New sculptures and photographic art at Penland Gallery, Oct. 6-Nov. 18

"Ouroboros 13," gunpowder-generated silver gelatin print by Christopher Colville, courtesy of Penland Gallery

Press release from Penland School of Crafts:

The Penland Gallery has a new exhibition that features work by sculptor Maggie Jaszczak, who uses materials such as leather, fabric, and wood to create objects that are both familiar and unfamiliar. Her work will be joined by that of Christopher Colville, who makes imagery using photographic materials without using cameras. The show, which is a part of Penland’s “Conversation” series, is titled “Pneuma” from a Greek word meaning “soul” or “life force.” It runs through November 18 with an opening reception on Saturday, October 6, from 4:30 – 6:30 PM.

In describing Maggie Jaszczak’s sculptures, which use recognizable forms such as fans, troughs, or combs, artist Christina Shmigel wrote, “The mystery and the eeriness of Maggie’s objects is that they evoke something far beyond the functional artifacts they resemble. Hovering around each of them, as both a presence and an absence, is a palpable sense of some intangible consciousness.”

Christopher Colville’s images are created through a remarkable process that involves carefully controlled ignitions of gunpowder on photographic paper. These tiny fires expose the paper, creating imagery. Colville controls the imagery through careful placement of the gunpowder and selectively blocking parts of the paper. The results are expressive, graphic, and otherworldly.

Running concurrently with this exhibition is a smaller show of titled “Bright House” that presents vividly colored pottery by Eleanor Anderson and equally vibrant work in wood by Ellie Richards. The Visitors Center Gallery has an ongoing display of objects that illuminate the history of Penland School, and the Lucy Morgan Gallery presents a selection of work by dozens of Penland-affiliated artists. Outside the Penland Gallery are large sculptures in stone and steel by Daniel T. Beck, Hoss Haley, and Carl Peverall, plus a structure designed by artist Meredith Brickell that invites visitors to stop for a few minutes and observe the clouds.

The Penland Gallery and Visitors Center is located at Penland School of Crafts on Conley Ridge Road, just off Penland Road in Mitchell County (near the town of Spruce Pine). It is the first building on the right as you enter the Penland campus. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM and Sunday, Noon-5:00 PM; it is closed on Mondays. For more information call 828-765-6211 or visit

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