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Leslie Noell is an artist, designer, and educator who currently works at Penland School of Crafts as director of programs. She earned a degree in graphic design from NC State University College of Design and an MFA in artisanry from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Leslie studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and spent two years as a core fellowship student at Penland School of Crafts. She has been a resident artist at Caversham Press (Kwazulu Natal, South Africa), Jentel Artist Residency Program (Banner, WY), and the Winter Print Residency at Penland. Her work has been shown throughout the country in a number of exhibitions including the Hickory Museum of Art, Holter Museum of Art, Asheville Art Museum, and Mobile Museum of Art.

Leslie’s studio work has explored a range of media and process from drawings and prints to installations and objects. Themes trace the fine line between permanence and impermanence, clarity and opacity, real and imagined space. Her work is minimalist in feel and direct in means. She strives for a balance of refinement and touch. Though days in the studio are rare, creative concerns are a constant.

Lecture topic: Art After Art School: Myths, Opportunities, Words to the Wise

Words from Leslie:

I will give a quick overview of my own path as an artist/designer and talk about how an odd mix of skills and experiences led me to my current job as director of programs at Penland School of Crafts. This position requires me to assume many roles—mentor, critic, curator, art director, diplomat, and administrator—often switching from one to another several times throughout each day. From this perspective I will share observations and offer practical advice on everything from studio practice and writing to applying for residencies and building community. Myths will be named and discredited. Opportunities will be presented. In the end, I will pose some questions to you and hopefully answer some of yours.

This talk might be especially relevant to you if you are defining or redefining creative and professional goals—asking yourself the hard questions like why? and what’s next? It is also intended to be helpful to anyone—educator, mentor, administrator, or fan—who is working in support of artists and the creative process.

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