Just 4 Minutes Away from Penland School of Crafts
Please note, once students begin receiving letters of acceptance from Penland Conley House typically books very quickly.
Penland Gallery is open March to early December, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am -5:00 pm or
Sunday from NOON -5:00 pm,
Penland School Tours & Visiting Campus
From Penland's website:
Vistors are always welcome at Penland. However, to preserve the intense educational atmosphere of our classes, the teaching studios are generally closed to the public when classes are in session. The Penland School Gallery and Visitors Center is our educational center for the general public. Because access to the studios is limited, we created this sales and exhibition center to give our visitors a look at work created by artists associated with the school. The crafts shown and sold at the gallery are made by current and former instructors, students, and resident artists.
Visitors are welcome to walk through the grounds. Of special interest is the Craft House, one of the largest log structures in North Carolina. Tours of the campus are available Tuesdays at 10:30 am and Thursdays at 1:30 pm. Reservations are necessary; please call (828) 765-6211 if you are interested in a tour.
You are also welcome to visit The Barns, which houses the studios of the Penland's resident artists: fulltime craftspeople who live and work at the school. Although the resident artists do not keep specific hours, you will usually find someone working at The Barns.
Conley House is just minutes away from Penland School of Crafts, the oldest and largest craft school in America. As a matter of fact we are located at the other end of the same road!
Incidentally, the site of what is now called Conley House was originally selected by Bill Brown, the second and one of the longest tenured directors of Penland school. He chose the spot because of its tremendous view and its proximity to the school. Originally two cabins, Brown worked with Doug Sigler and friends to turn them into a home for his family. The studio is original and is thought to predate the house. The office above was used by his wife for dance and therapy.
Penland School has a beautiful campus that is inspirational with a blend of historic and modern architecture. It is a must see for the area! The school was founded in 1929 by Lucy Morgan. It was a craft-based economic development project that taught weaving to the women in the region to help them earn money to support themselves and their families. Lucy Morgan retired in 1962, when she was succeeded by Bill Brown, (Read more about Bill Brown and his connection to Conley House). Brown was director for twenty-one years. In that time he updated and expanded the school's offerings, added longer fall and spring sessions, and created resident artist programs at the school - essentially creating the school as we know it today. Penland encompasses about 400 acres, 51 buildings, and more than 1,200 people come each year seeking instruction.
Classes are taught in books and paper, clay, drawing and painting, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking, textiles, wood, and other media.