Penland Letterhead

September 25, 2012

Dear Aviva,

I am writing to deliver special notes to you from the recipients of AIDA scholarships at Penland this summer: Amir Friedman and Dana Ben Shalom. Photos of these artists working in their respective studios are also included. We hope that you see and read how much they enjoyed their time at Penland!

Amir, from Ramat, Israel was with us during session four for Jana Brevick's class, Melt. He fully immersed himself in the learning environment of the lower metals studio to experiment with pure metals in a transitory state. He plans to use this knowledge to advance his work in kinetics and jewelry, as well as to begin to create his own alloys. An experienced teacher himself, he was a valuable asset to the entire class.

Dana joined us in the lower textiles studio during session size for Michael Radyk's class, The Rug: Color, Surface, & Structure. Returning to the loom for the first time in several years, Dana explored notions of traditional Israeli textiles while also  learning new techniques. She is currently a professional designer who hoped to use her time at Penland to inspire work for future graduate-level studies. We are so glad that you had the opportunity to see her while you were here!

Dana and Amir were both very appreciative of this opportunity that has benefited their personal and creative lives. We are also grateful for this wonderful partnership that connects talented and engaging artists from Israel with Penland and our network of artists and supporters. To highlight this special partnership we conducted interviews with both Amir and Dana for an article that will appear on our blog in the next few weeks. We look forward to notifying you of this when it is ready to go up.

Many thanks again to you and AIDA, for supporting and helping to enrich the Penland experience.


Jean W. McLaughlin

amir friedman

"If it wasn't for AIDA, I would not have found out about this place. I think that the goal of AIDA is to promote and to help Israeli artists and designers to encounter the world. You can read the textbooks forever, but I'm able to work with different artists face-to-face because of them. It's irreplaceable...I will try to come back's always fun meeting other artisans, but it's even more fun when they come from a different culture."
- Amir Friedman


dana ben shalom
"Many thanks to AIDA; I feel extremely lucky to have been chosen. I also feel like my experience at Penland is really taking my work in a forward direction. Beyond this direct impact of the course, just being here (in one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen) and listening to great art masters, watching them work, and being a part of a creative community that embraces arts and crafts has been an incredibly inspiring experience."
- Dana Ben Shalom


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