Burnsville Spotlight: Penland School of Craft
Penland School of Craft:
A Rich Resource for the Artists Among Us
Western North Carolina contains a bounty of superb and stand out resources for the artists and art lovers among us. Perhaps one of the best known, Penland School of Crafts, is located in Burnsville, NC - just a short drive from Asheville. For those of you as yet unfamiliar with this amazing area resource, we've put together a little fact sheet for your convenience. For even more activities near Penland, check out the Carolina Mornings Burnsville Area Guide!
Penland School of Crafts - A History Based in Creativity
Penland School of Crafts dates back to 1929, when it was founded by Lucy Morgan (always known affectionately as "Miss Lucy”). The inspiration for the school came in the form of a short, three month weaving class that Miss Lucy had taken in 1923. When she finished, she began the Penland Weavers, a program which provided local women with the materials needed to produce goods, then actually marketed those handwoven goods as a means of furthering the careers of these area women. Over the next few years, Penland would see the addition of an expert weaver, several out of state students, and organized classes. Penland School of Craft had been born.
A Powerful Mission
Penland continues to support artistry with caring, passionate instructors and hands-on, fully immersive classes. The formal mission of the school is to "support individual and artistic growth through craft.” These crafts include book and paper making, glass work, metal work, drawing, printmaking, weaving, and so many more. The program values the handmade item so profoundly that visitors are left with a sense of community inter-connectedness - the work, the instructors, and the students are stimulating, their work transformative, and the campus stunning. It is a fantastic day trip for history buffs, families, artists, or those just simply passing through.
Visit the Gallery
Because classes are so immersive, visitors will often find that access to the studios is limited. When classes are in session, the students and the instructors prefer to remain undisturbed so as to not disturb the creative process. Because of this limited access, the school created a Gallery and Visitors Center as a kind of educational center for the general public. Work by artists associated with the school is sold in the space and visitors can leave with a one of a kind artifact - a memento to remember this powerful education center nestled in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains.
Carolina Mornings offers dozens of rentals in the area. For a Burnsville location, check out Lookout Peak - a stunning three bedroom home located atop Slickrock Mountain in the Mountain Air Country Club Community. With breathtaking views of the Pisgah National Forest to a fully equipped kitchen, Lookout Peak is the perfect location for a WNC Mountain Retreat. For a slightly smaller location, Mountain Air Country Club is the perfect choice. Situated at an elevation of 5,000 feet, Mountain Air Country Club offers arresting views of the mountains and valleys below.