Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Penland School of Crafts

It seems like yesterday that I studied at Penland School of Crafts. I was lucky enough to receive the Betty Oliver Scholarship, that allowed me a chance of a lifetime to be surrounded by other artists working hard in their studios, learn new techniques and processes, and have a window of time to focus on my creative process without distractions. To live and work among so many artists was truly inspirational and motivating. The studio to my left was making books, and the studio to my right was working on photography. Some called it a boot camp for the creative, and others called it the art spa. This shot is detail of the gate outside the Iron studio, I believe it was created by the first class to use the new studio. This is just a taste of what the campus is like, there are gems like this hidden all over the place.

While I was there I studied etching. This is one of my first prints called Saturday Morning. When I wasn't in the print studio I was making notes, lists, and working in my sketchbook. I found myself working around the clock. (When I came home I did nothing but sleep for two days)

I was reminded of my experience there when I opened up the mail yesterday. Penland just mailed out their call for help to support their scholarship funds. Tucked behind all the forms was a letter that started with My name is Melissa P. Hackmann. I am a spirited artist who looked to Penland School of Crafts to grow my knowledge base and find new inspiration for my artwork...

Needless to say I just about jumped out of my chair when I saw my letter. I knew there was a remote chance they would select it, but I was still stunned when I realized my letter had been sent out across the art community. I'm very grateful to have attended and hope my letter will encourage others to support these creative communities that still exist. It certainly made an impression on me.


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