Penland School of Craft receives grant for gallery improvements

Press release from the Penland School of Craft:

Penland School of Craft is pleased to announce a $7,850 grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership for a historical timeline in the Penland Gallery and Visitors Center and key signage on the campus.

The Gallery and Visitors Center are located in the recently renovated Horner Hall, which was built in 1938 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the first building visitors reach as they enter the Penland campus and has long served as the gateway to Penland School. The Penland Gallery, one of the finest showcases for contemporary craft in the Southeast, is an educational resource for visitors, students, and the public and draws approximately 10,000 visitors each year.

Along with sales and exhibition spaces, the facility includes the Visitors Center Gallery, which presents rotating displays of objects, photographs, and texts that tell the history of Penland School. A graphic timeline of the school’s history has long been a popular feature of this display. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area grant has helped fund a revised and updated version of the timeline, which places Penland’s history into the context of the American craft movement in the 20th and 21st centuries, including significant events that occurred at Penland, in the region, and in American craft more broadly.

The grant has also helped fund a new campus entrance sign in front of Horner Hall. The sign will be made of CorTen steel and stainless steel. It was designed by former Penland resident artist Daniel Marinelli who is currently completing its fabrication. The sign will announce to visitors that they have arrived at the Penland campus, and it will reflect the school’s commitment to handmade objects.

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership offers matching grants to provide and leverage funding for new projects across the region that preserve, protect, and promote the rich historical, cultural, and natural heritage of Western North Carolina while stimulating economic opportunity.

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