to Penland, exploring several studios and then joining in the festivities surrounding the Penland auction, which begin at 3 p.m. with auction previews.  Dinner is included.

  • Visit with sculptor Lisa Clague  9:30 to 10:30am

Lisa Clague
Lisa Clague

The distinctive figurative sculpture by Lisa Clague hovers between fantasy and reality –- playful, mysterious, contemplative. “Although the imagery in my work comes directly from my own dreams which, in turn, respond to very personal experiences. I must also acknowledge a debt to the surrealist movement. Artists such as Hieronymous Bosch, Frida Karlo, Louise Bourgeois and Hans Bellmer have been profoundly inspirational“…“My hybrid figures have been influenced by prehistoric art, the “Great Mother” figurines from the Neolithic period, the animal-headed figures from the rock shelter of La Madeleine, and also the bird-headed Egyptian Goddesses and archaic Greek Kouros figures.”

  • Visit to sculptor Mel Chin  11:00am to12:30pm

Mel Chin

Mel Chin was born in Houston to Chinese parents in 1951, the first of his family born in the United States, and was reared in a predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhood. He worked in his family’s grocery store, and began making art at an early age. Though Mel is classically trained, his art is both analytical and poetic and evades easy classification. Alchemy, botany, and ecology are but a few of the disciplines that intersect in his work. In 1989, Mel had a one-person exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. 

Mel Chin

Mel Chin has also exhibited in numerous group shows including the Fifth Biennial of Havana, Cuba; Seventh Architectural Biennial in Venice, Italy; Kwangju Biennale, Korea; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center; Museum of Modern Art; and the Asian American Arts Centre, New York City among others. Mel has received numerous awards and grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Art Matters, Creative Capital, and the Penny McCall, Pollock/Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Rockefeller and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundations, among others.

  • Penland Gallery

Elizabeth Brim

No trip to Penland would ever be complete without a visit to the Penland Gallery. The Penland Gallery – featuring work by artists affiliated with Penland School of Crafts – is a stop worth adding to your trip through Western North Carolina. It is the perfect place to choose a gift, add to your craft collection, or learn about contemporary craft.

Bob Trotman

Lunch this day will be on the porch of the Penland Gallery. Lunch will be a box lunch furnished by the spectacular restaurant Knife and Fork. During our lunch we will have special presentations from Bob Trotman (wood sculptor) and Elizabeth Brim (metal sculptor).

Now it’s on to the auction. It begins at 3 p.m. with the silent auction in the new state-of-the-art facilities in the Print/Letterpress Studio.  Dozens of Penland’s artists will be showing there. Then on to a lovely dinner and wine under the beautiful tent overlooking the valley on Penland’s grounds while the main Friday night auction goes on. After this, it’s back for a quick cocktail at the Inn at Little Switzerland.

Saturday, August 10

The morning begins with coffee and breakfast at The Barns at Penland, where we will be treated to a show by the resident artists here at Penland, always a highlight and much fun. From there we attend a show given by the Core Students where we will see the work of tomorrow’s most promising artists.  On to the Saturday silent auction and artist chats….then on to the main festivities of the luncheon and live auction.  This will definitely be the highlight of the weekend!

  • After the auction we will head to the studio of Anne Lemanski in Spruce Pine.

Anne Lemanski

Through the use of materials such as vintage paper, vinyl, textiles, wood veneer, metal and artificial sinew, Anne Lemanski creates a menagerie of sculptural portraits.

The politically charged content and form of the sculpture happens through the combination of a copper rod armature and hand-stitched “skin.” Anne’s current focus is on the complex, symbiotic relationship between humans and animals, highlighting our admiration for anima ls as symbols, and our exploitation of them to suit our needs.

Afterwards, we head back to the Inn at Little Switzerland, where we will have time to freshen up before a lovely farewell cocktail and dinner party where you will be able to swap stories with the new friends you made on this spectacular trip!

Sunday, August 11
Travel day…..those that need a ride to the airport, we will arrange it.  If you are driving down, and wouldn’t mind taking folks to Asheville and Penland from the hotel, please let us know. 

The cost of this trip is only $625; $75 is a non-refundable donation to the James Renwick Alliance.  You pay the cost of your hotels, meals and transportation (hotel /anywhere from $120 to $200 per night). Meals at the Friday night auction, breakfast and lunch at the Saturday afternoon auction are included. This trip is limited to 20 people. Cut off date is July 1, but please sign up early.

To RSVP, contact Cicie Sattarnilasskorn by email at admin@jra.org or Tel: (301) 907.3888

James Renwick Alliance Glass Fashion Show – Work It!

The JRA Spring Craft Weekend 2013 started off in fine form – opening at the Washington Glass School and Flux Studios for an afternoon BBQ. The event was packed – great to see the artists and collectors mixing it up.

Later, the JRA had the Glass Fashion Show, MC’d by glass superstar Laura Donefer. Laura got the fashionistas whooping it up at the normally staid Women In Military Service For America Memorial.

Women In Military Service For America Memorial was the venue for the Glass Fashion Show

Inside the presentation hall, once Laura Donefer got started, the place went wild… for glass splendor!

Laura Donefer (L) got the sartorial set shaking.
From mild…
to WILD!
The Emperor’s new clothes – featuring Robert Minkoff!
Audrey Wilson was Fierce… Naomi Fierce!
And the crowd went wild!

Later, the models in their creations met with the JRA audience – for chatting and drinks and a pose or two.

JRA ‘Master of the Medium’ Paul Stankard is surrounded by models.
Glass lass Susan Taylor Glasgow was all smiles at first…but then the lash came out…
and our Michael Janis was put in his place!