Happening this Week: the Penland School of Crafts Annual Benefit Auction

Penland School

This weekend, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, will be hosting its 30th annual benefit auction. The sold out event will feature (and auction off) some of the nation's best in clay, glass, fibers, artists books, sculpture, photography and mixed-media. The two-day fête, which I am thrilled to be attending, includes cocktails and dining. Each year, Penland features an artist to produce the signature piece for the auction and this year's, by Susan Taylor Glasgow, is a stunner!

[Below] is Penland's  description of this amazing piece:

Our featured artwork, specially commissioned for the 30th Penland Benefit Auction, is the remarkable Coral Chandelier Dress by Susan Taylor Glasgow. This piece is a supreme example of an ongoing body of work that uses sewn glass to create sculptures based on traditional domestic skills. As Susan explains in her artist statement, “Somehow I embraced domesticity in feminine spirit but not in action. And, of course, I feel guilty about not being a good wife. Misguided domestic talents eventually grew into concepts of sewing an unyielding medium, baking inedible creations, and stitching glass clothing no one can wear. Housekeeping is last, while instead I cook, arrange, and sew glass.”

In conjunction with this auction, fiber artist and Penland instructor Jo Stealey wrote about Glasgow’s work: “Susan Taylor Glasgow re-examines the utopian concept of ‘domestic bliss’ and the ‘complex dichotomy of women’s roles within the household’ in the 1950s United States through the lens of twenty-first century feminism. Her work comments on history as much as on today’s nostalgia for a flawed but fetishized past. Her sculptures are three-dimensional glass and mixed media collages. They are often embedded with advertising text and imagery appropriated from magazines, movies, and media-related memorabilia, which highlight the domestic standards of the time.

“Glasgow started her creative career as an independent clothing designer and seamstress before delving into work with the slumped, sewn glass that has become the hallmark of her oeuvre. She says of her glass fashion: ‘I have always seen a similarity between glass and fabric. I am attracted to the fluid nature and transparency of both materials. I work with glass in the same way I would with fabric. Imagining how the glass will drape and flatter the form, I select color, components, and sometimes text to create a mood or narrative. I enjoy incorporating feminine ideals and skills to a material that is hard and unyielding yet seductive at the same time."