Gallery One

Fine Contemporary Craft
Juried by Mia Hall, Executive Director, Penland School of Craft

December 6, 2019 – February 1, 2020

First Fridays, 6 – 10pm 
December 6 + January 3

Awards Announcement
December 6, 7pm

Download the exhibition brochure

Zak Weinberg, Harmony, NC 

When choosing work for this exhibition I perused the many outstanding pieces submitted for consideration and started looking for relationships, threads and themes. What emerged quickly were pairings and groupings that started a dialog with each other either through concept and narrative, or material manipulation. After having identified several, I made that the theme of the exhibition.

In some instances, the dialogue is started with the conceptual driver in one piece and is quickly picked up by another. Doris Kapner’s conversation about female bodies is started in her piece Pear Dinnerwear Panties, but is quickly joined and amplified by Dominique Vitali’s Untitled Hole. Marie Fornaro’s piece Discomfort Object II, which at first glance reads as a distorted quilt but upon further inspection reveals a deconstructive quilt-like structure, rendered unusable by the artist’s choice not to physically connect the pieces of salvaged fabric. The piece is evocative of despair and is quietly questioning long held quilting traditions. Excellent juxtapositions to Fornaro’s Discomfort Object II is Janie Woodbridge’s Double Weave Ombre Block Series and Daniel Garver’s Red Around White. The focus and impetus of Woodbridge’s and Garver’s pieces lies solely in the masterful manipulation of the materials into aesthetically beautiful objects. Zak Weinberg’s piece Harmony acts as another such juxtaposition to Cheryl Prisco’s Adirondack Nude. Weinberg approaches creating a rich visual language by first determining the design, then carefully cutting out the needed components using modern technology. Prisco’s approach is the opposite—to let discarded materials speak and through the artist’s placement forming an equally rich design. One is precise and meticulous, the other is loose and expressive.

I hope you will, as I did, start to see and participate in the emerging dialogues these pieces engage in while perusing this exhibition.

Mia Hall // Executive Director, Penland School of Craft

1st // Gabe Duggan, Weaving 2018, NC
2nd // Kristy Higby, Persons of Privilege, NC
3rd // Eliza Au, Black and White Torus, TX
Honorable Mentions // Alex McClay, If Only, GA, and Gerri Spilka, Say What?, PA


Marie Fornaro, Discomfort Object II, detail, VA

Accepted Works

Claire Ashby, PB1 Spackled, NC

Eliza Au, Black and White Torus, TX

Diana Bloomfield, French Link Handmade Artist Book, Hosta Leaves, NC

Julie Borshak, Yates Mill, NC

Jackie Brown, Aggregate 1, ME

Mitchell Burleson, Something Borrowed, NC

Bongsang Cho, Stellar Brooch, NC

Gabe Duggan, Weaving2018, NC

Judith Ernst, Wings, NC

Marie Fornaro, Discomfort Object II, VA

Daniel Garver, Red Around White, NM

Kristy Higby, Persons of Privilege, NC

Doris Kapner, Pear Dinnerware Panties, NC

Criselda Lopez, Franklin Mountains, TX

Alex McClay, If Only, GA

Lyn Sterling Montagne, Topography of Light, GA

Elizabeth Odiorne, Unsteady, AZ

Cheryl Prisco, Adirondack Nude, NC

Gretchen Quinn, Box Pattern Mug and Box Pattern Platter, NC

Libby Schrum, Beføle Stool (pair), ME

Meghann Sottile, My Crayola Crayon Sharpener, IL

Gerri Spilka, Say What?, PA

Michael Webster, Storm Drain, SC

Zak Weinberg, Harmony, NC

Sarah West, Sounding Board, NC

Janie Woodbridge, Double Weave Ombre Block Series, NC

Dominique Vitali, Untitled Hole, NY

Caterina Zucchi, Light and Shadow and Private Messages, Italy

Bongsang Cho, Stellar Brooch, NC


Mia Hall is the Executive Director of the Penland School of Craft, an international craft center located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Prior to becoming the director of Penland, she held a tenured position at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, first as the head of the Furniture Design and Woodworking department and later as the chair of the art department. Parallel to her career as an educator and art administrator, Hall maintains a studio practice. She holds an MFA in Furniture Design from San Diego State University and has exhibited her works nationally and has work included in several distinguished collections.

Sponsored by Hyde Street Holdings

Schrum-Libby_Image4Libby Schrum, Beføle Stools