Enriching lives through art and craft


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!


After being with the School for over 30 years, Marian G. Heard, Arrowmont’s first Director, retired on August 31, 1977.

Miss Heard’s retirement marks the end of an era in which Arrowmont saw both its beginning and development take place under her direction. She has guided the activities of the summer craft workshop program since its inception in 1945.

It was through her vision and leadership that the Arrowmont School is internationally famous today. The school reaches out not only to educators, craftspersons, and students from all over the world, but it has made a significant contribution to the economy and educational advancement of the Gatlinburg area.

Miss Heard has been an inspiring teacher to her students through her sincere interest in them and through her personal philosophy. She has the understanding of and the ability to relate to people of all age groups and backgrounds. She is able to communicate to others how the crafts world can enrich their lives, and she has a genuine compassion for people everywhere.


To honor Marian Heard, the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women established the Marian G. Heard Library Fund, designed to provide additional books and periodicals for the Arrowmont School library, also named in Marian Heard’s honor.

The Tennessee Arts Commission also funded at grant to Arrowmont to add a year-round librarian to the permanent staff.

Ray Pierotti served as Director for year following Marian Heard’s retirement.

Community Classes were offered in photography, pottery, watercolor painting, and weaving in the spring and fall of 1977. Classes offered were those most requested in response to a community survey made through a questionnaire in the local press.


Photography for beginners and intermediates was taught by Jim Ayers. Gary Gerhart, a production potter in Gatlinburg who supplied mugs and other items for Arrowcraft, taught beginning and advanced pottery. Watercolor painting was taught by Ken Schulz, a nationally respected artist who depicted the Smokies and other Americana scenes. Former Arrowmont student and well-known area weaver, Judi Gaston, was instructor for the off and on loom weaving class. Janis Fraley instructed the first craft workshops offered to children, fifth – eighth graders.


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