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!
In 1980, Sandra Blain was appointed Executive Director of Arrowmont. She served as interim director since 1978, and was assistant director for 10 years prior to that.
Sandy Blain said, “I look forward to continuing the philanthropic educational tradition of serving people of all ages and abilities in fostering aesthetic awareness through participation in the visual arts. With the Board’s approval of a year round school, peak activity will be generated with the continuation of the well known summer workshop programs of one and two week sessions; specialized media and interest group conferences, workshops and seminars; community classes; artists in residency and University graduates and undergraduate programs available. The hiring of a full time assistant director to begin work in September, 1980, will allow us to carry out our proposed educational programs and expanded gallery exhibition schedule.”
Clare Verstegen was hired as assistant director in the fall. She was chosen due to her past work experience at Arrowmont as a student, assistant, and supporting staff member. Clare also worked as a textile designer and had a strong exhibition record in juried and invitational national shows.
Sevier County Artists Exhibit
The first exhibition of Sevier County artists, in what would become a biennial tradition for the next 40 years, was held in February of 1980. Arrowmont hosted a juried show of nearly 60 local residents in a month-long exhibition. An artist reception was held February 22 with local residents, friends and relatives of the artists, tourists, and a University of Tennessee seminar group meeting at Arrowmont all in attendance. Paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and textiles were displayed side-by-side showing the quality and diversity of work being done in the local community.
Campus Flagpole installed
In a brief ceremony on September 14, 1980, Pi Beta Phi Grand President Jean Scott, four members from the Gatlinburg American Legion Post, the Arrowmont staff and community dedicated the new flag pole to retiring Arrowmont/Arrowcraft administrator, Caroline Mills Riddle. Caroline became administrator in 1973, and worked towards the goal of being a year-round institution.