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!
“Beautiful new Arrowmont is completed,” wrote Executive Coordinator, Lucile McCutchan Woodworth. The Emma Harper Turner Building was completed and dedicated on June 23, 1970.
“It was a day to be remembered by all who were present. The building, airy, attractive and functional, is the second century project of the [Pi Beta Phi] Fraternity, and was dedicated to Emma Harper Turner, one of the most dynamic members. Mrs. Turner was Grand President from 1890-97, and founded and became the first president of the Alumnae Department. In 1910, she became the guiding spirit in establishing the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School, outlining a plan for the establishment of the school in the Appalachian Mountains in honor of the Founders [of Pi Beta Phi].
Completed in June at a cost of $650,000, the new classroom building contains 38,200 square feet of floor space. The varying floor levels were dictated by the topography of its site which is along a foothill of the Greet Smokies. The series of functional levels are connected by ramps.
The complex adjoins the former Craft Center, bringing the total studios to seven, all with outdoor working terraces. The Arrowmont Exhibit Gallery runs centrally between the studios and is 200 feet long with dramatic and effective lighting for art and craft exhibits. On the same level are the auditorium and projection rooms.
Dropping down a level are the library and the patio garden overlooking the mountains. On the lower level are offices, conference rooms and supply areas. The enclosing structure is incombustible consisting of masonry walls faced with native stone, a steel roof frame and cement shingles resembling slate.
Now that Arrowmont is a reality, it will follow the broad outlines of the vision of brilliant designer of craft programs, [Director Marion Heard]. For her dedication to the craft world, for her untiring efforts in programming the new classroom building, and for her ever-present vision, the library-information center in the building was named the Marian G. Heard Research Center.
[Arrowmont] is an institution that is designed to help people of all ages, all backgrounds, all social levels. This is a project ‘perfectly timed with the increasing recognition by our government of all aspects of humanitarian and cultural endeavors.’” – Marilyn Simpson Ford
Arrowmont was commended by the Tennessee Arts Commission for the new building and programming.
Earlier in the year in April, the Southern Highland Guild held their annual meeting at Arrowmont where they honored new Arrowmont Director, Marian Heard, with a Lifetime Membership. The Summer Workshops were “doubled in length with outstanding teachers from many sections of our country participating.” After 25 years of Summer workshops, 1970 marked the inaugural year for year-round programming.