Garrett Barnett was a familiar and refreshing face at Arrowmont for many years. He was originally introduced to woodturning when he took his first workshop through the ArtReach program in middle school. Garrett became so captivated with the magic of the lathe and the patterns and texture of wood; he became a regular student in the Saturday Morning Young Adult Classes in high school. During his senior year, he enrolled in the Adult Evening Community Classes working alongside local students all much older than him. His skills and forms quickly improved and it became evident Garrett had discovered a new passion and enthusiasm for learning and creating. As with everything he became interested in, he worked hard and excelled. He became a well-known, likeable student in the wood studio three times a week! It was during this time we invited Garett to be a “peer mentor” and share his skills and excitement for woodturning by assisting in the Saturday Morning Children’s and Young Adult Classes. Garrett enthusiastically accepted and committed several Saturdays in his senior year in high school and continued to instruct while he was a student at the University of Tennessee. He also gave back to Arrowmont by contributing several pieces of his artwork as donations to our auctions. His energy, friendliness and generosity were constants.
Garrett represents all that we hope for as art educators. His experiences at Arrowmont enriched his life and came full circle as he used his skill and passion to inspire others. His impact on Arrowmont will continue to be felt and acknowledged through the establishment of the Garrett Reece Barnett Community Scholarship which will give others the opportunity to find creative expression.
“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die”. – Thomas Campbell