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!
Over the winter of 1981, the campus was blanketed with snow. In addition to Children’s Art Workshops, students and community residents participated in Continuum ’81, a series of one and two-week workshops, concerts, exhibitions and slide series – expanding Arrowmont’s programming year-round. Community members gathered in front of the fire in the Marian G. Heard Resource Center, enjoyed hot cider and fresh cookies, and listened to Smoky Mountain jazz, folk music, and brasswind quartets throughout the winter and spring. The concerts were helped made possible with support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts.
Modern-day detail shots of Charlotte Funk’s tapestry, “Structural Image,” from the Permanent Collection:
Arrowmont hosted the first Elderhostel program, April 5 – 11, 1981. Elderhostel began in 1975 to provide residential, academic and adventure programs for people above the age of 55. It was inspired by European youth hostels and traveling culture, which did not often account for older travelers. Arrowmont organized a week-long program of craft workshops to support the year-round schedule.
The woodworking studio was enlarged and expanded to create large, outside patios.
For the first time, blacksmith students had a stand-alone studio – a converted chicken coop from the mid-sixties that was turned into a state-of-the-art blacksmith workshop.
Anagama Kiln built with master potter Shiro Otani
Notably, Arrowmont constructed an Anagama kiln in a two-week workshop under the direction of master potter Shiro Otani of Japan. It was the second of two Anagama kilns in the U.S. upon its completion.
Anagama kilns are wood-fired ceramic kilns. To fire the kiln, students rotate on a 24-hour schedule to keep fires burning for five days, followed by five days of cooling. In its first firing, the Anagama kiln produced more than 300 pieces of pottery to the waiting audience of students, University of Tennessee faculty, and community members.