North Carolina Newspapers

^ENLAND school of crafts - PENLAND NORTH CAROLINA 28765 ■ SPRING 1993
M y life has been a series of surprises,” said
Ken Botnick, appointed Penland's fifth di
rector by the Board of Trustees in March.
These surprises have shaped his life as an artist,
teacher, administrator, husband and parent.
Throughout his life he has always been involved
in several projects at the same time and this
proven ability to handle multiple responsibilities
captured the imagination of the Search Commit
tee which considered it a good qualification for
director. A recap of his life and his surprises
reveals his other qualifications.
During the years he was growing up in Akron,
Ken often worked for his father's construction
business, doing exterior work such as drainage and
driveways. As a business major at the University of
Wisconsin/Madison, Ken quickly discovered he was
not in sync with the rest of the business majors, but this
background has had other uses in his life. As an antidote
to business courses, he enrolled in some classes in
landscape architecture and architectural design and
found one of his first surprises: he had a talent for design.
But perhaps the most formative surprise was when he
first discovered one could make paper by hand. One day
Ken Botnick ami his wife, Karen Werner
his route to a class took him past the art department's
paper mill. There on the sidewalk, he found some
handmade paper. He was so excited by the look and
feel of it that he went into the building and found
someone who told him that the paper was made from
blue jeans and old underwear!
At that time, the University of Wisconsin was an
important force in the development of the paper and
book arts, centering around the work of Walter
Hamady and his students. It was not uncommon
for people to have a handmade book perhaps
made by a friend. After discovering the paper,
Ken began to be increasingly aware of these
One day he held in his hands a book of poetry,
which had been made by Steve Miller, and felt
a deep response to the synthesis of book, paper,
typography and content. He set out to find the
artist, bought a copy of the book, and made a
friend who has continued to play a large part in
his life. Although not a student of the book arts
at Madison, Ken began making paper with Miller
and developed friendships with Hamady and
others involved with book arts.
After graduation, Ken decided to continue with land
scape architecture. He went to the Conway School of
Landscape Design in Massachusetts where the next
surprise awaited: participation in an alternative ap
proach to education and the discovery of the immense
satisfaction of living and working within a community
of people with similar interests.
A $50,000 Challenge Grant from a New York founda
tion, awarded to Penland earlier this year, has already
been a stimulus to contributors to increase their giving.
Citing Penland for its "creativity and the furthering of
the teaching of crafts," the foundation, which has asked
to remain unnamed, extended the challenge for the
purposes of building a permanent endowment to be a
continuing source of income for the school. The grant
will match on a one-to-one basis each new or additional
contribution up to $ 10,000 between now and June 30 of
this year. The amount eligible to meet the match must
be above any gift made by an individual donor in 1991,
the base year of the Challenge. While the foundation
funds are designated for endowment, the match can be
given for any purpose, such as a memorial gift, a studio
or scholarship fund, or for the Friends of Penland.
Interim Director Connie Sedberry said about the grant,
'This is yet another opportunity to add to the pool of
funds available for upgrading the studios, our number
one goal for 1993-94." Gifts to the 1992 Annual Fund
have already gone a long way toward meeting the
Challenge. Friends of Penland responded in record
numbers to this past year's Annual Fund, contributing
over $40,000 for general operating expenses. Well over
half of this amount fulfills the foundation's requirements
for its Challenge; howeveV we still need $20,000 to meet
the match .
For information about how to make a gift that will help
Penland meet this $50,000 challenge, see page 11 .SO

Page Text

This is the computer-generated OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It may be empty, if no text could be automatically recognized. This data is also available in Plain Text and XML formats.

Return to page view