Arrowmont Update from Jim Scarsella

As you know, due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus Arrowmont has been closed to outside visitors since mid-March and all national workshops and events were cancelled through August. We took this action reluctantly but with the knowledge that it was the right thing to do to ensure the health and safety of our community. Then and now we choose to take seriously the recommendations of the experts. Fortunately, we have been able to retain all our employees, and our staff has been mainly working remotely from home, or while on campus practicing social distancing, and avoiding in person meetings.

Although some businesses are beginning to reopen, due to the nature of our programming, which involves large groups of people living, eating and working together in close quarters; we don’t believe we have the ability to resume operations in a manner that would ensure a safe environment for our guests and staff.

So after much deliberation, the Arrowmont Board and Executive Team have made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining 2020 National Workshops scheduled this season, including the Utilitarian Clay VIII Symposium. 

This means the campus will remain closed and all on-campus events and national workshops are cancelled through the end of the year.  This was a difficult decision, but the health and well-being of our community—faculty, staff, students, artists, and visitors—is our most important consideration, and we believe that this is the right course of action at this time.

We recognize that cancelling an entire season of programming is a big step, and we hope you understand that our overriding concern in doing so is your health and safety. We are still available to assist you, and should you need to contact any Arrowmont staff member, direct contact information is available on the website at or you may call 865-436-5860. Please be assured that we care about each of you and are still here to serve you.


So how will we at Arrowmont be spending the remainder of the year? Staff are returning to campus soon and we are determined to make the best of a difficult situation. Because we are a year-round operation, with workshops, events and classes normally scheduled throughout the entire calendar, we have always had difficulty scheduling the necessary time for larger renovations, updates and maintenance projects.  During the past several weeks we have detailed all the outstanding campus projects we’ve wanted to tackle, yet couldn’t quite find the required time in our schedule.  It is our intention to spend the remainder of the year working through all these projects and return next season with a campus and facilities that are safer, more comfortable and more inspiring than ever before.


We will continue to update you here on our website, social media and via e-blast. We ask your support and patience as we find our way through this ever-changing situation. We are here for you and welcome your thoughts and ideas.
Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing. Thank you for your support… and most importantly, stay safe.


Jim Scarsella
Executive Director

Visit Arrowmont

The public is welcome year-round to visit the campus and view artwork by local, national and international artists in the School’s five galleries, which offer a full schedule of changing exhibitions, attend evening presentations, and visit the Artists-in-Residence studios. The Marian Heard Library and Resource Center includes print and electronic materials for research, and displays work from the School’s permanent collection. The Artist Outfitters Store offers tools and supplies for students on campus and artists in the community, as well as offering for sale selected artwork from past Artists-in-Residence.

You can learn more about all the exciting opportunities to visit our campus and immerse yourself in our culture by visiting the links to the left of this page.


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