Episode 1

Penland School of Craft: Helping People Live Creative Lives with Mia Hall and Robin Dreyer

Published on: 24th January, 2022

Welcome to the first-ever episode of the Artsville Podcast, where we celebrate American contemporary arts and crafts from Asheville, North Carolina, and beyond! Today, Crewest Studio's Scott "Sourdough" Power is joined by Louise Glickman and Daryl Slaton from the Sand Hill Artists Collective (SHAC) to introduce you to Mia Hall and Robin Dreyer, the Executive Director and Communications Manager of the Penland School of Craft, an international center for craft education dedicated to helping people live creative lives. Located in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Penland offers immersive workshops along with artist residencies, a gallery and visitors’ center, and a variety of community programs. Tuning in, you’ll learn why Penland is an integral part of the history of art and craft in Asheville and Mia and Robin weigh in on the age-old art versus craft debate (spoiler alert: it’s not as black and white as you may think!) We also touch on Mia’s mission to “turn Penland inwards,” how the campus fosters a sense of community, and gain some insight into Penland’s robust scholarship program, as well as how the school seeks to foster a spirit of inclusivity and accessibility for all. For all this and so much more, make sure to join us for this episode of Artsville!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • How Penland is essential to the legacy of art and craft in Asheville.
  • An introduction to Mia and Robin and their roles at Penland.
  • The distinctive structure of Penland and why they historically do not have a faculty.
  • Art versus craft: Mia weighs in on the fundamental differences (and similarities).
  • Robin on why he believes that art and craft exist on a continuum.
  • Mia’s mission as Executive Director to turn Penland inwards and focus on accessibility.
  • Some of the obstacles she has to overcome to make the school more inviting.
  • Get an idea of what it feels like to visit the Penland campus from Robin.
  • How the layout of the campus itself fosters a sense of community.
  • Learn how occupancy and class size has been thoughtfully considered.
  • Insight into the application process and Penland’s robust scholarship program.
  • Robin reflects on Penland as an inclusive rather than an exclusive organization.
  • Hear about their new gallery and visitors’ center and how it promotes their program.
  • Celebrating the patrons, donors, board, and selfless instructors of Penland.
  • Mia and Robin share their favorite stories from their time at the school.
  • Parting thoughts from Robin on the power of craft and continuous learning.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Mia Hall on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/mia-hall-112b4011/

Mia Hall on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/penland_director/

Robin Dreyer on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/robin-dreyer-7180b9129/

Robin Dreyer on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/robinrdreyer/

Penland School of Craft — https://penland.org/

Scott “Sourdough” Power — https://www.notarealartist.com/

Louise Glickman — https://www.louiseglickman.com/

Daryl Slaton — http://www.tailsofwhimsy.com/

Not Real Art — https://notrealart.com/

Crewest Studio — https://creweststudio.com/

Sand Hill Artists Collective (SHAC) — https://sandhillartists.com/

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About the Podcast

Welcome to the Artsville podcast where we celebrate contemporary American Arts & Crafts from Asheville NC and beyond. The Artsville podcast has it all: Painting, Pottery, Weaving, Woodworking, Welding, Glass Blowing and more. Just like Asheville, NC, Artsville is a friendly podcast where good folks like you can discover world class artisans, artists, craftsman and makers who use their hands and natural materials like fiber, clay, metal, glass, paper and wood to create stunning original arts and crafts.