Core Fellowship Program: 2-year craft education fellowship

Associated Residency Program

The Penland Core Fellowship Program is a two-year work-study fellowship for early career artists looking to expand technical skills and material fluency while working to support the day-to-day operations of a craft school. Artists of all backgrounds who want to advance their educational goals and explore their capacity to contribute to a thriving creative community are encouraged to apply. The goal of the program is to shape the future of contemporary craft by creating opportunity, connection, and immersive education for early career artists who bring a range of perspectives and goals to the school.

Penland core fellows fully engage with Penland by taking several workshops each year in familiar or new media, and performing integral jobs for the school. Penland’s ever-changing learning environment allows core fellows to study with world-class teaching artists from all over the US and abroad; this is a unique opportunity to create an educational path that responds to individual goals. The program can serve as preparation for careers in creative, non-profit, educational, and entrepreneurial sectors. A measure of the program’s success is the number of core fellows who have gone on to make a life in craft. To date over 200 people have participated in the program, and about 80% are practicing artists or professional contributors to the field of craft today.

Core fellows live and work together and often learn as much from each other as they do from their instructors and mentors. In the process, they have a chance to form close friendships and often become part of each other’s lifelong creative and professional networks.

Residency Length
2 years - 2 years
Average Number of Artists in Residence at a Time
Collaborative Residency
Book Arts
Ceramics/Clay Arts/Pottery
Costume/Fashion Design
Fine Metals/Jewelry
Glass Arts
Mixed Media
Paper Arts
Textile & Fiber Arts/Weaving
Pets are not allowed
Country of Residence
Only open to artists based in country the program is located
Family Friendly
Stage of Career
Additional Expectations/Opportunities
Participate in open studio with fellow residents
Give artist talk or presentation
Accessible Housing
ADA Compliant
Meals Provided
Some meals (at least 2 meals provided)
Residents have access to shared kitchen
Studios/Special Equipment
Shared Studios
Dedicated Studio/Shop Technicians - Full Time
Exhibition / Installation Space
Ceramics Workspace
Electric Wheels
Kick Wheels
Slab Roller
Clay Mixers
Plaster Room
Raku Kiln
Electric Kiln
Gas Kiln
Glass Blowing Workspace
Glass Casting
Dedicated Metal Shop
Heavy Metals / Blacksmithing
Fine Metals / Jewelry Making
Jeweler’s Bench
Anvils, Stakes + Hammers
Hydraulic Press
Soldering Workspace
Gas/Oxy Torches
Acetylene/Air Torches
Soldering Picks+Tweezers
Solderite Boards
Finishing Room
Bench Grinder
Buffing Machine
Bead Blaster
Casting Room
Enameling Kilns
Electroforming + Etching Room
Darkroom (Black And White)
Lighting Studio/Green Screen
Large Format Printer / Plotter
Printers + Scanner
Photo + Video Editing Suite
Painting Workspace (Oil)
Drawing Benches
Printmaking Workspaces
Book Arts Facilities
Etching Press
Glass Inking Table
Drying Racks
Aquatint Box
Hot Plates
Metal Plate Shear
Paper Soaking Sinks
Paper Tearing Table
Acid Room
Silkscreen Studio
Lithography Studio
Large Sinks
Large Exposure Unit
Washout Room
Papermaking Studio
Textiles Workspace
Floor Looms
Fiber Arts Workspace
Dye Area
Padded Screen Print Tables
Hooded Dye Mixing Station
Drying Room
Washer And Dryer
Dedicated Wood Shop
Woodworking Tools
Router Table
Wood Bending Equipment
Wood Vises And Wood Working Table
Studios/Facilities Accessibility
Partially Accessible (50% or more)
Additional Eligibility Information

Applications are reviewed by a national panel of curators, educators, and other arts professionals as well as Penland staff. Panelists rotate each year to bring a range of new perspectives to the application process, and creating a diverse group of fellows is one of the stated goals of selection.

Specifically, applications will be reviewed with the following goals in mind:

  1. Program Goals
    We believe the Core Fellowship Program can shape the future of contemporary craft by providing access to artists who can benefit from what this program has to offer—especially artists who have historically been underrepresented at the school and within the field of craft. 
  2. Collaboration and Group Dynamic
    Core fellows share a house and are involved in collaborative tasks and decision-making along with the normal complexities of group living. They also work and take classes with a constantly changing community of instructors and students. We are looking for participants who can thrive as part of a group and community but also know when and how to step away and recharge as needed. Our goal is to bring together a diverse group of artists with a range of experience, perspectives, strengths, and goals. It is also important that the interests of each core group span a range of media taught at Penland.
  3. Relevant Experience
    Core fellows are asked to do many different kinds of work, ranging from basic physical labor to supervisory tasks. They must be adaptive to changing tasks and situations and committed to working cooperatively and confidently, sometimes with minimal direction or supervision. Penland staff will review each candidate’s application, CV, and reference to evaluate relevant experience (employment, internships, or volunteer work) and specific skills and accomplishments (what kind of work you have done, what contributions you have made, the consistency of your commitments, practical and/or supervisory experience). In addition to work experience, life experience and self-motivation are assets for this program. 
  4. Artwork
    We are looking for work that shows a strong foundation and enough direction to tell us that the candidate will be able to take advantage of what this unique program offers. The review panel will score each portfolio in the following areas: proficient and/or intentional execution; clear/unique point of view; inquisitiveness and versatility; their interest in the work and its potential for growth. Candidates must be interested in working with materials and processes that are at the heart of our immersive workshops.
Number of Artists Accepted in Most Current Year
Total Applicant Pool in Most Current Year
Artist Stipend
US Dollar (USD)
Travel Stipend/Material Stipends
US Dollar (USD)
Residency Fees
Grant/Scholarship/other Funding Support
US Dollar (USD)
Application Fee
US Dollar (USD)
Application Type
Open application