Saturday, October 9, 2010

Arrowmont- chapter 4

Okay, here are some shots of the studios and my students- all wonderful people and very talented! Many thanks to Jodi, Marti, Mark, Liza, Debbie and Pat for making my week such a joy :-) The studios in the main building are huge! There are two classrooms on either side of this hallway, where the faculty work for the season is exhibited. I did not have my act together to send a piece to the show unfortunately (such is life!). I did take quite a few shots of the work so if I get them sized, I'll include them in a future post.

The schedule went like this: ~7.30-8.30am breakfast- class started at 9. Lunch from 12-1.30 then class until 5pm. Dinner was at 5.30-6 and slides at 7pm or so. Then students could opt to go back to the studio until 1am or do whatever they liked.  Many of my students worked most nights and I was usually there until 9-10pm although one night we went to a local restaurant/bar for Trivia night and another night I went to the Aquarium. So the week was intense to say the least.  One thing I liked about Arrowmont's schedule, which most other places like this don't do, is class actually starts after dinner on Sunday night. This few hours gives the instructor time for the introduction phase of the class- passing out handouts and giving the students an idea of what to expect for the week.  This way, we can just launch right into demos and working on projects first thing Monday morning.  I also like the fact that they don't expect people to leave on Friday (we were able to work right up until 5pm) so Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast are included in the pricing structure. It's nice because the place doesn't just die on Friday night and people have a chance to socialize and relax after the intense schedule of the week.

Arrowmont has a wonderful program of work study on top of their elite residency program.  The residents do not have to teach unless they want to, they don't work for the studios, they get a stipend and they have semi-private studios in which to work as well as group housing on campus.  It's quite a plush gig and I for one applaud Arrowmont's support of emerging artists in this fashion.  This is not the norm because most places just don't have the budget to support their residents in this fashion even though I know most places would like to.

The Work Study and Studio Assistance programs allows interested individuals to come and work to maintain Arrowmont (everything from grounds keeping to janitorial- there are full time people in charge of coordinating the work) and in exchange they get room and board and then get to take a class on their off duty week.  The time frame can be just a few weeks to many weeks depending on the individual and the needs of the campus.  It's a pretty cool gig as well.  I have to say everyone I met there in any capacity: work study, studio assistants, residents and full time employees were wonderful and everyone seemed really happy and excited to be there.  It was such great energy from everyone!

Two last things about Arrowmont before I sign off for this week. The food was really good.  The kitchen does a phenomenal job of cooking for everyone and if you have special/ weird dietary needs like I do, they will bend over backwards to help you.  I did bring gluten free bread and bagels with me b/c I knew I wouldn't be able to find much of that stuff in such a remote area. I was able to stash the bread in the fridge in the kitchen and just go in and get it anytime I needed.  I don't eat red meat or non-organic chicken so they fixed fish for me.  They also always have a vegetarian option at every meal.  It is so important when going to a place like this that the food is good.  People are having a very intense week and have paid quite a pretty penny to be there and to be able to relax over good meals for a little while each day is really wonderful. And-coffee is available alllllll day!

Lastly, the rooms/ bathrooms were really clean and comfortable and the grounds were beautiful!  Thanks so much to all the Arrowmont staff for such a wonderful job!!!  Okay, I'm done gushing :-)  Enjoy the pics and next time I'll finish with what we actually made. I know I promised something like that this week....sorry.  Next time- definitely!

The door on the right was my classroom

The metals studio- and yes, it is as big as it looks!
Individual benches in the middle, soldering stations to the left and more open work areas on the right.
Anvils in the foreground.

This is the hammer room which is a smaller room between the metals studio
and the glass/ enameling studio. The door to the right goes into the enameling studio.

The studios have catwalks for visitors to see what's going on in the classes
without disturbing them.  This was my class hard at work.
A few people were still out at lunch when this shot was taken.
My messy table is in the lower right corner.

Jodi and Liza with Marti in the background
My student Mark and Donna who was visiting from the bead class

Catwalk looking down on the bead class across the hall

Just one of the wood studio rooms. The wood studio is an independent building built about 10 years ago-
beautiful gallery entrance and multiple equipment and teaching rooms

This is one of the studios in the wood building- the class was Extreme Pens.
They were doing miniature wood turning for pen blanks. It was pretty cool.


  1. How are you??? Great posts and pictures. Would love to see some more and is it possible to get a CD of the pics??

  2. Jodi! I've been stupidly busy! But thanks for the gentle push to get those cds of pics out to you! I've got 4 burned and I'm going out to get more dvds after the Rally to Restore Sanity today. You should get them this coming week :-) I'll be posting either later today or tomorrow as well. Hope you are well!