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!
Multiple events took place at Arrowmont when the summer craft workshops were not in session, including an American Crafts Council – South East Workshop in February, the Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage in April, and two Community Class courses in February and March.
Dick Daehnert taught textiles and Harriett Gill taught off-the-loom weaving techniques in two 10-week sessions, meeting weekly on Monday evenings. About 40 students participated.
The campus was improved through the addition of new kitchen and dining room equipment: hot and cold buffet carts, dish caddy, refrigerator, freezer, larger ice machine. Added to the commercial dishwasher provided in 1974, the Arrowmont kitchen was able to serve approximately 500 meals per day in the summer “with smoothness and efficiency.” It was still necessary to have two meal shifts to seat all of the students attending workshops, however.
Arrowmont added a new small dormitory by converting the “Watson House” in 1975. The house was originally the home of the Andrew Ogle family when the Settlement School was first established in 1912. The building was converted into the first Health Center for the community. The Health Center facilities were relocated to a new building in 1948, and the cottage became a home for the family of Orlie Watson, caretaker for the property. The Watsons’ three sons, Neal, Warren, and Grant, grew up in the house. Mrs. Josephine McCarter Watson wove for the Arrowcraft Shop for 25 years and passed away in 1970. After Orlie Watson’s death in 1973, the Board of Governors approved remodeling the building for use as an Arrowmont dormitory. In the fall of 1974 the ‘new’ Watson House was formally dedicated, and the dormitory was used to house eight graduate student assistants for Arrowmont’s 1975 summer workshop season.
At the close of the summer sessions in 1975, Arrowmont hosted the second U.S. International Ceramic Symposium. 16 artists from eight foreign countries came to Gatlinburg for intensive work and sharing of their skills and experience. The Symposium opened August 20 and culminated in an exhibit and banquet September 15. Sponsors for the Symposium were the Tennessee Arts Commission; the National Endowment of the Arts; Arrowmont; the Department of Crafts and Interior Design, the University of Tennessee; and various suppliers and manufacturers of ceramic materials.