Enriching lives through art and craft

ARROWMONT: 75 YEARS OF CRAFT EDUCATION – 1965

In 2020, Arrowmont celebrates 75 years as a school of arts and crafts. ARROWMONT: 75 YEARS OF CRAFT EDUCATION presents archival images and articles to recognize this milestone. Add your memories to the collection  – click here to send us your pictures and stories!


1965

The Summer Craft Workshops continued to garner national and international acclaim. Holiday Magazine, an American travel magazine that used photo essays to explore travel destinations, featured Arrowmont in their February issue. They wrote,

“[Arrowmont’s] appeal is not economic; it is primarily intellectual. They offer the vacationer the cultivation of learning, creativity and culture in their diverse forms, in contrast with the pursuit of play and pleasure for their own sake.”

The 21st Summer Craft Workshop was the most successful season to date. “Almost all classes had capacity enrollment, all beds were occupied most of the time, and our dining room required constant checking in order to assure the required service. Twenty eight states and four foreign countries were represented this summer… among them teachers from all levels; several art instructors; an engineering student; a dentist who evidently is looking forward to retirement; a director of recreation for the blind; an occupational therapist; an extension specialist in home furnishings; a housewife who writes garden articles and lectures; an architect; a weaving designer; a librarian; several professional craftsmen; three high school students; college students – both undergraduate and graduate. The resulting mingling was amazing.”

Emil Jensen and Jo Hansen work in a 1965 Summer Craft Workshop jewelry class.

Cathy Russell (top) instructs a Craft Workshop student in pottery

Frank Dean, first-time student, shapes clay for the first time. “I feel deeply indebted to [Arrowmont] for making it possible for me to gain a working knowledge of handicrafts and words cannot express my appreciation and praise for the excellent staff. I am anxiously looking forward to the 1966 Craft Workshop – my only regrets – that I did not find the time to take advantage of this golden opportunity years ago.”

1965 was a turning point for the School. The Settlement School phased out the health center and school-year dormitory program, and added more craft workshops for local residents in the spring and winter. Gifts to the School this year included a pair of three branched silver candelabra, $100 give by Mr. A.E. Minor in memory of his wife to be used to buy books for the Craft Workshop library (“the Jeannette Mitchell Minor Collection”) and an electric potter’s wheel from long-time student Dorothy Lexau. Plans were in place to begin construction on a new permanent Ceramic Wing for the School.

Settlement School Director Marion Mueller discusses architects sketches which show a possible development and expansion of the Craft program

Architectural sketch of the New Ceramic Wing studio

Summer Workshop graduate assistant, Trish Crowley, wrote about her experiences from the 1965 workshop season:

“The Workshop was for me a wonderful creative opportunity. With the well supplied labs, excellent instruction, and the beauty of the Smoky Mountains for design inspiration, even the beginner in any of the craft areas will find [Arrowmont] a rewarding and exciting experience.

Away from the complexities and daily routine, the Craft Workshop offered an atmosphere of friendliness, including personal touches of daily fresh flowers, Southern cooking specialties and tours of local craftsmen’s shops. A delight was the vegetable dyeing course, using age-old methods and common flowers to produce colors unattainable with modern dyes.”


ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation

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