Enriching lives through art and craft


Part two of an interview with Faith Edwards, Arrowmont’s 2023 Summer Studio Intern, and Kelly Hider, Director of National Programs at Arrowmont.

KH: Tell us one funny, and one magical story from your time here at Arrowmont.

FE: I have gotten to share many funny moments with the staff and students here at Arrowmont. One thing that comes to mind is watching a bear on campus scratch her bum on the dumpster while her cubs were running around and wrestling. My class was watching this happen outside of the window of our classroom and we all were laughing so hard. That bear had no worries in the world and honestly, I aspire to live like that!

A magical moment would be my birthday. I was surrounded by so much love and appreciation from everyone here at Arrowmont, who gave me cards, a cake, flowers, hugs. I think it really shows the spirit of Arrowmont and how much they value not only their staff but also the students, teachers, and their community. Although I was spending my birthday away from home, I felt like I was with my second family.

KH: Towards the end of your internship, you were able to take part in two National Workshops as a student. What workshops did you take and how did they impact you?

FE: I was able to take part in Lynette Youson’s Sweetgrass Basket Weaving workshop and Kenya Miles’ Natural Dye and Pigment class! Although I focused on ceramics in my last few semesters before graduating from undergrad, here at Arrowmont I wanted to take workshops that were new to me and outside of my comfort zone. I was honored to learn the rich history of Charleston, South Carolina sweetgrass basket weaving from a fifth-generation weaver. She shared many stories about her family and how she has gotten to where she is today. Kenya’s class taught me to look at the world in a different way. There are so many colors in the world as well as alternative tools we can use to create our own mediums like watercolors, gouache, and oil paints. Both classes were deeply enriching to me and my practice, and I look forward to incorporating them into future projects.

KH: What have been the most valuable thing you’ve learned during this internship at Arrowmont?

FE: I’ve learned that community is the biggest part about being an artist. Having the opportunity to connect with others inside and even outside of your practice is so valuable. It is with these connections that doors can open in the future and new opportunities arise. I also learned that dealing with burnout in your studio practice is something many artists struggle with. When Taylor Robenalt spoke about this in her artist presentation it really resonated with me, and I appreciated her honesty in that moment.

KH: How has your experience at Arrowmont as the 2023 Summer Studio Intern impacted you or potentially your career or life plans?

FE: I could speak for hours about how much this opportunity has meant to me.

I truly believe that this internship saved my art practice.

Before coming to Arrowmont I was dealing with burnout and feeling a little lost. Arrowmont has been a beacon of light in my life. I am leaving here feeling ten times more inspired than when I arrived. I have a long list full of opportunities such as residencies, potential MFA programs, and other great resources for artists that I am looking forward to exploring. I have acquired a handful of new skills that I gained while working alongside the technicians. I have so many new friends that I have created strong connections with, including staff, instructors, and students at Arrowmont. I have realized that I love “living and learning communities” like Arrowmont and will be seeking similar work environments in the future. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity, and I look forward to returning to Arrowmont in the future!

KH: Faith – you have been a truly important part of our studio team here at Arrowmont this summer. What a pleasure it has been to work with you and get to know you – thank you for sharing your hard work and sweet spirit with all of us at Arrowmont!

ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation Arrowmont is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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