Penland Director Mia Hall to Speak at Appalachian

The Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University will host a public lecture by Mia Hall, director of Penland School of Crafts, on Thursday, Oct. 4 in Rough Ridge (room 415) at 6:30 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union. Preceding the talk, Hall will host a meet and greet in Beacon Heights (room 417) in the union. The event is free and open to the public.

In her lecture, Hall will speak about about her career in the arts and education as well as her vision for Penland School of Crafts. In 2018, Hall relocated to North Carolina to serve as the director of Penland. Previously, she was the interim chair of the Department of Art and Design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she was a faculty member for ten years. Hall was also closely involved with the funding, design and construction of the university's 65,000-square-foot Windgate Center of Art + Design. She worked on the feasibility study and the design development, helped select the architect and construction firm and was the department’s building project manager. 

“Mia has had an enormous breadth of experience in the arts — as an exhibiting artist and designer, as an educator and as an arts administrator. She is a true inspiration for a life lived with passionate commitment to the arts. Her insights will speak to faculty and students across the creative spectrum here on campus,” said Smith Gallery Director Jennie Carlisle. 

Carlisle also said that the talk will offer Appalachian’s creative community a way to build stronger regional and international connections. Penland, located only an hour away from campus, is a premiere international destination for craft-based art making. The work of both Hall and Penland bridges many creative disciplines.

“This is an opportunity for us to not only learn from Mia’s experience, but to better understand the overlaps between the craft, art and design worlds here on campus and beyond,” Carlisle said.

This event is organized by Appalachian’s Art Management program and sponsored by the Smith Gallery and the Department of Art.

Mia Hall’s Bio

A native of Sweden, Hall earned an MFA in furniture design and woodworking from San Diego State University in California, where she worked closely with renowned woodworker and teacher Wendy Maruyama. In 2007 she was hired by University of Arkansas at Little Rock to develop a furniture design program and teach furniture design and contemporary craft courses. In 2016 she became department chair, leading fifteen full-time faculty, four staff, and twelve part-time instructors. Hall’s personal work has mostly been in furniture and mixed-media sculpture which has been included in numerous exhibitions at venues such as the Arkansas Art Center, 108 Contemporary (OK), University of the Arts (Philadelphia), and Blue Spiral 1 (NC), and it is held in many private and public collections. She has served on the board of the THEA Foundation and is currently on the board of the John and Robyn Horn Foundation. 

About the Smith Gallery

The Department of Art’s Smith Gallery is a vibrant contemporary art space, housed in Appalachian State University’s Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. It presents original and travelling exhibitions, features work by faculty and students at the university, and commissions daring new art in all of its forms. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.


Media Contact:
Jennie Carlisle, Smith Gallery Director| 215.421.7118

Mia Hall
Published: Sep 18, 2018 1:57pm