In 2012, the historic campus of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts marked its 100th year as a place of education. The spirit of this heritage permeates the grounds, buildings and even the mountain air. The early years were about general education in a settlement school setting, but curriculum was soon added in mountain handicrafts to preserve skills and provide vehicles of livelihood for area residents. In 1945, the signature summer workshop program was launched during a period of revival in craft education and the school was opened to people from all over the United States who traveled to take art classes in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. Sixty-seven years later, that workshop program has evolved into the extensive summer and fall course offerings of more than 130 classes in contemporary art and crafts.
In a time when many are seeking fresh ways of problemsolving, seeing differently and communicating effectively, Arrowmont offers an opportunity for people of all skill levels to spend a weekend, a week or two weeks immersed in art-making – experimenting, learning new techniques, exploring a variety of media and forms of expression – or simply taking time to be fully focused and present in a creative manner without the distractions of daily life. For some, it is the opportunity to study with leading, nationally-recognized artists who travel to the campus to teach specific workshops and serve as the School’s foundation in ensuring the highest quality of innovative instruction. For others, it is the exceptional, well-equipped studios where students can work safely and confidently in a professional-level environment. For many, it is the daily engagement among a diverse group of people from different backgrounds, coming together to learn and work in a supportive, creative environment.
It has been described as magical, life-changing, inspiring, invigorating and more. This experience, meaningful, moving and affirming, is not something easily put into words. It is different each day and for each individual. The essence of the experience is grounded in exploration and discovery – conscious and subliminal. Whether walking through gallery exhibitions on the way to a studio, sharing meals and laughter, struggling to refine an idea, discovering new materials or collaborating with others, students are inspired by the time spent here.
On behalf of all of us at the School who wake up each day thinking about enriching lives through art, I invite you to take the opportunity to experience Arrowmont. Welcome to this creative community. Join us in this special place.
Bill May, Executive Director
Arrowmont is open year-round,
Mon-Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm
Sat 8:30am to 4:00pm
Weekend hours may vary over winter months – please call 865-436-5860 for up-to-date hours.
The Supply Store, galleries, resource center, and offices are available during these hours. During the National Workshop sessions, the School is open seven days per week, including all operational areas and extended studio hours. The galleries, resource center and the book/supply store are also open extended hours during winter community classes.